So, farewell then, Paris. Trump has called it, and it’s an out. The details of which are yet to emerge, and hopefully not to disappoint.
Cue outrage from the likes of Channel 4 news, no doubt. For instance, take this particular illuminating tweet from the UK Green Party’s only MP – Caroline Lucas.
Polls are… well, polls. But the consensus of the UK’s election polling nonetheless spells trouble for Lucas’s party that may make her rejoinder seem a tad premature.
It looks like next Thursday’s election will return Lucas to Parliament, but the party nationwide will see its slice of the vote slashed from 3.8% to around 2%.
Which raises the question, of course… Which “global movement for climate justice” does Caroline Lucas believe she is speaking on behalf of. While she can claim to speak for a local movement, she cannot claim to speak for a region, much less a nation, let alone a globe, on those percentages.
Two per cent… after close to half a century of campaigning. In the same time, the Labour Party had from almost nothing, gained sufficient political capital to nationalise almost everything, create social insurance and the National Health Service, and established the political consensus that lasted until at least 1979.
In half the time, the UK Independence Party, while barely even having a presence in Westminster, but with widespread support, forced one of the most fundamental shift in British politics ever.
The history of the Green Party is, by contrast, completely mediocre, like its membership.
Similarly, arch-global-climate-bignob, Geoff Sachs tweets this morning.
And yet the politicians have a mandate, whereas all Sachs has is a Chicken Little story.
So today’s big event and reactions to it, tells us two things I have long been banging on about.
First. Environmentalism is not now and never has been a political ‘movement’. Not a popular one, anyhow, with any chance of securing its values in politics through democratic process or weight of numbers. Environmentalism is instead — and it always has been — an elite gesture, aimed against popular democratic politics.
Second. In order to become an environmentalist, it is necessary, as per Lucas and Sachs, to completely lose one’s sense of perspective. I mean a complete and total loss, such that the first point completely escapes you, and that you believe, without any foundation, that you represent a ‘global movement’, even though most people think you’re a bit nuts.
As the irrepressible Pete North puts it…
Time will tell, of course, if this is a complete and thorough shattering of the consensus — a moment of triumph for climate scepticism. And whether, in the era of Trump triumph and post Brexit, climate alarmism fades back into Brighton bourgeois bullshit boutique niches.
I suspect that North is right, though not simply because Trump’s cancellation of the Paris Agreement has caused as much as symbolised the moment. After all, the Paris Agreement itself stood for nothing, in any case. Detached, global, elite and undemocratic politics has suffered three massive body blows in the last 12 months. We are in a new era — it is different from the one in which green politics festered, though how that slime will adapt or die remains to be seen.
Speaking of political has-beens and nobodies. Former SoS for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Davey is back via his party’s Twitter account…
Ed Davey lost his seat. And his party lost nearly 50 MPs, such was their humiliation at the shitshow they took part in. Now he presumes to lecture the PM, and the President of the USA, what they should do, in spite of the fact that they have mandates, and he simply doesn’t.
Is there any case of a climate alarmist who does not fit this pattern? Or am I right that the more someone bangs on about climate change and the fierce urgency of fixing it right now, the less business they have, in fact, in politics or public life.
Friends of Dearth have weighed in…
It’s a curious response. To what extent were international trade agreements ever predicated on FoE’s approval? FoE, of course, are against such things as trade more sophisticated than exchanges of turnips for nettle soup. So their disapproval of any future trade agreement was surely already a given.
FoE were behind the Big Ask campaign in the mid 2000s, which aimed to effect the appearance of popular public support for the Climate Change Act. Knowing, however, that a real world demonstration of political support was beyond their means, FoE recruited miserable pop stars…
… to lead a ‘web march’. Dubbed the ‘Big Ask Web March’, members of the public would surely follow where pop stars had led them, as thick-in-the-head as those pop stars (And their mummies) surely were.
It was a radical idea. Which is perhaps why it appealed to tiresome twangy agitpop tossers, The Levellers, who took their name from the seventeenth century radical political movement. Though it must have been disappointing to see that, rather than levelling the political landscape, all their web marching really achieved was the elevation of green NGO hack, Bryony Worthington to the House of Lords.
The point being, again, that the masses were only an afterthought to self-serving environmental schemers, or at best an instrument. Which is why young people, and people at drugs at festivals, are over-represented in green NGO’s attempt to produce a ‘movement’ behind them. They are in no position to support, nor to withdraw their support, from any trade agreement between the UK & USA.
So it turns out it may have all been fake news, and that we’ll have to wait until 8pm UK time, to find out what Trump really wants to do with Paris.
That’s what you get for taking tweets from Leo Hickman at face value. Always check!
Nonetheless, the world has reacted. Elon Musk has threatened to take his subsidy black hole elsewhere.
But it’s not all good news…
In the FT, Pilita Clark claims that
China and the EU have forged a green alliance to combat climate change and counteract any retreat from international action by Donald Trump.
In a stark realignment of forces, documents seen by the Financial Times show that Beijing and Brussels have agreed to measures to accelerate what they call the “irreversible” shift away from fossil fuels and the “historic achievement” of the Paris climate accord.
Which was about as meaningful as the Paris agreement in any case — i.e. nought. Moreover, China’s non-binding non-commitment under the terms of the non-agreement allowed it to continue increasing emissions until 2030, whereupon per capita emissions remained static, while total emissions fall with projected population decline.
In other words, China’s status as new climate champion is about as real as Europe’s status as new industrial powerhouse. Greens project their fantasies onto the world.
There are just a couple of hours to go until Trump will either disappoint, or confirm his view on the Paris agreement. Multimultimultimultimultimultimulti-millionaire Tom Steyer, who financed the weaponisation of the climate change issue in the hope to defeat Trump, has added his… tuppence worth…
The billionaires are really lining up against Trump. Which is interesting, if you take the view that Trump’s mandate apparently came in no small part after promising to rid politics of that tendency. Upsetting the likes of Steyer and Musk would likely earn Trump much respect. So one has to ask what Steyer and Musk think they are doing, except encouraging his to abandon the Paris agreement.