Recently we mocked a new study claiming “warmer weather will unleash plagues as well as famines and the smiting of borders with frogs.” Prompting a reader to ask “What about the locusts?” So we Googled and sure enough, within half a second the Internet replied “Changes in the climate system caused by anthropogenic climate change make locust plagues more likely.” The story we immediately sent our reader was about how “Locust outbreaks in the Horn of Africa are linked to the changing climate”, but there are plenty of others (Google reports over 2 million hits but some are the same story in different publications.) And while we understand that online you can find anything you want, whether true or not and whether admirable or not, it is a troubling reflection of the hysteria around climate that you can pick anything, no matter how absurd, and find that some reasonably reputable person has blamed it on climate. As we’ve noted, a theory that explains everything explains nothing. And a theory you can’t tell from parody has a similar problem.
Even if climate change is the first, second, third and fifth trumps of doom, the latter being the one with the locusts, it seems inconceivable that it wouldn’t have at least one beneficial side effect on our way into the fiery pit. Something nasty would dislike heat or something cute would like it. That climate alarmists are so randomly resolute about its uniformly awful consequences is evidence that something is unhinged in the movement.
For instance in the Sydney Morning Herald back in March, Jacqueline Maley, “Columnist and senior journalist” wrote that “Of the reports and images I have consumed in the past week, the one that stuck with me was a report by Dr Cam Hollows… about treating a flood-affected patient whose arm had been savaged by a kangaroo. ‘Locals said they had treated a range of these injuries from roos that had panicked in rising waters,’ he said. Of all the things we knew climate change would bring, somehow I never factored in the prospect of terrified kangaroos attacking us.” So has alarmism finally jumped the shark, or the roo, provoking such snickers?
Not at all. She was serious, continuing immediately “The rippling effects of climate change will be felt everywhere and by everyone, although it is increasingly clear that the poor will be unable to insulate themselves as well as the rich.” And also out of Australia, Eric Worrall notes, the Guardian runs the headline “How lightning killed nine Queensland cattle in one strike – and what it has to do with climate change”. Seriously. Climate Change Electrocuted My Cows. As Worrall adds, “The Guardian has resorted to interpreting evil omens and portents, to try to bolster their push for climate action.” And the misplaced religiosity of these sermons is increasingly hard to miss.
Pin the tail on climate is a game anyone can play. The Economist asks “Is climate change a gender issue?” and of course the answer is yes. (And no points for guessing that it’s not hitting men harder. Or for predicting the headline “It’s Not Climate Denial, It’s White Supremacy” because, you see, “the people who peddle in climate denial, or climate downplay, are almost never actual climate deniers. They ‘believe science,’ they know what’s about to happen and, crucially, who it’s going to happen to: people of color, people of the global south, poor people.” How evil is that?)
Go ahead. Fill in your own search term. Pick anything you dislike and see if it’s been blamed on climate, not just by the local troll but by a reputable media outlet, scientific outfit or politician.
Reputable being a word here meaning increasingly disreputable, obviously. Including things that are clearly trivial, like “Operating rooms are the climate change contributor no one’s talking about” from “Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan.” Or ones that clearly aren’t happening at all, like “Americans are fleeing climate change — here’s where they can go” from CNBC.
Up the wall being an obvious retort we can’t resist, as Dave Middleton couldn’t resist commenting that “The CNBC ‘journalist’ has a BA in sociology, anthropology and film & media studies”.