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Climate change and the left

This comment on why the left has fallen head over heels in love with global warming ideology was left on the discussion board by Lord Donoughue. I thought it worth of promotion to a full post.

The issue of why the political left is overwhelmingly supportive of the climate change alarmist ideology/faith, and hence there are relatively few left wing sceptics, is quite complex and would take more space and time than I intend to impose on you here. But may I, as a lifelong Labour supporter, offer a couple of broad observations. They are by no means comprehensive and omit many nuances. But they are major general factors which I have observed in the party for 61 years, and in Parliament for almost 30 years.

First is that most leftish British people get politically involved because they genuinely believe they wish to contribute to the common good in our society. (They tend to believe , rightly or wrongly, that the right wing wishes to contribute to their own individual or class good). At first this drew many to sympathise with Marxist ideology, until the Soviets discredited that. More sympathised and many still do with the social democratic ideals of equality and civil liberty, though that position lacks the ideological certainties and claimed scientific basis of old Marxism. With the collapse of Marxism, there was created a vacuum on the left. Those seeking an ideological faith to cling on to for moral certainty, felt bereft. They also wanted a faith which again gave them a feeling of still pursuing the common good of society, especially the new global society, and even more a feeling of moral superiority, which is a characteristic of many middle and professional types on the left. Climate change and the moral common good of saving the planet , with its claimed scientific certainties, offered to fill the vacuum. It may or may not be a coincidence that the climate change faith gained momentum in the 1990s immediately after Marxism collapsed with the Berlin Wall.

I notice that my Labour colleagues who are troubled by the cost of the war on climate change, and especially when I point out that its costs fall heavily on the poorer classes, while its financial benefits go to rich landowners and individuals on the Climate Change Committee, still won't face those facts because they want to cling on to the new climate faith because they want to believe it is in the common good. They are not bad or stupid people. Many are better and cleverer than me. But they have a need for a faith which they believe is for the global good. They don't want a moral vacuum. And the current leaders of the social democratic parties in Britain and Europe are not offering them much else. For Ed Miliband, who is not a bad or stupid man, but coming from a Marxist heritage, when asked for more vision, he grasps climate change like a drowning man clasping a lifebelt.

While this need persists and there persists the misconception that the Green faith is somehow leftish and in pursuit of the common good, then most on the political left will stay with it. To shake them it will be necessary to show them that the costs of implementing climate alarmism will actually destroy the economic hopes of the poor and is often a cynical device to enrich the wealthy. That it enables self righteous middle class posturers to parade their assumed moral superiority at the expense of the poor. And that it's so-called scientific certainties are very uncertain indeed. It is also necessary for the sceptical and realistic side to show more publicly that they accept the proven aspects of climate change (which every sceptic I know does) and care about the genuine concerns of the environment (which the Greens ignore by littering our landscapes with inefficient and costly windmills.)

My second point concerns the Stalinist tactics of the Green activists in trying to suppress any questioning of their dogmatic faith and to damage the lives and careers of any professional person who attempts to examine this subject in an honest way which might undermine their dogmatic claims. Their use of Holocaust language such as 'Denier', implying their target is akin to a neo Nazi, is but one example of the Stalinist mentality. In that political context, where any questioner is so derided, it is no surprise that most Labour supporters choose not to take the risk - especially when it immediately throws them into confrontation with their embattled leader.

Sorry to go on so long. But they are my observational conclusions on why it is not easy for the sceptical side to make progress on the political left. Interestingly, polls suggest it is among Labour working classes, always more practical than our Hampstead/Guardian types, that there is the biggest dissent from the Green religion - and some of them are already slipping off to UKIP, which shows more concern for their suffering under the Green taxes.

This battle to bring understanding to Labour that its climate policies punish its core supporters, will take a while to win, partly for the two reasons I offer above.

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Reader Comments (224)

Another self-important peddler of irrelevancies jostles into the spotlight. What does this have to do with the topic?

Robert Christopher said:

"The 'Left' certainly won't give up what they believe, but faith is having confidence or trust in a person or thing. It does not mean misinterpreting what 'higher authorities' have said, and enforcing it on others, which is what they do. Knowing and understanding the truth is wisdom. Having faith requires NOT knowing, but still having confidence in that person or that the idea is still worth pursuing, that reality will be that little bit closer. It requires constructing a personal understanding, hence, nullius in verba!"

Interesting perspective, RC. The vast majority of the population hasn't got a hope of understanding the physics, or statistics, or computer science, that informs "climate science." I certainly don't.

But there are other touchstones, and trust is a biggie. After years of observation, I trust Steve McIntyre, our host, Judith Curry and others not to lie to me or deliberately mislead me. I also trust them to promptly correct any mistakes that are brought to their attention. That doesn't mean that they are right, but it makes them much more reliable sources than certain prominent individuals on the alarmist side, who left their ethics and integrity at the door when they checked into Climate Science Central.

As a young gel, in prehistoric times, I knew quite a lot of trade union officials. Many of them were people of the utmost integrity. Today, our Royal Commission into trade union corruption and crime links demonstrates every day of its hearings just how little of that ethos remains in the institutional Left. And as in climate science, those of their colleagues who did have scruples stood by silently and watched it happen.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:19 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Entropic man

It wasn't that long ago you revealed yourself in your full Malthusian, bloody wars for land, resources, eco fascist glory. Your name itself reveals rather a lot. When I quoted Paul Kingsnorth and his Dark Mountain eco fascist gloom, you said it would be worse.

