Berkeley Scholar Admits "Climate Change Has Run Its Course"


Authored by Steven Hayward, op-ed via The Wall Street Journal,

Its descent into social-justice identity politics is the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality...

Climate change is over. No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.

Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hearings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump’s ostentatious withdrawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becoming evident.

A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The “nonbinding” pact declares that climate action must include concern for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity” as well as “the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice.’ ” Another is Sarah Myhre’s address at the most recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which she proclaimed that climate change cannot fully be addressed without also grappling with the misogyny and social injustice that have perpetuated the problem for decades.

The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm - a blaring noise people are tuning out.

This outcome was predictable. Political scientist Anthony Downs described the downward trajectory of many political movements in an article for the Public Interest, “Up and Down With Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention Cycle,’ ” published in 1972, long before the climate-change campaign began. Observing the movements that had arisen to address issues like crime, poverty and even the U.S.-Soviet space race, Mr. Downs discerned a five-stage cycle through which political issues pass regularly.

The first stage involves groups of experts and activists calling attention to a public problem, which leads quickly to the second stage, wherein the alarmed media and political class discover the issue.

The second stage typically includes a large amount of euphoric enthusiasm - you might call it the “dopamine” stage—as activists conceive the issue in terms of global peril and salvation. This tendency explains the fanaticism with which divinity-school dropouts Al Gore and Jerry Brown have warned of climate change.

Then comes the third stage: the hinge. As Mr. Downs explains, there soon comes “a gradually spreading realization that the cost of ‘solving’ the problem is very high indeed.” That’s where we’ve been since the United Nations’ traveling climate circus committed itself to the fanatical mission of massive near-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption, codified in unrealistic proposals like the Kyoto Protocol.

This third stage, Mr. Downs continues, “becomes almost imperceptibly transformed into the fourth stage: a gradual decline in the intensity of public interest in the problem.”

While opinion surveys find that roughly half of Americans regard climate change as a problem, the issue has never achieved high salience among the public, despite the drumbeat of alarm from the climate campaign. Americans have consistently ranked climate change the 19th or 20th of 20 leading issues on the annual Pew Research Center poll, while Gallup’s yearly survey of environmental issues typically ranks climate change far behind air and water pollution.

“In the final stage,” Mr. Downs concludes, “an issue that has been replaced at the center of public concern moves into a prolonged limbo—a twilight realm of lesser attention or spasmodic recurrences of interest.” Mr. Downs predicted correctly that environmental issues would suffer this decline, because solving such issues involves painful trade-offs that committed climate activists would rather not make.

A case in point is climate campaigners’ push for clean energy, whereas they write off nuclear power because it doesn’t fit their green utopian vision. A new study of climate-related philanthropy by Matthew Nisbet found that of the $556.7 million green-leaning foundations spent from 2011-15, “not a single grant supported work on promoting or reducing the cost of nuclear energy.” The major emphasis of green giving was “devoted to mobilizing public opinion and to opposing the fossil fuel industry.”

Scientists who are genuinely worried about the potential for catastrophic climate change ought to be the most outraged at how the left politicized the issue and how the international policy community narrowed the range of acceptable responses.

Treating climate change as a planet-scale problem that could be solved only by an international regulatory scheme transformed the issue into a political creed for committed believers. Causes that live by politics, die by politics.

*  *  *

Mr. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


greenskeeper carl wadalt Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:17 Permalink

Pretty funny to hear this. Climate change is, and always has been, nothing but a wealth redistribution scheme. This paris accord bullshit is a primary example of it. The US had obligated itself to enact very costly measures that would have cost our ecomony trillions over the course of the years ahead. Countries like China basically pledged to consider doing something several years from now, which means they really just pledged to keep on doing that they were doing anyways. Most of their real reforms were already being done before the climate accord anyways, because of their massive smog problem. It was an entirely one sided deal that hurt average Americans most of all.

In reply to by wadalt

Baron von Bud greenskeeper carl Tue, 06/05/2018 - 21:21 Permalink

The climate change agenda never had much to do with climate. It was about carbon credits aka global taxation as a means to fund social engineering. I'm not against the idea of protecting women, black people, or gays, etc. But I have to ask, why do they feel the need to hide their agenda behind a massive lie that was so easy to expose even with the CFR and the billionaire class as its benefactors. It shows a contempt for working people. It was a stalking horse for the super rich to deceive the intellectual class while they taxed the working class while lowering taxes on the rich class. These guys are so rich and lacking in wisdom that they believed they deserved to engineer humanity while getting tax breaks for their selfless munificence. To top it off, the decisions would be made by unelected toadies that answered only to the CFR. Why not just be honest? That's because  helping the poor or women was always secondary. It was always about power, money, and control hence all the lies. They perverted both science and spirituality.

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

techpriest Baron von Bud Tue, 06/05/2018 - 23:26 Permalink

I'm on the last few pages of Hoppe's "Short History of Man," and something he points out is that a plutocratic class is the logical outcome of a democracy. When you could theoretically get yourself anything by voting for the right demagogue (the Constitution has been *mostly* powerless to stop this), being in a position to make sure your demagogue is on the ballot is not that difficult to do (less than 1% of people participate in internal party matters), and you can benefit richly in the process.

While it is almost inconceivable to the modern mind, mass decentralization and the elevation of institutions other than government (so the multiple institutions are in competition) would get us much closer to a truly free society. However, the learning and sacrifice required to not live on the government tit is enormous for many, so it might take some large-scale bankruptcies for the opportunity to present itself.

