Trump’s election, solidifying the Republican’s dominance at all levels of the US government, has disheartened climate activists. A new article in The Atlantic attempts to build support, but only shows the weakness of their beliefs. Perhaps the skeptics have won this round of the climate wars, but only the weather will determine which side is correct.
For 29 years advocates for public policy changes to fight climate change have struggled to convince the US public to support their agenda. They have failed. Polls show it ranks near the bottom of American’s policy priorities, and the increasingly dominant Republican Party has little interest in their recommendations.
It’s taken a while, but it looks like climate activists have worked through the process of accepting their failure. Paul Rosenberg’s January 2 article at Salon and now Meehan Crist’s article at The Atlantic suggest activists are moving into the fourth stage of the Kübler-Ross process, depression — and their leading edge is moving into the final stage of acceptance — and finding new crusades to wage.
Rosenberg’s article is discussed here. Meehan’s article is less interesting, mostly just the usual throwing chaff into debate. But it is revealing in its own way. The opening is a classic tactic by climate activists.
“There has been a subtle shift recently in the rhetoric of many conservative pundits and politicians around climate change. For decades, the common refrain has been flat-out denial — either that climate change is not happening, or that any change is not caused by human activity. Which is why viewers might have been surprised to see Tucker Carlson of Fox News nodding along thoughtfully on January 6 as climate scientist Judith Curry, a controversial figure in climate science, explained, ‘Yes it’s warming and yes humans contribute to it. Everybody agrees with that, and I’m in the 98% [of scientists who agree]. It’s when you get down to the details that there’s genuine disagreement.’”
The first point is an outright lie. Almost nobody believes “climate change is not happening,.” The climate is always changing. There is a fringe among climate skeptics who believe that “any change is not caused by human activity.” The debate for the past 29 years, since James Hansen warned the Senate in 1988, is about how much of the past warming is anthropogenic — and about forecasts of future temperatures. Let’s review the evidence. [….]
Are activists grieving for their failure?
In December 2015 I wrote that Activists go thru 5 stages of grief for the climate change campaign. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. We all have heard years of denial and anger. There was a brief period of bargaining, with activists attempting to deal with skeptics. Now we are in depression, and for a few — acceptance, as they find new crusades to pursue. Several recent articles support that theory. Meehan’s conclusion, citing as his authority that not-a-climate-agency, the US military, show depression and perhaps acceptance…