The global warming scare campaign goes through phases. Warmists are collectivists, and they buzz like a hive. The overall narrative of doom does not change, but every couple of months or so the hive settles on a different scare to buzz about most loudly.
That’s the best way to get media and public attention, after all. Single out one alleged global warming terror, publicize the heck out of it until “everybody knows” the “crisis” is “even worse than scientists previously believed,” and then move on to the next scare-of-the-month. The intended effect, as H.L. Mencken put it, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Previously featured scares include killer heat waves, malaria epidemics, more powerful hurricanes, catastrophic sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and, my personal favorite, a shutdown of the Gulf Stream leading to a new ice age. Some of these have been scares-of-the-month more than once — a form of recycling, if you will.
You might think that after so many years of hearing about so many ways global warming is going to wreck the planet, the American people would be “clamorous to be led to safety” and demand cap-and-trade as the salvific path to a “clean energy future.”
But no, the American people aren’t buying it — at least not enough to overcome their repugnance to a massive new energy tax, which, many now understand, is what cap-and-trade boils down to.
So proponents of the Waxman-Markey bill need a new scare du jour, and this month it’s “climate change threatens U.S. national security.” Instead of warning, implausibly, that we’re going to fry, drown, blow away, or freeze, the new sales pitch is more sophisticated.
Here’s what they say. Climate change is a “threat multiplier.” It aggravates several problems — poverty, drought, famine, coastal flooding — that already foster instability and conflict. A warming world will be plagued by more frequent and more intense conflicts among and within nations.
A coalition of eco-warriers and defense hawks has formed to push the message. What each side gets out of this strange-bedfellow coalition is obvious. The defense professionals get mission creep — an expansive rationale to justify new DOD and intelligency agency programs, capabilities, and activities, all funded by the taxpayer, from now until 2100 and beyond, regardless of the actual geopolitical and military threats facing the country. Greenies, for their part, gain allies respected by conservatives, who up to now have opposed Kyoto-style “global governance” and greater political meddling in energy markets.
On the free-market energy blog, MasterResources.Org, I have written a two-part essay titled, “Even the Generals Are Worried! Mission Creep, Climate Change and National Security.” Part 1 shows that the “threat multiplier” argument is hype. Part 2 shows that climate change policy poses greater risks to national security than does climate change itself.