Eco-freaks and Projected Self-Loathing

Peter and Helen Evans January 30, 2006

Why is it that, “Whenever Nature displeases us, it must be our fault for doing something that displeased Nature”? This was a question raised by John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, speaking at the Heritage Foundation on January 23, 2007 in support of his new book “Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism is Hazardous to Your Health!” If the winter’s too hot, summer’s too cold, hurricane Katrina too extreme, environmentalists always conclude that it’s because we did something wrong, like atmospheric pollution, habitat destruction and/or the paving of America. Not only does this knee-jerk reaction indicate a colossal sense of self-importance, that importance lies in what we are doing wrong.

This condition is widespread among the multi-culturalists, who would never acknowledge that Western civilization is in any way superior to any other. The blame-America-first folks are closely related to the blame-mankind-first eco-freaks. The ACLU types who are more concerned for the spurious Geneva-Conventions ‘rights’ of terrorist detainees than they are for the safety of innocent Americans are another example this pernicious mindset.

We have taken to calling this attitude “projected self-loathing.” It’s principal belief could be rhetorically summarized thus. “How can ‘society’ (America, the West, the human race, etc) do anything right or worthwhile when ‘society’ is composed of worthless people like me?” This paradoxical combination of self-hatred and Narcissism has been characterized by a recovered sufferer as feeling like “the piece of crap at the center of the universe.”

By projecting their self-loathing (i.e., finding their own faults in those around them, instead), they can feel morally superior without having improved themselves at all. They can feel themselves ‘elite’ in comparison to the benighted ‘masses’ who don’t even have the sense to feel guilty about valuing themselves.

John Berlau touched on the global-warming alarmists preferred explanation of the cause and meaning of “Katrina.”

Revealed by the analysis of Katrina’s consequences in New Orleans was that, over the last four decades, environmentalists had effectively blocked several measures that could have reduced or prevented the mess that resulted when the storm came ashore at the end of August 2005. Naturally, the left is reluctant to acknowledge that well-intentioned environmental activism combined with forty years of well-intentioned Democrat control of New Orleans contributed to the catastrophe now known as “Katrina.” Their preference is to blame this “extreme” storm on “man-made global warming.”

The one consistent element in these opposed explanations is that, in both cases, “it’s our fault.” However, the eco-freaks emphasize the human behavior they think is ‘bad’ (gas-guzzling, pollution, etc) as the culprit, rather than the human behavior they think is ‘good’ (environmental ‘sensitivity’). They prefer to think that our bad behavior provoked “Nature” to send a mighty storm to punish our misdeeds rather than admit that we made the wrong choice in deciding not to raise the levees and build the floodgates that would have increased New Orleans’ chances of surviving this entirely predictable category 3 hurricane. Interestingly, the private-enterprise oil installations in the gulf didn’t spill a drop although they were hammered by Katrina while she was still a much stronger category 5 storm.

There is much hard evidence to suggest that higher levees and floodgates would have done much good for New Orleans. There is no hard evidence (and much dispute) that man’s influence had anything to do with Katrina’s existence or intensity. “Global warming” has become so disputed that it’s proponents now prefer to speak of human-induced “climate change” instead. This indicates their religious fixation on the belief that “it’s our fault” regardless of what’s happening.

Let us consider what happened to New Orleans an example of the self-loathing Left doing it their way.

Peter and Helen Evans, “http://peterandhelenevans.com. This husband and wife team – freelance writers and speakers – teach a philosophical approach to conservatism, and are scheduled speakers at Blogging Man “http://www.bloggingman.org/” .

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4 thoughts on “Eco-freaks and Projected Self-Loathing”

  1. Good Lord, is the weather forecast now to be deemed a liberal conspiracy as well?

    Most of the research suggesting a possible correlation between the rising temperature of the earth and more frequent and powerful hurricanes was performed by climatologists and scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) using the same science that the weatherman on TV uses.

    While the evidence is inconclusive there are enough findings to at least prompt concern. From the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

    1. Though there is evidence both for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate record to date, no firm conclusion can be made on this point.

    2. No individual tropical cyclone can be directly attributed to climate change.

    3. The recent increase in societal impact from tropical cyclones has been largely caused by rising concentrations of population and infrastructure in coastal regions.

