The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, October 28, 2022


I have on numerous occasions written that many within our society have embraced insanity. As a consequence, they have jettisoned hard facts, critical thinking, and common sense and relied on emotion, driven by fear. It appears that the most extreme elements of the environment movement have adopted a dark fantasy in which SUVs will lead to the apocalypse and meat eating will result in the extinction of the human race.

It's important to note that not all environmentalists think this way, but the trend does exist and has become a media cause celebre. Micheal Shellenberger comments:

Dumping milk onto floors. Hurling food onto walls. Refusing to eat. Gluing body parts. Throwing paint. Refusing to leave. Threatening to pee and poop in your pants. Screaming accusations. Are those the behaviors of a toddler’s temper tantrum? Yes. But they’re also the dominant tactics of today’s climate activists.

Consider the case of Gianluca Grimalda. On October 19, Grimalda, along with 15 other members of a climate activist group called Scientist Rebellion, glued himself to the floor of the visitors center next to a Volkswagon factory in Germany. The VW security guards brought pizza to Grimalda and the other activist scientists, but Grimalda felt disrespected and so he declared a hunger strike in retaliation.

And then there are the climate alarmists who attempt to desecrate classic works of art while gluing themselves to museum walls. Or the extremists who sit in the middle of busy roads to block commuter traffic, hoping that the police will remove them so they can scream, "brutality."

Schellenberger continues:

The activists who keep degrading precious works of art, and themselves, claim to be concerned about food and energy supplies, but in opposing oil, gas and fertilizer production they are actively reducing both. Over the last several months, I have described the demands of climate activists as fanatical and pointed to a large body of evidence suggesting that nihilism, narcissism, and feelings of personal inadequacy are the primary motives.

But nihilism, narcissism, and personal inadequacy alone do not explain why climate activists have chosen temper tantrum tactics. After all, the greatest protest movements of all time engaged in far more grown-up and dignified tactics. Think of the Salt March led by Gandhi, the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Martin Luther King, and the anti-whaling protests of Greenpeace. 

I agree that "nihilism, narcissism, and personal inadequacy" are not necessarily the driving factors in this infantile behavior. I submit that the driver is status.

Not the kind of 'status' that is evidenced by $4000 handbags or expensive clothing, but rather the kind of status, found almost exclusively on the Left, that is projected by extreme expressions of "virtue." It is de rigour among these status seekers to loudly and repeatedly condemn those who still use gasoline to power their second-hand cars or heating oil to warm their modest homes. Making those fossil fuels more expensive is a good thing, suggest the status seekers. Even better is banning them outright. After all, there's an obvious vein of authoritarianism in the thinking of those who conflate status with virtue signalling.

Mandating behavior because a small collection of 'the virtuous' think they have a monopoly on what is right is a form of authoritarianism. Those mandates become tied to virtue signaling and that virtue signaling becomes a status symbol among 'the virtuous.' Finally, the 'virtuous' ascend to positions of power, and society begins to travel along the edge of madness (insanity).

The infantile tantrums of climate alarmists are a small thing, but they represent a far more dangerous trend. The quest for "status" among those who exhibit "nihilism, narcissism, and personal inadequacy," if uncritically supported by society's major forms of communication (the media, entertainment, and arts)" this could cause even some grounded people to tumble over the edge and into madness.