'Rumble thy Bellyful! Spit, Fire! Spout, Rain!'

In politics as in markets the tough question is not whether there’s going to be a crisis—believe me, there is—but when. Getting it right too soon or too late is to get it wrong. That remark could be about any kind of crisis, but in what follows I’m discussing the West’s crisis not over global warming but over the energy policies intended to solve it.

For the last two years The Pipeline has been predicting that the drive for a carbon-free world was certain to run into political trouble when the voting public began to realize that it would mean horrendous costs for them in higher taxes, bigger energy bills, electricity blackouts, and unpleasant life-style choices (i.e., no meat, fewer vacations abroad, and colder homes in winter).

What looms ahead, we’ve been warning, is an inevitable clash between the supposedly irresistible force of Net-Zero policies and the immovable object embodied in a democratic political system. It’s taken time for the crisis to arrive, but it began to hit the fan last fall when the wind across Western Europe failed to blow as strongly as its electricity grids needed; continued with the failure of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow around the same time; and is reaching its climax with the combination of cold weather, rising energy prices, and signs from Russian president Vladimir Putin that he might soon be turning off the gas pipelines which provide Western Europe with half its energy.

Blow winds blow. Or in this case, don't.

Here are two early signs that this is producing political second thoughts about climate change orthodoxy in European government circles:

  1. The European Commission proposes to declare that nuclear power is now a “green” and “sustainable” fuel and therefore eligible for various subsidies and investment incentives across the E.U. The Commission’s own technical experts oppose this judgment; it will be contested by several E.U. governments' and by the Greens in Germany’s new coalition government; but there is a good chance it will get through. That will not end the dispute, however, because the Commission’s proposal is a violation of one of the deepest commitments of both the environmentalist and climate emergency movements which until very recently have been growing in political clout. So watch what happens when the full E.U. council of ministers meets on this.
  2. Tory MPs have been pressing the U.K. Treasury to lighten the consumers’ burden of energy prices swollen by the levies imposed by the government on energy utilities to subsidize their switch from fossil fuels to “renewables” (i.e., wind and solar—neither of which have been very cooperative in Britain lately). In response to this pressure from their colleagues, other Tories (led by a former minister for science and universities) have founded a backbench committee to push the case for Net-Zero. They are likely to have the support of prime minister Boris Johnson who has made Net-Zero a flagship policy of his administration. But that policy is at odds with his other flagship policy of “leveling up” the Northern English constituencies the Tories won from Labour in 2019 with a massive (anti-Green) infrastructure building program. And as I outline in detail in National Review Online Boris is in deep trouble with almost all factions of his party because so many of his policies irritate them, Net Zero especially. A battle royal is looming in the Tory Party on it. It’s hard to forecast which side will come out on top.

That’s a huge change because almost all governments and parties in Europe pledged themselves to support tough carbon emissions reduction twenty years ago. How did they sustain this? In place of a democratic conversation between politicians and the voters in elections, the parties substituted a conversation between themselves, business, and what they called “civil society” which is a nice-sounding name for NGOs, which itself a synonym for pressure groups, usually in this context Green ones.

Ben Pile who’s that rare pollical animal—a climate-skeptical activist on the U.K. Right—points out that this common position deprived the voters of democratic choice over climate policy. But that common front can’t really be sustained when the voters start to get genuinely worried about whether they can pay the bills and taxes that the policy requires. Then you get what the sociologists call a "preference cascade" as the voters wise up and start protesting first the consequences, then the policy, in an impressive cascade as they realize that many others share their opinions.

Let the cascade begin!

That happened with Brexit. It’s happening now. It’s what’s supposed to happen in democracies. And it should logically be followed by a change of policy. Indeed, almost everywhere Net-Zero has been offered to the voters, they have rejected it—most recently in a Swiss referendum that asked them if they would pay higher taxes in order to meet Net-Zero targets. They voted no.

But the powerful economic and ideological interests that support climate alarmism have already set in place barriers to any change of mind by the voters. The first such barrier has been constructed by an alliance of capitalist fund managers and banking regulators—among them former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Bank of England governor Mark Carney—which seeks to compel investors to accept lower rates of return on their savings by, in effect, stopping the flow of funds to fossil-fuel companies. Their argument is that as fiduciary guardians and regulators respectively they have duty to protect these investments from the undue risks that fossil fuels represent. It is a ludicrous argument, exploded on this website a year ago, by among other arguments this knockdown refutation from economist John Cochrane:

Relative market demand for fossil vs. alternative energy is as easy or hard to forecast as anything else in the economy. Exxon bonds are factually safer, financially, than Tesla bonds, and easier to value. The main risk to fossil fuel companies is that regulators will destroy them, as the ECB proposes to do, a risk regulators themselves control. [My italics.]

And indeed, in the months since then, fossil fuels have strongly outperformed the market, owing ironically, at least in part, to the kind of policies that Carney and Bloomberg advocate, which have encouraged the European energy crisis and the corresponding sharp rise in demand for oil, gas, and even coal. It is probably too much to hope that the Green Grandees will now have second thoughts.

At about the same time, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in the Daily Telegraph, was pointing to the second barrier to democratic re-thinking on climate: legal warriors are busily weaponizing international law, in particular human rights law, to obstruct democratic governments in their pursuit of policies to guarantee cheap and reliable energy supplies:

There has been a cascade of judgments based on the UN Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, or national constitutions. They are compelling governments to act faster than they had planned, or are capable of doing without resorting to revolutionary economic and social measures. [My italics.]

