Fifty years ago, The Cold War — our attempt, through military deterrents, aggressive foreign policy, and homeland preparedness and propaganda campaigns, to stop the spread of Marxism both home and abroad — completely permeated our culture and dramatically altered how we lived.
We and our Western allies spared no effort to win this war. An entire industry, the defense industry, which had not formally existed before World War II, ate up billions of government dollars each year and employed millions of our workers. School aged children were taught to fear the “Red Menace” and value our way of life. Ordinary Americans routinely participated in Civil Defense air raid drills and built shelters stocked full of potable water and crackers, all necessary precautions in the event of a nuclear war.
Yet the post-modern thinkers who dominated the academy after World War II almost universally adopted pure Marxism as the template for a new world order that would be both economically and morally superior to traditional Western European culture. To this end, these elite leftists looked upon the Cold War with great disdain, even fear. In their view, defending and preserving traditional Western values and “the American way of life” meant defending a power structure based on empires, military power, and greed.
They eagerly cheered as newly independent nations with Marxist leaders arose from the remains of European colonies in Africa and Asia. They actively campaigned against the financial and human resources that were being “wasted” by the military, and they marveled when President Eisenhower, a five-star general and career military officer before he entered politics, seemed to agree with them:
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual –is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Even though leftists always openly showed contempt for the Cold War, I have always wondered whether, deep down, they were really jealous of its success; of its ability to rally much of the world together in an effort to resist a common enemy. How many times have leftists wondered: What if we could lead our own “cold war,” a revolution against capitalism and traditional Western values? What if we could rally the world around a new radical wealth redistribution plan by convincing them that the end was near, and our plan was the only way to guarantee their survival?
Enter climate change. The leftists who now control multi-national governing bodies like the EU and the UN have latched onto man-made global warming theories and have aggressively begun to use those theories as a basis for a policies that will establish a permanent wealth redistribution system that continually drains financial resources from the West.
How, exactly? They are attempting to create a new “green” economy, with its own integrated “green” industries, that will fundamentally impact the way all of us live. They are attempting to seize control of our energy resources, and create a system by which Western nations pay for energy development in Third World nations. They have created an incredible propaganda system that permeates our entertainment media, educational systems, etc. and teaches our children on a daily basis that our planet is doomed, and that we have to ACT NOW in order to save it. Instead of a red scare, we now have a “green scare.”
Without a doubt, during the 1990’s the UN and its IPCC committee pressured climate scientists to continue to deliver dire global warming predictions, and to come up with an irrefutable graphic presentation to serve as proof that our climate has indeed experienced an alarming rate of warming during the past 100 years, and that Western industrialism, and its evil profits, were directly responsible for this warming trend. Some of the scientists embroiled in the current Climategate debate knew exactly what was happening. Forensic tree ring specialist Keith Briffa participated in the IPCC’s controversial 2001 Third Assessment on Climate Change (which produced the “hockey stick” chart) but noted at the time that he “[tried] hard to balance the needs of the IPCC with science, which were not always the same.”
That damning admission perfectly illustrates another point made by President Eisenhower in his farewell address, which is the dangerous relationship between government funding (which is always shaped by policy interests) and scientific research:
In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.(emphasis added)
The high point of the left’s unending effort to cripple the Cold War against Marxism was undoubtedly Daniel Ellsberg’s notorious Pengagon Papers. Ellsberg became a hero to the left, and liberals celebrated the fact that public support for the Vietnam war fell significantly after it was revealed that the Pentagon had been flat-out lying about what we were doing in Southeast Asia.
Today, there seems to be a similar reaction growing up out of the shocking revelations contained in the Climategate emails. Only this time, liberals aren’t celebrating; instead, they are in a dire state of panic. For Climategate looks to be our generation’s version of The Pentagon Papers, and there is a real chance that Climategate will squelch the left’s Warm War against the West, hopefully before that war has a chance to do real and lasting harm to the world economy and our quality of life.
Related: After looking at some of the raw data that was leaked via Climategate, the Russians are now claiming that reports authored by the UK’s Hadley Center for Climate Change only used data from roughly 25% of the weather stations in their country, cherry-picking temperature readings from warmer urban regions while omitting data from largely unsettled areas.
As WizBang readers know, I have been generous in giving climatologists the benefit of the doubt with respect to their work. As more information related to Climategate is presented, I am finding that harder and harder to do.
ADDED: Commenter “Alfonso Paulista” noted that the EU really doesn’t belong among the ranks of leftists pushing for global wealth redistribution. While there are plenty of “white guilt”-ridden leftists in the EU, he probably has a point. On the issue of climate change, the EU has been rather conservative, probably because they are aware of how deeply they will be gouged.
The real wealth transfer scheme operates on a “north” to “south” longitude, where north and south are separated roughly along the Tropic of Cancer. “Rich” nations to the north of that line (North America, Europe) apparently owe the nations to its south (continental Africa, South America, the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, etc.) a huge reparation, because those “southern” nations consist mostly of former colonies of the northern nations. You need look no further than the rantings of Hugo Chavez in order to understand this line of thinking.