Wednesday, January 17, 2007

THE END OF HUMANISM?

An email from Michael Martin-Smith [lagrangia@lagrangia.karoo.co.uk]

The sad truth emerging from the environmentalist view of climate changes is that if we are to accept that humans are the cause of these problems, the whole of the past century's faltering moves towards egalitarianism and Humanism would have to be junked.

A Green planet would demand either a reduction of human populations to some inconceivable level (where is Pol Pot when he's needed?) or, failing that, a largescale reduction in the numbers of humans able to enjoy the fruits of modern technology. "All men are equal" would appear to be incompatible with the environmentalist prescription - unless we are to have an equality of misery and zero aspiration for a greater future. Cabbages are green enough - but we are not , and never can be, cabbages ( the brain dead excepted,of course)

Some might feel that a world run by elites, although unfair, would be preferable to a world entirely occupied by the miserable and destitute- since, from the latter, no Art, Science, or Philosophy, could be expected. Since these latter attributes are the principal distinctions between humans and, say, rodents, insects, or hagfish, we would really have no raison d'etre at all.

The only way out of this mess I can foresee is a timely expansion of human aspirations, activity and , finally, settlement beyond this ever more constricting small blue planet. It isn't even the only blue planet within our system - although the other one will be a difficult neighbourhood for a few centuries yet!

Vast resources of clean renewable energy and raw materials exist in our solar system alone; furthermore, within 5 years, I expect, we will discover the first extra-solar Earthlike planets. There are 209 or more of the other varieties known to us already, in only a dozen years. Our Age of Discovery is surely to be set on our credit side against the ever growing denigration of Humanity offered by many popular savants.

We are now in a race between those who wish to lead Humanity out beyond the Earth , and those who wish to confine us here, and control us. If the latter have their way, the results would be either extinction or, even worse, total subjugation of the human aspirations and spirit to controlling ideologues. We are, finally, explorers and adventurers, both physical and spiritual. Within a straitjacket, whether Green or Red, Humanity would finally have lost its meaning.

I happen to believe that this, insofar as the creative human spirit is a new and revolutionary force in our evolving Cosmos, would be a serious matter indeed - a kind of suicidal Treason against an evolving Universe, which some have, ( eg Spinoza) for many centuries, called "God".

We have, in short, a duty to use our brains and ingenuity, and explore to the limits of our abilities which we neglect at our peril. This is, to use abit of jargon, our "Primary Mission". This means a Cosmic Diaspora, even if it takes many generations and much endeavour.

There are those who believe that a supremely wicked Humanity deserves to perish; let them set an example, and start with their own self-immolation. The Game of Life is not to be won by self-haters. For the rest of us - let us seek higher things. As Oscar Wilde wrote "We are all of us in the gutter - but some of us are looking at the Stars!"





CATASTROPHISM AND HISTORY

Comment from Canada

As a geologist who is well-acquainted with the long and fascinating history of the Earth, I find the obsession with catastrophic environmentalism - in this instance so-called global warming, mind boggling, and from a scientific perspective, shameful.

I've seen countless geology-department professors bury their integrity as they morph from respectable paleontologists or geologists from other specialties, to "climate change" experts, then watch the research funding roll in. Catastrophism as a scientific phenomenon was quite popular until just before the time of Charles Darwin when it was thoroughly demolished by, among other things, the brilliant work of Sir Charles Lyell, whose seminal work Principles of Geology helped properly consign catastrophism to the ash dump of what we now refer to as junk science.

There is no evidence for a single globalscale catastrophe in earth's five- to six-billion-year history (no, the so-called Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event supposedly caused by some kind of ridiculously massive meteorite impact was nothing of the sort: in the first place, there is no evidence for any giant meteorite impact; second, some reptiles - a.k.a. dinosaurs - survived, along with virtually all of the mammals, fish and the vast majority of the plant kingdom. What kind of mass extinction is that?).

Second, the most significant so-called greenhouse gas is not carbon dioxide at all: it's water vapour. And what is almost 70% of the earth covered by? Yes, water! Care to guess what percent of the surface of the earth is covered by matter that is continuously emanating carbon dioxide? Probably somewhere under 15%.

