August 14, 2015

Environmental hysteria: How the green movement is destroying environmentalism

Tim BallRebel Columnist

A comment by Evelin Cooper on my last post spoke to the challenge of going beyond “preaching to the converted.” It is a very valid comment and requires a response that faces the realities and puts green bullying and environmental hysteria in perspective. The pattern of change is a saw tooth with a very gradual incline to a peak after which the change is very rapid. Some actions accelerate the process but for a critical mass of people who understand it takes time, especially when they were deliberately misled. People don’t like to admit they were duped. 

Environmental extremism is essentially a first world problem; it is a self –inflicted wound that most could not parry because of the way the entire exercise was exploited and manipulated to silence opposition. It became a third world problem as Paul Driessen explained in his book Eco-Imperialism. He defined it as “the forceful imposition of Western environmentalist views on developing countries.”

India was one of those developing nations. It used its more pressing problems of starving people to challenge the claim to the moral high ground of saving the planet from a speculative threat of global warming. As India’s special envoy on climate change, Shyam Saran said. "Climate change shouldn't become a mechanism for the perpetuation of poverty."  Prior to this only one world leader, Vaclav Klaus former President of the Czech Republic, openly spoke against global warming and the threats of environmentalism. The title of his book summarizes his views:  Blue Planet in Green Shackles. As he explains,

Even though environmentalism boasts about its scientific basis, it is, in fact, essentially a metaphysical ideology that refuses to see the world, nature, and humankind as they really are/. It has no regard for spontaneous evolution and takes the current state of the world and nature as an untouchable standard, any changes to which would be a fatal jeopardy.

 One respondent to my earlier article, Egil Lomeland, said he circulated it to as many people as possible, a very effective action in an Internet-connected world. Control of information is critical, as all past despots and elite groups knew. The Internet provides that power to the citizens for the first time in history.

Society changes on a very large scale from top to bottom by evolution or revolution. The latter is not desirable or likely in the Western world at present. Two conditions cause people to revolt and overthrow their leaders. One is a failure of the food supply. The other is when leaders forget their power ultimately comes from the people.

On a different scale, changes occur through paradigm shifts, defined as “a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.” They occur all the time and tend to follow similar patterns of adoption and adaptation. Two currently at different stages are feminism and environmentalism.

Society adopts the new paradigm at different rates. A small percentage take it up quickly, usually to exploit the power or control it provides. Another small group will never accept the paradigm. The majority accept, but remain unsure how far they should go. There is a natural caution against change because when it occurs some gain, and some lose and they don’t want to be in that group. 

Environmentalism was a necessary paradigm shift that took shape and gained acceptance in western society in the 1960s. The idea that we shouldn’t despoil our nest and must live within the limits of global resources is fundamental and self-evident.

Everyone accepted those concepts, but some took different approaches that brought us to where we are now. How far do we take the idea of environmentalism in terms of restricting or punishing people’s behavior? Natural paradigm shifts are not smooth. A small group of extremists adopted the shift to environmentalism for a political agenda.

Environmentalism was necessary, but like all new paradigms a sequence of adoption and adaptation must follow. Gradually it takes hold as people realize the values. The problem is most people don’t know how far to take it.

For years, I wondered about the role of extremists in society. I’ve learned the role of extremists in climate science and environmentalism is no different from the role they play in all paradigm shifts. They define the limits of a new paradigm for the majority. They are the bookends of the paradigm shift in society’s views of the world. Extremists grab the new idea and claim it as theirs. They then bully the rest of society into accepting their view with a missionary fervor.

Part of the problem is the majority see the new idea as an improvement. The challenge for the majority is to determine how much change to make. By taking extreme positions, extremists cause the majority to say, hold on, you are going too far. School students respond with cheers and shouts when I ask them if they care about the environment. When I say, “Fine, then none of you will ever drive cars.” I see a look on their faces that says, well I don’t care that much. Environmentalism for a majority is close to that point.

Every day more people realize global warming is a myth. A UN poll of 6 million people listed it as the last concern out of 16. Every day more and more people are putting environmentalism into a sensible context. Ironically, we are on the verge of environmentalists destroying environmentalism. The challenge is for leadersip and calm so we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Environmentalist are close to crying wolf once too often and ignoring issues that require attention.


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commented 2015-08-15 09:37:52 -0400
One more thing. Rabid environmentalists, or as they would prefer to be know, greens, refuse to consider any information that is counter to their beliefs and usually react violently against the spread of that information. They allow their ‘religion’, for that, in the end, is what their belief system has become, to overlook and ignore facts that should be taken into account. And they do this to protect their new ‘God’ Global Warming..

There are hundreds of wind and solar farms springing up all over Ontario ( and Canada). It is known that they are hugely inefficient. It is known that they could not compete on the open market without very large subsidies. It is known that the government that supports these projects to appear to be ‘green’ is forcing up the price of electricity to support the solar and wind production scheme and make them appear to be competitive. It is known that the production of these facilities creates pollution, consumes valuable farm lands and are blights on the very environment that they purport to save. It is known that the power that is produced by these projects is sold to Americans at below production costs. It is known that these projects do not replace a single barrel of oil or cubic foot of gas as all the traditional generating stations must remain in operation all the time because you cannot start a generating station like a car by turning the key and driving off – they must be kept at operating temperatures ALL THE TIME.

And yet, despite all these plain facts and truths, the ‘greens’ and their stooges in government persist in advancing this disastrous programme that is clearly not for the good of the people or the environment.
commented 2015-08-15 08:22:37 -0400
These groups play on the emotions of the masses, in order to keep the discontent, and money flowing. It’s always the us against them scenario, so they never want solutions, just the unrest.
commented 2015-08-15 02:25:16 -0400
Dr. Ball, I’ve said this before on other posts, the Gores and Suzukis, their foundations make millions of dollars, does any of that money go to actual research in alternative energy sources? I’ve been on their websites and apart from donating money and bashing current governments for lack of cooperation to save the planet, they certainly don’t brag on how effectively "they are saving the planet " with the donations that they receive. Watching David Suzuki all these years , he seems to always know what we’re doing wrong, but never seems to give a “real” solution how to fix it. I’d like to see once these organizations put their money where their loud mouths are.
commented 2015-08-15 00:40:47 -0400
“Every day more people realize global warming is a myth”, but Tim, a lot of time, money and ideology has been invested and it won’t be easily squashed. That is my fear, that the “industry” has gained too much momentum in governments. Foreign funded backers with much vested interest. The Al Gore’s Suzuki’s, Greenpeace, et al, won’t go down easily.
commented 2015-08-14 22:37:34 -0400
That school kids story is so true. And as such should be put to all “environmentalist”
commented 2015-08-14 18:00:07 -0400
Even the original founder of Greenpeace resigned, saying that the extremists had hijacked his cause…
commented 2015-08-14 13:13:37 -0400
Isn’t it what always happens to a “movement”? The merits of an otherwise good cause slowly but surely become overshadowed by extremists that make the cause unpalatable to many. As a result, people will pull in the opposite direction just to counterbalance the extremist view. I’m guilty at charge of doing just that. I’ve always said that I’m one of the True Greens left in society. So I despise the radical and irrational greenies and the bulk of the elites that listen to them, just because they are ruining the good cause of caring for our environment.
commented 2015-08-14 12:14:57 -0400
Excellent article and the video was very informative. Thank you Dr. Ball.