Ed Driscoll

Mortal Enemies: Ecochondriacs and the Memory Hole

“The News Archives are bitches,” Jose Guardia writes at Barcepundit:

Especially for the ecochondriacs, because it shows their fears and their heated rhetoric (pun intended) is as old as Larry King’s original birth certificate.

Some of those older items on global cooling I mentioned in my “Hide the Decline” video from December of 2009, but it’s worth having as many Malthusian doomsday prognostications bundled together in one place as possible — along with this page, which shows how everything is caused by global warming. It’s a reminder of what Fred Siegel wrote at City Journal last year on “Progressives Against Progress:”

In 1970, the Franco-American environmentalist René Dubos described what was quickly becoming a liberal consensus: “Most would agree that science and technology are responsible for some of our worst nightmares and have made our societies so complex as to be almost unmanageable.” The same distrust of science was one reason that British author Francis Wheen can describe the 1970s as “the golden age of paranoia.” Where American consumers had once felt confidence in food and drug laws that protected them from dirt and germs, a series of food scares involving additives made many view science, not nature, as the real threat to public health. Similarly, the sensational impact of the feminist book Our Bodies, Ourselves—which depicted doctors as a danger to women’s well-being, while arguing, without qualifications, for natural childbirth—obscured the extraordinary safety gains that had made death during childbirth a rarity in developed nations.

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. In the years since then, liberalism has seen recurring waves of such end-of-days hysteria. These waves have shared not only a common pattern but often the same cast of characters. Strangely, the promised despoliations are most likely to be presented as imminent when Republicans are in the White House. In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

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Update: And speaking of ecochondriacs:

Prince Charles lashed out Wednesday at climate change skeptics, saying they are playing “a reckless game of roulette” with the planet’s future.Skeptics are having a “corrosive effect” on public opinion, the British heir to the throne added.

“Their suggestion, that hundreds of scientists around the world … are somehow unconsciously biased, creates the implication that many of us are secretly conspiring to undermine and deliberately destroy the entire market-based capitalist system,” he said.

Many doubters — particularly in the United States — have dismissed scientific evidence supporting warming of the earth due to human activity, arguing that the large majority of scientists are wrong, or the consequences of warming overstated.

Charles asked: “How are these people going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future?”

As Paul Driessen wrote in 2007, “Prince Charles’ three mansions produce 500 times the CO2 emissions of the average British home, and he and his entourages routinely burn thousands of gallons of fuel on globe-trotting flights.”