The self-flagellation festival over global warming is an ominous phenomenon with the stink of oppression-in-the-making.
People in the western world, while utterly powerless to effect a curb on industrial development in places like India and China (assuming that human activity is responsible for global warming) stand poised to start making each other miserable over every back-yard barbecue, every cigarette, every pet fart produced—all in the name of saving the planet. It’s heartening to see that at least some people in a position to closely observe self-serving (but basically ineffectual) save-the-world chest-thumping in the entertainment world are becoming a bit jaded by it all. Recently, the Who’s Roger Daltry sounded off about an upcoming rock extravaganza from Al Gore’s global warming roadshow: "Bo***cks to that! The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert. I can’t believe it. Let’s burn even more fuel. We have problems with global warming, but the questions and the answers are so huge I don’t know what a rock concert’s ever going to do to help.”
What Roger may not understand is that the purpose of a lot of this activity isn’t really to help anything—it’s to roil up emotion, line people as the among the Saved as opposed to the Damned, give them a focus for the anger and confusion that they already feel, and a sense of involvement with a “righteous” cause. It’s about emotional management in a political context—and not much else.