Fancy carbon footwork: How Climate-Change Dance Theory spells the end of a movement

A growing number of Americans are beginning to think that global warming alarmism is little more than some sort of hippie plot to drag us back to the Stone Age. Or, failing that, at least drag us back to the Hippie Age. And what with the abject failure of the international community to reach any kind of binding agreement at the recent Copenhagen climate conference, and the growing unlikelihood that the U.S. Senate will pass any bill to combat that chimerical foe Anthropogenic Global Warming, coupled with the scandal-a-minute collapse of any scientific "consensus" that we're even changing the climate after all, the alarmists are now looking at a bleak future of their grand scheme devolving into nothing more than a passing fad along the lines of Hula Hoops or the Macarena.

The same thing happened in the 1960s. The early anti-war protests against U.S. involvement in Vietnam were fervent, sincere, and convinced of their eventual efficacy. But as months turned to years and the Johnson administration not only ignored the protests but escalated the war at every opportunity, it became painfully obvious that the anti-war movement of the mid-'60s had failed. It may have gotten a lot of protesters laid, but it did nothing to actually stop the war. By the time the late '60s rolled around -- i.e., the Hippie Age -- most protesters had little or no expectation that their antics would influence Nixon to stop bombing Indochina (or whatever other shenanigans he was up to that week); rather, protests had become mostly an excuse to party. Or, seen from the reverse angle, most public musical events for the younger generation by then acquired a political overtone, so that you were no longer just dancing for the fun of it, but were now "dancing for peace."

Dancing for peace, 1969.

My thesis is that once any movement begins to engage in hollow, ridiculous and futile gestures (such as "dancing for" anything), it's an indicator that the movement has run out of steam and will soon go extinct. It is therefore with great interest that I've been noticing not just the strange new outbreak and continuous barrage of climate change dances but more significantly an upcoming lecture being given at U.C. Berkeley entitled Mitigating Global Warming Through Art -- Exploring the Importance of Music for the Change of Lifestyles. The listing for the talk (given by visiting lecturer Maximilian Mayer at U.C. Berkeley's Institute of European Studies) notes that "Music in general and art in particular seems to be a promising Archimedean point for multiple new life styles. Performing music and dancing combine the advantages of those three alternative approaches. Additionally, they may be powerful enough to substitute the culture of consumerism since they enable a creativity-based self-autonomy as well as cultural self-sufficiency." In other words, not only have the global warming alarmists started dancing in a last-ditch attempt to save the planet, but they have now even developed an academic pseudo-scientific theory as to why dancing is a necessary and perhaps the only remaining way to prevent the climate from changing.