Relatively soon, this question will be asked: global warming has traced a wipeout curve like any failed Great Cause, mixing junk science, porkbarrel politics, cash-gouging corporate greed and deliberate promotion and falsification of any real danger or risk for society by self-serving media barons seeking the latest Big Thing to bemuse what they cynically treat as their witless "media consumers".
Global warming was custom made to fill all those roles. At its high point it was able to bridge and converge extreme right and extreme left political strands, it could amuse, thrill and distract the "media consumers" from any and all other real problems, other and real crises, while generating massive profits for the nimble, greedy and deceitful who always ride the curve of any fake Great Cause, like the parasites they are. Underneath all this however, a critical pinch of credibility was needed: when it disappeared, the "great cause" was doomed.
Trofim Lysenko and his degenerate and delirious genetic and heriditary science notions, a clumsy mix and mingle of Darwinism, Lamarkism, Christianity and Stalinism, was a great model for the junk science charlatans who crowded into global warming, such as Britain's James 'Gaia' Lovelock, the showman Al "Polar Bears are Dying" Gore, or the hysterical scientist James Hansen, who wrote an open letter to Angela Merkel telling her that building coal-fired power stations is now a crime against humanity which will be severely punished one day. Never mind! Today she builds hundreds of square kilometres of windfarms and solar power plants, even if she tries to keep the coal plants going.
Today also, the loudest-mouthed self-proclaimed great thinkers who so massively profited from the myth of global warming are tiptoeing and sliding away from their monster, knowing that its ability to deliver them more cash and more kudos is declining fast. In late April, James 'Gaia' Lovelock in an MSNBC interview made the nearest thing, from persons of his ilk, to a public admission that he had been lying. The UN IPCC has for some time published its own shiftily worded admission that it has wantonly exaggerated the real existence - not the threat but the existence - of global warming. In brief, CO2 levels are surely rising but temperatures measured at different places around the planet and called "global average temperatures", if they have a real scientific meaning, are certainly not rising.
To the most desperate defenders of global warming hysteria, ranging from prime ministers and presidents, through the climate crazies with paint on their face, who confused global warming with a football match leer-and-beer session, to the extreme left and the extreme right always seeking mileage and media reach for their hysteria, the near-term threat of their favourite myth collapsing is a mortal challenge. It is the end of the gravy train, for them. The public got bored with the subject a long time ago, they now have real and serious problems - and being told on endless TV specials and even the daily press that "billions will die from global warming by 2075" has lost its thrill-and-chill impact, if it ever had it. What is sure, is that the most desperate defenders of what is now a lost "great cause" will be forced to lie or exaggerate more than ever, in a febrile last attempt to keep their party going.
HOW DO "WE" REPLACE GLOBAL WARMING
Great ages have great philosophies, ideals and ideas, but today's tarnished and degenerate times in the western world that has lost its way, its unchallenged economic power, its total military dominance and its cultural hegemony are inevitably sullied further by lies, false hopes and naked charlatanism. The replacement of Global Warming will almost certainly be another Mass Lie. James 'Gaia' Lovelock hinted this in his bow-out interview with MNSBC, where he signalled that he no longer expects to wallow in kudos and cash from the last gasps of Global Warming myth, and is now moving towards Geo-engineering to Save The Planet, that is to harm it any way he can.
As a launch platform for Ecological Everything, the myth did sterling work: green energy will surely continue to fly - to the rage of James 'Gaia' Lovelock himself, so distressed at windfarms being visible from his English country home! Creative and lying financial engineering, ranging from the now rapidly failing Carbon Finance porkbarrel, to national finances of the now ruined "liberal market economies" will surely continue on and up. We can with amusement think back to the December 2009 claim by Dominique Strauss Kahn, the great statesmen and sleaze artist, who as IMF chief claimed that carbon finance "could attain a turnover of $10 trillion a year".This of course is nothing compared with the debt-and-deficit distress of the liberal market economies, but at the time was a stirring tribute to the antics of global warming mythmakers and the greed of financial charlatans who rode the gravy train, and were then at their peak of their power to profit from global warming hysteria.
