Thursday, February 1, 2007

The day red turned to green

At the Red Star, Richard Gwyn pens a revealing piece in which he attempts to explain the mass (or, as it turns out, personal) appeal of that modern eschatology, Climate Change. I don't mean that far out CIA-controls-the-weather kind of climate change; journalists are always suspiciously afraid of digging too deep there. He means the more plausible kind of climate change where it's ordinary taxpayers driving cars for a few decades, rather than cycles in the timeless ball of flaming gas with 100 times Earth's diameter, that cause temperatures to fluctuate everywhere Earthman scientists are paid to look for them.

Let's consider the question of why, quite suddenly, Canadians should overwhelmingly view global warming as an issue that must be dealt with right away, even if this involves some sacrifices.
Richard Gwyn seeks to explain the bizarre, Pet Rock-style appeal of Global Warming. "Science" agrees that it is happening. But Gwyn notes that Canadians account for only 2% of The Gas Formerly Known As C02, and could benefit in many ways from a general warming. And yet, says Gwyn, Canadians are eager to take up the dagger of sacrifice. Sure, there's the Al Gore film -- I would just die to watch that 100 years from now, when the high priests are trying to sell "climate stagnation", or some such. And there are various recent UN reports about a trillion deaths from Zeus' mighty fist of lightning or the wrath of the corn spirit or however we refer to such things nowadays -- but Gwyn knows there's more to it than just the well-known conditioning effects of propaganda and repetition.

For Gwyn the appeal of taking up the cause of Global Warming is like standing in a deserted subway station and suddenly hearing the strains of "Internationale" swirl behind you. You turn and find...
... an "X" factor at work that has nothing whatever to do with global warming itself.

People, I believe, are looking for some grand, ennobling cause. We've run out of these. The Cold War is long over. One casualty of it was socialism, or social democracy, or the belief that government could solve all social and economic problems.
That's right, "the grand ennobling cause of socialism was a casualty of the Cold War." Like Wilfred Owen before it, the hope for communism died in the last hours of that poignant, complicated War, a beautiful dream that ended too soon. The nine digit number of non-metaphorical human victims passes as unnoticed as it did before that November.

OK, so people figured out that the command economy makes for oceans of blood domestically. Outside of universities nobody falls for that 200 proof social justice stuff any more. But, but... there's still war to give us something meaningful to do together as a community, as a fatherland, or at least as a primarycaregiverland -- isn't there?

Sadly, no, comrade. A Republican administration of the United States is involved in a war of liberation, and therefore wars of liberation are bad and complexificated now.
Also, the era of "human rights" is encountering some serious questioning. Notions such as "the right to protect," meaning that the world community (really, the West) has the right and duty to intervene in societies where people are being oppressed by their own governments, are being put into doubt.
We have lost that dream, at least until the war is properly counterbalanced with a universal health care system by a well-loved, smart, and slightly naughty Democratic president. But in the meantime, what more is there to struggle for, to organize other people's lives around when war abroad and slavery at home don't sell any more? Nothing is left to the common taxpayer but selfishness and solipsism:
So all that remains for us to devote ourselves to is individualism – our personal needs and wants. Which is never enough. Humans are social animals. We live in society, not just in our own cave or condos.
And so, we are brought together by an abiding desire to fuck that society up with redistribution schemes and suppression of trade!
Combating global warming is the ultimate collective cause. It's about doing good, not just to ourselves but to our grandchildren. It's about doing good not to and for just our own country, but to the globe itself.
Green scratches the old red itch.

So, Richard, you were wrong before; the science behind climate change may be ambiguous but the scientific method tells us that ultimate ennobling collective causes revolving around screwing with other peoples' liberties and livelihoods tend to result in misery, poverty, slavery, and camps to the degree to which they're taken seriously.

This is the fundamental bizarreness of this column. Why would we expect good results from a cause that Gwyn himself claims comes from the same urge for a collective purpose that brought us the Iron Curtain? Is Gwyn trying to warn us?
I may be wrong. But when was the last time so many Canadians cared so deeply about something so remote from their personal interests – unlike health care?


Paul McKeever said...

Thanks Mike. Your article helped me decide something very important today.


Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

Greg Palast said...

I'm with you on that one Paul. I have also made a very important decision based on Mike's wit.

Greg Palast
Communist party of Canada

Susan Shuttleworth said...

Wow, what panache! Thanks Mike, I have changed my mind entirely.

Susan Shuttleworth
Liberal party of Canada

Frank Levy said...

Incredible wit, mike is a genius. What would London do without such leadership.

Frank Levy
NDP party of Canada

Henry Hitlehein said...

Mike for Mayor; then we would really see some action in this town. We should start with a super highway right through town we can call it the Autondon Freeway. Then you should design Londons own car. Then we can increase our LAV production. We need to convert Diamond aircraft back into a fighter plane production line. We can build tanks and guns and jeeps and women can start sewing military outfits. Lets get this economy moving!
But wait, we can't just keep producing without using our inventory.

I've heard through credible sources that those Guelphites have been stock piling their own equipment. It would be an act of self defence. We really would be without choice at that point.

Well, either your with mike or against him.
Take your pick

Henry Hitlehein
Fascist party of LONDON

gm said...

BTW brainiac facism and socialism are pretty much the same. The National SOCIALIST wokers party.

Mike said...

For the record, the first comment is almost certainly really from Paul McKeever.


I don't know exactly where the other poster was coming from, but did it strike you that he or she apparently inadvertently repeated the theme of the post?

On the surface, representatives of four parties are impersonated in the comments, trying to butter me up and make me think I'm supposed to be some kind of leader -- but I'm not buying it for a second.

The interesting part is that, unprompted, the commenter's own selected group of characters just blown away by my cheap prose includes a Nazi -- reinforcing Gwyn's point about grand, ennobling collective ideas. I myself don't think the Nazis and Liberals belong together in a short list, but it's not my list.

We only needed a comment from the Green party to complete the circle back to the post.

Daniel said...

Sure, there's the Al Gore film -- I would just die to watch that 100 years from now, when the high priests are trying to sell "climate stagnation", or some such.

I don't think you'll have to wait 100 years -- usually these fad cycles run their course in a lot less time than that.

Mike said...

I don't think you'll have to wait 100 years -- usually these fad cycles run their course in a lot less time than that.

I agree, people will be into some other craze by 2020.

We'll live to see the day when I'm not the only one using the phrase, "What a load of global warming."