Is economic “graceful decline” the true agenda of some warmists?

Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist an...

Bill McKibben - Image via Wikipedia

Guest commentary by Indur Goklany

Sometimes the true agenda is laid bare.

From http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/19/1, a piece on Bill McKibben, in which E&E News’ Paul Fialka discusses his agenda, are these passages.

[My comments are in brackets. I have highlighted some passages.]

Many of the climate theories in [McKibben’s] book ["The End of Nature."]– and the future career path of McKibben — were shaped by James Hansen, who was then and is now the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Starting in 1988, Hansen had begun to testify before Congress that greenhouse gas emissions had begun to change familiar weather patterns on the planet and, without action to limit them, the changes would become more obvious and dangerous in the 21st century.

As Hansen explained and as McKibben later found out, the people who were most vulnerable to the flooding, famine and drought and the spread of tropical diseases lived in developing countries. McKibben was interviewing people in the slums of Bangladesh in 2006 when he was hospitalized with dengue fever, which is still untreatable. As he watched others dying, he recalled in a later book: “Something in me snapped. Nothing concrete had come from my work, or anyone else’s.”…

Putting the U.S. economy into ‘graceful decline’

While some companies have been critical of the chamber’s lobbying, McKibben will have great difficulty convincing them about another premise of his, which is that to cope with the more expensive food, weather, health and energy challenges of a climate-changed world, the growth of America’s economy can’t continue.

Baku demonstration
350.org supporters line up in Baku, Azerbaijan. They were among those in 188 countries who demonstrated for climate change solutions on Oct. 10, 2010. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

He talks about federal policies that put the economy in a “graceful decline,” one that stimulates small-scale, organic farming and has more of a focus on activities in neighborhoods, towns and states than on national and international affairs. “We need to scale back, to go to ground,” he says in “Eaarth.”

[COMMENT: (1) Apparently, it has never occurred to McKibben that the perhaps the major reason why people in developing countries were most vulnerable to flooding, famine and drought and the spread of tropical diseases and  why Bangladeshis died from dengue is that they lacked economic development and had stuck to “organic farming” for much longer than farmers in the developed countries. (2) There is nothing “graceful” about lower economic development. Ask not only people in developing countries but also those trapped without jobs in developed countries.]

What McKibben says he wants from Washington ispoverty a “stiff price on carbon” emissions. He calls cap and trade, the Democrats’ most recent legislative attempt to impose a price on carbon emissions through an economywide emissions trading scheme, “an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry and turns the whole operation over to Goldman Sachs to run.”

…Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund…one of the leaders of a coalition of major environmental groups and corporations that pushed cap and trade through the House [when asked] about McKibben’s advocacy of civil disobedience, … said “that’s a matter of personal conscience and personal choice. It’s not among the tactics that EDF uses.”

Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, a small, Washington-based environmental group, is among those lining up alongside McKibben…

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton administration White House aide, has known McKibben for 15 years [and] now works with Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, said he isn’t surprised by McKibben’s move toward civil disobedience. “Because climate impacts will hurt and potentially devastate the poor disproportionately, the moral and social justice elements of climate are much greater than many other environmental problems,” Bledsoe said.

[COMMENT: So how would a decline in economic development – “graceful” or otherwise – reduce climate impacts?]

In the interview here, McKibben explained that his group, 350.org, gets about $1 million a year in donations, most of it coming from foundations. Most of its activists are volunteers, led by 20 to 30 staffers “who are paid very little.” Financially, it is outgunned by the U.S. Chamber and fossil fuel companies, which is why he has organized it as a “movement” to raise public awareness. “Our currency is bodies and spirit,” he said. “This [climate change] is the biggest thing that’s ever happened.”

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102 Responses to Is economic “graceful decline” the true agenda of some warmists?

  1. Jim S says:

    Two words: White guilt.

  2. Simon Filiatrault says:

    It seems that they are succeeding very well, with some help from wall street and the bailout freaks… And it’s far from a graceful decline.

  3. SionedL says:

    Graceful decline? Ask people who have lost homes and jobs how “graceful” that feels. “Decline”? That sounds like George Soros’ “managed decline” mantra. Wonder how much Soros gives to 350

  4. DirkH says:

    “Financially, it is outgunned by the U.S. Chamber and fossil fuel companies, which is why he has organized it as a “movement” to raise public awareness.”

    Rockefeller Family FOundation >> Suatainable Markets Foundation >> 350.org
    >> “It’s hot in here” (Youth lunatics)
    http://compleatpatriot.blogspot.com/2009/10/peer-reviewed-earth-sciences-literature.html

  5. rbateman says:

    I thought thier ultimate mission was to remove all CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as all traces of Carbon from the surface, and bury it. In other words, to sterilize the Earth of all life. Eventually, Earth would resemble a much bigger Mars

  6. DirkH says:

    Sorry, the info wasn’t complete.

    You go to the Rockefeller Family Foundation and enter “Sustainable Markets Foundation” in their search box.
    You get 126 nondescript hits; some of them just showing a postal address; others showing individual grants granted
    to the Sustainable Markets Foundation with designation of a purpose, like this one:
    http://www.rbf.org/grant/11449/sustainable-markets-foundation-1
    “GRANT DETAIL
    New York, NY
    United States
    $100,000 for 1 year
    For its Project 350.”
    Good. From here we can stop using the rather slow search and directly change the URL, changing the number at the end,
    for instance to
    http://www.rbf.org/grant/11449/sustainable-markets-foundation-2
    and so on and so on…

  7. D. King says:

    Here, chew on this from 2008.
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/01/bill-we-just-ha.html
    Their agenda will come crashing down on them, along with a lot of pissed off people!
    BTW, it’s not about the climate.

  8. You have to wonder how many “warmists” simply have the goal of the destruction of modern economics as their main objective?

    It makes you wonder what kind of “self-loathing” is at the root of this desire?

  9. Paul says:

    Well it feels like we’ve already shot past graceful decline economically; I’m not sure how we can be expected to help the less fortunate in the world when we can barely take care of ourselves. What it really boils down to is that there are two kinds of people in the world, people who only want a piece of the pie and people who bake more pies.

