In recent years anyone daring to question the imminent reality of catastrophic global warming has risked being labelled a denialist with implicit, and sometimes even explicit, reference to holocaust denial as well. Ironically, over the past year in the face of a cooling climate and collapsing scientific credibility, climate alarmists have themselves begun to increasingly express opinions that can only be seen as denialist.
Even though exposure of the Climategate emails and other material from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit was unequivocally a major blow to the credibility of AGW science, warmists reacted by trying to downplay the significance as being only an academic spat with no relevance to the scientific validity of any of the research involved. However, as it became apparent that serious breaches of scientific standards and ethics were involved, basic honesty should have called for a clear condemnation. By opting to attempt to dismiss such serious matters as only trivia, damage to credibility with the public was compounded.
Then, to make a bad situation even worse, investigations that were obvious shams were conducted. Predictably they announced finding nothing of any real concern. Instead of resolving suspicions about a few researchers this only served to widen them to the institutions themselves and even to the government.
At the same time, the Climategate scandal also turned public attention onto various other false or doubtful claims about climate change. The result has been a large increase in mainstream media coverage for climate scepticism and a significant decrease in stories promoting climate alarmism. Unable to effectively refute all of the doubts being presented, the proponents of dangerous warming have responded by ratcheting up the level of proclaimed threats. Without any convincing new data, everything was suddenly claimed to be much worse than previously stated.
For persons purportedly committed to reason and evidence, the response of climate change researchers would be more than a little incongruous. It is however, fully in keeping with the politically correct, postmodern perspective which now dominates in academia. In this view objective truth is only a delusion and basic research a bourgeois elitist indulgence. In environmental research in particular, advancement of basic understanding has been largely abandoned in favour of that having “relevance” to “problems” and only findings which support a politically correct agenda may be publically presented. Even researchers strongly committed to the AGW hypothesis have found themselves viciously attacked for offering opinion or findings not fully in accord with alarmist dogma.
When confronted by reasonable doubts or conflicting evidence, the warmist response has been to refuse debate and to instead proclaim authority, expert consensus and moral virtue while attacking the knowledge, standing and motives of any who question the threat of catastrophic climate change. While this kind of denigration may be an accepted practice in academia, to the broader public it only looks like juvenile schoolyard bullying by adults who haven’t grown up. It certainly has not aided the alarmist cause.
Although the climate change bandwagon may appear to roll on unstoppably regardless of all doubts or discredit, it has in fact suffered a serious loss of momentum in public acceptance. It has lost power and is now only coasting while trying to maintain a face saving facade for those so deeply committed that any graceful retreat is unthinkable.
Worse still from the alarmist perspective, has been the painfully obvious failure of climate itself to cooperate. For the past three years all over the world savagely cold winter weather has repeatedly set new records for snow and low temperatures. Time after time global warming conferences have been greeted by record and near record cold weather. Trying to dismiss this as merely coincidence or just weather, not climate, has lost all credibility; especially after it has happened repeatedly amidst a background of extreme winter conditions over large areas. Continuing to offer this increasingly lame excuse has only made it look more like a lie or delusion than an explanation.
Regardless of the ongoing hype and spin of the diehard proponents of AGW, the attitude of a large majority of the electorate has turned decisively against the idea of any imminent threat. This shift in sentiment is unlikely to reverse anytime soon. It developed over time and involves not just the Climategate emails but a much wider shift in the balance of public awareness as well as a sense of betrayal and dishonesty by researchers claiming certainty and righteousness. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Once a belief is abandoned, few people readily return to something they have decided was false. All the spin and hype is now achieving is to exacerbate the discredit. For supposedly intelligent people, this kind of behaviour does not indicate it.
Meanwhile, as the warmists continue their doomscrying and seeking further hundreds of billions of dollars to carry on their vast charade, the whole economic structure upon which everything depends is teetering on the brink of disaster with little effort to address or to even recognise the very real and present dangers which confront us.
All over the developed world, governments have committed to unfunded liabilities and fostered a proliferation of bureaucracy which their increasingly uncompetitive productive sectors cannot sustain. Most are now running on empty with no credit left, no plan B and no apparent recognition that the path they are on leads only to the edge of a cliff.