EDITORIAL: The climate crackup

Alarmist warnings about the planet are falling flat

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Switching terminology from “global warming” to “climate change” to newly favored “global climatic disruption” was supposed to help revive the environmental left’s plunging poll numbers. It hasn’t worked. Nature has, inconveniently, failed to cooperate, with dire predictions of upcoming catastrophes falling flat. Desperation pervades a propaganda effort that has finally gone too far.

The radical green movement is all about scaring the public into adopting unpopular policy initiatives, such as hefty taxes on important sources of energy and increased government direction of our lives through regulation. The Chicken Little strategy can work if the possibility of major disruptions such as a devastating Katrina-style hurricane push people into embracing protection from Washington. Unfortunately for the scaremongers, the disruptions just aren’t happening.

On Thursday, Florida State University researcher Ryan N. Maue updated his index of tropical cyclone activity to reflect the fact that worldwide hurricane activity has reached a 33-year low. The Western North Pacific has seen tropical cyclone activity at a level 78 percent below normal, proving those seas haven’t been calmer since detailed records were first kept in 1945. Accurately describing this period of global climatic tranquility isn’t going to compel action.

That’s why British screenwriter Richard Curtis released a video on Sept. 30 for the “10:10” campaign, which is intended to encourage people to cut their personal carbon-dioxide emissions by 10 percent per year starting in 2010. The short “No Pressure” film used techniques right out of a horror flick to depict a schoolteacher blowing up two children who failed to show any interest in pestering their parents to install insulation or squiggly light bulbs to “keep the planet safe for everyone.”

The 10:10 campaign issued an apology for the shocking video, which critics now dub “Splattergate” in reference to the film’s excessive gore. The incident highlights the degree to which supposedly mainstream environmentalists think mankind is a blight on the planet. This is the same radical ideology that motivated last month’s hostage-taking incident at the Discovery Channel.

No less than President Obama’s own top science adviser, John P. Holdren, is a long-term adherent to this strange doctrine. In 1969, Mr. Holdren co-authored an article for the journal BioScience entitled, “Population and Panaceas: A Technological Perspective,” which essentially predicted we’d run out of food by the year 2000. He warned that “man’s present technology is inadequate to the task of maintaining the world’s burgeoning billions, even under the most optimistic assumptions.” Just to stay even, Mr. Holdren calculated global food production would have to double or triple - an impossibility, he claimed, requiring a mass-sterilization plan.

Mr. Holdren’s dire prediction never came true, as none of the left’s self-indulgent fantasies do. The clock is indeed ticking; time is running out for the alarmists in academia, Hollywood and the White House.

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