  10. u.k.(us) says:

    He talks about federal policies that put the economy in a “graceful decline,” one that stimulates small-scale, organic farming and has more of a focus on activities in neighborhoods, towns and states than on national and international affairs. “We need to scale back, to go to ground,” he says in “Eaarth.”
    =============
    After wasting 20 minutes of my life trying to think of a reply, I decided the man’s thoughts are not worth the effort.

  11. Are there any warmists at all who don’t have economic decline on their agenda?

    Warmism is one of a whole series of cover ideologies for the UN’s “Agenda 21″, sometimes known as “Smart Growth”. If you read the actual Agenda 21 resolution (www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/ ), it makes clear that the authors are out to make the rich countries poor and keep the poor ones poor too, because in their view, comfortable human life simply isn’t “sustainable” by or on Earth.

    To which I say, what the bleep else is the Earth for?

  12. charles nelson says:

    The Green Guard are getting us ready for their ‘Great Leap Backwards’.

  13. Kaboom says:

    These folks look like the ones that should be gracefully declined into homelessness and poverty first, to test the waters.

  14. Matthew Souders says:

    This right here…this is utter madness. Our economy is what made it possible for us to have the kind of money needed to fund this clown’s research in the first place.

    I’m a little tired of the strain of thought in successful economies that wealth is limited and that if you are wealthy, you must have taken that good fortune from someone else who needed it. That’s not how it works. The economy is not capped…it grows when industry leaders create new wealth with a new and better idea…something that improves our lives or creates productivity. Something that expands the agenda of the human race. People like McKibben think that American opulence comes at the cost of Bangladeshi deaths and misery. That’s not how it is. Bangladeshis suffer because they have failed to understand the basic things that make an economy work to better their lives.

  15. polistra says:

    This “discovery” is about like “discovering” that many Christians believe in salvation through faith. It’s right there in the words of the founder, if you care to read them.

    Same here, except the founder is Margaret Mead. Nuff said.

  16. PJB says:

    The purpose of illusion is to show us where reality isn’t. That vision reveals where the faults lie and they always lie within. To attempt the restriction of human advancement and evolution is to throw oneself (and anyone else crazy enough to follow) beneath the wheels of progress in a vain attempt to slow that juggernaut. Far better to determine the effort required to steer that wagon to its eventual destination in the most efficient and effective manner rather than trying to derail the process.

  17. Mike Wryley says:

    Small scale farming rapidly devolves into subsistence farming which translates into working full time just to feed yourself and your family and praying to God your cow doesn’t die.
    Folks like mckibben are reason to believe that Satan is alive and well.

  18. Steve from Rockwood says:

    As he watched others dying, he recalled in a later book: “Something in me snapped. Nothing concrete had come from my work,”

    If this is true why did Hansen waste his life in climate science? Sadly, a lot of people die on this planet and it has nothing to do with temperature, climate science etc. These people are very poor – no food, no water, no security. Oh and nothing concrete HAS come from his work.

  19. Dave Springer says:

    These people all view global productivity as a pie. If one nation gets a bigger slice it comes at the expense of a smaller slice for another nation. This view isn’t limited to nations. They apply it to individuals as well such that the wealthier person gets his wealth at the expense of someone else. This translates into a political class that preys on people of good will and good fortune with what’s called “the politics of guilt”. In other words, the Democratic party.

    This view is nonsense of course. If it was true the human population would still be a few million people living in caves with expected lifespans of 35 years. Global productivity has been growing for thousands of years and hasn’t stopped. The pie keeps getting bigger.

  20. Curiousgeorge says:

    People like McKibben are pathetic. They think of themselves as martyrs to some glorious cause, yet are far too vain and cowardly to strap on a vest full of C4. Or to even to publicly set themselves on fire, as some did during the Vietnam era, to make their point. They are beneath contempt.

  21. Pablo an ex Pat says:

    Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” and the subsequent blanket ban on DDT has so far resulted in the death of > 30 Million. I believe that Hitler and Stalin killed less people, on an individual basis at least. It would appear that the Uber Greenies either never learn or simply don’t care about the effect the policies they promote have on real people. Or doesn’t it matter if they die one at a time instead of being mown down in droves ?

    I well remember a documentary I saw a few years back about the loss of ice cover on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The lead up in the movie, prior to the walk to the summit, showed the climbers at a village on the lower slopes where they filmed, without any commentary, dozens of happy leaping dancing children. They were clearly being children and acting out for the camera but I couldn’t help but think that with their lack of commentary the film makers were saying “and here’s the source of the problem.” Chilling.

  22. Don Horne says:

    White Guilt? Maybe a smidgeon.
    More like Darwin Award for everyone on the Earth!

    This is a bona fide mental illness.

  23. ken Nohe says:

    Climate changes. That much we can be certain of. It has changed without us and it will continue to change with us. Do we impact it? Of course we do! As part of the ecosystem, our activities have an impact. This has been true in the neolithic when people colonized new continents and wiped out species, in the middle age when the forests of Europe were clear-cutted and of course more recently with the industrial revolution… and people have adapted. Sometimes the changes were overwhelming and civilizations crashed; the Aztecs, Easter Island, but mostly they survived, succumbing later to the onslaught of other civilizations.

    And this I think is the major problem that we do not acknowledge and which makes the point of Bill McKibben irrelevant. The equilibrium that we need to main[tain] is not just ecological but it is also social for if the consequences of maintaining the ecological balance is to weaken society, then the civilization is doomed and soon enough will be replaced by another one. Then what is the point of saving a civilization from ecological disaster if soon after it is wiped out culturally?

    Cultures have always been dominated by “myths”. This was true in the past and we recognize it but it seems to be far more difficult to understand the myth with which we live now.

    1 – The first myth is most certainly the carbon treat. That we are producing too much carbon by burning fossil fuels is certain. That we should “think” about it among many other problems is no less certain. That carbon is the main cause of the climate disturbances that are taking place and that we should therefore forget everything else to tackle this issue is most certainly the wrong priority.

