The Global Warming Cause – one man's quest for victimhood

Tim Blair writes at The Telegraph blogs about weepy Bill McKibben as examined by a specialist.


Bill McKibben raging about fossil fuels at a rally – Image from – photo credit: Steve Liptay

Blair writes:

Stanley Kurtz examines our old pal Bill McKibben, whose warming obsession evolved from his cravings for victimhood:

In a 1996 piece titled “Job and Matthew,” McKibben describes his arrival at college in 1978 as a liberal-leaning student with a suburban Protestant background. “My leftism grew more righteous in college,” he says, “but still there was something pro forma about it.” The problem? “Being white, male, straight, and of impeccably middle-class background, I could not realistically claim to be a victim of anything.”

At one point, in what he calls a “loony” attempt to claim the mantle of victimhood, McKibben nearly convinced himself that he was part Irish so he could don a black armband as Bobby Sands and fellow members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army died in a hunger strike. Yet even as he failed to persuade himself he was Irish, McKibben continued to enthusiastically support every leftist-approved victim group he could find. Nonetheless, something was missing. None of these causes seemed truly his own. When McKibben almost single-handedly turned global warming into a public issue in 1989, his problem was solved. Now everyone could be a victim …

Global warming allows the upper-middle-class to join the proletariat, cloaking erstwhile oppressors in the mantle of righteous victimhood.

Good call.


For the record, IMHO and based on some of his current behavior, I’m pretty sure Bill McKibben is becoming a danger to himself and others.

h/t to Verity Jones


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I wish I had coined that, most eloquent summary of the inner Sydney/Melbourne Latte Left extremists for AGW;

A danger to himself and others, should we tip his local law enforcement for a non-consensual mental evaluation committal, thereby prohibiting his gun ownership?

Peter Miller

Bill McKibben is a classic example of cause addiction.
If you live a pointless, comfortable, life, the urge to make your life meaningful to both yourselves and others can become overpowering. So you desperately look for a supposed wrong to right.
Most of the world’s greatest despots suffer(ed) from cause addiction, which usually morphs rapidly into egomania and the manic conviction you are always right and consequently no dissenting opinion can ever be tolerated.
The problem is cause addiction can bring with it enormous economic and personal freedom costs to those around you.

charles nelson

The idea of ‘original sin’ is deeply engrained in the Christian consciousness.
It is inextricably linked with being born.
Breathing air and exhaling CO2 is simply a modified form of ‘original sin’.


There is something to this in the larger AGW community as well.
It makes sense that for those who need to be victims in order to feel validated would find AGW a particularly attractive faith.
It enables the believer to imprint patterns on the weather and draw big lessons from it, while still feeling all sciencey.


Adam Bandt, Greens MP, is blaming climate change (Assumed human induced as its not stated) for the bush fires here in NSW, Australia. Well, a stupendously stupid comment from the Greens was inevitable. However, given that the (Their) claim that AGW climate change (AGWCC) is GLOBAL, how does AGWCC know where NSW is, let alone where Australia is? CO2, the gas that I smarter than the average 5th grader.


So the Unproven theory became his claim to victimhood in 1989? And I never heard of him until about two years ago?

Bloke down the pub

Nonetheless, something was missing. None of these causes seemed truly his own. When McKibben almost single-handedly turned global warming into a public issue in 1989, his problem was solved. Now everyone could be a victim …
In a similar vein, Dale Vince lived in a converted ex-army truck for years while he persuaded the government that we needed a green energy revolution. He now owns Ecotricity and makes millions from the subsidies, paid in part by poor pensioners living in fuel poverty, which come from levies on our fuel bills.


For a real hoot, read not only the misanthropic self-absorption McKibben displays in the article and then read the comments. Very revealing indeed.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

What was (and remains) missing in McKibbin’s live is gratitude. I really do not know why so many middle-class people seem determined to feel guilty that their families and the rest of the productive people in this society have worked so hard to ensure that they have more options and resources than in any prior age of human history.