This is my website 'Monbiot meets the eco fascists'.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Schrodinger's Cat says "decent scientists have been hounded out of their careers and incomes"

who, I ask?

Carter, Salby and Bengtsson ...

Carter was a retired adjunct professor. Bengtsson who is 80 and was on the advisory council of GWPF. Are those paid positions? And how are they important to their careers?

Salby was a professor dismissed for refusing to teach and for disobeying his employer (something about charging them for flights). So only Salby had a possible career in front of him and an income to be bothered about; his dismissal sounds to have been self inflicted.

So those are not real examples - let's have a some real examples of scientists who have been "hounded out of their careers and incomes".

NicFromNYC, your and John Shade's favourite site also has, in addition to his Pinochet worship, claims that Nazi's were not of the right, that Roosevelt was a war criminal, that McCarthy was proved right and that Abraham Lincoln was one of the bloodiest villains ever to walk the Earth offers you too the gem that blacks have lower IQs than whites.

This is John Shade's daily reading, maybe Nic's too, people. That should give you all pause for thought at who you are associating with. Or should I be asking how many others find that site so wholly to their taste?

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Nazi= National German Socialist Workers Party= The original Greens
Just saying.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson


did you enjoy getting taught about Ukraine over at Euan Mearns blog? Seems to me that you know next to nothing about recent political history. Was it worth the reeming?

Nov 17, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

The author of "Climate Change and the Left" has interesting observations on motivation of left-leaning people towards climate change. But as a sceptic I was disappointed in this offhand remark about climate change: "It is also necessary for the sceptical and realistic side to show more publicly that they accept the proven aspects of climate change (which every sceptic I know does)."

What can I say? There is absolutely no sign that there are any proven aspects of climate change dogma he speaks of. Let us start with the climate right now, today. There is no warming now and there has been none for the last 18 years. Those graduating from high school this year have never experienced any warming during their entire lifetimes. Next, official global warming theory explains to us that addition of carbon dioxide to air causes warming due to the greenhouse effect it creates. If that is true then the present day halt to warming must be due to lack of carbon dioxide in the air. But this is not a faxt because according to official records of atmospheric carbon dioxide from Mauna Loa laboratory in Hawaii, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has been steadily increasing during all these no-warming years.

The official global warming organization uses the Arrhenius greenhouse theory to predict the amount of global warming to expect. It has been predicting warming every year for the last 18 years and getting nothing. As a scientist you realize that if a theory predicts warming and you get nothing for 18 years that theory is defective and belongs in the waste basket of history.

We need a greenhouse theory whose predictions are correct and such a theory does exist. It is called the Miskolczi greenhouse theory, MGT, and it predicts what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not warm the air. Simply because carbon dioxide cannot do that. That is an experimental observation, not a theory or conjecture as the Arrhenius theory was. This observation tells us that according to MGT there can be no greenhouse effect. And without the greenhouse effect there can be no such thing as anthropogenic greenhouse warming, AGW. This, dear students, takes the legs right out from under the global warming theory that you have been inculcated to bow down to and offer tribute to as taxes. Unfortunately they regard this tribute as their just dues and are not likely to give it up without a fight. They of course claim scientific consensus and 97 percent belief on their side. That is not science but pseudoscience, its illegitimate demands for carbon control are perpetrated on the backs of the innocent people of the world.

Nov 17, 2014 at 2:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAeno Arrak

Here is how a myth self-propogates in textbook fashion, as ATTP passive-aggressively says:

“I was really just trying to point out that, in my view, posts like this are an illustration of why any kind of meaning dialogue is probably not possible. With some exceptions, you've all done a wonderful job of illustrating why that may well be true.”


(1) Promotion of utterly inappropriate “dialog” about a now undeniable scam (no trend change in either the oldest tide gauge or thermometer records along with bladeless hockey stick input data all being covered up by Orwellian big lie headlines about surging seas).

(2) Complete non-acceptance of the innapropriateness of “dialogue” with criminal sociopaths and their careerist enablers not to mention screaming red banner climate justice warriors of the new socialist/communist/green coalition embodied by the climate march organized by Bill McKibben whose 10:10 video features explosive school terrorism agaist skeptical children.

(3) Rational rejection of the false premise that fraud deserves a “dialog” instead of prosecution is then used to project the scammer’s own refusal to debate, onto skeptics, who thus become the perceived bad guys.

(4) Various true sociopaths generate these twists of logic to keep true believers on the farm, waiting for the metaphorical UFOs to finally land, to create the predicted hurricaine armageddon.

(5) The ongoing media spin helps blind even most skeptics to the truly bizarre rejection of the scientific method in climatology in favor of political body reports and calls of consensus when facts themselves falsify alarm, facts any school kid can fully understand if presented clearly, requiring no scientific background at all any more than a bad stock market model is exposed by making a wrong prediction. No wonder they want to blow kids up, eh? They are the same movement that calls babies the enemy of the human race.

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Nice bit of Off topic

It isnt only Ed Milliband under fire from his back benches for being out of touch with the public.

As thousands rush to download the new Bob Geldof Band Aid single and in the same week as UKIP roars ahead in the Rochester By Election ,another gruesome beheading by Jihad John with more Russian Tanks rolling into the Ukraine and Bird Flu in South Yorkshire our coalition Prime Minister has decided to send 650 Million in "Green Aid" to Africa,to help develop Renewable Energy and flight Climate Change.

