For nearly two years, my NOconsensus.org website has featured a quote-of-the-week. I’ve now highlighted words written by Walter Russell Mead on five separate occasions.
Mead is a rare and splendid species of Democrat. His analysis of the Al Gore brand of environmentalism is at once insightful and brutal. Moreover, he makes a sincere attempt to understand climate skeptics – rather than dismissing them as servants of the devil.
Two days ago Mead posted yet another brilliant commentary titled The Failure of Al Gore: Part One. Here are a few snippets:
Once out of office, [Gore] assumed the leadership of the global green movement, steering that movement into a tsunami of defeat that, when the debris is finally cleared away, will loom as one of the greatest failures of civil society in all time.
It is hard to think of any recent failure in international politics this comprehensive, this swift, this humiliating.
The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence. The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. The most visible leader of the world’s green movement cannot live a life of conspicuous consumption, spewing far more carbon into the atmosphere than almost all of those he castigates for their wasteful ways. Mr. Top Green can’t also be a carbon pig.
If the heart of your message is that the peril of climate change is so imminent and so overwhelming that the entire political and social system of the world must change, now, you cannot fly on private jets. You cannot own multiple mansions.
This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.
Al Gore’s lifestyle is a test case for the credibility of his gospel ” and it fails. The tolerance of Al Gore’s lifestyle by the environmental leadership is a further test ” and that test, too, the greens fail.
The Achilles heel of environmentalism in politics has always been its association with upper crust ˜starve the peasants to save the pheasants’ thinking.
Please go read the entire thing. You’ll be glad you did. The entire world has not lost its marbles. Sensible people of a variety of political hues do, in fact, look at Al Gore and see the same catastrophic failure of leadership.
If, afterward, you’re hungry for more, here are some other Mead quotes, with links to the blog posts in which they appear:
For two decades greens have arrogated to themselves the authority of science and wrapped themselves in the arrogant certainty of self-righteous contempt for those who oppose them. They have equated skepticism about their incoherent and contradictory policy proposals with hatred of science. [Top Green Admits: “We Are Lost!” May, 2011]
It is extremely rare for 95 US senators to be right about anything; it is not, unfortunately, rare for environmentalists to come up with grotesquely bad policy ideas. Worse, it is routine for the media to give those grotesquely dumb ideas uncritical support. For twenty years, the mainstream media has.largely repeated green propaganda as straight news. [Kyoto Fraud Revealed October, 2010]
When it comes to climate change, the environmental movement has gotten itself on the wrong side of doubt. It has become the voice of the establishment, of the tenured, of the technocrats.It knows what is good for us, and its knowledge is backed up by the awesome power and majesty of the peer-review process. The political, cultural, business and scientific establishments stand firmly behind global warming today.They tell us it’s a sin to question the consensus, the sign of bad moral character to doubt. [The Greening of Godzilla August, 2010]
This phase of the climate change movement was immature, unrealistic and naive. It was poorly organized and foolishly led. It adopted an unrealistic and unreachable political goal, and sought to stampede world opinion through misleading and exaggerated statements. [How Al Gore Wrecked Planet Earth February, 2010]