The annotated Victor Davis Hanson

Ecobonics[1]: The Rise of the Geoprophets [Victor Davis Hanson]

It is scary[2] when Speaker Pelosi claims “I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,”[3] or Al Gore barks[4] about his utopian[5] plan to shut down all generators of electricity except wind and solar within 10 years — or else: “The future of human civilization is at stake."[6] Or Obama claims that at the "moment" of his nomination over Hillary (?) "The rise of the oceans began to slow."[7] Call this ecobonics, geo-narcissism[8], or hokey science — or a variant strain of Bush Derangement Syndrome[9] — but it is creepy nonetheless.
|Hanson, Victor Davis. The Corner. 29 July 2008|

1 -- VDH will of course assert that if there is anything beyond his poetic ear at work here, it is merely a casual invocation of that old chestnut, political correctness. That's in there, but so is a casual invocation of widespread stereotypes of black speech. Was VDH, in writing this, trying to darken up the green movement, or is it that he finds the casual invocation of widespread stereotypes of black speech to be just the sort of harmless frivolity from which blog posts -- especially blog posts mentioning Obama -- are built? It is a difficult question.

2 -- You can't say everything in a blog post, of course, but absent any kind of explanation this is just a naked appeal to fear. What is VDH afraid of? He can't quite bring himself to say, but it lurks there, menacing. In some ways, it's a lot like San Francisco.

3 -- Perhaps VDH is so married to ignorance that he denies the looming environmental crisis, or perhaps he hasn't noticed that Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful people in the world. In any case, he thinks it hubris for the Speaker of the House of the United States of America to express confidence in our ability to address a grave global problem. That seems wrongheaded.

4 -- It seems to me that "the stentorian Al Gore barks" would have provided the kind of flourish VDH needs to get the rock all the way up this hill. Lacking that, the image of Al Gore barking is merely surreal.

5 -- I don't think VDH knows what the word 'utopian' means.

6 -- Perhaps denialism should have pride of place in 3 above.

7 -- VDH got the talking points! The narrative being pushed here is that Obama is a messianic narcissist and that this comes through in his rhetoric. Of course, if you actually look at the texts in question then you see that this is a blatant misreading. Obama has a consistent rhetorical style the very most consistent aspect of which is his reflexive use of constructions which invite listeners to consider themselves to be united together with him in some sort of movement. While the vision Obama articulates is open to rational criticism, in misrepresenting it VDH again chooses sophistry.

8 -- In the light of 'geo-narcissim', 'ecobonics' now seems astonishingly clever.

9 -- VDH is just a hack checking the boxes at this point.

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