It is clear that American public opinion is an outlyer in this great march towards green socialism. Often, climate alarmists ascribe this to America's supposed disinterest in environmental issues. But this argument does not stand up when one looks at the facts. The US over the last 40 years has a much better environmental record than, say, the more pious Western Europe. Our water and air are cleaner, our forests continue to expand, and the only reason Europe doesn't discuss problems with endangered species as much as the US is because they have already killed all theirs.
No, the real reason the US is an outlyer in opinion is that it does not have the culture of blind deference to public authority that Europe has, which has led Europeans into the hands of one authoritarian after another over the last centuries. In 1808 it was Napolean; in 1908 it was the Kaiser, and later Lenin and Hitler; in 2008 it is Al Gore.
I would like to think that Britain is different from our Continental chums in this respect, but I am no longer sure that it is true. After sixty years of the Welfare State, the people of this country have become entirely too enamoured of authority; their mentality is now that of slaves (though they would deny this to the death).
UPDATE: a number of people have asked me, "what does Al Gore get out of this alarmism?" Well, naturally, he gets money from his sales of An Inconvenient
The sustainable investment firm run by Al Gore, the former U.S. vice-president, is about to be closed to new investors, having raised close to its $5 billion target.
That's some serious fucking cash. But, no, really, Al is not about the money: he's definitely doing it all from a sense of altruism...
UPDATE 2: Climate Skeptic lays out the options.
In all but the most dire climate forecasts, the economic disaster from aggressive CO2 abatement is at least as large in terms of its contribution to human misery as any hypothesized climate disaster from not abating CO2.
This statement might be open to debate, but here is one that is not: No matter which disaster is worse, what we know for sure is that the economic disaster is orders of magnitude more likely than the climate disaster. Because if there is a 0-5-10% chance of a apocalyptic climate disaster from inaction on CO2, there is a near 100% chance that efforts that truly abate CO2 (current recommendations are to reduce it in 30 years by 80-100%) will result in an economic disaster which will cause untold human misery -- particularly if alarmists refuse to accept nuclear as a viable abatement option. We may actually not experience the disaster so much in the US -- after all, as a nation we are quite rich. But the disaster in terms of lost opportunity for the billions of people who for the first time in millenia have the chance to escape grinding starvation-level poverty will be absolute.
That' pretty fucking clear, is it not?