THE AUDACITY OF HYPE
The Tennessee Gore family compound as seen from space. During daylight hours. While vacant.
When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing--they believe in anything.
The sky is warming! The sky is warming!
Poor Al Gore. He had a speech booked at a lecture hall in Hell to scold the devil on runaway carbon emissions but had to cancel when it froze over. So he rescheduled at the next closest thing: Congress.
"The plann-itt has a fay-ver," Gore twanged last week before separate House and Senate panels on climate change in a textbook display of projection. It's the end of the world as Al knows it and he is far from fine. But he's not the only one. John Edwards, presidential dopeful and fellow Democratic philosopher-king, thinks global warming will "make world war look like heaven." Right. Whatever that's supposed to mean.
But why all the manufactured hysteria, and why now? Gore's been scaremongering on this issue going on two decades. In Earth in the Balance, first published back in '92, he wrote that "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization," even going so far as to propose a "Global Marshall Plan."
But what if a tree is decomposing in the forest and no one's around to fear it, can you still get a million dollar grant to study all the ways it's destroying the planet?
For the majority of the earth's existence our climate has exhibited a temperature scale wholly incompatible with human life. We're now living in a time frame especially hospitable to our own existence (go figure), but from the planet's perspective (allowing that a planet can have a perspective) there is nothing especially remarkable about the relatively narrow temperature range that renders life possible.
Take the polar bear--and no, not the cuddly CGI variety made famous in the Goracle's recent Oscar winner (Best Supporting Factor in a Misleading Role?) The polar bear seems to have weathered extreme weather variations just fine over the previous millennia. Average temperatures during the Middle Ages were significantly warmer across the board than anything the global alarmists have their carbon neutral hemp boxers in such a twist over today. Were the sun's output to rise precipitously or fall off dramatically from what we in the 21st century consider "normative" levels, the plight of the We Care bear in the coal mine would be the least of our worries. Unless you're one of the growing legions of ecolytes in the Church of Al Gordo of Latter Day Senators, it already should be.
But if it is the politicization of science that has truly become inevitable then at the very least both sides of the argument should be provided equal time, rather than just the lefty columnist lockstep that ensures us "the debate is over." Funny, I guess I missed that one. Must have aired exclusively on Current TV.
Claiming that all scientists concur that we're carelessly heating up the world is a bit like saying all Hollywood actors agree that the War in Iraq is only about petroleum rights. Consensus over faulty assumptions is their stock in trade. (Interesting how the only article of faith the otherwise secular Left seems to agree on is that Big Oil is the root of all evil.)
If that neocrog Prometheus had just stolen a more sustainable source of energy from Mt. Olympus we wouldn't be in this position!
Meanwhile these same gliberal econauts minimize the danger of Islamic radicalism, a fatally proven threat that could at any time instantly vaporize a sizable portion of our citizenry; instead of the dread of a terrorist slow bleed strategy of sharia psoriasis they live in mortal fear of being slow boiled like the proverbial frog in the pot. If 24 were written by libs it would star Federal Agent Major Bore as he jets across the troposphere in his Gulfstream IV stopping at nothing--nothing!--to halt international thermostatism in its tracks. Of course, every episode would simulate a single year in the previous twenty four that the Fifth Horseman of the Apocolypse has been pounding his bongo drum of Impending Doom.
Science is by definition an unfinished debate, in that no hypothesis can ever be definitively proven, but only strengthened progressively with the addition of supportive and thoroughly tested and challenged evidence. The scientific method itself is rooted in skepticism. It's what makes the entire process of inquiry possible, how it can as a discipline exist apart from mere conjecture. So when someone instructs you that the debate's over, what they mean is that the door is closed, so stop jiggling the knobs lest the roof cave in on their preconceived worldview. Any scientist that tells you to stop doubting is no scientist at all. Just ask Galileo. He reminded the Catholic Church about the Copernican belief that the earth revolved around the sun and they answered debate's over, got it?
But if all the back and forth of the data miners and chart toppers is giving you a global case of MEGO, I really can't blame you. But just consider but one of the many points of contention upon which the entire non-debate pivots.
