- - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

By Rael Jean Isaac
The Heartland Institute, $8.95, 113 pages

Mass hysteria, alas, is all too common a phenomenon in our postdigital revolution society where disinformation is passed as rapidly as information, and where cheap and available transportation aggravates rapid mob collection and intensity.

But what is more inexplicable is an allied phenomenon that spreads through supposedly intellectual circles to dominate the public forum. Perhaps the most extreme examples - and certainly one of the most socially and financially costly - is the one that Rael Jean Isaac lays out in economical but exceedingly comprehensively documented detail in “Roosters of the Apocalypse.”

In this little book, Ms. Isaac shreds the arguments for “global warming” from start to finish. But in so doing, she more than once demonstrates the pure irrationality of its spokesmen - “the roosters.” She shows how when driven to the wall to prove that changes in climate, which may be taking place as they have through the millennia, cannot be attributed to human activity, the proponents of global warming simply switch the argument without acknowledging this important “quibble.”

With more than adequate evidence and citations for her fundamental hypothesis, i.e., that consumption of fossil fuels is neither the proved origin nor principle cause of presumed climate change, she goes on to show the perfidy of many of its spokesmen. But more than in the arguments of most her fellow opponents of the fashionable argument, she lays out the profitable stake many of its promoters have in this complicated world of government intervention, subsidies and their lobbies and pure blackmail.

I have not seen anywhere a more exhaustive list of the cost of the campaign of the global-warming advocates and, therefore, its threat to our standard of living. The amounts paid - generally by the taxpayer but often directly by the consumer - for the various attempts to impose a priori judgments and restrictions on economic activity is laid out here in staggering detail in anecdote after anecdote.

Where I might part company with Ms. Isaac is in her final peroration wherein she hints that the global warming propagandists and their works are on their way to defeat. She has strong arguments here, too, for that conclusion. Mostly, she says in effect, the crippling effects of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 on the whole world economy are forcing realistic reappraisals of the global warming initiatives in government and in the private sector. That would seem to be the logical outcome of a domestic U.S. crisis that calls for economies at every level of government in order for traditional private initiative to take the recovery in hand.

Even in its first glory, the Obama administration with a Democrat-controlled House and Senate could not follow the now-despised “reform” of the nation’s health care industry with passage of its “Cap and Trade” effort to put “a carbon tax” on a drowning U.S. economy. Ironically, too, the usual international suspects in supporting utopian agendas - the Chinese, Indians and other “developing nations” - are not about to accept curtailment of their modernization through industrialization using untried “alternate sources” of energy nor pay a tax on their essential use of fossil fuels.

Only a Canadian billionaire such as Maurice Strong can afford to be a United Nations spokesman for global warning, for even in that mad assembly he leads less than the usual mob of Third World adherents.

But even given the fragility of the whole global warming “syndrome” and the advocacy of its adherents, I am not so optimistic. In the “gotcha” game of candidates in the run-up to the November presidential elections, I am constantly surprised to find how many seasoned politicians, for whatever reason, have at various times signed on to this lunacy. In that regard, I am fond of quoting a deceased Brandeis professor friend of mine, Milton Sachs, who, during the often-confused debate over the Vietnam War, often said, “Never underestimate the role of faddism in American life.”

President Obama repeats “going green” shibboleths over and over again, only occasionally modifying his rhetoric in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices at the pump. His stubbornness in refusing to acknowledge the shortcomings of alternative energy sources is only equaled by his blatant demagoguery. The incredible chutzpah of going to Oklahoma to take credit in a photo-op for a private-sector pipeline, which already had passed environmental tests and other government regulations and already under construction (despite his refusal to permit a much larger pipeline network to go forward) boggles the mind.

I fear the fight against this particular piece of somewhat exotic utopia is still in contest.

Sol W. Sanders writes the weekly column “Follow the Money” for The Washington Times.