It is hard to judge just which is the greatest blunder/offense of the climatistas. You might go with “carbon pollution,” which is exceedingly stupid as most everyone with a high school education knows that humans exhale carbon dioxide (about 800 pounds per year per capita) and further that carbon dioxide is plant food. It is one thing to point out that carbon dioxide is an atmospheric warming agent (though is that by itself a bad thing?), and quite another to equate what we all exhale with noxious air pollutants like carbon monoxide or ozone. But such is the desperation of the climatistas that they can’t help themselves.
The more risible tactic is the use of “denier” for anyone who doesn’t hew to the narrow climatista orthodoxy. “Lukewarmers,” such as the University of Colorado’s excellent Roger Pielke Jr, is not permitted, let alone accomplished climate scientists like Judith Curry who have changed their mind. It is simply not allowed. All such heretics must be branded as the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers.
This is the surest sign that the climatistas are losing, and know they are losing, despite all their happy talk about how the Paris Climate Accord and the soaring amount of wind and solar power are going to save the planet any day now if only we can lock up the “deniers.” It’s a pretty sloppy charge to begin with. “Climate denier”? I don’t think I know of a single person, even in works of comic fiction, who denies there is a climate. That would be akin to being a “gravity denier,” though, to be sure, there are some bumper strips that say, “There is no such thing as gravity: the earth sucks.” (I assume this is a joke, but in the world of postmodernism, perhaps it is not.)
The increasing desperation of the climatistas is causing them to expand the definition of “denier.” Ted Nordhaus, a certified left-of-center activist and co-founder of The Breakthrough Institute, notes the progressive regression among the climatistas in a nice piece this week:
[I]n the expanding use of the term “denier,” the view of the climate debate as a battle between pure good and pure evil, and the social dimensions of the narrative that has been constructed, some quarters of the climate movement have begun to seem similarly unhinged. . .
The continuing escalation of rhetoric by climate advocates, meanwhile, is unlikely to do much to solve climate change. After eight years of excoriating hard-fought efforts to make headway on the issue by President Obama and candidate Clinton (McKibben in recent years labeled both deniers), we can thank provocateurs like McKibben and Oreskes for helping to put an actual climate denier in the White House.
Separately, I note that Bill McKibben has recently added Canada’s premier Justin
Timberlake Trudeau to his enemies list of climate criminals, writing in The Guardian:
. . . But [Trudeau’s] words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon and selling it to people to burn, and that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing. He’s hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the US to carry yet more oil out of Alberta’s tar sands, which is one of the greatest climate disasters on the planet.
Last month, speaking at a Houston petroleum industry gathering, he got a standing ovation from the oilmen for saying: “No country would find 173bn barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.”
Yes, 173bn barrels is indeed the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. So let’s do some math. If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30% of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5C target that Canada helped set in Paris.
That is to say, Canada, which represents one half of 1% of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget. Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite.
Please, please McKibben, keep this up. You and Al Gore are the best thing we’ve got going for us.