Why did "climate change" remain the boutique scare-story of a few specialists last time round, and gain global traction this time round? In the Spectator, Maurizio Morabito puts it this way: "Is the problem with the general public, who cannot talk about climate except in doom-laden terms, and for whom the sky is the last animist god?"
That last part explains a lot. Forty years ago conventional religious belief was certainly in decline in what we once knew as Christendom, but the hole was not yet ozone-layer sized. Once the sea of faith had receded far from shore, the post-Christian West looked at what remained and found "Gaia." Not long ago, in Burlington, Vt., I got into a somewhat heated discussion about global warming with a lady who accused me of ignoring "science." She then drove away in a car with the bumper sticker "THE EARTH IS YOUR MOTHER." In Quebec City for the Summit of the Americas in 2001, I sought a breather from the heady scent of Sûreté du Québec tear gas and idled away half an hour among a display of brassieres promoting "sustainable development." One (a 54D, as I recall) read "THE EARTH IS MA MÈRE." In flagrant breach of Quebec's Bill 101, the francophone right cup was not twice the size of the anglophone left cup. If the earth is our mother, who are we to dictate to the goddess? As Lord Monckton pointed out to that Norwegian CO2-head, we've had climate change for four billion years. But now apparently there is an ideal state that Ma Mère has to be maintained in. A belief in a garden of Eden which man through sin has despoiled sounds familiar. But this time we get to pick. Not the Medieval Warm Period that causes the "scientific consensus" such problems, and not presumably the bucolic state the planet was in when Canada was 150 feet under ice, but some pristine condition somewhere in between.
When man was made in the image of God, he was fallen but redeemable. Gaia's psychologically unhealthy progeny are merely irredeemable...Ah, yes, but the UN climate deities continue to try to redeem us sinners by making us pony up lots of dough so we can buy our way into heaven (a positively Medieval way to go about things, when you think about it).