by Mark Landsbaum
Much of the world celebrated Earth Day last Sunday. No one did it more enthusiastically than global warming alarmists.
Global warming alarmists, like their ideological kin Progressives and Leftists, look at the world differently. More conservative types, like yours truly, don’t exactly view reality through rose-colored glasses. I’m no Pollyanna. I concede we occupy a fallen world. Yet by comparison, the alarmists’ worldview is considerably farther out on the spectrum of woe.
Alarmists necessarily see catastrophe looming. Without catastrophe, they have no cause. Without catastrophe, they would have to get regular jobs. Without catastrophe, there would be no need for Draconian government regulations, carbon taxes, windmill and solar panel subsidies, carbon credit alchemy creating wealth literally out of thin air, or the excuse for increasing control over your life.
That’s why it is necessary for alarmists to see the world as they do. Far from rose-colored glasses, their view of reality is more like looking through Bizarro-fractured lenses. Remember the Superman comic book character Bizarro? He was super like Superman, except he was horribly distorted, a 180-degree opposite.
Bizarro was a negative Superman, the mirror image. Everything about him was reversed, even his speech. “Bad” meant “good.”
In his world, Bizarro law demanded everyone act the opposite of humans, ultimately resulting in his lament: “Me don’t know difference between right and wrong — good and evil!” Bizarro could be the global warmists’ mascot.
One Bizarro approach of global warming alarmists is the way their histrionics increase in inverse proportion to the lack of evidence for their cause. The more normal the climate seems, the more outrageous their warnings become. It’s as if alarmists panic at the prospect that people might realize normal weather undermines claims of looming catastrophe. Their fear is well-placed. Normalcy does refute their alarmism, just as the real world refuted Bizarro’s world.
Another manifestation of this inverted reaction to reality is alarmists’ increasingly shrill and urgent tone with each successive year of flattened temperatures. After decades of predicting ever-increasing temperatures, disappointed alarmists have ratcheted up the degree of their hysteria over the past two decades with each passing year’s failure of temperatures to soar, as they had predicted. They not only cry wolf again and again, each new cry is louder and shriller than the one before.
With year after year of normalcy, their response has increased from “The end is near!” to “The end is really near now!!” to “THE END IS ALMOST UPON US!!!”
It will be fascinating to see how the hyped verbiage escalates after another 20 years without substantial temperature increase. It’s already fascinating to see how alarmists retreat from defending theirprior predictions of doom that failed to materialize.
Rather than moderating their rhetoric, alarmists have sped past reasoned limits. They now sincerely demand criminal penalties for those with the gall to suggest the Bizarro emperor has no clothes.That’s a reductio ad absurdum Bizarro himself never reached.
One might think that after a few dozen failed predictions, alarmists would hesitate to make more outrageous, demonstrably false claims. Not so for the Bizarros leading the cause. Absurdities like predicting climate-induced extinction of polar bears and apocalyptic hurricanes and droughts—all of which have failed to occur—haven’t given alarmist Bizarros the slightest pause, judging from their escalating public proclamations.
Consequently, when historic cold is recorded throughout the world, cold so unusual that in balmy Florida it snows and frozen iguanas fall out of trees, rather than acknowledge that they got it wrong, the alarmists’ high priests declare global warming is now responsible for global cold. If this seems counter-intuitive, it should. It is. It’s also a whacky, dare we say Bizarro theory unsupported even by climate scientists.
Sadly, alarmism is like train wrecks. It sells newspapers. More specifically, the media, which ideologically are much closer to alarmists, Progressives, and Leftists than they are to normal folk like you, are far more inclined to regurgitate claims that the sky is falling than to report the reality that the sky remains where it’s always been, threatening no one.
That’s why you probably didn’t read over the past year, or in year-end wrap up stories, that 485 scientific papers were published in 2017 that undermined the purported “consensus” that manmade global warming threatens the earth. “Study Shows No Threat” isn’t headline news publishers find as titillating (or profitable) as “The Sky is Falling.”
The esteemed fourth estate likes to posture and preen as if it’s impartial and not self-serving. The fact is, the press (of which I was a part through most of my career) is intensely partial and uniformly self-serving when it comes to climate change alarmism for the dual reasons that global warming alarmists are ideological kindred spirits and that it sells papers (or boosts online clicks and TV ratings).
For those reasons, expect to read again (and again) Al Gore making yet another preposterous claim and predicting again (and again) that the end of the world is nearer than ever. But you are likely to hunt fruitlessly the pages of your newspaper to read that Princeton University researchers have found that the alarmists’ climate models relied on to predict warm-ageddon underestimate the cooling effects of clouds on global temperature.
When news reports do arrive, don’t be surprised to see Bizarro-type items like the recent BBC flash that reindeer populations are in steep decline because of “climate change,” aka global warming. Unsurprisingly, the report turned out to be false. But as a one-time newsman put it, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
And so, the doom and gloom drum beat goes on. Bizarre, no?
Mark Landsbaum, formerly a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register, is a Contributing Writer for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.