September 25, 2021

"Fox News' 'Gutfeld!' beat all the other late-night shows Wednesday after the liberal hosts collectively hyped their so-called 'Climate Night.'"

"Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, James Corden, Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee traded in comedy for activism on Wednesday night and joined forces to sound the alarm on climate change. Going beyond the opening monologues, Kimmel had multiple climate scientists on his show, Meyers interviewed President Biden's climate czar John Kerry and Colbert spoke candidly with 'Mother Earth.'"

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has mocked President Joe Biden over his promises to tackle climate change via his 'Build Back Better' plan. During a climate rally in Berlin on Friday, she [said]... "World leaders are talking about 'building back better,' promising green investments and setting vague and distant climate targets in order to say that they are taking climate action.... When you look at what we are actually investing the money in — the money that is supposed to be building back better — it shows the hypocrisy of our leaders."

So... even the lightweight activism of "Climate Night" turned audiences away, but Greta Thunberg won't accept that the U.S.-style climate activism is anywhere nearly enough. 

I want to reprint something I blogged back when the lockdown began, in early April 2020, "Why aren't we seeing the argument that when we phase out the economic shutdown, we need to open it up into the Green New Deal?":

The ravages of the disease are horrible and tragic, and no sane person welcomed the onslaught, but here we are, all shut down, experiencing the pain and taking on the burdens. With our normal life gone, we long for new activity. But why not move into the level of activity that proponents of the Green New Deal said were justified by the predictions of climate change? Why talk of going back to our old ways? The highways and airlines are drastically reduced right now, and we don't want to stay this far shut down, but why are we thinking of getting all the way back to the extreme overactivity that was contributing to climate change? We could seize this opportunity to make a good leap into something that — until now — was too difficult to begin. We've begun. Let's see the value of this environmental achievement and engrain it into normal life as we move forward and conquer the disease.

I think that's what Greta Thunberg is talking about now, but it should have been talked up throughout the lockdown! It was not. 

Back to my 2020 post:

Okay — that's the argument I'm not seeing. Why not?!

I do see "Goodbye, Green New Deal" by Kevin D. Williamson at The National Review (dated March 27, 2020):
The current crisis in the U.S. economy is, in miniature but concentrated form, precisely what the Left has in mind in response to climate change: shutting down large sectors of the domestic and global economies through official writ, social pressure, and indirect means, in response to a crisis with potentially devastating and wide-ranging consequences for human life and human flourishing....

What we are seeing right now is what it looks like when Washington tries to steer the economy.... The Left wants very much to convince Americans that climate change presents an emergency of the same kind requiring the same “moral equivalent of war” worldwide mobilization.... A couple of months of this is going to be very hard to take. Nobody is signing up for a lifetime of it.
ADDED: If the argument I suggest is not being made by the erstwhile advocates of the Green New Deal, it seems to mean that they were never sincere about their demands. The Greta Thunberg HOW DARE YOU? argument was fake. Green New Dealers: Step up and prove me wrong.

I don't expect an answer, so I will offer what I think is the best explanation of how there could be both silence and sincerity. The Green New Dealers feel empathy for those who are now suffering from the disease and from the economic shut down. They don't want to exacerbate the pain. And it's not merely empathy. They're afraid of the political damage if they point to the pain and call it a great opportunity. They don't want to look like ghouls.

50 comments:

Bilwick said...

I always think of Greta Thunberg by the nickname given her by a commenter on Instapundit or some other pro-freedom blog: "Firestarter Waif." Seems right on the money.

JAORE said...

The Green New Deal is like the Biden $3.5 billion + spending proposal. Save the planet/free pre-school and community college. And at no cost to me!

Who could be against THAT!

Now implement the damn thing. What? No air conditioning? What do you mean most of my stuff uses plastics which means petroleum? What? We will have rolling blackouts?

And that doesn't touch the real issues. For example we have neither the raw materials nor the power generation needed to meet those "all EV goals by 20XX".

Couple that with the ever shifting goal posts - over decades of predictions failing, people notice. And the scolds taking private jets to Davos, people notice.

rehajm said...

