One of the principal catalysts of political action is disaster: for better or worse, few things are more likely to get a bill passed than a tragedy of some stripe. The PATRIOT Act is a creature of the September 11 terrorist attacks, as is the miserable Transportation Security Administration; the numerous mass shootings the country has experienced over the past four or five years have given way to various state-level gun control laws; and even today we still have a great many irritating and odious regulations on the books passed during the New Deal in response to the Great Depression….
Occasionally, if there’s no crisis to be found, a certain class of political actors will feel the need to make one up. When it comes to manufacturing catastrophes, there is no better practitioner of the art than Big Climate, which for several decades has been lazily issuing a new Extinction Event warning a couple of times a year, breathlessly informing the human race that our own self-inflicted destruction is just a few vapors of greenhouse gas away. Collectively, the die-hard climate change crowd plays the role of the long-bearded, wild-eyed sandwich-board-wearing doomcrier on the street corner, constantly warning us “THE END IS NEAR”—with the notable exception, of course, that nobody demands we take the doomcrier seriously by enacting an economically-devastating set of political policies. Most people just ignore him.
If you want a perfect encapsulation of the neurotic fearmongering that informs virtually all of popular climate science today, look no further than the United Nation’s latest pronouncement on the matter: the UN World Meteorological Organization recently came out with a series of “imagined weather forecasts” predicting the state of climate in the year 2050.