Between Rajenda Pachauri and Peter Gleick, the international green movement has displayed a penchant for colorful personalities. But the root cause of the green meltdown is not the flawed personalities and eccentric ethical standards some greens display. The problem has been that the greens tried to stick the world with a monstrous and unworkable climate control system through the flawed medium of a global treaty. This project is so expensive, so poorly conceived and, in fact, so naive and unthinking, that greens increasingly felt their only hope to get their agenda adopted involved scare tactics.
Like Dean Acheson addressing the communist menace, they were “clearer than truth.” They stretched evidence, invented catastrophes — vanishing glaciers, disappearing polar bears, waves of force five hurricanes sweeping up the coast, the end of snow — to sell their unsalable dream. Not all greens were this irresponsible, but many prominent spokespersons and journalists working with the movement were; ultimately the mix of an unworkable policy agenda and a climate of hype and hysteria holed the green ship below the waterline.
Of contemporary mass movements, the green movement has been consistently the most alarmist, the least constructive, the most emotional, the least rational, the most intolerant and the most self righteous. What makes it all sad rather than funny is that underneath the hype, the misstatements, the vicious character attacks on anyone who dissented from the orthodoxy of the day, and the dumbest policy ideas since the Kellogg-Briand Pact that aimed to outlaw war, there really are some issues here that require thoughtful study and response.
Unfortunately, we’re not going to get it from people who are reflexively anti-human socialists, such as John Holdren.