Are we now just supposed to accept the cooperation and coordination of the Democrats and their late night propagandists? We're supposed okay with this set up because 'Fox does it, too'?

JPS said...

" joined forces to sound the alarm on climate change....Kimmel had multiple climate scientists on his show,"

And without digging I'm going to bet Steve Koonin and Judy Curry were not among them.

Not that they personally need to be represented, but their point of view should at least be considered in good faith, if this television event aspired to be anything higher than propaganda, which of course it didn't. Who knew: The earth's climate is actually incredibly simple, and we've figured out all the big things. CO2 is the control knob, the rest is feedback.

The parallels to COVID are indeed remarkable: We need to marshal scientists with impeccable credentials to build our narrative; shut out any scientists who raise irritating questions, because clearly they are operating in bad faith; and tell non-scientists (as the loathsome Facebook meme goes) that if they disagree with a scientist about science, it isn't an argument, they're just wrong. On the policy side we must grant the government emergency powers, and implement intrusive policies for the good of all while exempting ourselves and our friends from them.

Bob Boyd said...

"Fox News' 'Gutfeld!' beat all the other late-night shows Wednesday after the liberal hosts collectively hyped their so-called 'Climate Night.'"

Alternate Headline: Wankfests Not Popular As Spectator Sport

tim maguire said...

The Green New Dealers feel empathy

Assumes facts not in evidence.

The reality is, nobody believes this stuff, but there are people who see opportunity in it. The Green New Dealers didn't step up during the pandemic because they pretty much already got what they wanted from the pandemic. From here, it's not so much a matter of managing the reopening, but of delaying the reopening. If they really wanted everyone to be vaccinated, they'd look at who isn't getting vaccinated and why and talk to those people like adults to address their concerns. Instead they are ignoring the patterns of vaccine hesitancy in favour of demonizing their political opponents. It's easier, it's more emotionally rewarding, and it delays the solution to the problem. A triple win!

who-knew said...

"They're afraid of the political damage if they point to the pain and call it a great opportunity. They don't want to look like ghouls." This is the best explanation as I don't believe there is any empathy at all on the part of the environmentalists And in fact, I'd even leave out the part about not wanting to look like ghouls. It's a purely political calculation by people who know there is no significant support for their cause.

Lucien said...

Yep. Trying to go from a shutdown (as of last spring) into a green new deal austerity reeks too much of never letting a crisis go to waste; and bolsters the realization that crises may be manufactured in order to achieve pre-existing policy goals.
At any rate, that horse has left the barn.

RMc said...

So... even the lightweight activism of "Climate Night" turned audiences away

Did they actually think such a stunt would attract viewers? I mean, do late-night TV viewers really think, "Less comedy, more climate change discussions!"...?

0_0 said...

The problem will be solved when we run low on fossil fuels.

Why is Greta not bitching at India or the PRC?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The Green New Dealers feel empathy for those who are now suffering from the disease and from the economic shut down. They don't want to exacerbate the pain. And it's not merely empathy. They're afraid of the political damage if they point to the pain and call it a great opportunity.

Sorry, no. While starting the GND during the lockdown might have made sense, it would not have been as nearly as painful to the right people as it would have been prior to the lockdown. Liberals like Althouse do not understand that Woke Leftists are driven more by establishing dominance and causing pain than they are by doing what's right or best.

JAORE said...

El Predicto sez:

Gretta may lose her sainthood status in the Church of Settled Scientology.

Maybe she and Cindy Sheehan can swap stories of glory days.

The Drill SGT said...

call me when she chains herself to the gate of some CCP coal power plant...

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Solyndra

gadfly said...

John Kerry and wife Theresa Heinz are big on carbon-using adult-toys such as the $7 million 76-foot luxury sailing yacht, Isabel, which they dumped for $3 million in 2016 after Theresa suffered a malady that limited her get-around. Then there is their Gulfstream G-IV "Flying Squirrel" which uses 40 times more carbon per passenger than commercial airplanes.

All this is paid for through ketchup sales, of course, and LTJG Kerry also collected combat metals while spending Christmas in Cambodia before conducting illegal negotiations with the Viet Cong.

Skeptical Voter said...

