Wednesday 1 April 2009

The cost of "Cry Wolf"

Okay, I repent. I shouldn't have said positive things about Earth Day. Environmentalists are all communists, or maybe even Canadians. Ronald Reagan was a great president, George W. Bush was tragically misunderstood. Global Warming is a myth from evil Greenie extremists. The polar ice-caps aren't melting, and besides, the world has warmed and cooled before so why all the fuss?

It's a bit weird really. Here we are, most of us, ex-apocalyptic nut-jobs in recovery. We've heard the cry of "Wolf!" one too many times. Forget that the Plain Truth magazine once claimed to be an early consciousness-raiser on ecological issues. Forget that yellow-covered booklet Our Polluted Planet (for those of you who hark back to the seventies.) Forget all those references to the Club of Rome. Nope, now we know better. Nothin's gonna turn to custard; pass me another beer.

Yes, Hoeh, Armstrong, Spanky and their gang were total cretins, and completely deluded. Yes, they jerked us all around with their fear religion. Only trouble is - Global Warming is happening, the ice-caps are melting and the scientific consensus is growing. I guess you might not know that if you listen to conservative squawk radio rather than read New Scientist.

The big surprise to me is that the current crop of apocalyptic nut-jobs - the Flurry and Meredith groupies - are just as likely to be in denial as the jaundiced malcontents and drop-outs. Maybe they figure that Global Warming is just too slow to be a sign that the knee-capping Hosts of Heaven will be riding in on the clouds in three-to-five years.

The thing with apocalyptic beliefs is that they encourage passivity. The End Times are almost here, ain't nuthin' you can do about it 'cept dig deep to fund the Work, study your Bible proof texts and hope like heck. The thing with science, on the other hand, is it encourages activism: it says we can change the future, it gives us strategies. Not the same thing.

The comments on the previous thread excluded some really nasty ones. It was, I thought, a moderate post, but I am apparently a commie, an Obama supporter and even worse. The World Wildlife Fund is a Marxist front. These folk have just morphed from apocalyptic nut-jobs to run-of-the mill, vanilla-favored nut-jobs. I think I prefer the apocalyptic types.

If you think Global Warming is just a liberal myth, go down to your local library and dig out the March 28 issue of New Scientist. Turn to page 32 and read the article called Meltdown. It isn't written by an apocalyptic nut-job, and it may just change your mind...