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Comment Dated Dec 19, 2009


CARNIVAL OF CLOWNS



The circus of willful ignorance and mendacity being played out Copenhagen surely marks a new high point in a lemminglike stampede of the once-mostly-rational developed world toward martyrdom that's in full disconnect from being driven by reality. Claims that human activity was--or was even capable of--measurably affecting climate made little sense to begin with. The Earth's climate has always cycled between being warmer or cooler, wetter or drier, stormy or settled, and the changes observed during the industrial era have been well inside the range seen in records from the past. So there's no reason to suppose that anything, human-induced or otherwise, is affecting the climate abnormally. Carbon dioxide is a minor player in what goes on, compared to water vapor and the activity of the Sun, and the amount generated by Nature dwarfs anything that humans add. In any case, increases in the atmospheric level over the ages have followed rises in the Earth's temperature, not the other way around, so they are a consequence not a cause. On top of all that, even if humans were having the influence that has been claimed, the results would be overwhelmingly beneficial. Living things thrive in warmer environments. The major advances in human civilization, reflected in the rise of cultures and times of elevated expansion, inventiveness, exploration, agriculture, artistry, and science, all occurred in warmer periods. Anyone who is sincere about praising the virtues of a "green" planet should love it.

Now the suspicions that even superficial consideration of such points as the above should have raised have been confirmed beyond doubt: the "scientific" arguments advanced to justify the disaster scenarios were the fraudulent product of data massaging and falsification, suppression of conflicting evidence, computer models rigged to deliver the desired results, withholding of information from critical independent examination, the exclusion of skeptics from the official review process, and the intimidation of journals from publishing them. Despite all this, more than 700 scientists worldwide have expressed doubts--12 times the number of experts cited by the UN IPCC; and even these turn out to be primarily political representatives or graduates in the humanities, with no training in the philosophy or methods of science--and over 34,000 scientists have signed a petition saying there is no convincing evidence that gases released through human activity pose any threat. Nevertheless, with blinkers and earplugs firmly in place and sapient thought processes apparently on hold, the illustrious leadership of the Western world are bent on railroading through their preconceived agenda to the asinine chorus of the science being "settled," while house-trained media that once functioned as a watchdog manage to exceed that inanity by insisting that action must be taken even if the evidence is non-existent or wrong. Action taken to what purpose, for what reason?

Of course, this won't be the end of the human race, but it might be the beginnings of an end to the latest experiment in how to govern large and complex organizations made up of it. The theory of political democracy is that government implements the wishes of the population as expressed by the majority vote of an educated and informed electorate. A nice thought, to be sure. But what we have is a manipulated and uninformed electorate whose "education" has for the most part failed to encompass the development and exercising any faculty of critical, independent thought, and when that constitutes the majority that gets to determine who's in charge, I suppose it's not all that surprising that the result is what we get. Democracy never promised intelligent government, or honest government, or ethical government, or believable government. It promised representative government.

Humans do seem to have amazing reserves of tenacity and the ability to muddle through in spite of the odds, however, and a better world will very likely come out of it all one day--one with the wisdom to realize that being able to enjoy the natural wonders of our planet and at the same time take advantage of the benefits that human ingenuity and creativity make possible are not mutually exclusive. The inhabitants of that age will probably look back on the present in something like the way we regard the Dark Ages, as the time when people finally figured out a way of distinguishing what was probably true from what probably wasn't, and discovered the astounding things that technology is capable of, but lacked the wit to apply either body of knowledge effectively to the betterment and benefit of all. I sometimes wonder if a race of intelligences exists in a transcendental reality beyond our own, who in spite of their godlike qualities found themselves bedeviled by the same social and political problems as ourselves and created the cosmos as an aggregation of a gazillion Petri dishes in a gigantic genetic programming experiment to see if any of the life forms that emerged in it might come up with an answer that worked. I know it won't come as much comfort to those who want to believe that there's something out there watching over us, but such an intelligence would do things for its reasons, not what we think ought to be its reasons, and so the fate of any particular species in the collection--let alone an individual lost in among it--would not be a matter of any great concern. Which means it's pretty much up to us, doesn't it?