by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Another Climate Week has come and gone, with Earth no cooler than it was before. But there is plenty to celebrate. Opportunities for virtue signaling, graft, prostituting science, and burning down capitalism have never been so vast.
Launched in New York City in 2009, and now aligned with the execrable United Nations, Climate Week, according to organizers’ telling, is “an ambitious platform for our mission to drive climate action,” and “fast.” It’s such a wonderful moment, that a particularly dim fellow set himself on fire Friday at the Laver Cup tennis tournament in London to protest the use of private jets in the United Kingdom. The Sun reported that “it’s believed the yob” who was momentarily aflame “was a climate change protester.”
Virtue signaling is generally a “luxury belief” that holds no cost. In this case, it came with some pain, and probably some regret. But virtue signaling is an important activity in the fight against global warming, even if it means that self-flambeing is in order.
The man was eventually dragged off the court. But the cameras got a good look at him, and what was seen, says author Michael Shellenberger, “is the face of climate narcissism.”
“Apocalyptic environmentalism is a manifestation of exhibitionist narcissism,” says Shellenberger. “Adherents, like this young activist, demand to be recognized for their supposedly unique insight into the ‘climate emergency.’ And they demand to be rewarded with cultural, economic, and political power,” which, we might add, they too often get.
The many other exhibitionists – all of them shallow thinkers, most of them hypocrites – include the lunatics who have glued themselves to streets, basketball courts, and artwork, and chained themselves to gates and doors; grandstanders who block traffic and shut down subway trains (and often get the rough treatment they richly deserve); and the neighborhood peacocks so eager to post their “In This House We Believe …” signs.