Cui bono? A dissent upon Mr Grantham

We’ll keep the Green Flag Flying

In a recent polemic, the well-regarded investment manager and part-time climate activist, Jeremy Grantham, set out his version of the Nicene Creed of climate alarmism and asks – either naively or disingenuously – who is supposed to benefit from all this if it is simply a ‘conspiracy’, a term deliberately chosen – along with the more emotive epithet of ‘denier’ – to ridicule the exercise of rational scientific scepticism and to deride those not fully willing to believe that everything that de Tocqueville’s ‘vast tutelary power’ disseminates is the unalloyed truth.

To answer Mr. Grantham’s question, let us consider this affliction of anthrophobic, anti-capitalistic and wholly irrational environmentalism in a little more detail, whether exemplified by cuddly panda(r) pressure groups; by the truly shocking, warmed-over eugenicists of the population reduction ‘movement’; or in the compulsory purchase of those contemporary green indulgences which masquerade as carbon permits.

Far from finding it difficult to identify who gains from the promotion of what Vaclav Klaus has rightly categorised as the greatest threat to freedom since the fall of Communism, the real problem is to separate out the beneficiaries of this most pernicious of ideologies since it serves so many disparate interests all at once.

Big business can enjoy it – as it does all regulatory blankets – as a means of disadvantaging smaller, would-be competitors. Boardroom egoists can bask in the vainglory of the eco-plaudits they can win from both kings and credulous crowds, while disregarding their primary duty to maximise shareholder returns the honest way, rather than through the public purse.

Union leaders relish it, because it allows them to dress their selfish restrictionism up in the colours of compassion. “No!” they cry, “You mustn’t move the factory to China – they pollute too much! Here at home, we may be relatively expensive, but at least we’re clean. Pay us more for the sake of your children!”

Messianic political leaders – each lustful of his precious “legacy” – the many neo-Jacobin fanatics, and the kind of frustrated dirigistes who secretly bemoan the fall of the Berlin Wall can all exploit Green scaremongering to order their twisted Dystopias, to impose whole new rafts of taxes upon their electors, and to interfere ever more closely with individual liberties as they do.

National Security Strangeloves have a certain coincidence of interests here, too, for not only can they hope that the adoption of the Cult will inhibit the economic ascent of any potential rivals to their own Hegelian deity, but they can easily substitute the militarists’ hallowed concept of “autarky” whenever they encounter the nauseating buzzword, “sustainability.”

Then there are whole faculty buildings packed with hack scientists whose uninspired work promises to deliver neither fundamental insight nor commercial usefulness, but who can enhance the importance of their pronouncements – and better harvest public funding – by uncritically endorsing the new atmospheric atavism and by tampering with their unscrutinised ‘data’ in order to give their intellectual prostitution a veneer of objectivity.

Next up we have the unwashed hordes of woad-painted New Age warriors – dole-devouring, didgeridoo-droning addle-heads – all convinced that if they throw a few brickbats outside a WTO meeting they will soon usher in the kind of faux-Celtic fantasy world best restricted to the escapist realms of the RPG addict.

In contrast, we have an entire concours d’elegance of those fad-ridden fortysomethings who are the latest designer-labelled devotees of the Earth Goddess, their Kensington mews coffee tables groaning under the forest-felling weight of the pretty picture books issued as holy writ by Gaia’s own High Priest of the Britons, the Attenborough.

Finally, we have the same hoi polloi-hating coterie of Michelin-munching, silk-suited Platonic elitists – of the kind so mercilessly exposed in John Carey’s seminal work, The Intellectuals and the Masses.

These sanctimonious, self-appointed meddlers can usually be found advocating higher taxes for budget holidaymakers while hypocritically flying first class from one five-star NGO summit to another. These are the Davos Dominicans – mendicants who nonetheless manage to live high on the hog as they seek to impose their narrow and stifling orthodoxy on all us poor, toiling peasants, while wielding Bell, Book, and Biofuel in the attempt to exorcise us of that most diabolical of fiends, the dreadful demon, Carbon.

That most ‘Open’ of Conspiracists, that most persistent of re-modellers of the human clay, that indefatigable prophet of the World State – H.G. Wells – long ago proposed much of the programme which Greens and the Carbophobes wish to bring about, while no less an infernal genius than the Marquis de Sade advocated the equation of animal and plant ‘rights’ with those of humanity which the ‘Plague Species’ misanthropes seek to write into law today.

As Wells wrote,

Religion, modern and disillusioned, has for its outward task to set itself to the control and direction of political, social, and economic life. If it does not do that, then it is no more than a drug for easing discomfort, ‘the opium of the peoples’.

Mix that re-harnessed religious instinct in with the temptations of rent-seeking, the sycophancy which attaches to power, and the hunger for power itself and it is all too simple to answer the question of who stands to benefit from a belief – real or affected – in climate orthodoxy.