So Entropic answer me this ,are they using windmills and solar panels to power the field Hospitals treating Ebola patients or Diesel generators.

Entropic its great having you on Bishop Hill obviously you ,re a passionate, inteligent man and your welcome to argue your case but maybe you should get your priorities right first because David Cameron obviously has not.

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Raff uses an Alinsky tactic of isolating and polarizing an individual to try to divide skeptics via emotional shaming, as he boldface warns:

“...offers you too the gem that blacks have lower IQs than whites.

This is John Shade's daily reading, maybe Nic's too, people. That should give you all pause for thought at who you are associating with. Or should I be asking how many others find that site so wholly to their taste?”

But he makes a rookie mistake. He actually mentions an objective fact about black IQ, simply making a fool of himself by trying to demean the very character of those who rely on empirical facts to establish their worldview. The assumption is that political correctness will embarrass empiricist propeller heads into submission but that only works for temperamental collectivists, not temperamentally independent thinkers. The taboo of racial IQ differences is rather old school now, with the younger generation of geneticists delving right into real empirical evolutionary genetics down to the individual genes involved, so Raff is rather behind the times.

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Raff comes across as an unhappy person. If somebody is clearly ill at ease in their own skin, it is difficult to pay very much attention to what they say.

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Aeno: Alas the Miskolczi hypothesis reasonably suggests a moderating negative feedback to the atmosphere via reduced humidity but this in no way represents a new theory that revokes classic greenhouse effect itself and implying it does is a potential utter PR disaster akin to maverick denial indeed of established physics. It's not a maverick theory, so please stop your nonsense of positioning it as such or you merely become a second front in a tiring culture war. Even raw data maverick Steve Goddard is up in arms this week about denial of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, pointing out how irresponsible it is. It's hard to believe you are not purposefully sabotaging skepticism given how this issue allows skeptics to be associated with crackpot denial of physics.

Posting: “Simply because carbon dioxide cannot do that.” means I now have to waste my time doing damage control. Are you really unaware that a compensating negative feedback does not negate the insulating effect of carbon dioxide?

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

An article I wrote last year about Environmental Ideology:

Traditionally, people care for the environment because we need it for survival and well-being. Lack of scientific knowledge and technology meant resources were sometimes used with fateful consequences, and inadequate, corrupt, centralised and distant management often caused the destruction of local habitats and environmental degradation.

However, Environmentalism is a recent phenomenon. Though largely the domain of Leftists today, environmentalism began as an ideology of the Right, and it is important to understand the history of the development of environmentalism in order to understand why it wields so much influence today.

One need look no further than Nazi Germany to find the idealisation of Nature combined with an authoritarian control of the family life, culture, appearance, values and production processes of the people (Volk) - requiring the control of women - ideally tied to the homestead. People who did not meet the criteria of ideal Aryan tribalism were murdered and their wealth plundered. The intentions of European fascism were to grab resources and land in order to be rich and implant its ideology far and wide.

The blend of asceticism, puritanism, megalomania, neo-Malthusianism, love of wilderness and hatred of humanity has made Environmentalism a heady mix. However, it is clear that at its heart is the ambition to prevent people having any impact on Nature by using natural resources, clearing forests or digging up the earth. The term ‘sustainable development’ is meaningless till one realises it is a euphemism for ‘subsistence economy’ – the ideal condition for us in the eyes of environmentalists – where men, women and children are poor and powerless, and population numbers are reduced. Environmentalists want to halt economic growth via industrialisation since this is what uses natural resources and enables us to trade, be secure and prosperous, educated and healthy.

In the name of the environment, fascist propaganda started to be churned out by wealthy and powerful people. Maurice Strong, believing it to be his responsibility to destroy Western industrialised civilisation, set up the United Nations Environment Programme. The World Meteorological Organisation and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were founded to get governments round the world to implement their people’s impoverishment via the environmentalist issue of climate, and parliamentarians passed UK and Scottish climate legislation thereby increasing our energy bills. Environmentalism’s anti-people and pro-planet/wildlife ideology, disguised by UN jargon, appeared as a new crusade to save the planet, and environmentalist activists had little difficulty persuading European leftists, religious and altruistic people in general, to give their support to this fascist ‘save-the-planet-by-controlling-CO2-emissions’ project.

This crusading zeal was a consequence of the fact that we are wealthy; no poor family will volunteer to use costly energy. Politically-speaking, the zeal was a consequence of the way European Leftism had developed. Totalitarianism in the East spoilt socialism for European Leftists, but their desire for a more equitable world and their hatred of ‘capitalists’ remain undiminished. ‘Equality’ is a European Leftist ideal from the 18th century which has not only stood the test of time, but has gained increasing significance in the cultures of Western nations and our governments’ policies. To Conservatives, the ideal of equality may be misguided and have undesirable centralist ramifications, but in its morphed form - fairness via some regulation of production processes - the ideal has been very influential.