Global Warming was however and above all an elite myth, a religion substitute that only required fragile strands of junk science to further legitimize itself: it fitted squarely into the post-1980s loss of faith in western values - the western Kali Yuga - that has sprouted a huge and suppurating range of charlatan notions from New Age romantics, eccentrics, charlatans and fools. Global warming was an ideal fit for New Age charlatans but the western Kali Yuga will quickly invent new openings for "sages and philosopher scientists" in the mould of Sir James Lovelock to titillate, bemuse and fool the lazy minded and greedy middle class media consumers of the declining west.
To be sure this Great Quest of saving the planet, and all its living things, needed a founding philosophy, which "Jim" Lovelock had cobbled, some time before, with his Gaia theory, religion, or myth. Even a moment's analysis of this myth reveals its massive illogicality and fragility, mixing and mingling Western and Asian philosophies and religions, with a liberal dose of junk science: the coming replacement of Global Warming will have to take account of this, making the replacement a straight choice between two extremes: junk science or junk religion.
Junk science is already favoured by the reality of climate change, that was so carefully and deceitfully confused with fake global warming claimed as due to CO2 from fossil fuels. Real climate change, which has massively grown since the 1980s or before, can only become more dangerous and hard to sweep aside as a non-problem. Geo-engineering is therefore the almost inevitable choice of ace charlatans such as James 'Gaia' Lovelock, permitting them to engage in very costly, and very risky attempts at man-made climate change - to correct man-made climate change ! The junk science rationale and defence of Geo-engineering is already well frothed with academic-seeming credentials but the media launch of this next junk science backed Great Cause has yet to happen. The collapse of global warming, in the meantime, will surely spur frenetic action by other competing great causes.
FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC SALVATION
Shifting fast and one-way into the realms of pure myth, helped by fantastic and incredible sums and amounts of debts, deficits, corporate losses and corporate theft, the Great Cause of saving public finances and saving the economy already rides high in modern mythmaking of the declining West. One of the most recent victims of this was the neoliberal bourgeois regime of France's Nicolas Sarkozy, simply unable to lie enough, convincingly enough, to keep his greedy hands on power. His unreal mix of buffoonery and fantasy economics or finance finished by not only boring, but disturbing the voter middle class masses of his declining country.
We can expect that new brands of Millenarian Economics can surge from the void left behind, by the collapse of global warming hysteria and its hoped-for massive bubble of Carbon Finance.
The sheer absence of public funds available, except by borrowing and printing, has no importance: charlatan economics is in no way different from junk science. In Europe, Greece and its debt already serves as an excellent support or "underlying asset" for a perpetual round of private bank refinancing as these hollowed-out entities declare themselves near to collapse because the Greeks can't pay, and use this to blackmail governments for more funding - in the Greek case, Dexia Bank is already well engaged in that play. Greece itself is of course using the same play, with the blackmail being that if it quits the Eurozone, the euro will fall to parity against the US dollar. A modern disaster !
Millenarian economics engaged by the West is already perceived, and treated by its creditor Emerging countries as a similar threat to that set by the West in its failed attempt to force its creditors to instantly engage, and pay for a forced shift to green energy and reduce their oil consumption, under the guise of "fighting global warming". This attempt, which spectacularly failed at the December 2009 climate summit, now needs an even bigger siphoning of wealth from the Emerging economies to the West: which unfortunatelty for the West will not happen.
In Europe at least, political millenarianism is now in high gear - whether extreme left or extreme right, only the extremes can presently win. In every case the underlying asset and plaything is national debt and the failing economy. Since both are untreatable by liberal bourgeois methods, especially austerity cures, the market for Anti Austerity myths will massively grow. Keynes will be back, but terribly mutant: the previous European version - building roundabouts on highways, nuclear power plants or high speed trains - being far too insipid for current and exalted times. Normally speaking and underlying the West's loss of power and self-confidence, war spending would be the Natural Choice, but outside the west the number of small badly-armed nations to oppress and ravage, to pillage for their natural resources is low and heavily armed powerful enemies are ready to strike the West into the dirt.
The extreme left and environmentalists now have great opportunities for inventing new ways to spend more borrowed money, vast quantities of it. Financial and economic salvation will surely feature further and exalted spending on green energy "to protect and conserve" if not to fight the deadly menace of Global Warming, and as oil prices spiral down with the economy. The agro sector is another likely big winner: a millenarian return to the soil movement and myth - called Ecological Transition - could quickly be cranked up by media moguls and their politician friends, carefully avoiding any comparison with Pol Pot's attempt at doing the same thing. Exciting times are coming !
By Andrew McKillop
Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights
Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012
Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.