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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2010/ 26 Elul, 5770

The environmental movement in retreat

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The collapsing crusade for legislation to combat climate change raises a question: Has ever a political movement made so little of so many advantages? Its implosion has continued since "the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global gathering ever held." So says Walter Russell Mead, who has an explanation: Bambi became Godzilla.

That is, a small band of skeptics became the dogmatic establishment. In his Via Meadia blog, Mead, a professor of politics at Bard College and Yale, notes that "the greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson," but the environmentalists' legislation foundered because they got "on the wrong side of doubt."

Environmentalists, Mead argues, have forgotten their origins, which were in skeptical "reaction against Big Science, Big Government and Experts." Environmentalists once were intellectual cousins of economic libertarians who heed the arguments of Friedrich Hayek and other students of spontaneous order -- in society or nature. Such libertarians caution against trying to impose big, simple plans on complex systems. They warn that governmental interventions in such systems inevitably have large unintended, because unforeseeable, consequences.

In the middle of the 20th century, Americans, impressed by the government's mobilization of society for victory in World War II, were, Mead says, "intoxicated with social and environmental engineering of all kinds." They had, for example, serene confidence that "urban renewal" would produce "model cities." Back then, environmentalism was skepticism.

It was akin to the dissent of Jane Jacobs, author of the 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." She argued that ambitious social engineers such as New York's Robert Moses were, by their ten-thumbed interventions in complex organisms such as cities, disrupting social ecosystems. The apotheosis of technocratic experts such as McGeorge Bundy and Robert McNamara gave us "nation-building" in conjunction with a war of attrition -- the crucial metric supposedly was body counts -- in a Southeast Asian peasant society. Over time, Mead says, "experts lost their mystique":


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"An increasingly skeptical public started to notice that 'experts' weren't angels descending immaculately from heaven bearing infallible revelations from G0d. They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise. They disagreed with one another and they colluded with their friends and supporters like everyone else."

And expertise was annoyingly changeable. Experts said margarine was the healthy alternative to butter -- until they said its trans fats made it harmful.

Environmentalism began as Bambi doing battle with Godzillas, such as the Army Corps of Engineers. Then, says Mead, environmentalism became Godzilla, an advocate of "a big and simple fix for all that ails us: a global carbon cap. One big problem, one big fix." Mead continues:

"Never mind that the leading green political strategy (to stop global warming by a treaty that gains unanimous consent among 190-plus countries and is then ratified by 67 votes in a Senate that rejected Kyoto 95 to 0) is and always has been so cluelessly unrealistic as to be clinically insane. The experts decree and we rubes are not to think but to honor and obey."

The essence of progressivism, of which environmentalism has become an appendage, is the faith that all will be well once we have concentrated enough power in Washington and have concentrated enough Washington power in the executive branch and have concentrated enough "experts" in that branch. Hence the Environmental Protection Agency proposes to do what the elected representatives of the rubes refuse to do in limiting greenhouse gases. Mead says of today's environmental movement:

"It proposes big economic and social interventions and denies that unintended consequences and new information could vitiate the power of its recommendations. It knows what is good for us, and its knowledge is backed up by the awesome power and majesty of the peer review process. The political, cultural, business and scientific establishments stand firmly behind global warming today -- just as they once stood firmly behind Robert Moses, urban renewal and big dams. They tell us it's a sin to question the consensus, the sign of bad moral character to doubt. Bambi, look in the mirror. You will see Godzilla looking back."

Mead, who says that he is a skeptic about climate policy rather than climate science, says that the environmental movement has "become the voice of the establishment, of the tenured, of the technocrats." This is the wrong thing to be in "Recovery Summer" while the nation wonders about the whereabouts of the robust recovery the experts forecast.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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