After the world wars, Western politicians across the spectrum strove to rebuild their countries in ways which were determinedly democratic, with fairness and growth at the heart of their economic, education, health and welfare systems. However, working within unelected institutions like the United Nations and European Union, environmentalism’s ideologues prefer to disregard national democratic systems. Their ‘sustainable’ anti-growth propaganda convinces many, for example, Scottish Left-leaning Green politicians who openly claim that ‘economic growth is the cause of inequality.’ Others - many church-goers, altruists concerned about poverty and Leftists critical of capitalism - now believe that the process of creating wealth is itself the problem, with ‘fat cats,’ greedy bankers, multi-national corporations that don’t pay their tax dues on the one hand and poor people on the other. Thus, the apparently honourable ‘scientific consensus’ of the IPCC is trusted, and government controls on utility companies as a kind of ‘nationalisation’ is demanded. Simultaneously, the EU Single Market for Energy ideal promises environmentalists limitless powers to regulate energy use, thus preventing further economic growth in Europe and slowing it down as much as possible in Africa.

Destroying the positive image economic growth formerly had was essential to the success of the rich man’s fascist Environmentalist project, and any understanding of that ideology must include an analysis of UK and European policymakers’ negative attitudes to economic growth. When the UK climate legislation was passed, only five MPs queried the cost implications! From right to left, all the rest, abandoning due diligence and critical analysis, blithely accepted the Stern Report’s positive spin. Our legislators were brainwashed by the propaganda of environmentalism and swallowed the lie that reducing CO2 emissions could increase prosperity – when it can only do the opposite. That economic growth can be considered a ‘cause of inequality’ and politicians be so easily beguiled by spin shows how powerful environmentalist ideology has become and how removed from the reality of poor people’s lives our politicians are. Environmentalism has become a substitute for integrity and due diligence in public, economic, scientific, educational and political life – and made us stupid. It is time we took down from their pedestal:

1. Wealthy fascists who want to impoverish people and diminish their numbers;
2. The World Wildlife Fund (also known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature.) The WWF Patron is the Duke of Edinburgh who, if he were to be reincarnated, would ‘wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.’ WWF activists persistently pressurize the IPCC to hype up the alarmism in their assessment reports;
3. Deep Greens who proclaim apocalyptic climate catastrophes because they hate humanity and our use of natural resources;
4. Left-leaning people who want to limit economic growth seeing it as a process which spoils the environment and also creates inequality. For historical reasons, this group in Europe is in the majority and is a very powerful constituency;
5. Those with financial interests in Environmentalism, renewables and ‘carbon’ trading, and those in UN agencies, NGOs, quangos, the Met Office, media and universities whose income and career depend on alarmist climate science.

Nov 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAriane

Thread has gone totally off the rails. I'm gone.

Nov 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Ariane, good post and I particularly agree with "Environmentalism has become a substitute for integrity and due diligence in public, economic, scientific, educational and political life ". It particularly applies to concern over AGW. Politicians favour it because they can pretend to care but are not individually responsible for anything that does or does not happen.

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Actually I'm a wet Conservative:-)

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

johanna on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:19 AM
"What does this have to do with the topic?"

I was responding to Schrodinger's Cat question, on Nov 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM, about those who post at the Guardian:
"I am interested to know how and why they got there."

It is caused by holding invalid assumptions, and not letting go; the opposite of 'nullius in verba'!

It is important to understand it because it is common across the Green Blob, hence the name, implying a lack of structure, and trying to address the problem in a methodical manner, as Scientists are want to do, leads to frustration, and exhaustion!

The original article was a master in political propaganda. For example:
"First is that most leftish British people get politically involved because they genuinely believe they wish to contribute to the common good in our society."

And no one else does?

"They tend to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the right wing wishes to contribute to their own individual or class good."

And the 'Left' never feather their own nest? What about Blair, or the Meachers with at least nine properties:

And of course, they never allow their party, the Labour Party, to take any credit, nor their 'brothers and sisters in the same cause'. And many non-Left people are just not politically minded; that is beyond their comprehension.

"With the collapse of Marxism, there was created a vacuum on the left."
There was no vacuum, only fewer excuses to explain their bitterness.

"... they want to cling on to the new climate faith because they want to believe it is in the common good"
They want to continue feathering their own nests! Another area of rich reward is the excessive housing benefits that have driven rents higher, yet Blair ignored the warnings. Meacher must have been relieved!

In each case, they have started out with making assumptions that stop them progressing. It is why, after over eighteen years of the 'pause', we still have the 2008 CCA and Obama ignoring elected assemblies to spend, spend, spend on a non-existent phenomenon.

We have a 'pause' in global temperatures, but that does imply that they will be rising soon, and probably at an accelerated rate. They have to keep the 'faith'! Changing the meaning of words is an effective method of confusing the discussion.

"The vast majority of the population hasn't got a hope of understanding the physics, or statistics, or computer science, that informs "climate science." I certainly don't."

It isn't that I understand their computer models, it is that their history is littered with 'errors'.

Points are discuss on this site and I get a better understanding of the subject, which is not what we get from the opposing side. Instead, we get 'the Science is settled'. That is what makes the difference. They throw away original data and, with masses of money available, they continually produces reports with false statements. They threaten people directly, they skip over the discussion stages and leap to their pre-agreed conclusions. They create unprovable theories and turn observations, like temperature increase, into the cause of change.

It isn't the difficult Maths. Like most successful auditors, it isn't that we understand the whole process, it is that we see so many unexplained decisions that are not random: they are all aligned, like iron filings, in an invisible political force field. And part of that is that the meaning of words are changed and straw men are set up to distract attention.

