I think David Warren's latest column is right on. (I was amazed to see it in print in the Vancouver Sun today, given our local rag's history of David Suzuki worship - they let the man, whom blogs are now calling "Scarezuki", take over editorship of a recent special greenmail edition). Warren:
...The parties are already working on "acidification of the oceans"; there were loose ends from Rio '92 on "biological diversity"; and there will always be fresh water supply issues to play with. The threat from asteroids was briefly considered, then dismissed: too hard to blame that on the free market. But the activists will come up with something, for their livelihoods depend upon it. And as the world's climate is constantly changing, and has been doing for the past 4.54 billion years, "climate change" itself will provide new opportunities.
For this reason, I think we need, after thorough public inquiries, to bring criminal prosecutions against some of the major scientific players exposed by the recent release of e-mails and papers at the centre of the "global warming" scam. The more any percipient reader pours through those "hacked" documents, the clearer he will see the criminal intent behind the massaging of the numbers; for the masseuses in question stood to benefit directly and personally from getting "the right results." This is by its nature an issue for the criminal courts.
Even before examining, objectively, details of the claims environmentalists are making, the public needs to be put on its guard. A successful representative democracy requires an electorate armed against politicians of any stripe or kind (elected or otherwise) who make claims to personal sanctity: for this is an infallible mark of grave hypocrisy. Genuinely good people do not advertise their goodness; genuinely humble people do not advertise their humility; genuinely truthful people do not claim to be messengers of "settled science," when there is no such thing.
There are real cultural failures here -- running right through our postmodern societies -- that allow the scare tacticians to flourish. In a sense it is an environmental catastrophe, although the environment in question is a psychic, rather than a physical, landscape. People have become unattuned to the most basic warning signals our ancestors used, to protect themselves against human predators. We are anyway removed by modern technology from the possibility of looking them straight in the eye. (What comes through a television screen is in no way intimate; it is instead a form of "virtual reality.")
The real environmental problems are solved by inculcating supple cultural traits in the people themselves -- which the State cannot do. It can only be done from parents to children. Individual human beings must be raised to eschew waste, luxury, and personal display. They must be raised to prefer good to evil, truth to falsehood, beauty to ugliness. There are no quick fixes.