Seriously? He is a member of a sacrificial death cult, yet doesn’t feel victimized. Why is he so hard on himself?
“Middle-class guilt is a post-modern condition in which the patient experiences a collective embarrassment of riches which leaves her in a state of chronic unease. Often, the patient will identify with and adopt the social characteristics of the object of their guilt, by, for example, speaking in a manner at odds with their own background. Male sufferers can be observed surreptitiously trading in cricket bats and rugby balls in favour of footballs. They will display a chronic pitying of choice “minorities” and a spirited proclivity to “celebrate multiculturalism” and generally “make a difference”. The patient will denounce their own “comfortable, insular, bourgeois” culture and, in an attempt to bond with the chosen minorities, may exhibit signs of ethno-empathy. This can involve the Anglo-Saxon placing their hair in dreadlocks. There are often signs of an increased interest in world music, and the patient indulges in a yearly pilgrimage to the Notting Hill Carnival.
Guilty urbanites shun the leafy counties, and move to rougher areas such as Brixton or St Paul’s, where their feelings of guilt are intensified by exposure to Big Issue sellers. Paradoxically, they will ruminate over their “difficult decision” to send their progeny to public school as opposed to the local comprehensive which is busy embracing diversity. There is as yet, no cure, though research continues … as does hand-wringing.”
I was surrounded by it all at university in the 60s when 98 of a 100 in my faculty were privately educated and just two of us were not.
Now they are in positions of authority and have carried their baggage with them.

He is a victim of not being a victim.

In the UK ‘public schools’ provide a private education. State schools cater for the rest.
Not sure how such a misleading nomenclature initially rose.

As long as you keep him powerless, he is not a danger to anyone, including himself. The problem with McKibben’s is they seek a cause to espouse, but not believe in. Did he go on that hunger strike? No. Will he help with the problem of AGW (by his own solutions)? No. Like all other socialists, the solutions are for the little people, not the leaders.


It’s truly amazing (and disgusting) that so many are able to live so comfortably, by taking advantage of the masses of the helpless and ignorant, while doing little real work and contributing so little of value, and blaming those who live as comfortably as they do.


“I could not realistically claim to be a victim of anything.”
Except his own stupidity of course.


Interesting related link:
“What is surprising is that the mood of catastrophe prevails especially in the West, as if it were particular to privileged peoples. Despite the economic crises of the last few years, people live better in Europe and the United States than anywhere else, which is why migrants the world over want to come to those places. Yet never have we been so inclined to condemn our societies.”
The message: we must feel very guilty, but there is a glimmer of hope/ solution presented by the greenies….


Here is a video about victims.

When I was in boot camp in the ’60s I met folks who were constantly whining, complaining, and finding the dark side of everything. It was then I learned that there are some people who can only be truly happy when they are most miserable.
One of the lessons of the Viet Nam War is that constant moaning and griping and annoying others around you enough that they wish you were dead is not a trait conducive to real-world survival.
McKibben is a victim, all right. He has been victimized by his own self-centered craving for attention.
The squeaking wheel gets the grease, but it is also the forst one to get replaced.


To be fair, people have the right to consider themselves victims (real or imaginary) as much as they please. It’s their live. The line is crossed, however, when the modern twist on victimhood makes these people believe that they are entitled to deny others the right to speak or simply exist.



Mckibben is clearly psychologically unbalanced, but the scary thing is the high proportion of people among the general populus who evince similar characteristics vis-a-vis the climate change debate. We are not talking about a small proportion here. In fact this is the most worrying aspect of the whole CAGW issue. With the death of mainstream religion , more and more people are seeking an ersatz and the church of global warming is an attractive institution for many of them. Like all religions , reality and empirical data will influence neither their belief nor their actions. Worrying times ahead.

Alberta Slim

Years ago, when rich, upper class English families had a “reject’ like Bill, they would ship him off to Canada or Australia. They were “Remittance Men” . They were paid to get the hell out of the country, and stay out, so as not to embarass the family.


