A Wall Street Journal piece penned by Steven Hayward, a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at — of all places — UC-Berkeley, argues that climate-change alarmism may have run its course as a political movement. Hayward believes that the movement, having lost its momentum and ability to change the minds of the public, is in its final waning stages of political relevancy. “Climate change is like a car alarm — a blaring noise that people are tuning out,” Hayward wrote.
If Hayward is correct, the end of climate change as a movement can probably be tracked back to one fatal decision. When climate scientists decided to hitch their wagon to left-wing politicians and Hollywood elites, they lost control of their message. As soon as Al Gore became their de-facto spokesperson, half of America automatically tuned out. Gore may have helped in getting the issue into the mainstream, but he also polarized people on the issue with his leftist demagoguery.
Gore’s Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth was a “high-water” moment for the climate alarmists. Many were taken in by the slick propaganda film and Gore’s ominous predictions of a 20-foot rise in sea level in the “near future” and his claim that hurricanes such as Katrina in 2005 were a direct result of anthropogenic or man-made global warming.
But those fantastic claims, frightening as they might have been, rang hollow with many; not only because of who Gore was — a left-wing politician suggesting that more government was the answer — but because of an inner common sense that many people have. Gore’s “documentary” sounded more like science fiction than science. British judge Michael Burton agreed when he judged that at least nine of the “facts” in Gore’s film were incorrect, which made the film not a documentary but political propaganda.
Hayward also claims that another sure sign that climate alarmism is losing its political luster is the movement's willingness to attach itself to other left-wing causes. Hayward writes, “A good indicator that climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The ‘non-binding’ pact declares that climate action must include concern for ‘gender equity, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,’ as well as “the importance for some of the concept of climate justice.”
So, is climate change an apocalyptic scientific problem or just one more social-justice warrior cause? Climate alarmists tell us it’s the former, but the Paris Agreement itself seems to claim it’s the latter.
The climate-alarmist movement suffers from a credibility problem. Aside from Al Gore’s phony prognostications, many of the alarmist's predictions are made just far enough ahead that they will never be proven or disproven in our lifetimes but the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Climate alarmists also eschew reasonable solutions to attain lower carbon emissions, such as nuclear power, in favor of pie-in-the-sky socialist solutions revolving around future green-energy revolutions, that are as yet not viable, and more government.
Even so, the climate alarmists have been successful in creating an issue that many are concerned about. Roughly half of Americans do consider climate change a problem that must be dealt with in some way. But climate change consistently ranks behind air and water pollution on Gallup’s yearly poll on what environmental issues are the most concerning.
So, both left and right, climate change is not even the top environmental issue in the minds of Americans. Its place among all issues ranks even lower, generally around 19th or 20th behind things such as the economy, national defense, race relations, and school shootings.
Hayward might be right about the climate-alarmist movement’s decline in importance in the eyes of the public; but the issue is far from settled in the eyes of the globalists who have made climate change their hill-to-die-on in their efforts to gain control of the world. Until a different Armageddon-like problem can be identified to scare the masses into socialism, the climate alarmists will continue to beat their drum, whether anyone is listening or not.