Saturday, April 05, 2008

A New Age of Unreason

You know what I really enjoy? Being lectured on science by people who don't understand the first thing about inductive reasoning. Here's Nigel Lawson, who has a new book on climate change coming out:

Over the past half-century, we have become used to planetary scares. In the late Sixties, we were told of a population explosion that would lead to global starvation.

Then, a little later, we were warned the world was running out of natural resources. By the Seventies, when global temperatures began to dip, many eminent scientists warned us that we faced a new Ice Age.
Fun! Now let me have a try. We were previously told that saccharin and coffee could cause cancer. Now, people are calling chromium-VI a carcinogen! As if!

I like the part about running out of natural resources, too. Thank heavens that myth has finally been laid to rest.

You have to marvel at the appetite of amateur climate discoverists for arguments that are based entirely on the author's canny assessment of their own stupidity. Lawson appeals to the everyday resentments of these yearning masses with frequent references to the "fashionable" theory of climate change; it's yet another symptom of bourgie hauteur, y'see, like eating sushi or staring rapturously at blank canvases.

And just in case any of them have some residual or larval respect for scientific expertise, he's not above making shit up:
Now, I readily admit that I am not a scientist; but then neither are the vast majority of those who espouse the currently fashionable madness. Moreover, most of those scientists who speak with such certainty about global warming and climate change are not climate scientists, or Earth scientists of any kind, and thus have no special knowledge to contribute.
The plot thickens! Now, it's not just dissenting climatologists who've been frozen out of the debate; it's climatologists, period. Surely Mr. Lawson is a queer farfetched man.

He goes on to observe that "carbon dioxide, like water vapour and oxygen, is not only completely harmless but is an essential element in our life support system." Since oxygen is completely harmless, I'm sure he'd be happy to be sealed hermetically in a chamber full of it for a day or two. And since water vapor is harmless, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to survive indefinitely at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. After all, it's a matter of quantity, not quality.

From here, the blizzard of nonsense approaches whiteout conditions. Increased CO2 levels are largely a result of population increase, so be fruitful and multiply! Without CO2, plants couldn't exist, so reducing CO2 levels would leave the world as bleak and barren as the interior of Lawson's skull. A warmer climate couldn't possibly reduce food production, because all plants require is high levels of carbon dioxide and plenty of sunlight.

The climate isn't warming, but we'd be better off if it were, so let's learn to adapt to it. Doing nothing is better than doing something stupid, so let's use highly theoretical geoengineering techniques "to cool the planet artificially," while making sure that the developing world has unfettered access to "cheap carbon-based energy."

Climate alarmists are all Marxists, searching for a new creed after the collapse of socialism...and besides, asking workers to reduce their energy consumption is typical bourgeois mystification. Capitalism has made everyone rich and happy, which has led to "a new age of unreason" in the form of doomstruck secularism. Alarmism is the most terrible danger we face, and it's being promoted by a cabal of unregenerate commies and atheists who want to destroy us all.

To put it another way, Lawson never borrowed a kettle from you, and he returned it unbroken, and besides, it was already broken when you gave it to him.

The title of his book, you ask? An Appeal to Reason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Funny, the books I'm reading on climate change are written by real scientists, and they're very very worried.

Let's make plans for Nigel: Drop him at the bottom of a dead sea.

Buckeye, Dealer of Rare Coins