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NeoNotes — Environmentalism loses it's wind

There are those in the climate change crowd who DO act as a cult, right down to calling for violent action against heresy and those who dare dissent the True Belief®.

I don't think we understand weather and climate enough to say what is and is not human caused, and I believe we need to look closer.

That being said, one of the things that makes me angriest about global warming discussions is how all other environmental issues are expected to take a back seat, or even catch a later car. There is a huge water problem throughout the American Southwest, and we're not allowed to talk about that until the "human caused climate change" is resolved. We still have a problem with pollution of all sorts. And our architecture constantly rips apart the local ecosystems.

I know I'm painting a target on myself.

I have two major issues with climate change activists.

First, the models haven't successfully predicted anything. If they were accurate, I should be able to take weather readings from the last ten or twenty years, feed them into the models and successfully predict climate trends for the next year. That hasn't happened.

Second, the climate change "movement" has co-opted and subverted the environmental movement to the point where "dealing" with climate change takes ultimate priority over any environmental concern you can name. Overuse of water in the Western US? Climate change. Dangerous industrial emissions in Mississippi? Deal with the greenhouse gases first. Urban raccoon population explosion worldwide? Those poor polar bears and the shrinking ice!

There's another issue that I don't talk about much, but which we should think about. "Climate change" is losing it's credibility with the public, and it's dragging the environmental movement down with it.

March 31, 2015 at 10:34 am
Leaving aside the global warming bit (something I really don’t want to argue again here), I think we need to be less selective about our environmental impact.

There’s a major drought in the American Southwest, caused in part by heavily subsidized water and electrical power.

There’s a major waste problem, we have landfills full of junk that won’t break down for centuries. Often it poisons the surrounding land and water.

Industrial chemicals from manufacturing and factory farming fundamentally change the environment in not-so-nice ways.

Add the fact that many global warming “solutions” have a devastating environmental impact (CFL bulbs nearly requiring a HazMat team, wind farms slaughtering birds, ethanol being MUCH harder to store and transport), and I think it’s a mistake to focus on climate change.

You can tell from these NeoNotes that I've been saying the same thing for years. It actually goes back decades. The environmental movement is more than climate change. The climate change movement is destroying the environmental movement.

Well, it turns out that I was right.

Americans' Identification as "Environmentalists" Down to 42%

The results are based on Gallup's annual Environment poll, conducted March 2-6. When last asked, in 2000, 47% of Americans identified as environmentalists, which in turn was down from 63% in 1995. In 1991 -- one year after Earth Day became a global event celebrated each April 22 -- a high of 78% of Americans described themselves that way.

One reason for the decline is that the environment has become politicized as an issue, especially in terms of the debate over climate change and how to address it. In 1991, the same high percentage of Republicans and Democrats -- 78% -- considered themselves environmentalists. Today, 27% of Republicans think of themselves that way, compared with 56% of Democrats, a partisan gap of 29 percentage points.

Ecology studies how living systems interact and interconnect with each other. Environmentalism is about teaching and compelling behavior. These words are not synonyms. As both a pagan and a libertarian, I can not support environmentalism.

Environmentalism is about politics. Politics is controlling people. Ecology is about how things work.

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