    It reminds me of the war against communism in the 1950s or the war against terrorism now. You can never do enough to remove the treat but once you stop the “wars” somehow the problem disappear as if it wasn’t really there in the first place. There are still communists, there are still terrorists, and there will still be some climate changes. It’s just that neither the scale nor the scope of the problem was what it was said to be.

    2 – The second myth is the “global” civilization in which we are supposed to live. This one is plain wrong. There may be a community of people but there are arranged in discrete (as opposed to continue) societies which are still very much in competition with each other. A Chinese, an Indian, a Latin European and an American do not share the same basic values and the world would be a very different place if dominated by the Indians or Chinese indeed. I am not saying worse or better, but just different enough so that we could call it a different “civilization”.

    And this is why decline cannot be “managed” or even as a society envisioned for it represents the destruction of a value system and a society, even a schizophrenic one cannot contemplate such an outcome as a functioning entity. (It would only accelerate decline.)

    So what is the future for the ideas of Mr McKibben? Well, they will most probably fade sooner than later under the onslaught of economic reality. The coming economic recession will very quickly crowd out any remaining concerns about carbon. (Wrongly in my opinion since we need to think about it in the long term. Just not as urgently as some people think.) As for decline, it may come but if it does, I am not so sure that even the people promoting the idea will welcome the consequences. I can read Chinese. Can they? Well hurry up! If English becomes the Latin of the 21C and these people need to survive in a “Chinese” world, Carbon will quickly become a secondary concern, if at all!

  24. Don Horne says:

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.”   Robert Heinlein

  25. ChE says:

    Two words: White guilt.

    Two words: Jesus complex.

  26. Paul Penrose says:

    McKibben is obviously one of those people that believe wealth is a zero sum game. In other words, that there is only so much wealth in the world and that if one country uses too much, like the US, that there is less available for everybody else. This is, of course, utter nonsense. But it is appealing to people that either don’t know better or are looking to blame their failures on someone else. Only wealth creation and economic growth can solve the problem of poverty. And that requires free markets, private property rights, and hard work.

  27. Pablo an ex Pat says:

    On second thought, I wish all the “benefits” of the gentle decline he wishes for to Mr McKibben first and in Spades.

  28. Douglas DC says:

    This is exactly what I have been saying-that the biggest fear of the greens is
    healthy, happy dark skinned people. I will add: and middle class First worlders…
    Green Shirt Brown Underwear…

  29. Chris Riley says:

    The AGW movement is a “perfect storm” that combines the economic mismanagement and political tyranny of Soviet style Marxism, with the hatred of humanity associated with the Malthusians.
    These people are pure enemies of human freedom.

  30. John W says:

    He drank the kool-aide a long time ago:
    “The computer models, however, project an increase in global average temperature as high as a degree Fahrenheit per decade.” …. “sometime around 2020”….”The trees outside my house will still be there; it’s just that they’ll be dead or dying.”
    “The End of Nature” By Bill McKibben
    http://books.google.com/books

    Mike Wryley says:
    Folks like mckibben are reason to believe that Satan is alive and well.

    Interesting thought Mike, if one considers Satan’s fate a parable really speaking of man’s fate (i.e.: arrogance leads to our destruction) and that Satan = the Accuser; then there’s certainly a “robust” fit to the arrogant (man ends nature) accusers (man producer of all bad CO2) of the current “Environmental” movement.

  31. dbleader61 says:

    John David Galt says:
    August 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    Are there any warmists at all who don’t have economic decline on their agenda?

    Warmism is one of a whole series of cover ideologies for the UN’s “Agenda 21″, sometimes known as “Smart Growth”. If you read the actual Agenda 21 resolution (www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/ ), it makes clear that the authors are out to make the rich countries poor and keep the poor ones poor too, because in their view, comfortable human life simply isn’t “sustainable” by or on Earth.

    To which I say, what the bleep else is the Earth for?

    ——————-

    Agreed

    But people like McGibben swoon when they think of their Kennedyesque noble cause. “Ask not what the earth should give to you; ask what you can give to the Earth.”

    Fortunately, between man’s ingenuity and Mother Gaia’s immense capacity, we aren’t anywhere close to capacity. And I will not participate in denying the developing world their place at the table graceful or otherwise.

  32. Logan in AZ says:

    Time to once again post the link to The Green Agenda website, wherein one finds a list of statements by the leaders of the extreme environmental and political left. They are not at all coy or evasive as to the general philosophy and ultimate goals of the AGW side.
    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    I realize this is a science blog, but AGW is not about science. The left has captured the academic and media forces in most of the English speaking world, and apparently controls the political realm in the UK…for now. In the US, the regulatory capture (a conventional term in social science, see the wikipedia article) will continue until the next election. And the developing Dalton or Maunder Minimum could be required to shut them up. The Rossi LENR device would also be a big event in several realms, if it works as claimed.

    So, AGW is indeed the dead theory walking, but the final collapse will take a few years. I suggest that some sort of index or metric be devised to chart the decline and fall.

  33. Rick Bradford says:

    A ‘graceful decline’ for an economy is composed of a series of disasters at the individual level.

    More evidence that Leftists love humanity, but they hate people.

  34. James Sexton says:

    Indur Goklany…….. I’ve had too many beers to further the conversation. But, I read the article and I’m compelled to state …. Well done! It is poverty that kills!……. everything! Without fiscal abilities, we can’t maintain! Thanks again!

    James

  35. Allencic says:

    All of modern environmentalism, including the whole global warming scam can be neatly summed up in two words: HUMANS SUCK! Of course as the likes of Gore, Hansen, and others at the top of the scheme prove, that doesn’t include them. What worthless schmucks.

  36. J.H. says:

    Modern Socialism and its eco fascism….. There is not one original idea in the minds of these despotic tyrants. Same old tyranny. Same old lies. Different era.

