The other day I filmed a short video catalogued in my website archive (semperluxmundi.org) under “A Culture of Slanders and Slurs”. The library of about two dozen videos now addresses topics related to religious faith in a straightforward manner: no virtue-signaling allowed. I thought it was time in this particular series to call out the unscrupulous among us who abuse language in such a way as to sequester defenders of certain views from consideration as human beings. Of course, “racist” is now such a slur, and I am about to dedicate another video to the word “Nazi”. “Climate-change denier” has never really caught on, thanks to being quite unwieldy—but the notion behind the phrase is the same: those who “deny” climate change deserve whatever mistreatment comes their way. Not only must we not give them a hearing; we should entertain giving them jail time, or maybe shooting them like dogs.
I placed the word “deny” in quotations above because denial isn’t even what’s properly at issue (any more than is “climate change” per se; the mandatory article of faith is really that global climate is rapidly, radically changing due to manmade influences). My talk—and you can do just so much in fifteen minutes, alas—began by stressing that, as a lifelong enemy of the automobile and of our congested urban environments, I have left considerably lighter carbon footprints behind me than most people. I then spent several minutes emphasizing that mere measurement of relevant climatic data is an enormously complex task. Readings must be obtained at uniform geographical and chronological intervals from around the world, a requirement which undermines confident conclusions at our point in history right out of the gate. Perceived changes in weather during one human lifetime qualify as evidence neither by the spatial nor the temporal standard; for none of us spends an hour per month at a hundred locations equally spaced around Earth’s sphere, and none of us lives the many centuries necessary to uncover a meaningful pattern.
This doesn’t make me a “denier”; it makes me a voice of restraint before those who insist upon rushing to unjustified conclusions. I wish I’d had time to handle more adequately the dubious motives of many at the “movement’s” fore who busy themselves stirring the rush into a stampede. Peter Helmes has often offered analyses of that caliber through his site, Die Deutsche Konservativen. One of his posts a couple of weeks ago noted that Greta Thunberg’s father has grown rather wealthy off of two concerns dedicated to marketing his eerily wooden and humorless “Green Joan of Arc” daughter; and the post concludes, all in boldface, Um es nochmals klar zu sagen: Dahinter stehen keine Idealisten, sondern knallharte Großkapitalisten. Wo deren Interesse liegt, dürfte jedem normal denkenden Menschen klar sein. Translation: “To say it plainly, there are no idealists standing behind [climate change hysteria], but hard-boiled capitalist tycoons. Every competently thoughtful person should be clear about where the interests of such types lie.”
When I still possessed a small soapbox in academe from which to prod freshmen, I tended to proceed very cautiously into the realms of chemistry and atmospheric science. Those weren’t my field. Some of my students could have diagrammed complex molecules while I was still trying to figure out how carbon dioxide can poison plants. (Can it? An intrepid investigator probing a volcanic lake on the History Channel made that claim within my hearing… but the minute rise in global CO2 seems to be feeding plants handsomely in locations that aren’t fuming with sulfur.) Behind my rostrum, then, I always contented myself with making a few very basic, even “dummy” observations. 1) Carbon dioxide is less than one half of one hundredth of one percent of the earth’s atmosphere; it’s hard to see how fluctuations in thousandths of a percentage point spell Armageddon. 2) Of that tiny amount, only about two percent arises from manmade sources. 3) Of those manmade sources, India and China are by far the most prolific contributors—and neither of those nations is in the least interested in curbing its industrial growth.
If the West, and the U.S. in particular, were to fragment its industrial/technological foundation for the very doubtful purpose of reducing CO2 emissions by .00003%, the following disastrous environmental consequence would therefore follow. The “People’s Republic” of China would have a path free and clear to dominate utterly the world’s economy, and hence to determine in large measure the social and political organization of every individual society. In other words, the single greatest environmental poisoner in our planet’s history (with the possible exception of the post-Chernobyl Soviet Union) would be calling all the tunes globally.