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

johanna on Nov 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM
"Thread has gone totally off the rails. I'm gone."

While you may be absent, this does need a response.

Most posts have stayed on the political theme that started in the original article, so not so much 'off the rails' as 'on a different track'.

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Those of us not constrained by stale left/right dogma recognise the trendy-lefty climate debate tactics as much the same as those of the right-wingnuts when sensible people tried to tell them the Iraq war would be a horrible mistake.

The real question then, as now, was not about the desired outcome but just how many innocent people have to die in the interim. But then people believe precisely what they want to believe right up to the full-blown crash - and then they pretend it came as a surprise.

I'm more persuaded that trendy-lefties always look for any excuse to protest about the evils of capitalism. Yesterdays anti-globalisation campaigners just morphed into todays climate doomsters. Ironically exactly the same types were supporters of the miners strike and wore 'coal not dole' tee-shirts.

Nov 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

NicFromNYC said, "He actually mentions an objective fact about black IQ,..."

The thing is there's no need for your and John Shade's (and maybe others) favourite site to mention relative racial IQ at all. None. It has no utility. But I guess if the site's author is on the extreme right of US politics, his audience is probably also of that persuasion and they maybe wont care much if the author exposes himself as a racist too. What, too strong a word?

racist |ˈreɪsɪst|
a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

Proclaiming on your website that white IQs are higher than black seems to fit.

Nov 17, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

The Chosens are behind it. It's all about debilitating the West (whites) as part of "de-nazification". After all, it wasn't primitive injuns who put them into the mythical gas chambers. It was the most advanced industrial country on earth. Never again!

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTab Numlock

The fact that the green policies are not left-wing is a big stumbling block for those who believe in the Crypto-Soviet Conspiracy theory. But the policies do transfer wealth from the poor to the rich – as the article says.
Subsidised bus travel for all – left-wing. (Not offered)
Subsidised wind farms for landowners – right-wing. (You got it!)

As a lefty I think I have something to offer this debate. So far the article and comments have ignored the rise of identity politics in the Left. The narrative went a bit like this.

In the 1980s the right’s greatest abuses of entrenched power was in support for apartheid, oppression of homosexuals and resistance to minority cultures and faiths. Therefore recognition of being oppressed was an important part of countering this oppression. Thus 2nd wave feminism helped to split apart the unified (and socially conservative) class consciousness. It began to recognise the individuals within the class.

So what does this have to do with environmentalism? Well, the losers from this change were the middle-class activists who were growing in number (as industry changed in to a service economy). They couldn’t compete with the "black lesbian in a wheelchair". They need a surrogate to defend in order to defend their claims (on their own they weren't needy enough). Who better than the abused Mother Earth?

Thus Green policies were espoused by the middle-class left. The Liberals / SDP / Blairite wing jumped on them as the means to credibility within the left wing debate.

Greens commit to Green because it is the entry ticket to being certified left-wing, if you aren’t working class or otherwise particularly oppressed. Even straight women aren’t particularly oppressed these days.

PS. I’m not a watermelon – I’m openly red all the way through.

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Entropic man

I'm sure you are . Just like all the rabid ultra conservative Malthusians on the Guardian forums believe they are left wing. People believe Monbiot is left wing. At least he knows he isn't.

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

This, I'd like to suggest, is a post and a comment-thread on a very important topic when it comes to trying to understand the dramatic success of the CO2 Scaremongering: the role of the left in promoting it. Lots of great comments.

In the hope that many people will return here from time to time, I'd like to note a slightly misleading reference to one of my comments by Robert Christopher (Nov 16, 2014 at 11:11 PM), whose comments I hold in high regard: the text by my name there is not mine, but rather is from J J Ray whose words I quoted in my own comment - including 'Leftists are more faith-based'. It is a bit obscure, but am not sure that I would agree with it. If looking for a simple quip about leftists, I'd be more inclined to attribute 'personality' as a key feature to help explain them rather than 'faith'.

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Everyone making something straightforward very complicated. The reason my grandchildren are committed, unquestioning warmists is that they were brainwashed from a young age at school (the old communism worked the same way).

Nov 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

E. sniff

Could you please stop throwing insults at me. You may get pleasure from it, but it stops us having a sensible conversation.

I had to look up eco-fascist. It sounds revolting.

Nov 17, 2014 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

John Shade on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I would agree with 'personality' as it is a buy in to the hierarchy and a distraction to any observation that might advance understanding. And personality cults do not have a good reputation.

In support of J J Ray, what we do see does have some sort of faith at its root, though it is in a person, which contradicts the reasoning behind nullius in verba, especially when that person has only heard it from someone else.

Nov 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

If anyone wants to make a point directly to the Labour Party, they can go on to Your Britain. I tried a discussion about leftism and environmentalism on that site, and nearly got drowned out by...well, check it on:

Google should give it also with Your Britain Energy Green Paper Ariane Loening

It is great that Bishop Hill is discussing this issue of Climate Change and the Left. Too much time and energy can be wasted discussing science - when there is no science in climate alarmism - except that which is used for propaganda purposes.

Nov 17, 2014 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAriane

In reference to left wing fanaticism, none other than Bill Clinton this season declared not climate change but identity politics itself as the number one threat to the future of the young:

What he may also be projecting upon these newly dubbed “social justice warriors” is that they threaten to topple liberalism just as Puritanism has hobbled conservatism. It certainly singles out Obama’s elitist activist base from everyday liberals, to help differentiate the Clintons.