  37. Darren Parker says:

    If we took away the social safety net of welfare we wouldn’t have slacktivists using our own money against us. Nothing like having to work for a living to bring you back to cold hard reality

  38. RockyRoad says:

    That the earth is warming up–whether by man’s CO2 contribution or naturally, is something to be celebrated. There’s enough metal on the face of the earth to make all the implements we’d ever need. There’s enough energy from the atoms we split or fuse to make all the energy we’d ever need. And unless your worldview is from some Manhattan apartment or some dive in Hong Kong or New Delhi, there plenty of space for the human race. Are new discoveries being made? Absolutely–at a faster and faster pace. Are we faced with the same ol’ problems? Seems we (speaking of humans in general) never learn. But this I will say–the likes of Hansen and McKibben are to be avoided; their negativism is to be exposed, and their destructive agenda fought against.

  39. Doug in Seattle says:

    Destruction of human civilization has been the goal of the environmental movement since its inception. The carbon jihad is just the most effective tool they have found to date.

  40. Hoi Polloi says:

    The White Man’s Burden,,,,

  41. anna v says:

    It is simple with the muslim self flagellating believers. Maybe we should advertise their existence to these people. If they convert, the planet will be saved from their madness.

  42. GregO says:

    Darren Parker says:
    August 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    “Slacktivists?” Excellent! I hadn’t heard that one.

    McKibben bugs me, of all the envirofascists out there he seems about the most deluded. I am actually tempted to read “Eaarth” just for giggles. I recall Sci Am’s review (it must have been like my last issue – I canceled it after ClimateGate) of Eaarth – it was smoochy love love Bill stuff. I almost retched reading it. Dreck.

    Bill, here’s how it goes: We dig up some taconite in the upper midwest. It’s just some rocks and rubble. We grind it up and get iron ore. The iron ore is worth more than the rubble. We make some steel sheet from the iron ore. The steel sheet is worth more than the iron ore. Somebody (who has devoted their life to training and passionately studying product design – somebody like an engineer) designs something of value from the steel sheet – maybe a car part or maybe a component to a therapeutic device and the part is made by highly skilled craftsmen (also who have devoted their lives to mastering their craft) and that part is worth more than the steel sheet. On and on – blah, blah and so forth. In a nutshell that’s how wealth is created. Nothing is taken away from the folks in Bangladesh or Haiti, or any of the oh too numerous undeveloped places on our fine planet. They need to dig more stuff up, make more stuff, and grow more stuff. Oh, and they are.

    Bill, in short, to create value, one has to dig it up, make it, or grow it. You want to help humanity? Get a job as a car salesman. In Bangladesh.

  43. Old woman of the north says:

    Don’t worry, Australia will start the decline with our ‘Carbon Tax’. The we will all be in decline. The Green Party here seems intent on returning human life to something similar to the Dark Ages. If it continues to cool there may be food shortages that are related to growing time and range as well as the factors of population impact on environments.

    Aiming for some self sufficiency by growing vegetables is fine, but we all seem to grow the same things, leading to gluts, and home grown stuff spreads garden diseases if the usual sprays etc are not used.

  44. McKibben is out of his nut. And element. How does someone of his ilk gain traction and voice? Who sanctions his scathing, accusatory rhetoric? He has the right to his opinions, it provides sensible people with the data to “know thine enemy”…but where does his influence lie, and should we really be concerned? Following his recent opinion piece in the WP, the overwhelming majority of comments were unfavorable. What would the WP gain credibility-wise from this, save ‘outing’ this madness? Somehow this all ‘began’, and like mould on the surface of a cheese, the rhizomes are tenaciously infecting the entire block. Publishing the unbecoming image of McKibben above artificially reinforces the image of a whackjob already firmly established by his writings. Can we safely say that the jig is up, or do we need to nudge a bit harder?

    Sorry for all the questions, but the man frightens the hell out of me. The modern-day Jekyll and Hyde in the guise of Hansen and McKibben is as stark an image as can be presented; the vanguard of agenda-driven thought and blistering ad hominem.

    Yikes.

  45. Eric Barnes says:

    How sad that a bunch of self flagellating nincompoops are in these kinds of leadership positions.

  46. Jessie says:

    Logan in AZ says: August 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm
    So, AGW is indeed the dead theory walking, but the final collapse will take a few years. I suggest that some sort of index or metric be devised to chart the decline and fall.

    and
    Rick Bradford says: August 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    A ‘graceful decline’ for an economy is composed of a series of disasters at the individual level.
    More evidence that Leftists love humanity, but they hate people.

    Probably need to provide a definition of their view of and what constitutes humanity and which [culture of] people they hate.
    Here’s a ‘sort of index or metric’ already devised……

    Bob Weidemer’s After Shock Survival video may be of interest in this news report ‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy
    25 July 2011 (second to last link in report works) – 30 minutes

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Aftershock-book-predicts-economic/2011/07/25/id/404782?utm_source=outbrain&utm_title=%3FAftershock%3F-Book-Predicts-Economic-Disa

    source: http://www.newsmax.com/

  47. Mike says:

    If you’re forced to spend more time working hand to mouth, and have little or no disposable income, they reason you’ll be happier, less of a risk, and much more compliant. Whats not to like?

  48. tango says:

    All I can say send around 2 men In white coats and clip boards

  49. Allan M says:

    Nothing concrete had come from my work, or anyone else’s.”…

    Correction: Nothing concrete had come from my work, so I’m going to make damn sure nothing comes from anyone else’s.

  50. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    It’s clearly a religion based on utopian thinking, chemophobia, anti-science, anti-industry and anti-humanity

  51. RobertL says:

    Frank Herbert made the defining statement on agendas like this:

    “Every revolutionary is a closet aristocrat”

    Whatever ‘noble’ or ‘necessary’ change revolutionaries are trying to convince you (and themselves) needs to be enacted it’s fundamentally always about forming a new power structure with them at the top. The impulse is as old as the human species, and always has it’s greatest number of adherents amongst the young who have most to gain from reshuffling power structures – ie taking power from more powerful/older members of society.

  52. Philip Thomas says:

    It reminds me of the old sci-fi movie ‘Zardos’. They get tired of their easy lives and engineer a complex series of events to eventually bring about their own destruction.

  53. amoorhouse says:

    Our road to hell is paved with his good intentions.

