Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts. We should not ignore or suppress good indicators on the environment, though they have become extremely rare now. It is tempting to the layman to embrace with enthusiasm the latest bleak scenario because it fits the darkness of our soul, the prevailing cultural pessimism. The imagination, as Wallace Stevens once said, is always at the end of an era. But we should be asking, or expecting others to ask, for the provenance of the data, the assumptions fed into the computer model, the response of the peer review community, and so on. Pessimism is intellectually delicious, even thrilling, but the matter before us is too serious for mere self-pleasuring. It would be self-defeating if the environmental movement degenerated into a religion of gloomy faith. (Faith, ungrounded certainty, is no virtue.)Author Ian McEwan, suspect climate change sceptic.
Self-defeating yes, but not for those looking to profit from the gloomy outlook of the converted who seek not only to atone for their own sins, but also the perceived sins of their united neighbors. Some like it hot, some like it cold, and the sun doesn't care whether you work for Exxon or Al Gore. The climate giveth and the climate taketh away.
Biologist Jennifer Marohasy in conversation with Mike Duffy:
Marohasy: "Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that's what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.Not a squeak out of Jack Layton this year lamenting the fact that the majority of Canadians have not yet shed their winter coats in favour of shorts, even though Spring has officially arrived.
cp: The Broom