Of course, add ocean currents and their deep-seated, cyclical and poorly understood mechanism into the mix, the irregular solar flux, the wobbly orbit of the earth around the sun, periodic episodes of widespread volcanic activity (Krakotoa emplaced the industrial equivalent of decades worth of ash and other pollutants into the atmosphere in less than two days), the carbon flux in the oceans, and numerous other factors into the mix, well, then you start to get a more realisticpic ture of what's involved in controlling climate variation.

Also, for your information, there was a fascinating paper that appeared in the Geological Association of Canada journal, last year I think, demonstrating that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide appear to follow increases in temperature, not precede them! I doubt you' ll hear the great wizard, Dr. David Suzuki, catastrophist extraordinaire, speaking much about that.

Finally, as if any other proofs of the earth's incredible self-buffering and self-regulating capacity were required, how about the fact that as this winter has been so mild, the burning of fossil fuels for heating as gone way down and so has the consequent emissions of carbon dioxide. Presto. Problem solved! Peter Foster hits the nail on the head when he suggests that it would be "a travesty" for the Harper government to go down for perceived inaction on Canada's part in supposed man-made climate change.

Realizing that concept themselves and as a party wishing to stay in office, the Conservatives are now willing to hold their collective noses and trot out billions of dollars of our surplus tax dollars in initiatives to aid those misguided public perceptions. As they must feel the rest of their agenda is not worth toileting over such a frivolous subject, we can not fault them for pulling the old Liberal "expediency" trick.

Source






Naughty Chrysler questions climate change

Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has attacked European attitudes to global warming, describing climate change as "way, way in the future, with a high degree of uncertainty". He was particularly critical of the recent Stern Report on climate change, which was commissioned by the UK government and calls for urgent action to tackle the problem.

His words are in sharp contrast to the green image that the US car companies have been trying to promote at this year's Detroit motor show. Mr Jolissaint was speaking at a private breakfast where the chief economists of the "Big Three" US car firms presented their forecasts for auto industry sales this year. Most of the audience - which was mainly made up of parts suppliers - seemed to nod in agreement with Mr Jolissaint.

Mr Jolissaint, a Chrysler veteran who was recently appointed the chief economist for the German-US DaimlerChrysler Group, said that since he started spending more time at the company's corporate headquarters in Stuttgart he had been surprised by European attitudes towards global warming.

In response to a question from the floor, he said that global warming was a far-off risk whose magnitude was uncertain. He said that from an economic point of view, it would be more rational to spend lots of money on today's other big problems, and only make small and limited changes in policies relating to global warming, such as a slight increase in gasoline or carbon taxes.

Mr Jolissaint was particularly scathing about the Stern Report, which urged governments to take urgent action now, arguing that it would be much cheaper to act, rather than face a $10 trillion cost of climate change of not doing anything until later. Mr Jolissaint said the report, written by a former adviser to UK Chancellor Gordon Brown, was based on dubious economics and did not include a discount rate. Until recently Sir Nicholas Stern was the second permanent secretary at the UK Treasury.

Chrysler's chief economist said his German colleagues at DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Stuttgart and other professionals in Europe viewed global warming "with much more alarm than we do". He called on Europeans to deal with climate change "in a step-by-step, rational way, and not play much Chicken Little", referring to the US children's story in which Chicken Little runs around in circles saying "the sky is falling".

If nothing else, Mr Jolissaint's remarks illustrate the yawning gap between mainstream opinion on climate change among the educated elites of Europe and America. But they are also consistent with the cynical view held by some in the US environmental lobby that announcements by car companies about the future development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing.

A spokesman for DaimlerChrysler told BBC News that while the science of climate change remained "uncertain", the company supported "concurrent advances in climate science to ensure fuller understanding of the controversies surrounding this issue and to avoid inappropriate responses by government or the private sector". The company was "committed to develop new advanced technologies to minimise any potential impact our vehicles might have on global climate or the environment in general," he said.

On Sunday, GM boss Rick Wagoner told the world's press that there was "now an irrefutable business case for producing green cars" and that the company recognised that fossil fuels would eventually run out, or be in such short supply as to force prices much higher.

At the same time, GM's chief economist - who last year forecast that oil prices would average $40 a barrel when in fact they topped $60 - was predicting that oil prices would fall this year as new oil supply came on stream. As a result, he argued, demand for big, gas-guzzling cars would recover.