The squeaking wheel gets the grease, but it is also the first one to get replaced
Brilliant – QOTW for me!

Neil McEvoy

Stephen Wilde,
“In the UK ‘public schools’ provide a private education. State schools cater for the rest.
Not sure how such a misleading nomenclature initially rose.”
In the olden days, public schools were open to anyone (provided they could afford the fees). The alternative, long before state schools existed, was private tutors.


Trouble is they’re still breeding young McKibbens-
Meanwhile their sacred totems are beginning to fall-
Tim keeps us in good humour while we call out these sad sack shucksters as we’re all acutely aware of Blair’s Law-
“… the ongoing process by which the world’s multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force”
nowhere better illustrated than when they all gathered together at Copenhagen with their expectant media in tow.


I recently wrote an item published by Samizdata about this very subject:

Chuck L

If the cold and snowy winter forecasts for North America and Europe verify it will be interesting to see how hypocrites McKibben, Cooke, Lewandowsky, and the rest of these losers try to spin it. They won’t be able to use the low Arctic Sea Ice meme this time.


McKibben has achieved his dream, he is now a victim, a victim of his own stunted mentality.


In order to fully understand Global Warming you must first understand the Liberal Brain. Each Liberal Brain is born with 723,0809 neuronal synaptic connections devoted to a life long search for government solutions to problems, both real and imagined. The Liberal Brain falls into severe affective mood disorder without pursuing those solutions. When there are no problems the Liberal Brain invents them. This theory falls very nicely in line with Maslow’s theory of a Hierarchy of Human Needs. If in fact we are in store for decades of Global Cooling, there will be a national need for Counseling Centers for said Liberal Brains.


To be fair the idiots did have a plan for multiplying their numbers and I’ll let you guess who wrote this in 2007-
“In 1987, the Cold War was starting to warm up, but so was the Earth. The Berlin Wall was starting to come down, but nascent political and ideological threats were emerging. Traditional academic disciplines were searching for new language, tools, and answers to interdisciplinary problems. The concept of sustainability was just being introduced, but there was a growing appreciation that problems of the environment, economy, and society were intricately linked.
This idea drove us to create the Pacific Institute. We believed that global problems and effective solutions in the 21st century would require innovative ways of thinking, seeing, and doing. “

Gary Pearse

A guy who found his victimhood in 1989 with a fledgling theory that has been falsified by only 10 years of warming left when he joined the cause, followed by 17 yrs and counting of no warming is only going to get shriller and shriller – he may mistake the white coats for scientists when they take him away. First we have the real conspirators of climategate that Lew is unwittingly projecting from, then Glieck the confidence trickster, Boora Boora the molester and now a ‘conflicted’ McKibben. I hope this isn’t the tip of any icebergs or beginning of a trend. One can certainly be led to believe that angry Joe Romm might soon be “outed” and others. It would be so embarrassing to think that such as these were almost allowed to ruin the world.


…which as Walter Russell Mead pointed out so succinctly, is how they bred up to become one giant useless force-

When you sell your soul to get ahead
The devil will not sell it back.
McKibben should confess how he got ahead at Harvard and at the New Yorker. It would assuage his chronic guilt, and be more interesting to read about than the drivel he’s been producing for the past decade.


All comments above are enabling McKibben’s addiction.

Mike Sigman

Our public schools teach victimhood as a matter of course … why is it surprising that it produces people like McKibben and our cause-addicted liberals.


I personally feel absolutely no embarrassment or guilt for what I have worked my ass off for.

Pamela Gray

My public school surely does NOT teach victimhood. Where the hell do people get this public school information from???? Spouting without thinking is rampant on both sides of this debate. Mike, you sound like Bill. Stop it.
However, on to Bill. He big baby.


