I have probably written more on the “climate change” religious tendency than it deserves. However, I have run across a couple of interesting articles on the subject, and I’d like to share.
First, the boring facts. John Tierney in the NYT, no less, notes the predicted size of the tsunami that will engulf civilization when the polar ice caps melt: between 7 and 23 inches in a century. Every civilized ankle near the seashore may drown, very slowly; knees, however, are safe.
Despite Al Gore, and the fact that two movies (one of them Gore’s) work this as a plot device, the Gulf Stream is not predicted to shut down — and if it did, it would not lead to an ice age over London (yes, that’s a worry to the global warming crowd).
Since 1978, the Antarctic ice pack has grown by 8 percent.
Since 1999, US weather satellites have registered no significant changes in the global air temperature (as opposed to the global ground temperatures that are warming up).
No news here. So, naturally, we have a kind of media-fostered panic, ostensibly around the recently-issued policymaker summary of the UN’s IPCC report on climate change. The message seems to be: “Don’t think — act!” The proposed action seems to be: “Don’t stay an industrial, developed nation — return to the joys of feudalism! Better yet, to hunting and gathering!”
The director of IPCC flatly admits that his intent is to “shock people, governments into taking more action.” But wait — the report itself accepts that no action would have any effect whatever before 2030. So we are being shocked into actions the results of which can’t be judged for a generation. As Al Gore would say: how inconvenient.
There are alternate hypotheses about the causes of global warming (see here and here). Yet those pursuing such hypotheses are called “deniers” (the parallel being with Holocaust deniers — only, we are told, this holocaust is inconveniently in the future rather than the past), their careers are threatened, and as transpired with Lomborg, their integrity is impugned. I have said this before. It’s not science. Lomborg calls it “greenhouse activitism.” But that is too kind.
Vlavac Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, has it right: “Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a world view has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or the climate itself,” he said in a recent interview. “IPCC is not a scientific body: it’s a political institution, a kind of non-government organization with green flavor.” The actual IPCC report — the data gathered by the scientists — won’t even be published until May. So we have the “shock” before we have the facts. Havel calls this delay “an undignified practical joke.”
There is no arguing with the metaphysically inclined, and I won’t attempt it here. The great disruption we call modernity, which has spawned fear and loathing as diverse in nature as the ideologies of Al Qaida and the Khmer Rouge, is felt deeply by some within the modern world. The hope for a simpler life, devoid of contingency and confusion, clings to any faith that might promise such redemption.
Until 1991, it was Marxism-Leninism. After, Islamists, anti-globalists, and end-of-the-world climate types each have taken up their niche. In all cases, nothing they advocate matters: it’s what they hate that counts.