Even a blind squirrel like Greta Thunberg finds an acorn now and then. She was correct to point out hypocrisy. Beyond that not so much.

Original Mike said...

"But why not move into the level of activity that proponents of the Green New Deal said were justified by the predictions of climate change?"

Because sooner or later the Green New Deal is going to kill a lot of people.

Europe Faces Bleak Winter Energy Crisis Years in the Making

But then, they consider that not a bug but a feature, don't they.

Chuck said...


Setting aside whether I agree or disagree with you on this subject matter, Althouse, this is great blogging.

Big Mike said...

Little Greta Thunberg has her doctorate in which STEM discipline?

wildswan said...

Leftists don't want to say that the covid shutdown in all its horribleness is exactly what they have in mind to do to Americans on behalf of Gaia - only it's to last forever. The Essentials are to be locked out of parks, beaches and shows - forever. They're to spend their time making deliveries to and repairs for those in green, leafy suburbs whose inhabitants don't really need parks and who have mostly kept them anyhow. The Essentials were shown with covid shutdowns that the climate-future society will have them serving, masked at parties where non-Essentials cavort wildly, unmasked for better breathing while drinking, drugging and consuming delicacies that were flown in by jet from all over the world. Life on the Versailles Archipelago. Back in the day in France, Our Betters pretended to be prancing shepherds and shepherdesses to indicate their wish for a better life whereas now Our Betters pretend to be revolutionaries prancing about in $30,000 dresses that say "I hate the rich" as they guzzle champagne. So there's difference.

Achilles said...

They're afraid of the political damage if they point to the pain and call it a great opportunity. They don't want to look like ghouls.

You know what they want.

You just don't want to admit it.

Temujin said...

"I think that's what Greta Thunberg is talking about now, but it should have been talked up throughout the lockdown! It was not."

It most certainly was and is, under the Kerry-like title, The Great Reset. For the Elite, this can encompass so many different things, from more Statism, to full-on Marxism, to outright fascist totalitarianism (see Australia and/or New Zealand today), to the so-called New Green Deal which is nothing if not a multi-billion dollar grift on everybody all over the world.

Which is one way to show your Equity in action. Grift on everybody, not just the US citizens.

Why, we're rolling open the borders, printing faux money like it's..well...faux money, cutting off domestic oil and gas exploration and production, instigating a massive inflation so those faux dollars we're printing are worth even less and we are forced to consume less. Isn't that a goal of the Nude Green Eel? To have us sitting home more, not buying new cars, not consuming more- except more fun videos on TikTok and great big bags of Cheetos? (we'll have to do something about those non-biodegradable Cheetos bags).

This Great Reset IS their time. And they are talking about doing much with it, but since none of their ideas actually work, things are starting to crash well ahead of schedule. There may not be enough time to build enough solar panels needed to power Chicago, let alone London or even Greta Thunberg's home town of Stockholm. As a society we may crash before those panels are built and the appropriate power storage batteries are developed. All, of course, requiring more rare earth minerals than even China has and even if we ask them nicely, they'll still not have enough until the Taliban in Afghanistan allow them access to their mountains.

Whew! So much to get done. There's a part of me that wishes Greta and the morons who are paid big bucks to host late night...I don't know what you'd call them- certainly not comedy shows- but those late night hosts. I wish they and Greta got their wish and that all fossil fuel sources were cast aside for solar, wind, and green and blue algae. I wish this for them on my death bed so I don't have to die in the same dark that they will be living in.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

They're not making that argument because the "Climate Crisis" is fake. There's no more infrared radiation that CO2 can absorb, it's all absorbed now. Doubling the CO2 concentration will make no difference in temperature. The climate is driven by the Sun, the Earth's orbit and inclination and by long term atmospheric dynamics.

The climate models are not validated and cannot match the last 40-years of satellite temperature data, they all show a temperature rates that are three times the actual increase. The modeling for the last 40-years has been to refine the scale factor between CO2 and temperature, the values today are no more precise than they were 40-years ago. The scale factor has a huge range. The models are crap. If they can't match what's happened, how can they predict the future?