  54. kim says:

    The first refuge of any revolutionary is a closet.
    ============

  55. oldseadog says:

    There is no doubt that if you borrow more money than you can ever pay back then you are in trouble, just like many of us now.
    But that has nothing to do with weather, normal or abnormal climate change or any other kind of science.
    (Love the term “envirofascist”, GregO.)

  56. Jit says:

    @Pablo

    I can’t believe you said that.

  57. KnR says:

    There has always been the political element to the warmists as it clear that some saw the AGW scare a horse they could ride to achieve their political goals which otherwise would never been accepted by the people . Add to that you have unhealthy mixture of the hard left that after the fall of Russia where looking for new hope to further their ‘socialists paradise ‘ , the eco-nutters that don’t actual like humans very much and those that want to take everyone back to some mythic pastoral existence . With all of those hopping to hitch their own desires onto AGW , and you can see why AGW as become such waste ground for the mad and the bad .

    Which makes it even more of a petty that those that should have acted as gate keepers to stop climate science turning into a political football or a joke, and so ensured scientific validity was maintained, either deserted their post or join in the attack .

  58. Hans Verbeek says:

    “The Green Guard are getting us ready for their ‘Great Leap Backwards’.”

    Finite planet, finite amounts of oil and coal, finite CO2-emissions.
    I guess Limits to Growth are finally catching up on our globalized economy.
    And please don’t say: “we didn’t know”.

    Economic mayhem will cut CO2-emissions faster than the Warmists dare to dream.

  59. bruce says:

    With 15T USD in debt and counting, I think the decline will be anything but graceful. The post-Soviet model comes to mind. These people are still living geo-politically in the 1950’s. A lack of or distorted peception of reality, not unlike the empirical take on lack of data for CO2-princip. component-based GW, is evident here. Small minds.

  60. SandyInDerby says:

    He’s just another do as I say not do as I do merchant, and should be treated with the contempt he deserves.

  61. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Jessie says:
    August 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Bob Weidemer’s After Shock Survival video may be of interest in this news report ‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy
    25 July 2011 (second to last link in report works) – 30 minutes
    ==================================================
    There’s 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. But don’t count out America. The whole world depends upon her getting stronger.

  62. Billy Liar says:

    Hans Verbeek says:
    August 21, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Pessimism is a nasty disease. There is no cure.

    Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.

    Oscar Wilde

  63. theBuckWheat says:

    Fannie Mae owns patent on residential ‘cap and trade’ exchange
    By: Barbara Hollingsworth | Local Opinion Editor | 04/20/10 3:00 AM

    When he wasn’t busy helping create a $127 billion mess for taxpayers to
    clean up, former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines, two of
    his top underlings and select individuals in the “green” movement were
    inventing a patented system to trade residential carbon credits.

    Patent No. 6904336 was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Nov.
    7, 2006 — the day after Democrats took control of Congress. Former Sen.
    John Sununu, R-N.H., criticized the award at the time, pointing out that it
    had “nothing to do with Fannie Mae’s charter, nothing to do with making
    mortgages more affordable.”

    It wasn’t about mortgages. It was about greenbacks. The patent, which Fannie
    Mae confirmed it still owns with Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary CO2e.com,
    gives the mortgage giant a lock on the fledgling carbon trading market, thus
    also giving it a major financial stake in the success of cap-and-trade
    legislation.

    Besides Raines, the other “inventors” are:

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/node/96936#ixzz1VfZcJye8

    ====== Related:

    ICE to shutter Chicago Climate Exchange
    Chicago Tribune – ‎Aug 8, 2011‎

    Intercontinental Exchange Inc. will close its US emissions derivatives
    platform, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, after the first quarter, the
    Wall Street Journal reported. …

    The company is shutting the exchange down as it is losing money and the
    chances of a federal carbon-reduction plan being put into place look slim,
    the Journal said.

    ICE bought the platform’s parent company Climate Exchange PLC in 2010 for
    about $600 million last year.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-ice-to-shutter-chicago-climate-exchange-20110808,0,7784695.story

  64. James Sexton says:

    oldseadog says:
    August 21, 2011 at 1:36 am

    There is no doubt that if you borrow more money than you can ever pay back then you are in trouble, just like many of us now.
    But that has nothing to do with weather, normal or abnormal climate change or any other kind of science.
    (Love the term “envirofascist”, GregO.)
    =================================================
    lol, Well, it normally wouldn’t. But today, we see the “envirofascists” have tied CO2 emissions to our weather and climate. CO2 emissions can be seen as economic growth. That is to say, the more one nation emits, the more their economy grows. They can be no clearer example than to look at China and the U.S.

    But, what does this have to do with borrowing? The amount borrowed is tied to GDP. When GDP is up, so is the governments’ revenue. Conversely, when GDP is down the revenues are down. This is, of course, only one side of reason for borrowing.

    The other being an abject rejection of individualism, responsibility and pride. The sense of entitlement is rampant. We’ve even recently seen an example of a well paid government worker receive graft for his advocacy, and then invested the graft to receive financial aid from both the state (Pennsylvania, a direct payment) and the federal government,a $21,000 tax credit. And no one bats an eye. We are subsidizing his electric bill. Oddly, after he did all of this, he concluded the investment isn’t the way forward for America. Just him, I guess.

    I just can’t figure out how come we have a borrowing problem………

  65. James Sexton says:

    Damn….. “They can be….” should read “There can be…..”

  66. mike g says:

    @Hans Verbeek

    What a two-dimensional thinker you are.

  67. Dave Worley says:

    “Something in me snapped”
    Yup.

  68. Bruce Cobb says:

    “Something in me snapped.” Probably went off his meds, or needed a different prescription. It appears he has invented a new planet he calls “Eaarth”. He and his fellow eco-loons should go live there. The world would be a better place.

  69. Shona says:

    This is cabin fever. Now is the first time in humanity’s history that we are stuck where we are (except maybe during the last ice-age when we were constrained to live in deep caves). Until now we have always had somewhere else to explore, go, create new societies. Our explorers have become ridiculous whisky-fuelled rowers to a faux pole. The urge to explore is a deep seated part of our psyche, it’s one of the traits that has made us so successful. The end of manned space exploration is a human tragedy. The kind of nervous breakdown which has and is afflicting the US and the West over this is a direct result (I notice that China which doesn’t have these problems is still going for it).

