Cards Turned Face-Up on the Table

Haven’t got around to posting recently; I’ve been out of state for the better part of the last two weeks, and in the intervals trying to stay not too far behind things at the office.

I’d intended this to be an update to an earlier post, but the more I thought the more I decided it merited its own.

From our neighbors to the north, we have this article (via Classical Values) on the effect that all the relentless harping on imminent doom and destruction from “climate change” (as if the climate has not been changing for 4.5 billion years or thereabouts) is having on children.  Specifically, the head-shrinks (or what Rumpole calls “trick cyclists”) are noting an uptick in cases of teenagers and younger children presenting clinical anxiety symptoms which the patients attribute to concerns about “climate change.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened, you know.  Remember “Duck and Cover” and all the other civil defense training we pumped into the schools?  The Soviets were targeting American cities for instantaneous destruction and we had millions of civilians at risk.  This was less than twenty years after we wrapped up our strategic bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan, so we had a real good idea of what happens to civilian populations when the bombing starts.  Granted that what can be done, especially when there’s essentially no forewarning of attack, is limited, but Officialdom did what it could by way of getting the word out.  And building bomb shelters, and designating evacuation routes, and so forth.  When my parents moved to our sleepy little town in 1968, far from any conceivable target zone for anything other than “incontinent ordnance,” there was a house that had its own fallout shelter.

And they showed films in the schools of what to do when the Soviet missiles were in-bound.  It must have been terrifying, especially since nearly all of those children would have parents, older siblings, or other close relatives who’d actually seen with their own eyes what was left of Germany and Japan, and could state from personal knowledge that This Stuff Can Happen.

But at least in the 1950s, when we had small children being taught to hide from the glass shards produced by nuclear attack by crawling beneath their school desks, there really, actually was a large group of very well-funded, very intelligent, and highly dedicated people who spent a phenomenal amount of time, energy, and money to be able to — you know — actually do that, viz. drop nuclear weapons on American cities.  It wasn’t just a bunch of computer models that predicted what would happen in a fire-storm.  Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and numerous other cities weren’t just columns of data on some scientist’s computer screen.  Warsaw, Berlin, and cities too numerous to name in the Soviet Union were smoldering testaments to what ordinary aerial bombs and artillery shells could accomplish when applied in sufficient quantities in a small enough area.

Note the tenor of the linked article, though:  It’s approving of scaring the living snot out of children.  One source interviewed favors us:  “The answer, on a personal basis, to this kind of helpless distress is ‘mastery’: that is, helping people to master small tasks that reduce their carbon footprint can lead to a greater sense of control and efficacy for that person – and with that a reduction in anxiety.”  But of course.  Terrorizing youth is good, you see, because it leads them to enlist in the Cause.

While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and cheapen the very real, very immediate catastrophes of the 20th Century, and urge that, in response to computer models that cannot explain the last fifteen years-plus of observable data (the lack of “global warming” since 1998) we all surrender — more or less permanently — the freedoms and rights which we grudgingly and temporarily did to defeat a rabid dog who was literally at our throats.  “Our forebears had the First World War and the Second World War. Another generation dealt with the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war. Now the greatest threat to this generation – young and old – is the climate problem, which involves a lot of volatility, and a lot of change. . . .  We have to find the flexibility, the courage and the determination to stand up to that crisis – collectively, not just as individuals. Like our parents did before us.”  Ah!  The collective, the Holy Collective.

During both world wars, Western society gave up a great deal of what made it, well, Western.  We internalized that Loose Lips Sink Ships, and watched our neighbors for suspicious activity.  We carted off an entire group of American citizens and locked them up in camps.  We turned in our pots and pans to be melted down.  We did without tires for the car, gas for its tank, cuffs on pants legs.  We got used to letters from a father, son, or brother with entire paragraphs blanked out.  We got used to being told what we were going to bring home at the end of the week.  If we made too much of a stink about it, we knew that we were likely to receive a visit from some guy driving a government car . . . and so would our neighbors.  If a household appliance broke, we went without because the factory that might have replaced it was turning out receivers for M-1 rifles instead of irons.  As Paul Fussell noted, about the only thing that wasn’t rationed was alcohol.  But no one, nowhere, in no context was brazen enough to propose that we accept all that as permanent fabric of society.  Everyone knew that those measures were necessary to defeat two of the most wicked societies in recorded history, and we knew that once the war was over so was the police state.