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Raff insists as racist: “Proclaiming on your website that white IQs are higher than black seems to fit.”

Meanwhile that attitude of turning racial differences into a taboo topic leads to black and Asian careers being ruined via anti-Asian affirmative action mostly in Academia where Asians are in racist fashion excluded and ill prepared blacks are thrown into competition that is too advanced so they drop out of college with extreme often lifelong debt. That's where conservatives show real compassion in wanting to end damaging racial preferences, as opposed to where liberals show fake feel good idealism that backfires. It demonstrates the narcissism of liberal elites, that sniveling nasal tone of my preening moral busybody neighbors I must suffer in cafes here on the Upper West Side.

Skeptics have proven to see through BS by using reason, and are now becoming the rightful heirs to power in politics and policy. Continued doubling down on Enron worthy fraudulent climate alarm will continue to help propel their rise to power, for skeptics are the real philosopher kings come to replace the unworthy importers who created that role in the first place.

Nov 18, 2014 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

importers → imposters

Nov 18, 2014 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

There's nothing wrong with discussing racial differences in the right context. The problem comes when extremists like your JJ Ray start making claims of the form, "my race is more intelligent than yours". I'm half Hispanic, so tell me is my "race" inferior to yours too?

Nov 18, 2014 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff, if you have a direct link for your quotations and allegations then please paste it so that I and other readers can see it, and quit making nasty insinuations about the general readership of this blog. You are sailing pretty close to the wind.

Nov 18, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Raff: Being super book smart is often a disadvantage, where it counts most, romantically, unless you hit it big in Silicon Valley and even then you might not find real love. As a scientist at heart and by training, your emotional and cultural concerns just bore me, as my sociopathic/autistic side dominates my curiosity, wanting to know down to molecular detail, the actual reality and reasons for things. That's a rather unnatural inquiry, indeed, not normal at all, pure empiricism in defiance of etiquette and sensitivity.

I'm a short as a man and bald in my older age as a bachelor, genetically determined. I can't remember anything by rote, but have to understand it instead in order to pass any test, so I had to work twice as hard in college. The Greek area my grandfather came from was full of Picasso looking sturdy muscular guys.
[snip] And why do Hispanics in NYC make it so hard to meet them? They hang out with whole families at big dance clubs. I live near Spanish Harlem, or at least they used to call it that. I've yet to meet a beautiful vivacious Hispanic gal, damn it. The cute everyday gals don't seem to feel empathy for us highly functioning autistics with Ph.D.s, so we have to turn ourselves into sugar daddies, perhaps?

My outlook is that of how differing types of people overlapping in a city creates advantage and synergy. Your politicized, chip-on-the-shoulder accusations don't really land in my territory. I having too much pure fun just THINKING about things due to a ridiculous level of curiosity.

Nov 18, 2014 at 2:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

The noun "ressentiment " seems to capture contemporary liberalism:

"The ego creates an enemy in order to insulate itself from culpability."

"Ressentiment is a sense of hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one's frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one's frustration."

In other words a "blame game."

Nov 18, 2014 at 3:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Raff is half Hispanic, so he should CHECK HIS PRIVILEGE:

"A lawsuit against Harvard alleges the university limits the number of Asian-Americans it admits each year, arguing that white, black, and Hispanic applicants are given racial preferences over better qualified Asian-American applicants.”

Nov 18, 2014 at 3:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Robert Christopher, my comment about relevance was not directed at you - sorry if that was unclear.

On the contrary, I thought your comment was very relevant, and went on to discuss it in favourable terms.

Nov 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

To: NikFromNYC Nov 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Hi Nik. My name is Arno, not Aeno. They screwed up, not your fault. You are another one who has heard of Miskolczi but doesn't know what you are talking about. Miskolczi theory came out in 2007 and was immediately attacked and blacklisted by the IPCC gang. You obviously do not know what he has to say because of that misinformation about him. Let's start from the beginning. Miskolczi greenhouse theory, MGT, differs from Arrhenius theory in being able to handle more than one GHG absorbing in the infrared simultaneously. Arrhenius can handle only one - carbon dioxide - and is incomplete. According to MGT the two most important greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and water vapor, form a joint optimal absorption window in the IR whose optical thickness is 1.87, determined by Miskolczi from first principles. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, it will start to absorb in the IR, just as Arrhenius says. But this will increase the optical thickness. MGT tells us that as soon as this happens, water vapor will begin to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course keep absorbing but simultaneous reduction of water vapor keeps total absorption constant and no warming takes place. The warming blocked this way would have been called greenhouse warming if it existed, but now we have to live without it. Good by greenhouse wqarming, good by anthropogenic global warming, good by AGW. They are all nothing but pseudo-scientific fantasies, excuses for spending untold trillions of dollars on trying to change the climate. Now you see why IPCC has been suppressing Miskolczi theory. Today MGT is the only theory that correctly predicts our climate. There is no warming now and there has been none for the last 18 years. Arrhenius greenhouse theory predicts that addition of carbon dioxide to ais will warm the air because of the greenhouse effect. There has been constant addition of carbon dioxide to air during the last 18 years as certified by the Keeling curve. As a result, Arrhenius has been predicting warming every year for the last 18 years and getting nothing. MGT, on the other hand, predicts what we see: carbon dioxide does not warm the air. And this explains why there is no warming today despite a constant increase of atmospheric CO2. There have been over 50 scholarly, peer-reviewed articles written by now, attempting to explain away that "hiatus" of warming. They have not succeeded for the simple reason that no one thought of using the Miskolczi theory that actually does explain it. Being blacklisted meant that no one could refer to it in any climate article they wrote and grad students were never introduced to it. I get a kick out of it when articles come out looking for that "missing heat" in the ocean bottom. So what happened to that "missing heat" they are all anxious to find? Actually, it was never missing in the first place. Thanks to the reduced absorption of IR when atmospheric water vapor declines due to theMiskolczi effect the energy carried by OLR is never captured by the atmosphere and continues on its merry way to outer space.