If temperatures are indeed gradually rising, then it stands to reason that either they are being driven by increasing CO2 levels or increasing CO2 levels are a trailing byproduct of rising temps. The Earth First! ("People Last!") crowd (more of a mob, really) would have you believe the former; that the approximately one degree centigrade increase over the last hundred years is just the tip of the fast-melting iceberg. So what they're saying is that they somehow averaged out all the varying temperatures recorded all over the planet, condensed them into a single number, and they expect us to believe that this century-long uno degree-o heat wave is actually greater than their observable margin of error? That's one kick-ass thermometer. Must be electric.
However, if instead the latter is true--a finding backed by at least a few more climatologists than the Stepford media cares to acknowledge (must not have gotten the memo about that whole debate thing being over), then the entire house of carbon credit cards collapses.
If not only do rising CO2 levels trail rising observed temperature trends--but that there exists between them a lag of potentially hundreds of years--then the truth may well be inconvenient after all. Inconvenient for whom, though, is the real question. We said debate's over! Stop debating!
Is it merely a coincidence that the secular Left has latched onto this cause with more intense quasi-religious fervor than found on the set of the 700 Club?
The unofficial religion of this new environmentalism (key word: mental) is a realization on the neo-Marxist Left that communism's biggest PR misstep was in attempting to banish the Almighty from public life lest it compete with the almighty State. But worship of the perpetually angry gods of Mother Earth can readily fill that void while simultaneously providing ample justification for the triumphant return of Big Government to reassert its grip over virtually every facet of our daily lives. The impulse to control, the will to power never truly lessens; it just changes with the times. The earth is cooling! Ice age! Ice age! Wait, now it's warming! Heat wave! Heat wave!
Gee fellas, you're finally starting to get it. The planet tends to do that kind of thing. Maybe we don't actually live in The Best Damn Shorts Weather Ever, but just got lucky in the whole Holocenic sense. When even the co-founder of Greenpeace thinks you've gone over the deep end ecologically, don't you think its time to reassess your assumptions and rein in the crazy just a bit?
In any event, us permitting Al Gore to ordain himself as our self-anointed guru of Gaia would be akin to the Senate confirming Sean Penn as Secretary of Defense. When confronted with reports of his own massive public utility consumption Gore countered that he lives a "carbon neutral life" by obtaining "offsets" to compensate for his gargantuan energy use. You know, like after the time he accidentally left the guest cottage helipad lights on all month, he footed the bill for a third party to blow up a third world electrical grid in order to make up for it. I'm a man who seeks balance, lectures the Lecturer-in-Chief. If I decide I want a steak, I'll happily pay you not to have one. I buhlieve that's mah responsibility as a co-steward of the plann-itt.
Just like they say at the annual Sierra Club meetings in Aspen: think globally, act vocally.
A very necessary and timely rebuttlal titled the Great Global Warming Swindle -- or as it's been repackaged in Deutschland, Fahrenheit Nein Danke -- has been making the rounds in the public sphere since first airing in the UK. It should be included with every sale of Big Al's rubber-stamped Hollywood imprimaturn-back-the-clockumentary; the one salient difference being that it actually makes an ounce of sense. Apparently that much-touted scientific consensus isn't quite as solid as the Ain't Easy Being Greens would have us believe.
True, we're stuck with another Clash of the Polemics, but it does seem to be the height of fashion lately. My propaganda's true, your propaganda's bunk. The New York Times said Fox News is full of it. So there. We contort, you deride.
If you fear being branded an infidel, don't worry. If your name isn't Mohammed, chances are you already have been.
Either way don't be too surprised if The Man Who Won The Popular Vote ultimately descends so far into his own ecomania that to set the example for all of us he has himself recycled, all 200+ carbon based cardio-free pounds. Just think how many starving polar bears that could feed.
Nahhh... that's not believable either. Sounds like too much of a "risky scheme." What is believable, however, is that it's eminently more likely that solar activity is what primarily drives climate change, just as it has for the millions of years prior to the invention of the smokestack, rather than human propelled carbon dioxide emissions from the previous hundred. Of course, like Al I'm no scientist, but then neither am I mad.
If this makes me a New Holocaust That Hasn't Happened Yet (But Just Might) denier, then so be it. It's the hollow cause that I'm actually afraid of. See, I've gotten pretty used to industrial civilization and I'd prefer to keep it if that's alright. If you've witnessed how the other half lives then you'd know it's not all it's cracked up to be.
Give warming a chance, Al. A few of us could still use some.