    The mass of the universe is about 10 to the 55th kilos. The idea that we are going to sit at home and die of heatstroke or cold because we have run out of raw materials is preposterous.

    I don’t find the whisky rowing funny, I find it pathetic. The desire to explore the unknown at considerable personal risk is one of the noblest things a human can do. That this desire has become so perverted by the voluntary circumscription of our horizons is one of the most depressing artefacts of our age. Marco Polo, Tensing, Shackleton, Bougainville, Neil Armstrong et al are become pale shadows, more open to ridicule than to admiration.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that our youth is so de-moralised that it thinks that Armstrong is a liar. It pierces my heart.

  70. JimBrock says:

    Ah, another example of the “intelligentsia” at work. We need to scrub our colleges and universities of these idiots out to save the world. Hire more engineering/science professors to take their place.

  71. DirkH says:

    I plucked this from Hans Verbeek’s blog; a video that parades all the catastrophists; McKibben, Ehrlich and all the other enviro-apocalytpic prophets. All these people make their living exclusively by preaching “The End Is Nigh”; a rather nice way of avoiding the drudgery of labor.
    When you watch it, google in the meantime for all the congresses these people are invited to and compute in your head how much kerosene it costs to shove their bodies around the poor dying planet – increases the entertainment value tremendously.

    http://vimeo.com/2708808

    Maybe Hans’ goal is to rise up into the top league of full time catastrophists; and make as much air miles as Ehrlich. If Hans is already an established catastrophist prophet, i apologize; there are so many of them that one easily loses track.

  72. L. Cooper says:

    I just read a page that is favorable towards McKibben:
    http://americanswhotellthetruth.org/pgs/portraits/bill_mckibben.php
    I was struck by how he rails against those he calls elitists and calls their lifestyle unsustainable. Yet he apparently has more than one home, has the option of choosing not to install a hot tub, etc., yet says the Bangladeshis’ low level of carbon production is a virtue – in the same sentence where he decries their deaths from dengue fever. I wish he would wake up and see that there might be a connection between their low level of carbon production and their susceptibility to dengue fever. Yet he would have citizens of developed countries take their lifestyle down “to ground” to help the Bangladeshis!?! How does that help?
    In his early 50s, it seems to me that the man is experiencing a midlife crisis. I think he needs a good, non-destructive hobby – and some counseling to help him deal with his craving to be The One that everyone listens to and follows.
    One more thing – I wonder how much satisfaction a construction worker on, say, the Golden Gate Bridge felt with what he accomplished in his life, compared to what McKibben has?

  73. ferd berple says:

    When a company stops growing, the company has in fact started to die. The same is true of countries.

    The reason is very simple. Compound interest and debt. Debt plus interest must be repaid. To pay the interest, you must grow the company or the country, or the debt will compound and force you into bankruptcy.

    There is no way that you can gracefully wind down the economy, any more than a person with a mortgage can hope to gracefully stop working and continue to own a house.

    Either the US economy must continue to grow, or compound interest on the debt will crush the USA much more effectively than bin Laden and al Qaeda could ever have hoped for.

  74. DirkH says:

    These people are happy when you’re unemployed.
    “Great News! Economic Recovery Stalls
    Economic news last Friday was quite positive. Annualized U.S. GDP growth was less than one percent in the first half of 2011. However, I would hazard a guess that, oh, some 99.9 percent of the world considered this bad news.”
    http://www.growthbusters.com
    (Found via the video that Hans Verbeek links to on his blog)

  75. Gary Pearse says:

    When nothing concrete comes from your work, your are engaged in a useless enterprise. You might have achieved something if you had ponied up some cash or raised a lot instead of watching people die! What you watched is essentially what your prescription for the planet is – let us hope nothing continues to come from your useless work.

  76. P Walker says:

    I suspect that the people who advocate a return to “small scale” farming have never actually tried it .

  77. Bernie says:

    It is always interesting to check to see whether the facts surrounding doom and gloom projections reflect reality or are exagerrations. In this case the writer uses McKibben’s unfortunate contracting of Dengue Fever as an emotional amplifier:
    McKibben was interviewing people in the slums of Bangladesh in 2006 when he was hospitalized with dengue fever, which is still untreatable. As he watched others dying, he recalled in a later book: “Something in me snapped. Nothing concrete had come from my work, or anyone else’s.”…
    The image created is of McKibben being surrounded by the dyingfrom Dengue Fever. How accurate is this image?

    The most recent WHO report (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241564090_eng.pdf ) relates a somewhat more moderate picture:
    In 2007, the number of dengue cases reported to WHO from the South-East
    Asia Region increased by 18% compared with 2006, but it declined in 2008 (Figure
    5.1.2). Th e number of severe dengue cases also increased from 2006 to a total of
    about 250 000 in 2007, including 1966 deaths, although the average case-fatality
    rate (CFR) for the region is estimated to be less than 1%. In some countries,
    areas remain where higher CFRs are recorded than the regional and national
    averages; i>
    The situation in Bangladesh is somewhat better than for the region as a whole. According to the WHO, in 2006, the year tha McKibben conracted his fever some 2200 people contracted Dengue Fever and 11 died! (see http://www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Dengue_dengue_updated_tables_06.pdf )
    Who would have guessed from McKibben’s purple prose that 11 people in all Bangladesh died out of a population of 140 million (2001). That is 11 too many, but the numbers give lie to McKibben’s hysteria.

  78. Don Keiller says:

    Yeah, let’s hear it for subsistence farming and the economic and health benefits it brings (sarc.)

  79. Bernie says:

    Sorry. I screwed up the formatting and the spelling of exaggeration.

  80. James Sexton says:

    DirkH says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

    These people are happy when you’re unemployed.
    “Great News! Economic Recovery Stalls….”
    ==================================================
    There are some disgustingly sick bastards out there.

