Global Warming Heretics
Since the demise of the threat of the Cold War, it has proved difficult for those who wish to be spurred and benefitted in their secular righteousness to find a cause. Many causes are simply small and uninspiring beer, and the networks within which middle-class people move are not particularly tolerant of anything that really challenges their views.
So, if you happen to be from a belief system that actually is possessed of a logic, history and eschatology worth thinking about, or if as a citizen you question some of the parts of the nineteen sixties settlement that might seem to you destructive, you will find it very difficult to do so. You may as well spend your days looking at pictures of the gorgeous Linda Lusardi, of the sort that I've posted beside this article.
In this milieu, the 'global warming controversies' have developed. There is, amongst lobbyists and true believers, a consensus that man-made carbon dioxide emissions create global warming.
The difficulty is that there is, according to people who should know, no clear way in which carbon dioxide or direct man-made pollution can clearly be said to be the cause of the planetary warming that we are experiencing. Models can be posited, but these can be quickly disproved.
There is a further consensus that the world has been warming for the past two centuries. Since this coincides with the industrial revolution in the West, a connexion is often drawn.
However, when taking the wider perspective, one can again question the consensus. The image below is a graph of temperature over the past two thousand years. You can see that it differs from the famous 'hockey stick projection' in that it illustrates that the present climate change in the Northern hemisphere is normal.
You can find more discussion of the image and the associated paper from which it is drawn at this site, which is that of the self-styled 'global warming heretic'. I can see no obvious connection of the heretic to any particular agenda, and even then, there is no obvious question over his or her facts.
Other evidence that challenges the global warming consensus is gradually beginning to appear. It reminds me of the Abba Eban phrase that a consensus is something people uphold collectively because they would not dare try and defend it individually.
It seems clear that the somewhat anabaptist intolerance demonstrated all over the place by the Green community, unless one is singing the praises of marijuana and disconnected sex, is on display for this sort of thing. The Greens really won't like it. Since a lot of them have minor degrees in some lobby-funded social science department, they especially won't like being challenged on the grounds of rationality that they think they own. Look at what happened to David Bellamy when he spoke up.
However, I find it difficult not to take the more rational questioners and deniers seriously. This classic thread from the New Statesman magazine a few weeks ago makes my point. It involves a serious article which gave the greens and middle-class left a hissy fit.
There is a great deal to be said for conserving energy, using more trains, airships and sailing ships, and building more nuclear power plants. There is, I think, not so much to be said for hydroelectric power, or for present schemes of renewable or hydrogen-based energy given the associated costs. There are clearly effects on human life of our present style of development that we would be well advised to clean up, if we could afford it.
If you're my regular reader, you'll also know that I am prone to gloominess about the follies that seem natural to people, and about the godlessness and self-serving semi-paganism of our times. I also think that we're in moral freefall, though I do not pretend to be any sort of paragon of virtue in my personal life.
I would just like it though, if the middle classes of western Europe and those of their disturbed or confused fellow travellers who spend their time finding things to hate or ban, would step back and actually think about things.
For some time now, environmentalism has been returning to its parochial, deeply conservative and irrational anti-modern roots. It is being used as a front behind which taxes may be extracted and from which duties that people pay the state to perform (on threat of imprisonment)are being imposed.
Too many things, from the genetic heritability of political predispositions to the real benefit and loss calculation about smoking, to the intolerance of Islam, and the state of African society, are now samizdat. It's just not seen as right to speak about them. We should, as free people in a culture of respect. The danger of course, is that somebody gets offended and takes their feeling as the equivalent of the damage from threat and assault.
I've always agreed with Daniel Patrick Moynihan in that we have a right to our own opinions, but no one has a right to their own facts.
What we all need is some plain speaking, clear minds, and a good cigar.