In reply to by Baron von Bud

bluez Baron von Bud Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:13 Permalink

The question of human causation is insignificant. No "carbon credit" schemes will be even slightly helpful. We will all die from global heating if nothing is done about the "clathrate gun", a runaway process, where methane gas from methane clathrate (methane compounds frozen in continental shelves and tundra) is suddenly released into the air.

The only solution would be aluminum (as a microscopically thin coating) forming a low-emissivity (low-e) glass is set out on rafts in the ocean to reflect the sun's heat. Otherwise the methane will raise temperatures around the world by at least thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Go long aluminum.

In reply to by Baron von Bud

kellys_eye greenskeeper carl Wed, 06/06/2018 - 03:42 Permalink

Don't suppose it has anything to do with DECADES of alarmist prediction and ZERO actual events?

People aren't 'that' stupid.  Keep telling them that there's catastrophe around the corner yet NOTHING HAPPENS out of the ordinary and they WILL cotton on to the fact.

But, then again, Climate Change has always come at the BOTTOM of any list of 'concerns' that have been drawn up.

Rightly so.

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

jin187 Cryptopithicus Homme Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:11 Permalink

Perhaps the climate really is changing, and perhaps it really is our fault.  Unfortunately, when you tell lies to speed up the acceptance of what you believe to be true, no one believes anything you say in the end.  Bringing all the hucksters, communists, and globalists into the fold to bolster your numbers, just for the sake of peer pressure doesn't help either.  When someone like Michael Moore, or Al Sharpton tells me that they've seen the science, and global warming is real, I can't help but assume the science says the opposite, without even looking at it myself.  You might as well have recruited David Duke to tell me about global warming.

In reply to by Cryptopithicus Homme

DoctorFix Cryptopithicus Homme Wed, 06/06/2018 - 02:50 Permalink

That's right.  The narrative has changed every so slightly over time in order to fool the rubes.  But, then again, when did the "theory of evolution" become "fact".  Somehow I must have missed the memo because nowhere between the time I graduated from high school until today has there ever been an announcement.  Silly me to ponder on such things but it does point out that the so-called "debate" mutates and gestates into something wholly different than what it was originally.  And that's exactly how TPTB like it.

In reply to by Cryptopithicus Homme

NoDebt Jim in MN Tue, 06/05/2018 - 19:19 Permalink

Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever the fuck they're calling it now is one of the few lies I can think of that's even bigger than the Russians hacking the 2016 election.

Thank God I'm old enough to remember when these same "scientists" were telling us that we were about to go into another ice age.  I knew it was bullshit the minutes they all flipped.




In reply to by Jim in MN

Cryptopithicus Homme NoDebt Tue, 06/05/2018 - 19:44 Permalink

When we were kids some Church of Climatology environuts came to our school.  They told us that the world was going to end.  They had some water in a jar and started flinging it in some of the student's hair saying it had acid in it and our hair would fall out.  They told us our pets would drink this same water and would die in pain.  Some of the girls were crying and everyone was pretty disturbed.

This is true and these are the types of people environmentalists are.

In reply to by NoDebt

jin187 Faeriedust Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:20 Permalink

Like most other colleges, the rabid left has infiltrated Berkley, but if you're capable of telling science apart from dogma, you'll get a great education.  TBH, I've never really seen a college that had a significant difference in undergrad degrees.  Most of what makes say the Ivy League better than Directional State Tech University, is the contacts you make, and the internships available.  That's where the real careers are made.

In reply to by Faeriedust

Urban Roman Jim in MN Tue, 06/05/2018 - 19:53 Permalink

Well, that's really what it's about, isn't it? They have some bullshit policy change they want and it's all about 'global warming'. Wall-to-wall war, 24/7, with 'freedom & democracy' bombs on places where little brown people live? Just fine with them!

But don't you dare throw that styrofoam cup in the garbage, and not in the recycle bin!

The hypocrisy starts to wear thin after a while.

In reply to by Jim in MN

Endgame Napoleon Jim in MN Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:33 Permalink

What about the lack of concern from climate-change proponents about governments paying resource-consuming citizens, legal and illegal immigrants to have sex and produce more resource-consuming humans? If climate change is caused by humans, that is the reason for it. The global population has skyrocketed. But working parents like to be paid through welfare and child tax credits for having sex. They also like their womb-productivity-based discrimination and absenteeism privileges in the workplaces of the fake-feminist era. That takes precedence over concerns about climate change.

In reply to by Jim in MN

G-R-U-N-T Tue, 06/05/2018 - 19:07 Permalink

In other words the 'global warming' loot the masses fraud by taxing the air humanity exhaled was one big parasitic revenue scheme perpetrated by government and all those climatologists they bribed for funding to fudge the data sets. As far as 'running it's course', just say what it really was, ONE BIG SICK ASS CON!!!

Indeed, this was criminal!!!

G-R-U-N-T Banana Republican Tue, 06/05/2018 - 19:28 Permalink

The very premise on which their braindead theory was based was fraud. CO2 (much less anthropogenic CO2), a trace, trace gas has absolutely no significant effect on atmospheric temperature change. The sun is the #1 driver of changing climate and we're in a cooling cycle because the sun cycle is at a minimum in activity. 

We are in a global cooling cycle, ergo the knucklehead, so called, Berkley scholar is just letting everyone know that their head was up their ass!!! Their covers have been pulled and now are exposed for the frauds they are!

In reply to by Banana Republican