There is something incongruous, if not ironic, about the large number of world leaders meeting in Paris to fight the notional enemy of climate change in a city that was just recently mortally wounded again by a real enemy—Islamic terrorists. The dominant liberal project of the 21st century endeavors “to persuade people that climate change represents an infinitely greater threat to human civilization than the barbarians—sorry, violent extremist—of Mosul and Molenbeek,” writes Bret Stephens in the WSJ.
The semantic trick in the phrase “climate change”—allowing every climate anomaly to serve as further proof of the overall theory. The hysteria generated by an imperceptible temperature rise of 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880—as if the trend is bound to continue forever, or is not a product of natural variation, or cannot be mitigated except by drastic policy interventions. The hyping of flimsy studies—melting Himalayan glaciers; vanishing polar ice—to press the political point. The job security and air of self-importance this provides the tens of thousands of people—EPA bureaucrats, wind-turbine manufacturers, litigious climate scientists, NGO gnomes—whose livelihoods depend on a climate crisis. The belief that even if the crisis isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be, it does us all good to be more mindful about the environment.
“Reality-substitution is how modern liberalism conducts political business.” Read more from Mr. Stephens here.