“Climate change” of course is different.  Because you cannot defeat “climate,” because it’s always there and always dynamic, the propounded surrender must be forever.  What is being force-fed to our children is the need for perpetual submission to distant groups of people — “experts,” authorities, panels, supra-national organizations — over whose actions we are to have essentially no say.  Because the science is settled, you see.  “Unlike adults who can put their heads in the sand about what we have been doing to our planet, these kids are very aware of what’s going on. . . .  Because of the Web, it’s not hidden any more. Children often ask me questions that we, as adults, try to evade: What is going to happen to the human race?”

Eugenics was settled science. [Update (07 May 14): Right on cue, here’s a recent article from The Washington Times about Margaret Sanger and her place in the eugenicist movement . . . which was a “global movement” after all, just like what we’re encouraging our children to join.]  Just like Gobineau’s theories of biological racial superiority were settled science.  Just like the four humors were settled science.  Just like the ether was settled science.  If there is nothing left to discuss, then there can be nothing left to debate.  If there is nothing left to debate, then any intrusion into the ordering of society on that point by mere lay people can by hypothesis only be destructive.  As Confucius correctly observed, that which is round can be no rounder.  Thus the moral imperative for representative government fails.  Phrased differently, Jefferson’s dictum, that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed,” no longer applies.  I mean, you don’t “consent” to gravitational acceleration at 9.81 m/sec/sec, do you?  It’s not an abomination to force you to behave as if the boiling point of water at sea level were 212 degrees Fahrenheit, is it?  And therefore it cannot be objectionable to coerce your submission to whatever is necessary to stave off “climate change,” can it?  [Update (08 May 14):  From the explanation of why Dear Leader’s administration is taking the explicit position that Congress cannot stop it from adopting pretty much whatever environmental regulations it pleases, we have the notion of “actionable science.”  As David Harsanyi paraphrases it, “Podesta says this is “actionable science” so separation of powers and consent of the governed and other trifling concerns are no longer applicable.”]

“As human beings we are made to deal with crises collectively, not individually. So we try to help them realize that, yes, we are looking at a global crisis, but you can also choose to be part of a global movement to address the crisis. This is a particularly important message to deliver to children, who are very sensitive to isolation. When a child goes into their imaginative being, they can really magnify their isolation, which can become overwhelming .… We tell them to become agents of transformation and change” (emphasis mine).  Yes, children are very sensitive to feelings of isolation.  But do you counsel your child-patients to turn to their families? their church? their neighborhood or town?  Oh no; those will never do, you see.  Turning to those circles of engagement might entail merely helping your neighbors shovel the mud out of their own living room, or standing in a chain brigade for sixteen hours passing sand-bags, or bringing food and water to the people who are passing them.  It might entail nothing more involved than getting your own hands grubby helping your fellow citizens; it certainly won’t reduce your “carbon footprint.”  What you must do to expiate your feelings of isolation, Dear Children, is turn to “global movements.”  Of course, in a “global movement” about all you’re going to get to do is (i) turn over your own money; (ii) surrender your own freedoms; (iii) advocate the forcible separation of your fellow citizens from their money and freedoms; and, (iv) most of all, obey.

The linked article turns up nearly all of the Climate Movement’s cards face-up, all at once.  You as a mere individual are isolated in the face of immediate doom.  Your family, your faith, your community are of no help to you.  To break from your isolation you must act, and your action must take the form of submerging yourself in the mandates of a “global movement.”  You must not dispute Your Betters because They Know.  Your parents and those beetle-browed people whom you talk to in your daily life must not be listened to, because they’re just hiding their heads in the sand.  “But despite the fact that we live in a world with more volatility and fear, experts say there is hope. And to stay mentally strong, they all advocate not just calling for change, but acting for it.”

And all of this is part of “a particularly important message to deliver to children.”  Pavlik Morozov would no doubt approve.

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