It most likely doesn’t require a rocket scientist (such as me) to piece together pseudo-religious media mantras linking climate hysteria, green new dealings, and environmental and energy justice. In any case, I’ll pass along some salient narratives of others on these topics in their own words.
For starters, although no one I know disputes the fact that climate changes, historical and hysterical claims regarding reasons for alarm have run hot and cold on the topic.
The late Stephen Schneider, who authored “The Genesis Strategy,” a 1976 book warning that global cooling risks posed a threat to humanity, later changed that view 180 degrees while serving as a lead author for important parts of three sequential U.N. IPCC reports.
Schneider explained to Discover magazine that in order to reduce the risks of potentially disastrous climatic change “we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination.”
“That,” he said, “of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of the doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
Several Climategate e-mail exchanges reveal that other researchers also believed that well-intentioned ideology trumped objective science. Jonathan Overpeck, a coordinating lead IPCC report author, suggested, “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.”
As the non-profit, non-partisan Institute for Public Policy Research once observed, “climate change alarmism typically employs a quasi-religious register of death and doom, uses an inflated or extreme lexicon with language of acceleration and irreversibility, and imparts an urgent tone and cinematic codes which might even become secretly thrilling . . . effectively a form of ‘climate porn.'”
Maurice Strong who spearheaded the United Nations 1992 Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Earth Summit that kicked off the original climate crisis campaign linked dire environmental dangers of Western prosperity:
“It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle-class… involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, ownership of motor vehicles, small electric appliances, home and work place air- conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable . . . A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmental damaging consumption patterns.”
Further clarifying the U.N.’s climate crisis-sustainable environment messaging agenda, IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer advised in November 2010, that ” . . . one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth . . . ”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal architect, former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, revealed the same admission in a May 2019 meeting with Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate director Sam Ricketts.
He said, “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” Chakrabarti then asked, “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Arguing that it’s also somehow an urgent racial identity “thing,” presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has unveiled a $1 trillion environmental justice proposal for low-income communities to “combat climate change by centering the experiences of people of color.”
Warren’s plans call for stronger legal action against major polluters, including a proposal to “hold the finance industry accountable for its role in climate change” by requiring banks and other companies to “disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and price their exposure to climate risk into their valuations.”
Christopher Rufo’s recent Wall Street Journal article, “New Left Urbanists’ Want to Remake Your City” notes that “These activists have big dreams.”
“They want local governments to rebuild the urban environment — housing, transit, roads and tolls — to achieve social justice, racial justice and net-zero emissions.”
“They rally around slogans such as ‘ban all cars’ — ‘raze the suburbs.’ and ‘single-family housing is white supremacy’ — though they’re generally white and affluent themselves, often employed in public or semipublic roles in urban planning, housing development and social advocacy.”
“They treat public housing, mass transit and bike lanes as a holy trinity, and they want to impose their religion on you.”
The late, great author Michael Crichton perhaps summarized everything best more than 15 years ago. In a talk titled “Environmentalism as Religion,” he said, “There is a judgement day coming for us all. We are energy sinners, doomed to die unless we seek salvation which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs imbibe.”
Or on second thought, is it possible that salvation is reserved instead — as they claim — only for those who hold beliefs on the left?