Nov 18, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterArno Arrak

To Arno Arrak on Miskolczi
There are also the points that
1. The IPCC was set up in order to destroy industrialization and slow economic growth (by getting governments to reduce CO2 emissions) and
2. Given that about there are only about 400 units of CO2 in 1 million units of atmospheric gases, and that only about 4% of these are anthropogenic CO2 units, there are, thus, only about 16 units of anthropogenic CO2 per 1 million units of atmospheric gases that are supposed to be changing the planet's climate. So the IPCC can't possibly rely on open and free scientific discussion, as if it did, the IPCC would have been closed down the day after we realised what it is up to.

Nov 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAriane

michael hart, visit the blog John Shade and NikfromNYC think of so highly, namely and search for "white IQ".

It is easy to dissociate yourselves from any insinuations you think I am throwing. All it takes is for some of you to say, you know John/Nik, that is a nasty website. Nobody has done that, maybe because sceptics hate to criticise each other even when they are clearly wrong. So I assume you are happy associating yourself with John/Nik and with that site. But it is your choice.

Nov 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

When considering the left, I think one needs to consider upbringing. If one has been brought in a slum, starving and with little or no education or healthcare, then socialism makes sense. Often people from this type of background want improvements in the quality of their lives:, warm dry homes, decent affordable food, clean water and sanitation,a reasonable days pay for a reasonable days work, access to affordable education and healthcare. However, most of the left post 1968 come from middle or upper middle class backgrounds and have never suffered poverty and even their parents and grandparents lives have been impractical comfortable lives. As Orwell points out in his books of 1940-1950, the socialist intelligentsia are rentiers ( living on inherited money ) on an island and protected by the Royal Navy. Most middle class socialists have backgrounds in the arts/social sciences and still live of money provided by others in as much they work in universities, the public sector BBC, Guardian or NGOs in some sort of white collar admin job. At university, most middle class socialists did not read demanding degrees in engineering, science or agricultural, nor compete in sports, music or drama to high levels, so they had plenty of time to play politics.

Most middle class socialists are like many of the third or later generations of family firms: they like the dividends but lack the ability to actually earn money, so in order to hide their uselessness, they despise the profit motive and go and work in charities or something "creative".

Orwell points out that most left wing intelligentsia despise physical courage and patriotism , yet hero worshipped Stalin and the USSR. Also, the intelligentsia displayed totalitarian tendencies.

If one looks at socialist intelligentsia since 1900, hardly any of them undertook practical work, were physically tough and served in combat units in WW2 and have done anything to actually improve the quality of life of the poorest people in this country or overseas. What I think motivates most socialist intelligentsia is a hatred of physically and mentally tough, competent and practically colleagues from school and university who have gone out into the World and actually achieved something useful and courageous. Has any socialist intellectual earned a degree in engineering, served in a combat unit, especially as a commando/special forces /RAF pilot/RN officer and won a medal for bravery and set up in business providing people with well paid employment?

What Global Warming does is provide a reason for ineffectual totalitarian middle class socialists to shout out how much they care but not actually having to do anything practical themselves, while being paid to undertake some irrelevant job. The best way to cover one's faults is to point at someone else and accuse them of whatever one is guilty: Alinsky understood this fact very well. N Modi ,Prime Minister of India has said one his main concerns is to increase the access to lavatories for the poorest: why do not the middle class socialists solve the lack of sanitation and access to potable water for the Worlds poorest?

Nov 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

I would agree with quite a lot of your analysis of wealthy socialists. But the problem with the Left's ideological support of climate alarmism is that, because the numbers of people on the Left in the UK and Europe is so large, climate legislation got passed - and it is this legislation that needs repealing. The tragedy for the Left is that they got brainwashed by the extreme Right, who started climate alarmism in order to ruin industry, destroy economic growth and, they would hope, decrease population levels.

Nov 18, 2014 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAriane

geoffchambers: I found that article quite fascinating, especially this passage -

“They want to use the concern about the climate catastrophe in what they called Archimedes giant lever, to move away from industrialization, toward this postindustrial non-fossil fuel, non-corporate world,”

This has been said so many times in so many ways, but when it's stated baldly like that, it gives me shivers. That's really what many want, what they say they want, and even if it was proved that AGM was a myth, they would feel the scam was worth it just to bring that about. A twelve-year-old's view of the world, but many influential people endorse it.

Nov 18, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Gus

I have no doubt there will be folks here that believe Enron were a Trotskyite front organisation.

In 1997 the Club of Rome collaborated with Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute to launch a new report "Factor Four" that promised to "halve resource use" while doubling wealth. The message was that you could get rich saving the planet. A privileged few did indeed double their wealth; but for the rest it was just a case of halving resources.

