Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Fall of a Belief?

Those of you with very long memories may be able to go back to the previous millennium and reconstruct the scientific-moralistic doom-theory of the day. This was before a series of unusually hot summers convinced everyone humans were cooking the planet; the Armageddon of the time was genetically modified crops: they were going to wreak havoc on nature, destroy the future, and anyway they were an American conspiracy of hegemony, so they had to be bad.

Then the world was distracted, GM crops fell off the radar, and more fashionable reasons were invented for the world to end. GM crops, however, are still out there - and mostly doing good, as a matter of fact. True, they're still banned in Europe, but Europe isn't a very important place anymore, and this is yet another indication of why.

It may be that we're now seeing the demise of the Church of Global Warming. The Weekly Standard - never a stalwart of the Church to begin with - has a long article about how the entire edifice seems to be crashing these past few months. So far, so unconvincing: that's what the Weekly Standard is supposed to say. Now if the Guardian were to say the same, that might get our attention... Over here. George Monbiot himself, the High Priest of the Church at the Guardian, trying to explain why no-one's listening anymore: it must be because people are stupid (he uses different words, but that's the thesis). Of course, if they're stupid now, how were they less stupid two years ago as they crammed the pews of his Church and clamored for the airlines to shut down? He doesn't get into this. Nor does he mention the possibility that rather than being plain stupid, people may look out the window from time to time: in the late 1990s it really was hot for a couple of summers; recently, it really has been quite cool for a number of winters.

I recommend reading the comments below his article, in which some seemingly educated folks engage with Monbiot, who to his credit engages back. This is what the demise of an entrenched intellectual fad looks like, and it's fascinating.

For what it's worth, here in the Holy Land we've just had the warmest winter in decades, so if Monbiot wishes to turn Zionist this is his opportunity.

Anyway, as I never tire of saying, I'm agnostic on the science of the matter, which is totally beyond me, but I'm convinced that paying the Saudis and the Iranians quadzillions of $ so we can pour gook into the air can't be a good thing; the sooner someone invents cheaper and cleaner options, the better. If it's cheaper, everyone will go for it, because whether folks are all stupid or not, they tend to look out for their private interests.


peterthehungarian said...

Yaacov I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Monbiot to start proselytize in Zionist circles, he is famous of his pathetic attempt to "arrest" Ehud Olmert in London.

Anonymous said...

"Europe isn't a very important place anymore"

your beautiful airplane videos seemed to tell a different story ...
- to my regret because I would prefer to live in an unimportant uninteresting place
- to my relief because if we still count my old age pension may be safe