Friday, July 25, 2008

More on the Church of Global Warming

Last year the British Channel Four broadcast a film (which I haven't seen) called The Great Global Warming Swindle. Apparently it touched an extraordinarily sensitive nerve, because the other day the Guardian's Bishop of Global Warming, George Monbiot, wrote yet another column against the program, titled Global Warming is a Brutal Truth. It's worth reading, as it gives a good perspective into the sanctimonious mindset of the high priesthood of the Church of Global Warming.
It is not just because The Great Global Warming Swindle is at odds with the entire body of scientific knowledge on this subject that I have bothered to contest it. It is also because it is consonant with the entire body of human self-deception. We want to be misled, we crave it; and we will bend our minds into whatever shape they need to take in order not to face our brutal truths.
Speak for yourself, George.

You can also go to the Wikipedia article about Monbiot, and read the sorts of things he advocates:
Monbiot asserts that climate change is the "moral question of the 21st century" and that there is little time for debate or objections to a raft of emergency action he believes will stop climate change, including: setting targets on greenhouse emissions using the latest science; issuing every citizen with a 'personal carbon ration'; new building regulations with houses built to German passivhaus standard; banning incandescent lightbulbs, patio heaters, garden floodlights and other inefficient technologies; constructing large offshore wind farms, replacing the national gas grid with a hydrogen pipe network; a new national coach network to make journeys using public transport faster than using a car; all petrol stations to supply leasable electric car batteries with stations equipped with a crane service to replace depleted batteries; scrap road-building and road-widening programmes, redirecting their budgets to tackle climate change; reduce UK airport capacity by 90%; closing down all out-of-town superstores and replace them with warehouses and a delivery system.
Reduce UK airport capacity by 90%: that'll do the trick. Though, truth be told, there are elected governments out there who are already diligently beavering away in their attempt to have us all live by the precepts of the Church. Those of you who have been in Norway know that it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. As recently as 80 years ago the entire area was blighted by deep poverty and everything that went with it, but now it's inhabited by wealthy healthy people, thanks to oil offshore and the tourists who stream through in their cars. The locals also drive a lot, because, sort of like Los Angeles only far more so, you can't go anywhere unless you have a car. Well, the local politicians have decreed that driving is a luxury that people shouldn't indulge in.
"At a time when climate change is beginning to seriously impact the planet, and when Norway's carbon dioxide emissions are increasing, we politicians must take steps to meet these challenges," Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said
Those of you who are old enough to remember the 1990s may be able dimly to recollect an era when none of this had ever been dreamed up yet. Moreover, it's beginning to seem possible that the unborn children of today - say, the ones who will reach school in the 2030s - will also not be familiar with any of this, because by then we'll have forgotten it because it will have been proven wrong. Here, for example, is an article by an Australian scientist that's been making the internet rounds this week. He says that the globe was getting warmer last decade, it isn't now, and fossil fuels probably aren't relevant one way or the other.

PS. I've said before and I'll say it again: in my opinion, pumping millions of tons of gook into the air is probably a poor idea. Since the Saudis and their ilk, supported by the Russians and Chaves, control most of the reserves of the stuff, there is a terrific incentive to wean us of it. However, the way to go is to invent better alternatives, not to wreck the rather comfortable world we live in.

Play with human nature, not against it.

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