Immodestly, Lovins made his own California energy scheme the main example of savings in "Factor Four". His well-paid advice to the State of California was that it was a big mistake to adopt a system that rewarded increased electricity output with increased profits. Such a system would naturally tend to boost output. Instead, rewards for cutting energy use were needed. Rather than getting paid for additional megawatts the utility companies should be rewarded for saving power use: negawatts. The impact of Lovins' model on energy generation in California was decisive. "Around 1980, Pacific Gas and Electricity Company was planning to build some 10-20 power stations", according to Lovins.

But by 1992, PG&E was planning to build no more power stations, and in 1993, it permanently dissolved its engineering and construction division. Instead as its 1992 Annual Report pronounced, it planned to get at least three quarters of its new power needs in the 1990s from more efficient use by its customers.[4]

Of course the PG&E was not getting three quarters of its new power needs from anywhere: it had just reduced its output. But manufacturing energy scarcity did indeed grow somebody's cash wealth: Enron's. With these artificial caps on energy production the generating companies could start to hike up the charges to utility companies, including PG&E, now unable to meet its own customers' demands. Those energy companies were owned by Enron. Chief Executive Kenneth Lay turned Enron from a company that made its money generating power into one that made its money trading finance. Whatever else it was doing, there was no denying that Enron was cutting back its own CO2 emissions and getting rich doing it. One company memo stated that the Kyoto treaty "would do more to promote Enron's business than will almost any other regulatory initiative".[5]

Amory Lovins' negawatt revolution in California was Enron's wet dream. Having shut down its own generation capacity, PG&E was at the mercy of Enron's market manipulation. Buying surplus electricity on the open market PG&E was royally fleeced, losing US$12 billion. Utility bills rose by nine times between May 2000 and May 2001. Enron took advantage of the restricted market and cut electricity to California. They even invented reasons to take power plants offline while California was blacked out. Enron officials joked that they were stealing one million dollars a day from California.[6] The PG&E that Lovins held up as a model went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the State of California.

James Heartfield

Nov 18, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Raff, I have visited the site for the first time just before I wrote that post. Be careful what you wish for.

Returning to my question, please post the quotes from there that, in your opinion, you find most damning.

Nov 18, 2014 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Arno Arran

How should water vapour in the atmosphere have changed since 1970?
Comparison between predictions from Miscolczi's hypothesis and observation would give an opportunity to test it.

Nov 18, 2014 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

E Sniff
This rather sums up my position and dilemma.

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Nov 19, 2014 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

mh - I too took a quick look at the site mentioned by raff. I also took a look at the discussion of IQ on the site, which looks interesting and which I'll return to read in detail when I have time.

I too would be interested to learn what specifically Raff finds 'nasty' (I think that was his word) about the site. He clearly thinks that we'll be shocked to see the site and be ashamed to be associated with someone who reads it and has quoted from it.

IQ is a nothing more than a measure of the ability to do IQ tests. I have noticed different approaches to problem solving and learning in people from different backgrounds and from different countries that I have worked with or trained. It would be surprising if there were not such differences in the ability to score highly on IQ tests between people from different groups, as in other aptitudes.

On the website I did not find any suggestion that an ability to score highly in IQ tests indicated superiority in any other sense. If I missed such suggestions I'm sure Raff will point them out.

Nov 19, 2014 at 8:08 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

even if it was proved that AGM was a myth, they would feel the scam was worth it just to bring that about.
Unregistered CommenterUncle Gus

"We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing -- in terms of economic socialism and environmental policy."
Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator


Nov 19, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Green/left is the new nasty party - that seems strange , but see how the mode among them seems to shout, sneer, be over certain & dismissive... instead of engaging in logical debate.
- My guess is that it is same kind of people who 30 years ago were certain to join the rightwing parties, who are actually joining the green/left not cos of the detailed science, argument , but rather cos it's the easy option of blame someone else and push a simplistic dream of utopia.
- In Mosley's day it was "It's all the Jews fault, we get rid of them, all aspire to be perfect blond Arians and the world will be a utopia"
- From the green/left of today "It's all the fault of the oil companies (and/or capitalists), we get rid of them, all aspire to be perfect greens and the world will be a utopia"

Nov 19, 2014 at 9:47 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

How about we try another take?
"An ecologist ... must be the doctor who believes he sees the marks of death in a community that is in fact well and who does not want to believe otherwise.”

The trouble is that 'ecologist' has been corrupted. Instead of being someone who studies the natural world it now means one who is so infatuated with the (non-human) natural world that he cannot, as it were, see the wood for the trees. Mankind is the only species I know of (except the occasional spider that eats its mate after copulation) that has groups and individuals within itself actively working for its own destruction and an uninformed mass that is happy to let them get on and do that.
Mankind is the most successful (ie advanced) species on the planet and has yet to reach his full potential as the most recent achievement of landing a fridge-sized object on something the size of a kitchen a million plus miles away tends to prove.
Nobody is suggesting he is perfect (as the pathetic reaction to Matt Taylor's shirt more than amply demonstrated) but his presence on this planet has been and continues to be more beneficial to his species and most others than it has been detrimental.
The true ecologist knows that and starts from that point. The environment including man, not the environment with man as an outsider. And an unwelcome one at that.

Nov 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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