Here is a thought experiment.
Imagine that a few months from now, someone somewhere makes a breakthrough discovery in energy technology that solves all of our power needs without using fossil fuels or generating carbon dioxide as a byproduct.
I’m not going to explore possible technologies that make this happen, that would be beside the point. Just assume (like any good Star Trek fan) that the technology exists and it works.
Now ask yourself: how would the environmental movement react?
I think that there would be monumental denial (in the psychological sense). I don’t mean at the instant of the announcement, I mean once the full implications dawned on us.
I mean, if fuel is essentially free of cost, why not build the biggest car you can? If energy is no longer polluting, what purpose does Earth Hour serve?
These people have a lot emotionally invested in the eco-apocalypse they have convinced themselves is just around the corner. Do they become like Shakers and gradually disappear? Do they find some new cause to champion? Do they smash the new engines that took away their favorite nightmare?
At some point, I think that the technology will be found. And when it does, a lot of the rationale for the green movement - and the control it has tried to exercise over our lives - will vanish.
Greenpeace had better start diversifying its portfolio.