It's all a scam to force energy production down and allow government to seize control of the economy. Here in Washington State, the state building council wants to ban new natural gas installations and force everyone to use heat pumps. Heat pumps work well until it gets really cold, under 20-deg F., then you need an alternative heat source. Natural gas fills that role. Using electricity requires huge amounts of power, power that's not going to be available because the climate fraudsters want to shut down conventional power generation and rely on wind and solar power. Wind and solar power are not green-energy sources and are unreliable. Mining the materials, manufacturing and siting wind and solar fields devastate the earth. The useful lifetime is only 25-years, then they have to be sent to landfills.

Climate fraudsters want to make us poor and shiver in the winter. Fuck them.

Quaestor said...

They don't want to look like ghouls.

Ghouls should never look like ghouls, that's a basic mistake sure to rouse the peasantry with their long-hafted implements of tillage and rough justice, their fiery torches.

The firebrands are lit my friends. The scythes and axes wave in roughhewn rhythm to the shouts and curses of roughhewn ploughmen. The hounds bay, they strain at their leashes. The ghouls are on the run!

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, this may come as a genuine surprise to a retired university professor, and certainly will come as a big surprise to the sort of nutcases who write for the Times and the Post, but The. American. People. Are. Not. Stupid.

We have been told since 1987 that the climate apocalypse will be upon us in just ten years (sometimes twelve years, but always just over the horizon) unless we tank out economy, throw people out of work, and let people freeze to death in the dark, and we need to do this Right. This. Damned. MINUTE! Or else DOOM!

Which of these apocalyptic predictions over the past 34 years has come true? The prediction made by conservatives that the already extremely wealthy will become even richer at the expense of the rest of us, and especially at the expense of the people at at or near the bottom of the economic ladder, that one has come true, but what else?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

They're afraid of the political damage if they point to the pain and call it a great opportunity.

This is close, but not quite it. They can't admit that this is the level of pain their plans require. Their only hope of passing the green new deal is to leave the details out of the legislation, and grant the executive branch the authority to make the necessary rules, all while pushing the broken windows fallacy of jobs making solar panels and windmills.

It's easy to square their sincerity with their silence. They sincerely wish to inflict this level of pain, and they understand the only way to do so is to remain silent about how they sincerely wish to inflict this level of pain.

Bruce Hayden said...

“If the argument I suggest is not being made by the erstwhile advocates of the Green New Deal, it seems to mean that they were never sincere about their demands. The Greta Thunberg HOW DARE YOU? argument was fake. Green New Dealers: Step up and prove me wrong.”

Don’t blame Thunberg for this. She’s just an uneducated kid who, in the ignorance we expect of those her age, threw herself out front of this movement. She’s just being used as a sympathetic front person, by those who should know better. Many don’t, because their scientific training isn’t that much better than Thunberg’s. They don’t care - it’s just like COVID-19, an excuse to do what they want.

If you start where I do, with the realization that the term “Climate Change” is an admission that the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming has effectively been falsified. Climate Change itself is not a scientific theory because it is unfalsifiable. Rather, we are talking about a Cargo Cult religion.

Daniel12 said...

But exactly the argument you're saying hasn't been made has been CONSTANTLY made. The reconciliation bill, which is very strongly aligned to the Green New Deal and contains fairly revolutionary climate proposals that could get us 80% of the way to the 2030 emissions goal, is called Build Back Better. Everyone has been pushing for recovery funds to deliver emissions reduction, climate adaptation and a real transition to new employment for displaced workers.

I'm seriously mystified by this post Ann.

MadTownGuy said...

"If the argument I suggest is not being made by the erstwhile advocates of the Green New Deal, it seems to mean that they were never sincere about their demands. The Greta Thunberg HOW DARE YOU? argument was fake. Green New Dealers: Step up and prove me wrong."

The meme factories were sort of t ed ending that way when they put up statements like 'look how much cleaner our air and water are, now that there aren't as many people driving.' I only saw them for a short time so I'm guessing they didn't get many likes or there was some pushback.

Original Mike said...

“If the argument I suggest is not being made by the erstwhile advocates of the Green New Deal, it seems to mean that they were never sincere about their demands. The Greta Thunberg HOW DARE YOU? argument was fake. Green New Dealers: Step up and prove me wrong.”