Despite the fact that the chief economists have not forecast growth in US vehicle sales in 2007, after 16.5 million units were sold in 2006, they were more optimistic about their outlook than many Wall Street analysts. One reason for their relative optimism was a remarkably sanguine view of the other economic risks facing the auto industry.

There is widespread agreement that the US economy will slow next year, partly because of a sharp drop in house prices. But Ford's chief economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick said there was little to link house prices and auto sales. She also argued that the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, was likely to cut US interest rates by half a percentage point in coming months to prevent the US economic slowdown turning into a full-blown recession.

This has not been the consensus view in financial markets, and in fact many analysts have stated that Ford would suffer most if the US economic slowdown was more severe than expected. And some, such as Sean McAlinden of the Center for Automotive Research, have warned that it could even push Ford close to bankruptcy.

Source






WHY THE GREEN LOBBY MUST BE TREATED AS A RELIGION

Anthropologists have established how different cultures independently evolve similar myths - familiar stories, such as the myth of the Fall and the myth of the Apocalypse, which meet deep-seated human needs. The Christian tradition describes the temptation of Adam and Eve and warns of the Last Judgment. In Europe, these stories no longer have the impact they did. Environmentalism now fulfils for many people the widespread longing for simple, all-encompassing narratives. Environmentalism offers an alternative account of the natural world to the religious and an alternative anti-capitalist account of the political world to the Marxist. The rise of environmentalism parallels in time and place the decline of religion and of socialism.

Environmentalism embraces a myth of the Fall: the loss of harmony between man and nature caused by our materialistic society. Al Gore recounted the words of Chief Seattle, as his tribe relinquished their ancient lands: "Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother?" This lost Eden never existed. Humans have burned and eaten the environment since time immemorial. The first Americans crossed the Bering Strait and killed every tame animal they saw. Chief Seattle sold his heritage for a life of luxury and his eloquent speech may have been penned by a television scriptwriter. But myths are literature, not history or science: classical epics and the great religious books are cultural treasures and their educational value does not depend on their literal truth.

The Apocalypse myth is equally familiar. Our wickedness has damaged our inheritance and, although it is almost too late, immediate reform can transform our future. Christians look to the Second Coming, Marxists to the collapse of capitalism, with the same mixture of fear and longing. Environmentalism at first lacked a persuasive Apocalypse myth. The litany of environmental degradation had to confront the manifest fact that many aspects of the environment were steadily improving, with cleaner air, rivers and seashores. The discovery of global warming filled a gap in the canon. That is why environmentalists attach so much importance to the assertion not just that the world is warming up, which is plainly true, but that this warming is our fault, which is less plainly true. The connection between rising carbon concentrations and the growth of modern industrial society provides justification for the link between the sins of our past and the catastrophe of our future.

Environmental evangelists are therefore not interested in pragmatic solutions to climate change or technological fixes for it. They are even less interested in evidence that if we were really serious about reducing carbon emissions we could do so by large amounts without significantly affecting our economies or our lives. Windmills on roofs and cycling to work are insignificant in practical consequence, but that is to miss their point. Every ideology needs rituals of observance which demonstrate the commitment of adherents.

Business should treat the environmental movement as it treats other forms of religious belief. Business leaders do not themselves have to believe its doctrines. Indeed we should be wary if they do: business linked to faiths and ideologies is a sinister and unaccountable power. But companies must respect the belief systems of the countries in which they operate, and acknowledge both the constraints these structures impose and the commercial opportunities that arise. Most environmental initiatives that have been implemented - phasing out fluorocarbons, renewable energy and emissions trading - have significant commercial lobbies behind them.

Still, myths play a valuable social role and the intentions of their proponents are generally benign. The social impact of religions and ideologies, for good and ill, does not depend much on the factual accuracy of their stories. The injunction to be careful of the impact of our actions on the air, the earth and the water is well taken. The danger of environmental evangelism is that ritual, gesture and rhetoric take the place of substance.

Source

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Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists


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1 comment:

BIRD OF PARIDISE said...

Many of these eco-freaks including AL GORE worship GAIA the pagan goddess of the earth and who knows what kind of new age pagan cerimonies take place at the UN