Posted by: adoseofliberty | December 15, 2009

Global Band-Aid

Only a problem as paramount as “climate change” can be the reason for anything.  Whether it be some phenomenon for which you can’t find an explanation or some unjust, gratuitous evil you know will make any decent person weep with sadness and subsequently fill them with rage, Climate Change is the answer.

Question, Meet Answer

Using data from Italy, some scientists are claiming that the “increasing anomalies in monthly average temperatures associated to a higher monthly suicide mean from May to August and, to a lower extent, in November and December.”  (Interestingly enough, from the same research paper abstract, the scientists state, “for females, the links between temperature and suicides are less consistent than for males, and sometimes have a reverse sign, too.”  So if we solve climate change, perhaps the temperature-sensitive emo men will be beaten out and put to shame by the emo women.)

Over in the Philippines, according to Suneeta Mukherjee, country representative of the United Nations Food Population Fund (UNFPA), “climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing, possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection.”  Yep.  “Sorry honey, global warming kept us from catching enough fish this week, so go get your makeup, you’re hittin’ the streets again tomorrow.”

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House (Select) Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee actually said the following back in July last year:

“In Somalia back in 1993, climate change, according to 11 three- and four-star generals, resulted in a drought which led to famine.  That famine translated to international aid we sent in to Somalia, which then led to the U.S. having to send in forces to separate all the groups that were fighting over the aid, which led to Black Hawk Down.”

Brilliant.  He’s like the Sherlock Holmes of stupid.

One broad-reaching theory offers to explain that wars, population phases, and price cycles in the past several centuries have “been driven mainly by long-term climate change. ”  The line of reasoning is that “cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline successively.”  Successively, remember.

In case you didn’t know, climate change is also the reason we have terrorists.  Back in 2007, an opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune stated that climate change would “exacerbate global terrorism by increasing both migration and the likelihood of state failures – two factors that have been known to have a major impact on the threat of radicalization.”

Amazingly, all of these are serious hypotheses and explanations related to climate change.  At least the recent study by The Lancet, a medical journal based in London, presents a practical perspective:

  • More biking and walking not only can help fight climate change but it can reduce heart disease, diabetes, and even depression. (Yep, your goal to drop 20 pounds has failed since high school, but now you have “green” motivation, so break out the gatorade and your old Adidas and sell your M5.)
  • Moving to wind power would reduce deaths in China and India due to pollution. (Nevermind the fact that it takes several orders of magnitude more windmills to produce the same amount of energy as a coal-fired plant.  And China and India might be what some “reluctant” to deliberately decrease energy production density on such a scale.)
  • Getting rid of livestock, such as those smelly cows, kills two birds with one stone, by reducing methane emissions and saving people from heart attacks. (Too bad though, because now your Double-Double will be Boca-Boca.)

The “Psychology of true belief”

Bret Stephens brilliantly offers an enlightening look at the “intellectual methods”, what he call the “totalitarian impulse”, of our climate change comrades:

Revolutionary fervor: There’s a distinct tendency among climate alarmists toward uncompromising radicalism, a hatred of “bourgeois” values, a disgust with democratic practices. So President Obama wants to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% from current levels by 2050, levels not seen since the 1870s—in effect, the Industrial Revolution in reverse.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, insists that “our lifestyles are unsustainable.” Al Gore gets crowds going by insisting that “civil disobedience has a role to play” in strong-arming governments to do his bidding. (This from the man who once sought to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.)

Utopianism: In the world as it is, climate alarmists see humanity hurtling toward certain doom. In the world as it might be, humanity has seen the light and changed its patterns of behavior, becoming the green equivalent of the Soviet “new man.” At his disposal are technologies that defy the laws of thermodynamics. The problems now attributed to global warming abate or disappear.

• Anti-humanism: In his 2007 best seller “The World Without Us,” environmentalist Alan Weisman considers what the planet would be like without mankind, and finds it’s no bad thing. The U.N. Population Fund complains in a recent report that “no human is genuinely ‘carbon neutral'”—its latest argument against children. John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, cut his teeth in the policy world as an overpopulation obsessive worried about global cooling. But whether warming or cooling, the problem for the climate alarmists, as for other totalitarians, always seems to boil down to the human race itself.

• Intolerance: Why did the scientists at the heart of Climategate go to such lengths to hide or massage the data if truth needs no defense? Why launch campaigns of obstruction and vilification against gadfly Canadian researchers Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick if they were such intellectual laughingstocks? It is the unvarying habit of the totalitarian mind to treat any manner of disagreement as prima facie evidence of bad faith and treason.

Monocausalism: For the anti-Semite, the problems of the world can invariably be ascribed to the Jews; for the Communist, to the capitalists. And as the list above suggests, global warming has become the fill-in-the-blank explanation for whatever happens to be the problem.

• Indifference to evidence: Climate alarmists have become brilliantly adept at changing their terms to suit their convenience. So it’s “global warming” when there’s a heat wave, but it’s “climate change” when there’s a cold snap. The earth has registered no discernable warming in the past 10 years: Very well then, they say, natural variability must be the cause. But as for the warming that did occur in the 1980s and 1990s, that plainly was evidence of man-made warming. Am I missing something here?

• Grandiosity: In “SuperFreakonomics,” Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner give favorable treatment to an idea to cool the earth by pumping sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, something that could be done cheaply and quickly. Maybe it would work, or maybe it wouldn’t. But one suspects that the main reason the chapter was the subject of hysterical criticism is that it didn’t propose to deal with global warming by re-engineering the world economy. The penchant for monumentalism is yet another constant feature of the totalitarian mind.

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