I don't understand what you are advocating. Do you favor making personal travel illegal?

Kevin said...

Leftists don't want to say that the covid shutdown in all its horribleness is exactly what they have in mind to do to Americans on behalf of Gaia

Right. You suffer. They don’t.

Anonymous said...

The climate models are not validated and cannot match the last 40-years of satellite temperature data, they all show a temperature rates that are three times the actual increase. The modeling for the last 40-years has been to refine the scale factor between CO2 and temperature, the values today are no more precise than they were 40-years ago. The scale factor has a huge range. The models are crap. If they can't match what's happened, how can they predict the future?

The greenhouse-effect scale factor between CO2 and temperature is fairly well worked out and has been since the days of Arrhenius. There is a correlation, but it's logarithmic, not linear. The effect is more and more heavily attenuated with every incremental increase, and even ten times our current CO2 concentration would not by itself be enough to reproduce Al Gore's disaster-porn. Which means that other positive-feedback mechanisms have to be sought for support of the climatistas' catastrophism. And positive feedback loops are extraordinarily rare and unsustainable in nature.

Methane and water vapor are the two culprits that have been most commonly blamed for feedback effects over and above CO2 alone, but both of them seem to have fizzled out since 2000 or so. In the case of water vapor (i.e. clouds), we don't appear to have a clear scientific grasp on whether its feedback on temperature is positive or negative, much less its magnitude.

All catastrophic global warming/climate change flackery - every last stinking bit of it - just takes it on faith that the most wildly high estimates are ipso facto correct, because shut up you eco-terrorist. Yet real-world observations since the issue came to the fore some 30-40 years ago do not give support for any significant positive OR negative feedback effects over and above the simple logarithmic relationship of CO2 in isolation. The warmunists claim there will be an increase of as much as 5.6 degrees Celsius for every doubling of CO2, while retrospective observation shows the true number to be at most 1.3 degrees and more likely below 1 degree.

Statistical noise, in other words. And for this trifling and easily tolerated change, they want to end civilization? To hell with all of them.

Chris Lopes said...

"Why is Greta not bitching at India or the PRC?"

Because both would (more likely as not) tell the young lady to get stuffed. The PRC is particularly resistant to outside influence and the Indians are too busy trying to become a 21st century nation to listen to children with delusions of grandeur.

Ann Althouse said...

@ Daniel12

Are you also mystified by Thunberg’s outraged mocking of Build Back Better?

We should not be building back but going forward into a radically scaled back economy. If they really believe and are serious.

Gunner said...

Remember when these hosts wanted to be the "King of Late Night"? Now they just want to be the "King of a couple thousand leftist morons on Twitter".

Drago said...

Pro-marxist LLR Chuck: "Setting aside whether I agree or disagree with you on this subject matter, Althouse, this is great blogging."

And a rightly chastened "Eddie Haskell"-type rears his ugly head to offer up hollow and bogus compliments.....on the very blog where he proudly announced his purpose here was to drive a wedge between Althouse and her readers.

Fascinating psychological case study.

cubanbob said...

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, James Corden, Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee" Singularly or combined they aren't as funny as Gutfeld and Gutfeld is barely funny. Naturally they are incapable of understanding of their role in the great global climate. They have no clue of the vast amount of carbon needed by the entertainment and propaganda industries.If they did, they would all quit their jobs and become subsistence farmers using their own nightsoil.

MikeR said...

You're kidding, right? Climate change is an existential threat that no one thinks is important enough to do anything much about. And they're right.

Narayanan said...

radically scaled back economy
--------
I want to understand what you are saying :

scaled back economy = smaller pie?

does it also mean fewer pie eaters? or just smaller portions?

Lurker21 said...

I'd be surprised if Biden's plans actually improved the environment or transitioned displaced workers to new employment -- and not surprised if they raised the price of gas and heating and created shortages, brownouts, discontentment and unrest. There are plenty of problems with solar and wind power and those electric cars are probably still going to rely on electricity generated by fossil fuels. Producing them may also be harder on the environment than activists realize. And no, if you're a displaced coal miner or oil driller, you won't be likely to get a job as a computer programmer or a solar panel installer.