  81. Vince Causey says:

    McKibben’s views belong to a common ideology that ascribes human civilization as a destructive force on the planet, from which salvation lies through a return to a simple, bygone pastoral existence.

    In the remake of “The day the Earth stood still,” the fate of the planet was eventually saved by alien intervention removing the support of industrial civilization. The film ended here, and declined to explore what such an existence would be like in reality. I suspect that both McKibben and the director of the movie would be shocked to learn that the “cure” would be worse than the disease. Without the means to grow sufficient food to feed themselves, 6 billion humans would ravage the planet to consume every living creature. Without energy to stay warm 6 billion humans would rip up every piece of living material that is able to burn.

    The results, I fear, would not be pretty. Sorry Bill, but you are a bone head.

  82. keith at hastings uk says:

    My experience is that many of the enviro-fascists I’ve met lead well sheltered lives, thanks to a developed world life style and various forms of income. Young ones are often still protected by the efforts of Mummy and Daddy (Mom & Pop I suppose for US readers). Older ones often have inherited money, or well paid jobs via connections, or nice jobs in enviro Charities, exploiting (tho’ they would deny it) the gullible.
    Somehow, they make no connection between their desire for everyone to retreat to poverty, and the impact it would have on the protected lives they lead. I suppose because in their lives it is generally other people who have taken the strain.
    Sorry to be so cynical.

  83. Steve Allen says:

    Mike says:
    “If you’re forced to spend more time working hand to mouth, and have little or no disposable income, they reason you’ll be happier, less of a risk, and much more compliant. Whats not to like?”

    With the impending and future, yet to be defined, federal budget cuts, the same could be said about government funded climate scientists.

  84. john says:

    Mckibben arrested, will spend 2 days in jail…

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/08/21-2

  85. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Vince Causey says:
    August 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

    McKibben’s views belong to a common ideology that ascribes human civilization as a destructive force on the planet, from which salvation lies through a return to a simple, bygone pastoral existence.

    In the remake of “The day the Earth stood still,” the fate of the planet was eventually saved by alien intervention removing the support of industrial civilization. The film ended here, and declined to explore what such an existence would be like in reality. I suspect that both McKibben and the director of the movie would be shocked to learn that the “cure” would be worse than the disease. Without the means to grow sufficient food to feed themselves, 6 billion humans would ravage the planet to consume every living creature. Without energy to stay warm 6 billion humans would rip up every piece of living material that is able to burn.

    That’s only the start. We have many historical examples of civilizations collapsing. It often ends with human sacrifice, cannibalism, etc. and massive reduction in population. On a global scale, I would expect that fewer than 10,000,000 would survive beyond the first 10 years of such a breakdown, and most of those would be the primitive tribes that are already living at or near Stone age levels. The higher you are on the civilization ladder the harder and farther you will fall.

  86. Ralph says:

    I don’t think they realise the consequences of their pipe-dreams.

    If we convert 50% of our food to bio-fuels, and then go to organic farming as well, something like 70% of the world’s population will need to be culled, in order to balance the food supply.

    .

  87. Adela says:

    Terrorists are being brought to justice in criminal courts these days…
    Al Gore and the global warming alarmists such as left wing politicians, pseudo scientists, journalists, the Hollywood idiots, have been inflicting psychological terrorism upon a whole generation of children all over the world for the last 20 years.
    These charlatans should be brought to justice as the perpetrators of the biggest scam in the history of this planet.
    The social,financial and psychological damages that they caused are beyond comprehension.
    No criminal organization in history has ever come even close to having such a dezastruous impact on so many people, for such a long time, and make so much money in the process.
    They should not be permitted to get away with it.Hundred of billions have been wasted on a fraud, social and economical policies have been altered based on a fraud….the moral authors of this fraud should be in jail for the rest of their lives and their fortune seized.

  88. Mark Young says:

    So, “graceful decline” is going to cause me to farm organically? Dude, if I’m really tight for money and with new opportunities to make more, I’m going to say, “screw organic, I’m not losing a penny’s worth of my crops to bug.” Out come the pesticides and the fertilizer. I’ll worry about the ground water when my belly is full and I’m rich enough to afford that luxury.

    And this is how it has worked since the beginning of the industrial revolution. People don’t care about the environment until they’re rich enough to care about the environment. If you care, you want FASTER growth, not slower growth.

  89. Luther Bl. says:

    amoorhouse says:
    August 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Our road to hell is paved with his good intentions.
    —————————–
    Like all religions, the Gaia Cult has injunctions to sacrifice. Like all specious religions, its injunctions involved the sacrifice of other people.

  90. Rosco says:

    I didn’t realise dengue rendered one insane. As an Environmental Health Officer who spent years trying to convince a careless community it could wipe out dengue here in Queensland by simply reducing artificial mosquito breeding sites without any success I now have another message – clearly dengue causes insanity.

    A temperature increase of 0.8 C or even 1.0 C over ~120 years is the biggest thing to have happened – please tell me the guy is kidding.

  91. Mike Lorrey says:

    How are people supposed to afford an expensive electric car on a third world income? Evidently, by not having any car at all. McKibben is the leading prophet of the human self extinction movement.

  92. John David Galt says:

    Matthew Souders hit one of the main points. Economics is not at all a zero-sum game.

    But what even a communist should realize is, if the real goal of the green movement were to protect Earth’s wildlife from pollution and habitat destruction, then they’re shooting themselves in the foot with both barrels. It’s not an accident that the rich countries have cleaner air and water, and do a much better job of protecting endangered species and wilderness areas, than any poor country ever will. This is so (and always will be) not because rich people “exploit” poor countries, but because people in poor countries simply have needs that are much more important to them than clean air, water, or wildlife. But when a poor country becomes rich (think South Korea and Taiwan from WW2 to the present) — THEN they clean up their air and water, protect their parks, and even reduce their birth rates.

    If the UN succeeds in its “Agenda 21″ goal of making every country poor, then there is no hope for the world’s wildlife. The US would become another China or Brazil or Congo, complete with their levels of pollution and deforestation.

