Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Climate changeism: trial by bunkum

The best plan is to profit by the folly of others.
— Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Book XVIII, sec. 31

At the same time that the clamour over climate change has escalated into such a deafening roar in the media over the past week or so, there is inescapably a peculiar and astounding hollowness to its awful ring. Being neither for nor against anything in particular that anyone can identify, it is just and simply that: a clamour, a mob of hubbub, a proclamation of the perverse vanity that mankind is at once greater than the world it inhabits and too small to adapt to it. Climate changeism is the most ambitious make-work project in history and the biggest fraud since socialist economics. In short, it's

Dire scenarios of global warming are the products of contrived conformities of opinion that, only by the sheer weight of officiousness and zeal, are taken for scripture by the ready assortment of media, politicians, activists, lobbyists, social scientists, and subsidized corporations who conspicuously and almost entirely sustain its blaring pitch, without a smidgen more wit about the apparatus and methods of climate science than the man behind the counter at the corner convenience store.

Go ahead, ask any one of them what is the evidence for their gruesome farces and they cannot answer any such thing but splutter instead tail-swallowing blather that "you cannot dispute the evidence of top scientists around the world," "the science is solid," or other such ignorance-revealing and evasive tripe. What is the mandate, jurisdiction or interest of the appallingly politicized and grasping U.N. in gathering said scientists? "Who are you then to deny the collected opinion of science, anyway" they will just as likely retort, to which I will reply: you are just the perfect ones to accept it.

Ever since we started grossly subsidizing post-secondary education and indulging the caprices of bootless youth, university graduates in the social sciences and humanities have been churned out in preposterous numbers without any particularly desired or useful skills or talents. Otherwise cast adrift in an economy that places greater value on usefulness and productivity, a massive industry in NGOs, academia and professional advocacy groups has been generated to meet the demand for their employment, and subsidized in force by politicians who rightfully see them as their perfect constituents, demanding political action in accordance with the principles that enrich their livelihoods. The only practical aspect of their education has been the art of grant proposals, and the utter vacancy of their endeavours compels them to believe in the good works of the requisite form rationales. The media are honorary members of their fraternity, famously friendly with them as the source of quotes and context for the sensationally baneful and harping missionary news of the day. Politicians defer to the excesses of their loudest subsidized constituencies not because they believe for an instant their imprecations or care about their fastidious causes but because each one of them offers to them the chance to compete for distribution of their advertising, advocacy and research slush funds.

Versed in the abortive and optimistic shorthand of summaries and abstracts, like all efficient and well-trained professionals and academics around the world, they are climate change tourists with a parochial postcard view of the planet as some sort of incandescent bulb that's been turned on too long. Poke your head out of the passenger train window, for a change. Of course the climate is changing! As a composite of prevailing conditions, they must and will prevail, both here and there, or anywhere. But the Earth is warming, they say. Why should it not, only thirty years after a prolonged three-decade spell of unusually cold temperatures that wrought similarly grisly fears of an impending new ice age? On a geological scale the planet has only rarely been cooler, as during the ice ages. The Earth has warmed before, and it has cooled before, and it will continue jauntily on its own path with or without the specious statistic of global temperature that pretends to compress time and space in a misleadingly unitary crunching mass. But the trump card of course, because they will persist, is the continuing and unabating increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide that accompanies the current warming, in that curiously imminent frame of mind that expunges all memory of the cold decades between the 40s and the 70s that occurred during, um, continuing and unabating increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide should be so lucky. A holy matrimony of cause and effect? A tepid, on-and-off-again relationship, all the while that temperature, that air-brained tootsie, is constantly leering at other variables! And why should one presume that this concentration of carbon dioxide precedes warming instead of the other way around, or, for that matter, that solar output does not precede either or both, or that either or both will not produce feedback effects, negative or positive, that you cannot predict because predictions are confined by observations of a circumscribed and often arbitrarily refined set of observations limited to what has occurred already, and necessarily not of what will occur? It is enough to drive thoughtful and methodical inquiry to drink!

But, of course, the din of cries and fears is not to animate inquiry but to deafen and defeat it, not to strike at complacency but to promote it. For its audience, climate change is the formless void, down which the modern priests toss vague and inscrutable generalities like "action," "sacrifice" and "sustainability" as supplications, the consequences of which no one understands or is prepared to invoke. If you are sufficiently worried about a climate change, you are doing exactly and only what is expected of you, and you have been sufficiently prepared to lay down your cares at the feet of the prophets of climate changeism. The experts and politicians are vocationally enthusiastic about taking them up.

A perpetual cycle of anxiety is their best strategy for job security, and the only sure prediction for the coming century is the increased depletion of the economy, by the continuing and unabating diversion of its resources and wealth into the government-subsidized shadow economy of bunkum.


Jake said...

I'm gunna form The Church of Kyoto. It'll become the next flavour-of-the-month faith for celebrities, pseudo-environmentalist, and do-nothing politicians. Since it will be a church, I won't have to pay any income tax and can preach as much "hot air" as I want.

It'll make Scientology look so passe.

Anonymous said...

This connection of the scientific consensus about climate change with the supposed uselessness of degrees in the social sciences and humanities is ridiculous. It's people with science degrees who are pushing all the Kyoto foolishness, so take all your ill-informed bile about liberal arts degrees and stick it where the philistines live.

Brian Lemon said...

God I wish I could write like that.
Relatively, I feel like a greeting card caption author...

MapMaster said...

People with science degrees are scattered throughout the train, but they're not the ones driving the politicize-or-perish engine. The climate scientists are just as likely to get dragged along behind this foolishness as much as they are goaded into pushing it.

Scratch an actual climate scientist and you are as much likely to discover misgivings and doubt about where all this politicization of climate is going. The IPCC might as well be renamed the "International Panel on Concentrating Cant." It is an engineered front of scientific uniformity that doesn't exist in the real world.