Is this what we want? Is this what any person sincerely concerned about life on Earth would want? For several decades, we have seen (if we have eyes to see) how much the Chinese oligarchy cares about its own citizens. I’ve noticed in reading the testimonies of Chinese citizens who speak out too daringly and are “invited for a cup of tea” at police headquarters that practically all detainees, when they know they’re not going home for several weeks, worry about not having their meds. Everyone in urban China is on meds! That’s because the air is poison to breathe. (Remember a few years back when a massive effort was made to cleanse to skies temporarily over Beijing for the opening Olympic ceremony?) We’re getting a refresher course right now, if we need one, on just how highly the PRC elite value the lives of ordinary people. To the Party’s chosen few, handling the Coronavirus is primarily an exercise in public-relations damage control. If the disease isn’t diagnosed, then ensuing death cannot be attributed to it… and only about one patient in ten was being tested for infection even in the early days of the outbreak, before resources gave out.
These are the people to whom we will surrender the planet’s health, should we throttle all fossil-fuel consumption, refuse to build nuclear power plants, and wait for the wind to turn blades on the high plains. This is the “green” plan to save us all!
I also used to stress to my students, as I stress in the video and continue to underscore, that pointing all solutions in the direction of a more intrusive government smells very, very fishy. It is especially so inasmuch as big government created most of the problem, to begin with. After World War II, our federal government, favoring certain players in the transportation sector over others, pumped millions into producing a national car- and airline-dependency among us while leaving our substantial railways to languish. (Trains move loads about fifteen times more cost-effectively, by the way, than trucks… but the Teamsters’ Union had a louder voice.) On a local level, municipalities of the Fifties rigorously began to zone out your corner drugstore, your handy barber shop, your neighborhood school and pediatrician—which, of course, created real estate and building booms as well as forcing Middle America to invest heavily in cars, in gas and oil, in insurance, and so forth. Meanwhile, lawyers, lawsuits, regulations, and inspectors converged upon Plainville, USA, the way vultures compete for a carcass. Federal bureaucracies like OSHA hounded small-business owners even after they had duly shifted their shingle from Laurel Lane to Main Street. Many of these hard-working people surrendered, dissolving their business and entering the daily rush-hour file of traffic to get to a corporation’s megalopolitan plant or office tower.
If we simply eradicated these zoning restrictions and micro-managing bureaucracies, we would preserve immense amounts of oil, reduce incalculable volumes of traffic-related stress and injury, almost nullify the crime endemic to periodically emptied neighborhoods, foster an environment where citizens were much happier thanks to a much more human level of contact with each other… but no. No. More government, more regimentation—that’s worked so well for us in the past! Let’s just amp it up.
Meanwhile, merely for raising your hand and daring to ask a question about any aspect of the “climate change agenda”, you make yourself a target for doxing, canceling, incarcerating… you’re a public spittoon. This is your reward for suggesting that, if the emperor’s new clothes are invisible, maybe it’s because they don’t exist rather than because you’re blind. This is our current level of insanity. This is how well we’ve been groomed for rule by the idiot-producing ideologues controlling our classrooms, and by marketplace and political despots ranging from George Soros to Xi Jinping (who both turn out to be financing much of what happens in our classrooms).
Indeed, my ultimate question of our “social conscience” warriors—far down the list, and not an item that I would ask in a townhall meeting—nags at me more than any uncertainty I have about science. How many of these self-declared moral beacons, I should like to know, who lead the chanting chorus of, “Climate-change denier!” as the mob gathers, are being remunerated rather directly by Soros, Xi, Robert Fink, or the Rothschilds’ Bank of England? Conspiracy theory? Why, hell yes, it’s conspiracy theory! Have you not yet awakened to the fact that all truth in these “post-fact” times is suffocating under the bedsheets of conspiracy-theory quarantine?