    Any green with even a slight understanding of economics would know this perfectly well, and if his true #1 goal is not to destroy human civilization, he would want to stop it from happening. So it is simply no longer possible to credit any of our opponents with both rationality and good faith.

  93. Spector says:

    It seems to me that the role of carbon dioxide has been almost purposely overstated in its effect on climate. Some say Governor Perry should never be considered to be a potential president because he does not ‘believe’ in global warming. (The required religion) I do not believe the fact that carbon dioxide has a logarithmic effect is properly understood by the public at large. Nor do I think they know that average ‘global warming’ as documented by those promoting the concern has been limited to about one degree F since modern measurements began 150 years ago.

    I do accept the fact, however, the availability of carbon, as an energy source, is limited–what that limitation is, I am not prepared to say except that I see no real evidence that we have reached the bottom of the bowl yet.

    If, by that time, we have not found a good, cheap alternative energy source, then there must be an eventual return to the population and approximate lifestyle of the 19th century overlain with our advanced technical knowledge. I do not see this necessarily as something to be feared. If climate change is being used as a false front to prepare people for this, then I think we are less likely to accept the required adaptations when needed.

    Richard Heinberg has written a number of books (e.g. “The Party is Over”) and is featured on YouTube videos suggesting that an urgent need for these changes is beginning now. He may be premature.

  94. Tucci78 says:

    [snip - too graphic]

  95. Brian H says:

    Hans;
    economic mayhem is the means and the goal.
    Anthony:

    [COMMENT: So how would a decline in economic development – “graceful” or otherwise – reduce climate impacts?]

    Since their assumption is that it’s all CO2-driven, a decline in economic activity is the ONLY demonstrated method of cutting CO2 emissions. The two track each other almost exactly. And it cuts both ways; reducing either cuts the other.

  96. Mark Wilson says:

    ken Nohe says:
    August 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    The war on communism stopped because the Soviet Union collapses. If the communists went away, it had become obvious to all but the most self deluded that communism as a philosophy and as a way to organize an economy, had failed.
    The war on communism stopped, because the communists went away, it wasn’t the other way around.

    The war on terrorism stopped? Since when?

  97. Power Grab says:

    Here’s a very well written article that IMHO gives insight into the source of McKibben’s discontent:

    http://www.martindurkin.com/blogs/real-global-warming-consensus-or-why-intellectuals-hate-capitalism

  98. The problem with McKibben is that the snap was to superstition not sense. (In contrast to the co-founder of Greenpeace who woke up one morning and asked himself why he was living such a negative life.)

    Likely fed by political teachings of fixed pie and exploitation, and the negative view of humans that underlies Marxism thus leads to those teachings. (Underlies Mercantilism as well, but it is much better at feeding people due to the relatively greater degree of economic freedom thus production for human life.) Both at root deny reality in favour of feelings – Hitler being an extreme example of that, he preached using emotions to decide, and was an expert at whipping up bad emotions. (Read the book The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff for history of the development of the ideology of National Socialist Germany.)

    All any of the negative people have to do is look around at reality – people figuring things out, creating, planting, growing. McKibben could ask how it is that he is wearing a nice shirt, whose economically produced material was not imaginable two thousand years ago, instead of coarse cloth. He’s definitely not Mother Theresa.

  99. SteveSadlov says:

    The ungraceful decline:
    1) Population due to non immigration growth has already peaked in all industrial countries including the US
    2) It may also be that life expectancy has peaked or will shortly peak
    3) The unprecedented benign (warm, generally moist) climate pattern of the past 500 years cannot last
    4) There are soon going to be over 100,000 nuclear warheads in various hands
    5) There are countless biological and chemical munitions
    6) Job growth is nil in many countries
    7) There are now critical shortages of medicines
    8) Already, the wild beasts are retaking not only former farmlands and ranchlands, they are boldly moving into the cities, especially in the US and Canada
    9) Reforestation is happening at a rate not seen since the Age of Migrations
    10) The Magnetosphere is very weak, any disturbances from either the Sun or Cosmos will encounter minimal opposition

    Any questions?

    2012 may not be the end of times but it may well be the end of the good times.

  100. Spector says:

    I would say what happened to the trapped Donner party is a real example of an ungraceful population decline. This could obtain worldwide if there ever were a killing global food shortage situation.

    Mr. McKibben appears to be typical of someone who has the impression that CO2 has a linear effect and it acts as an infrared black blanket getting ever thicker and darker, thus causing a proportional temperature increase. He appears to have no conception that most of the effect of each additional 100 PPM is hidden by that CO2 already in the atmosphere. Instead of his 350 PPM, I believe a more practical threshold of real concern would be at 3,500 PPM.

  101. Further to my August 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm post:

    Somehow McKibben instead grabbed onto the bad science of climate alarmism. That choice is consistent with a negative view of humans, but I don’t have a good theory of the decision path. The book “Higher Superstition – the Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science” and the later “post-normal science” scam such as climate alarmists in the Physics Department of the University of Victoria try to pull give clues.

    Nor of the logic of wanting to return to a world lit only by fire, where life was difficult and short. (I’ve heard of attempts to justify, such as the notion that agrarian societies facilitated controlling others because grain is stored for later use, but that fails all but dialectic logic. Hunter-gatherer societies were full of control, such as killing others to get the animal they had just killed, and ones like Inuit and “North American Indians” preserved food (such as by drying it – they knew that berries only grew in the summer and that hunting was an activity of variable success).

    Guilt? Yes, an inevitable result of fixed-pie thinking – without creating useful things there must be only so much and anyone who has something must have taken it from someone else’s “share”. But notice that McKibben wants other people to give up, rather than teaching the people of Bangladesh how to fish (to use a good concept from a Christian bible). Note also that the inevitable result of his basic thinking is tyranny, because some people will take and not feel guilty – the Lenins and Hitlers for example, both common thugs at the start of their rise to power. (Uncountered by people because of the error that Willis Esenbach points out regarding the UN in his “Odtran Moddities” article.)

  102. Ian Random says:

    Nah, more like Green Guilt.

Comments are closed.