At the root of global-warming alarmism is a deathly fear of change. It is ironic that the Left, which calls itself progressive, is comprised of [sic] some of the most reactionary people on earth. They will come up with endless lists of all the changes that will result from temperature increases, exclusively focusing on the negative, as though change per se is something to be avoided....Like Mary Graber below, Robbins is apparently a firm believer in the transforming power of creative visualization. Climate change is a “slow-rolling phenomenon,” but we can look forward to surfing Newfoundland. A warmer earth is a more comfortable earth. More rain probably means more rain forests (how could it not?). We can overcome every challenge of climate change, as long as we don't pass regulations, limit growth, misperceive biodiversity as valuable, take scientists seriously, or succumb to "alarmism."
So if we see global warming for the beneficial trend that it is rather than a looming threat to life and limb, none of the “solutions” being proposed by the alarmists are necessary. There is no challenge posed by a slow-rolling phenomenon like global warming that cannot be overcome; and when deserts start blooming, blizzards stop hitting, and you are enjoying the surfing at your beach house in upper Newfoundland, you won’t care what caused global warming, you’ll just thank goodness it happened.
Coastlines and ice caps, plankton and whales....all these things are ephemeral. Only the pitiless (but fair) dictates of hypercapitalism are eternal.
It's classic conservatarianism: Define a problem out of existence by turning logic and morality inside-out, and then whine about the "pessimism" of anyone who refuses to join you in Cloudcuckooland.
Adding insult to injury, Robbins - like most NRO writers - fancies himself a master of Chestertonian paradox:
[I]f the ice caps melt and we get more ocean, well that just means more habitat for whales doesn’t it?Fuckin' A, dude...way to blow those liberals' eggshell minds!
Just in case that argument fails to impress you, Robbins links to a chart from the late denialist John L. Daly, which purportedly shows that the sea level at Tuvalu has remained stable. Daly wasn't actually a climatologist, and his amateur interpretations of climate phenomena (including the Tuvalu readings) are debunked at great length here. (But then again, perhaps that just proves that Daly was right. I mean, why would people go to so much trouble to refute him, unless they were threatened by his findings? QED!)
In his book Dominion, former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully describes the frightening worldview of chattering husks like Robbins:
It is the same fundamentally vulgar vision of man that conservatives elsewhere so earnestly worry about....man the all-conquering consumer facing the universe with limitless entitlements and appetites to be met no matter what the costs....With that in mind, read Robbins’ ramblings on "infinitely adaptable humanity":
My National Review colleague Jeffrey Hart, a professor at Dartmouth College, captured the attitude nicely...."It is depressing," he writes, "to hear cigar-smoking young conservatives wearing red suspenders take a reductive view of, well, everything. They seem to contemplate with equanimity a world without lions, tigers, elephants, whales. I am appalled at the philistinism that seems to smile at a future consisting of a global Hong Kong."
Some rare plant and animal species, hyper-adapted to highly specific climate conditions or micobiotic zones, are already unable to cope with the change. Many may go extinct; some already have. That’s tough, but chalk it up to bad evolutionary choices. When those rigidly specialist species bet everything on a small part of the world in hopes it would never change, they made a very bad bargain. For our part, we have air conditioners, lightweight fabrics, and sunscreen. Why infinitely adaptable humanity has to pay the price for the evolutionary shortsightedness of other life forms is beyond me.”Infinitely adaptable”? I suppose that describes Robbins and his crowd well enough, though I’m not sure that seeing a global disaster as a triumph necessarily counts as adaptation in a strict evolutionary sense.
And honestly, if anyone's "hyper-adapted" to specific conditions it's conservatarians like Robbins, who'd sacrifice any or all of us to avoid being knocked from the pretended dignity of their worm-eaten ideological stilts. Someone really needs to explain to these overgrown children that the preservation of self-image is not the same thing as self-preservation.