During the Battle of the Bulge, American forces in danger of being overrun, pulled back under cover of artillery barrages. The artillery attack held the Germans while the Americans retreated to a series of prepared defensive positions, slowing the German advance until reinforcements could deploy.
In 1988 Senior Lead NASA climate scientist, James Hansen alerted the world to the results of his earth study. It was the threat of climate change. Immediately, Hansen was personally attacked by the Petroleum Industry. Under pressure from a petroleum infused congress holding NASA’s pursestrings, Hansen’s position became untenable and he resigned.
His further public speaking on the crisis drew vicious personal attacks in repeated attempts to discredit his findings and damage his reputation and ability to continue speaking. If you google Hansen today, you will find the first half-dozen references are attacks from trolls funded through right wing pressure groups and “think tanks”.
The coordinated attack on science, using propaganda organs, Fox News, talk radio, internet sites, and social media outlets retarded citizen awareness for over twenty-five years. The message was: “Climate Change is not real”, just an alarm raised by pointy-headed scientists to further their careers and secure research grants.
Using the same operators that used lies and disinformation tactics to sell cancer cigarettes to kids and guns to the mentally and emotionally challenged, Big Petro, hired and co-opted scientists through funding university studies and laboratories, themselves. These captured scientists were willing to discredit their colleagues the way captured doctors and researchers found themselves willing to promote cigarettes…
But as the lies are revealed and common sense, particularly in the younger generations prevails, the defenders, under cover of this long range artillery attack, retreat to the next fortified position: “Climate Change may be real but it is a natural cycle.” In this case nothing can be done or should be done because it “is God’s Will”.
Now, some of the more rational actors do not want to depend on that but feel that if God has a will, it might be that his creatures use the brains he gave them to try to save themselves and the world he created for them. (and the rest of the biosphere)
“Switching from coal and oil production will cost jobs” is the next defensive line even as jobs in black-lung mining and oil roustabouts decline, while solar industry jobs boom… adding jobs at a rate 20 times faster than the overall economy.
The next defensive position: “Disrupting the flow of oil consumption will disrupt the economy.” To increase oil supply and consumption the oil soaked Bush administrations orchestrated Oil War I and Oil War II; Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, whose projected costs today are approaching 6 trillion dollars and which has disrupted the economy and caused a massive continuing regional war in the mideast. A great and continuing part of our “Defense” budget is tasked with securing our foreign oil sources and protecting petroleum industry profits.
And as citizens still demand change, the next position emerges from the fog: The argument is political; “Both wings of congress are the same feckless crooks,” there’s no difference between them, so there’s no meaningful action to take.
Even while most right wing pols still swear allegiance to big oil and their subsidies… and the left wing accepts climate change and proposes action, this meme is designed to create a feeling of helplessness; to prevent citizens from voting or becoming engaged in the argument.
The next defensive position was recently taken by Bush3. “Eliminate all energy subsidies” to “even the playing field..let the market decide.” This is intended to co-opt and disarm the renewable groups, who need subsidies to achieve market share in the face of entrenched, rich Big Petro, and their price manipulating tactics. No mention is made of the fact that renewables don’t pollute, or the need for a carbon tax to internalize to energy companies the cost of climate change from petroleum.
One only wonders what the next position will be, but it will be revealed as the world energy activists meet in Paris in December. But the longer this goes on, the more certain that both sides and the world itself will face a catastrophic defeat.
One thing is certain, Big Petro executives will cling to a declining resource that is killing the world, rather than transition at warp speed to a clean technology that taps a constant and enormous flow of energy and that can grow to tap that energy, steady state, at whatever speed we desire.