Original Mike said...

"scaled back economy = smaller pie?
does it also mean fewer pie eaters? or just smaller portions?"


Details, details, …

That is the nub of it, isn't it? Reminds of the Saturday Night Live skit where Jimmy Carter was going to whip inflation by everyone taking 20% of their bank account and setting it on fire.

Unknown said...

JPS: " The earth's climate is actually incredibly simple, and we've figured out all the big things. CO2 is the control knob, the rest is feedback."

That is completely wrong. CO2 is one of many components of the atmosphere that have an effect on climate, and not, by far, the most important, which is water. Many physicists who study the absorption of infrared radiation have found the CO2 cannot absorb much more. Will Happer, who spent the first half of his career as professor of physics at Princeton studying the absorption of infrared radiation by gaseous molecules has come to that conclusion.

There are many other factors of greater importance. The sun's radiation for example, varies in a number of cycles, some a hundred years or more in duration. These may explain why it was as warm as now 1000 years ago (when Greenland was green) and warmer than now 2000 years ago (the Roman Warm, Period) and 3500 years ago (the Minoan Warm Period). CO2 was much less in the atmosphere during those period that were warmer than now. There are ocean cycles, too, that impact the climate, such as ENSO, which has made 2021 cooler than 2020.

The bigger point of course, is that the current climate is better than anything over the last ~800 years for all life on earth. The added CO2 has benefited all life on earth, as plants are growing much better with the same inputs of fertilizer, etc. Research papers have shown that the dry (arid) areas such as deserts have decreased in size by about 15% since 1980, when satellite images became available. Plants and trees are now growing where nothing grew before.

And the modestly warmer climate is especially good for human life. As pointed out in numerous research papers in major journals, cool and cold weather is the immediate cause of about 7% of all deaths, while warm and hot weather cause about 0.5%.

The U.S. has a much better climate than most of the last 200 years. We have far fewer heat waves and much less drought than in the 1930s or 1950s. The number of major tornadoes is down, hurricanes are level (the worst one was in 1900).

So the idea that we have a "climate emergency" is foolish and anti-=science.

Bunkypotatohead said...

I suppose the next step will be for Greta Von Thunberg to get her own late night comedy show.
Every time the audience laughs she can yell "That's Not Funny!"

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Althouse might need an “if they believed their own message” tag for just these kind of things.

Rt41Rebel said...

"I suppose the next step will be for Greta Von Thunberg to get her own late night comedy show."

She's 18. I predict porn.

JPS said...

Unknown, 9:51:

The "Who knew:" was meant to be a tell. Also, once you see me lament that Steve Koonin's and Judy Curry's point of view is not represented or acknowledged in any way, you may be sure I do not actually believe that the earth's climate is incredibly simple or that CO2 is the only variable that matters.

And Skookum John's comment is terrific.

Bilwick said...

I suppose "Build Back Freer" isn't an option these days.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has mocked President Joe Biden over his promises to tackle climate change via his 'Build Back Better' plan. During a climate rally in Berlin on Friday

Why is she in Berlin? I thought the energy use from travel was driving "climate change!"

Go away Greta, you pathetic hypocrite, and take your sleazy publicity hound parents with you.

I'll believe that "climate change" might be a problem when those who claim it's a problem start acting like it's a problem. No travel. If you "appear" anywhere it's by remote connection. and you're not appearing on some big screen, either because that takes a lot of energy.

Is it an existential threat? Then act like it.

It isn't? Then FOAD, and stop claiming that it is

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Original Mike said...
"scaled back economy = smaller pie?
does it also mean fewer pie eaters? or just smaller portions?"


that's "smaller portions" for you, peasant.

out betters, like the Thunberg wish to be? They get nice big slices for keeping the rest of us in chains

MadTownGuy said...

Narayanan said...

"radically scaled back economy
--------
I want to understand what you are saying :

scaled back economy = smaller pie?

does it also mean fewer pie eaters? or just smaller portions?
"

Fewer pie eaters AND smaller portions. Socialism = lower your expectations.