Skip to comments.More a cause than a science, Global warming is the new Key to All Mythologies
Posted on 10/18/2007 9:41:08 PM PDT by Coleus
There is no key to all mythologies. There was not one in the 19th century and there is not one now. Life is a radically complex phenomenon. The world is vast and intricate and human reason, for all its progress, is still stranded on the approaches to a full understanding of its processes, its myriad enigmas, its ultimate origins and perhaps even its point. Since the days of Isaac Newton, Western science has advanced our knowledge of the world and the cosmos to an almost miraculous degree. We know enough now perhaps to say with the force of real truth what was not possible to say before our time: that now we know how little we know.
Certainly this was Newton's own attitude. Even after the titanic intellectual achievements of his work on gravity, planetary motion, and light he related in a letter how he saw his work. The quotation is familiar and eloquent: "To myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." It is also a very comforting quotation. When a mind of the reach and penetration of Isaac Newton measured with such exquisite proportion his great achievement ("a smoother pebble or a prettier shell") against what was yet to be discovered and explained ("the great ocean of truth") we were given one of the great signatures of real science. Its hesitancy, its deference to what remains to be said or explored, its horror of overstatement and its aversion to dogmatic certitude.
Newton despite his wanderings into alchemy was no Causabon. He saw the limits of what he knew, and knew the vanity of striving to know all.
...we were given one of the great signatures of real science. Its hesitancy, its deference to what remains to be said or explored, its horror of overstatement and its aversion to dogmatic certitude.
There's not much of hesitancy, or deference, or horror of overstatement, in this the high noon of the global warming movement. Global warming as "explanation" is now tethered to the most minuscule of circumstances to the most macroscopic. A group called Pets Across America (which we may assume is not an assembly of climatologists) reported this week that "droves of cats and kittens are swarming into animal shelters nationwide, and global warming is to blame," and that since "global warming is probably not going to be slowing any time soon" it's best for pets to be "spayed and neutered" now. This is of course ludicrous to the point of farce. Global warming as a key to randy cats. But it is but one illustration that could be multiplied by a thousand of the now nearly automatic linkage of the most particular or local circumstances to the available "explanation" of global warming.
Global warming is the new Key to All Mythologies. It is a vast and total reading of our world, and because it is vast and total it calls up responses from changing light bulbs to rearranging the economies and the politics of the world. It pits the industrial countries against the developing ones, it "relates" a flight from Ottawa to Montreal to the future impoverishment of some Pacific island, it speaks in the doom-laden accents of pure certitude of what will happen in 50 or 75 or a hundred years from now and, with the same ferocious certitude, demands decisions of immense consequence be made now to forestall its bleak and definitive projections.
There is so much of blind or casual acceptance of global warming as the crisis of our time, or its high "moral" essence, and such an overwhelming pressure to accept its tenets and claims as to amount to a stampede. There is, in other words, so much that is antithetical to the spirit of real science in the various campaigns being waged as to immensely discount the principal claim that it is science that is driving them all. Global warming has some science at its core. But it has been overlaid with a vast engine of continuous alarmism, propaganda, relentless campaigning, facile projections, and not a little bullying righteousness by some of its celebrity proponents. It is, for all that is shouted to the contrary, more a cause than a science.
Rex Murphy is host of CBC Radio One's Cross-Country Checkup and contributes weekly TV essays on diverse topics to CBC TV's The National. (See Rex's TV commentaries). In addition, he writes book reviews, commentaries, and a weekly column, Japes of Wrath, for the Globe & Mail.
The sadness of any “ism” is that it tries to address any issue in terms of the “ism”. Al has unleashed “Globalwarmingism” on the world, and now any issue is viewed by its adherents as subject to the cosmology of this religion.
Globalwarmism is the socialist movement’s Battle of the Bulge. It is one last desperate attempt to implement central economic planning.
Great article. Thanks for posting this
The only consolation, is that before the end of this century, the name of “Al Gore” will be synonymous with the word “idiot.” He will be known as the greatest fool in history.
Great post, Coleus! Ping to the POGW list.
Once they tell us the debate is over and the concensus is that universal health care cures global warming we will all be screwed
The Goracle will mobilize his mindless minions of Gorons..
“Globalwarmism is the socialist movements Battle of the Bulge. It is one last desperate attempt to implement central economic planning.”
Last attempt? ...probably not, just the current one....
The book that most approaches a true “Key to All Mythologies” is “The Everlasting Man” by GK Chesterton.
The entire text is freely downloadable from many sites.
A liberal-leaning friend (a certified genius) just told me that human-accelerated global warming is verified through extensive study of geological layers, patterns of deep frozen ancient ice and other esoteric indicators. I countered that a mere few hundred years of climatological tracking and the scrying of chicken innards don’t counter that we’re on the warmest end of an ice age cycle.
But you can’t argue with an automaton who won a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize for emitting so much bovine methane.
And Algore is certainly no Newton!
New!!: Dr. John Ray's
Ping me if you find one I've missed.
Lawrence Solomon's "The Deniers" (a series of articles on the view of scientists who have been labelled "Global Warming Deniers"):
This map (left) shows key areas of Antarctica, including the vast East Antarctic ice sheet. The image on the right shows which areas of the continent's ice are thickening (coloured yellow and red) and thinning (coloured blue). Â© (Left)British Antarctic Survey, (Right)Science
Most of these stories come from Canada, Australia and the UK. Other than John Stossel's articles there seem to be few from the US.
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