    4. Tropical cyclone wind-speed monitoring has changed dramatically over the last few decades leading to difficulties in determining accurate trends.

    5. There is an observed multi-decadal variability of tropical cyclones in some regions whose causes, whether natural, anthropogenic or a combination, are currently being debated. This variability makes detecting any long-term trends in tropical cyclone activity difficult.

    6. It is likely that some increase in tropical cyclone peak wind-speed and rainfall will occur if the climate continues to warm. Model studies and theory project a 3-5% increase in wind-speed per degree Celsius increase of tropical sea surface temperatures.

    7. There is an inconsistency between the small changes in wind-speed projected by theory and modeling versus large changes reported by some observational studies.

    8. Although recent climate model simulations project a decrease or no change in global tropical cyclone numbers in a warmer climate there is low confidence in this projection. In addition, it is unknown how tropical cyclone tracks or areas of impact will change in the future.

    9. Large regional variations exist in methods used to monitor tropical cyclones. Also, most regions have no measurements by instrumented aircraft. These significant limitations will continue to make detection of trends difficult.

    10. If the projected rise in sea level due to global warming occurs, then the vulnerability to tropical cyclone storm surge flooding would increase.”

    Perhaps Mr. and Mrs Evan believe that concern over global warming originates in left-wing dogma because dogma is what they use to filter their information and form their beliefs. But believe it or not, some people just want to base their decisions on evidence and reality instead.

  2. Dean, again you miss the point. The point is not whether global warming is either real or man made. The point is that whenever natural disasters happen, apocalyptic thinking emerges on the left that shifts blame away from where it belongs. The Evans’ argue that such thinking is grounded in a moral posturing where intentions count for more than results.

    This paragraph sums it up:

    Revealed by the analysis of Katrina’s consequences in New Orleans was that, over the last four decades, environmentalists had effectively blocked several measures that could have reduced or prevented the mess that resulted when the storm came ashore at the end of August 2005. Naturally, the left is reluctant to acknowledge that well-intentioned environmental activism combined with forty years of well-intentioned Democrat control of New Orleans contributed to the catastrophe now known as “Katrina.” Their preference is to blame this “extreme” storm on “man-made global warming.”

  3. Dear Fr. Jacoobse,
    There have been a great many reviews about the causation factors and the reasons for the New Orleans/”Katrina” catastrophe. Political motovations are always included but in the end it is the science and engineering papers published on the conditions of the levees, protective “walls”, berms and wetlands that can give the physical rationals to the destruction.
    I find the Times-Picayune does fine follow-ups on these reports.
    The Corps of Engineers has the main responsiblety for maintaining the fore-mentioned structures. President Bush cut by 40% the money requested by the corps for SELA district; in 2003 Bush reversed the building and management of the wetlands by the SELA by turning over control to private developers; in Oct.13,2001 the SELA corps asked for $80 million dollars, they got $62 million; April 24, 2004 money was sent to to the “Garden of Eden” project, i.e. the wetlands of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to the tune of $100 million dollars. On September 1, 2001 FEMA counted New Orleans as one of the three areas for catastrophic desasters to take place; New York and La were the other two: who could have known?
    I believe that the conseratives were in power during this time-the power of the purse is invested in Congress.
    When I lived in New Orleans pumps would fail, cannals would flood and streets-mine too-would flood with water. I know that this has been an ongoing problem since the Indians traded on the land of the French Quarter. The political structure in southern Louisiana is much more complex than Left or Right. When you live there you experience the processes.
    Sincerely yours, J R Dittbrenner

  4. You are right in saying, “There have been a great many reviews about the causation factors and the reasons for the New Orleans/”Katrina” catastrophe.”

    New Orleans is a politically corrupt city where the politicos, primarilly Democrat, foster a permanent poverty class to keep themselves in power. They didn’t even have an evacuation plan.

    I know New Orleans too. I lived there.

    In Florida, where I live today, the notion that the apparatus of the Federal Government will rescue us when hurricanes hit (my area has had five in the last three years) is seen as the logistical impossibility that it is. First response is necessarilly local.

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