If Bill McKibben truly wants to experience being a victim, he should stage an accident. Then during the investigation, state the accident was done intentionally. This way, he can live under the scrutiny of insurance fraud. It is very easy to be the victim of one’s own accident. Heck, on top of it, he’ll have his own guilt to deal with!

Vince Causey

McKibben has invented a real cause that middle classes can identify with – without the guilt.
In the good ol’ days, the guilt ridden middle classes took up arms on behalf of the oppressed masses. But because they themselves did not share in the plight of the oppressed they could not assuage their guilt.
Now McKibben has not only made us all victims (no more guilt) He has given us a way of salvation. If we change our ways and follow the true path of eco activism we can be pardoned of our sins. Halleujah.

Bill was in my town last night giving a talk at one of our local colleges. His faithful were out in force and gave him a standing “O” when he completed his one hour brainwashing. I wish I had known about it as I would have been happy to attend and give a full report.

I didn’t know who McKibben was until I started reading here and other places folks getting excited about what he had said. When I looked up his bio, I couldn’t see anything that qualified his comments as having any meaning. Heck, he doesn’t even say he has a degree in journalism in one bio. So, all McKibben seems to be is tadchem’s squeaky wheel. If he is obsessed with guilt, he doesn’t seem willing to don sack cloth and ashes to atone for his sins, much to his discredit.
Maybe I should feel guilty about, like MattN, not feeling the least embarrassment or guilt for what I have worked for. Nope.

Alan Robertson

charles nelson says:
October 17, 2013 at 3:30 am
The idea of ‘original sin’ is deeply engrained in the Christian consciousness.
It is inextricably linked with being born.
Breathing air and exhaling CO2 is simply a modified form of ‘original sin’.
Careful, careful- perhaps some Christians teach original sin, but this country boy went faithfully to Sunday School and never heard the term “original sin” until I met my first Catholic. I don’t remember reading Jesus Christ’s own words on original sin.
I see plenty of people who have something to say online about Christianity, but they never say anything about Islam (why is that?) or Buddhism. If you want a massive heaping helping of original sin, then learn a bit about Buddhism, or Hinduism.


I thought the entire intention of the green movement was to create victims. I’m not looking forward to the toe tag count from this year’s winter in the UK and elsewhere where too many people have to choose between cold food or cold housing.


Kudos to Tim Blair and the many commenters for their insights on the craving for victimhood and cause addiction.
Another side of the coin is the appeal of collective guilt — a staple of ‘progressive’ politics. For many Old and New Lefties, activism was a way to atone for the guilt they felt at being privileged scions of “imperialist, colonialist, racist” America. South Park lampooned this phenomenon in “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow”
In that episode, fourth graders Stan and Eric “borrow” (steal) a motor boat and crash it into the world’s largest beaver dam, flooding the town of Beaverton. The adults in South Park don’t care much about rescuing the victims stranded on rooftops, but they care a lot about finding out who deserves the blame. Some accuse George Bush; others, Al Qaeda. Stan’s scientist father determines the true cause: global warming.
At the end of the episode, the Army rescues the Beaverton residents and ends the global warming panic — but only by blaming the flood on another bogeyman: Pink, Multi-Legged, Crab People.
Unable to live with the guilt any longer, Stan confesses to the people of South Park: ”I broke the dam.” One of the adults translates: “Don’t you see what this child is saying … we all broke the dam.” Another adult steps forward and says, “I broke the dam.” Then another . . . and another. Everybody wants in on the guilt.
Warmism feeds and legitimizes the desire to blame and punish. But it also gratifies the guilty feeling that “we have met the enemy, and it is us.”


No wonder the guy is cracking up! I’d say he’s ready for IM (intramuscular) injections of a good, strong anti-psychotic, preferably Haldol.

Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:36pm EDT
Oct 15 (Reuters) – The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer as the jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history, according to leading U.S. energy consultancy PIRA.

Claude Harvey

Any good “victimization scheme” must cost as many others as possible some real pain, anguish and money. By that standard, AGW is the grandaddy of all such inventions.