Mr. Evans-Pritchard is sympathetic to the aims of the climate legal warriors on the grounds that they represent the judgment of mankind expressed in the policies of more than a hundred governments. But do they really represent the judgment of mankind?  Or merely the convictions of passionate minorities who exploit the somnolence of most citizens in order to rig the rules of politics and law so that when the majority wakes up, it will be unable to express its conscious and deliberative second thoughts in the voting booth with any practical effect.

We may be about to discover that.

In the meantime, here’s a tip on how to deal with people who tell you that climate change is too important to be left to the voters in democratic elections. Ask this question:

“Okay, I’ll accept that on one condition: Tell me the policy so vital to the world’s well-being that you would accept the decision of a non-democratic junta of experts to carry out the opposite of the policy you want."

Watching Civilization Die, One Lie at a Time

It is a cliché to say that one first must correctly diagnose a problem to solve it. Let’s cliché:

Climate Change is not about climate. Covid lockdowns, masks and vaccines are not about a virus. Critical Race Theory is not about race. BLM is not about Black lives. Antifa is not about antifascism.

These are about culture; the only culture that has succeeded over the past millennium, the cultures and subcultures that have not, and the members of those cultures that hate our success – or are moving here to take advantage of it. (Illegal immigration isn’t about immigration; it’s about emigration. From failed cultures.)

By succeeding so completely where all others have not, Western civilization has made itself their target. In refusing to address the current pathologies as cultural, we are playing a game using rules by which we cannot win, a game different from the war waged on us and our success by our enemies: No one ever is going to win an argument over the immutable – and irrelevant – characteristics of race and sex. So why play?

It is perhaps ironic that the superiority of our successful culture has created and distributed technology to less-successful cultures showing not only that they have failed, but that they have failed so comprehensively that they may never be able to catch-up.

To paraphrase, “We are all living The Camp of the Saints now.”

If you can't join 'em, beat 'em.

“Climate change” is unsupported by facts or evidence; even the U.N. says it’s about re-ordering the global economy (i.e. Marxism), and not the climate.

Covid was (is) about grabbing power; why else the constant lies from Fauci, the CDC, NIH, the MSM and the DNC, while those “leading” us against the virus were unmasked at ball games, non-social-distancing at fancy restaurants and hair salons closed to the rest of us, and vacationing in Florida when we couldn’t get on airplanes?

Critical Race Theory is about forcing a successful culture to adapt to an appallingly, seemingly intentionally, unsuccessful culture. It has nothing to do with race other than the success of the racialists among us making bank on destroying their communities. If Blacks always have been oppressed, explain Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr, Ben Carson, Colin Powell, Andy Young, Dick Parsons, Barack Obama. If whites always have been the oppressor, explain why the majority of welfare beneficiaries are white.

BLM? Looking at the subculture of African Americans we find that the incidence of illegitimacy was lower and the rate-of-entry to the middle class higher (i.e. a successful culture) before welfare than after. Paying people not to work, giving one an unearned living standard, kids never seeing Dad go to work does not capture creativity, perseverance and imagination or create a work ethic, leading directly to the failed subculture of the inner-city ghetto and to BLM, a subculture convinced that its members cannot succeed – so they’re killing each other and demanding we both celebrate and imitate their culture.

Who convinced African Americans of their inability to compete? The same cohort that has owned public education for 75 years and puts the worst schools and teachers in the inner city because that’s how much they care about African Americans. The same cohort running BLM, believing that a culture based on the always-failed Marxism can succeed. This time. If it’s done right. These “leaders” have indoctrinated three generations to a culture that only succeeds in failure and death. So they are getting failure and death.

Antifa? Nothing but a bunch of opportunistic, fascist thugs that any confident culture would crush.

Things will – can – only get worse until and unless we address them correctly.

Somebody with a dream lived here once.

Were I an educated member of a failed culture, say, China, that never invented glass (if you ever have wondered why no craters on the moon have Chinese names, this is why) but that last century murdered as many as 80,000,000 of its own and now cannot move forward without buying food from, and stealing the money and progress of, the West, or a member of a Third World culture practicing authoritarian socialism, I’d demand of my leadership what we once demanded in the West: honesty, the Rule of Law and capitalism. Because history proves that these – and only these – can create a successful culture.

Now that we know what is driving these pathologies, we need to be willing to stand up in the face of this nonsense: this isn’t about race, so stop. This isn’t about climate, immigration or a virus, so stop. Then enforcing “Stop” as hard as is necessary to end this attack on our culture – which we also call “civilization.”

We need to return to national confidence and assimilation, for confidence in and assimilation to our uniquely successful culture – which we required of our own and of immigrants from our founding until the 1960s – will lift all boats, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, etc.

If we want to help the rest of the world, rather than invading it or subsidizing socialism, we should subsidize success: the Rule of Law and capitalism. And quit yammering about the idiocy of Climate Change, the nonsense of still-prevalent racism, and the anti-science lies of our “leaders,” locking down the world only to enhance their quest for totalitarian power at the expense of our liberty and prosperity.

Success – succeeds. Failure – fails. Culture is what our national division is about. It cannot be healed by accepting, prolonging or accelerating failed cultural choices. Acknowledge the reasons for success – and demand them. Acknowledge the reasons for failure – and stop making excuses for them.

Continuing to engage racists about race, climatists about climate, fascists about fascism, and liars about disease is counterproductive. The issue is culture, and it is on that field that must confront, and defeat, them.