Freudian displacement and the non-war on ISIS

Maurice Newman has an article in The Oz today on Waffling West empowers Islamic terror. And there he wrote, in the kind of article that has already virtually disappeared, about how there is something else that is the Number One issue to allow you to show you are being tough-minded even while studiously ignoring ISIS.

Left leaning, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman sympathises. “When President Obama describes climate change as the greatest threat we face, he’s exactly right. Terrorism can’t and won’t destroy our civilisation but global warming could and might.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius agrees “climate change is a threat to peace” and a significant cause of terrorism, sentiments echoed by Prince Charles.

All this reminded me of an article some time back by Ed Driscoll on Freudian displacement. He began with this:

Tough language is borrowed from the war on terror and applied to the war on weather. “I really consider this a national security issue,” says celebrity activist and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David. “Truth” star Al Gore calls global warming a “planetary emergency.” Bill Clinton’s first worry is climate change: “It’s the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end the march of civilization as we know it.”

Freud called it displacement. People fixate on the environment when they can’t deal with real threats. Combating the climate gives nonhawks a chance to look tough. They can flex their muscle for Mother Nature, take a preemptive strike at an SUV. Forget the Patriot Act, it’s Kyoto that’ll save you.

But then a quarter of an hour later, having thought about his original post, Driscoll went on with a much fuller discussion on how fighting climate change gives some people the pretence of being tough. Link to it all since it is short but subtle, and explains quite a lot. A sample:

While the hawks among us worry about preventing the Armageddon that’s coming, our modern-day hippies just want to make sure the planet is pristine when it does. In fact, the more menacing terrorism becomes, the more some people seem to worry about the weather. Scared and unsure how to fight terrorists, they confront “climate change,” which only requires spending trillions of other people’s dollars on something that may not need fixing or may not be fixable. No wonder some of these people chain themselves to trees – they think money grows on them.

It’s funny when you put it that way, but it’s actually not funny at all. That the US could twice elect Obama at such a moment – and in Australia replace Tony with Malcolm – is the surest sign that we would happily sign the surrender documents if only it wasn’t all too obvious to the other side that this is what we have in effect already done.

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