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The PJ Tatler

by
David Solway

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April 13, 2011 - 6:40 am

With regard to my article “The New Weathermen,” I’d like to post this just-received email from my son, a scientist at a major Canadian university, who runs his own lab, has patents pending, publishes in scientific journals, won Teacher of the Year honours, etc. I’m really proud of this kid.

“As far as I’m concerned, with all the vested interests out there (mainly the greenists), just about the only thing you can do is believe your eyes. Over the last 100 years or so, it seems that the world has warmed – all you have to do is go to the mountains and check out where the glaciers come to, and where they used to be. The Columbia Icefields have retreated something like a km or two (I forget the exact distance) in the last century, which I could see with my own eyes from photographs, glacial moraines, etc. So at least in that region of the world, it appears to be getting warmer on a century timescale, if we can assume that glacier retreat is a sign of it.

Where I run into problems is with the linking of these phenomena to activities by man. I haven’t seen evidence that I find to be convincing that there is a link. Also, claims that the last X years were the warmest on record definitely need several grains of salt, as you point out. Especially because we know, from plenty of factual evidence, of which Gore’s shenanigans and Climategate and the UN are only a few of a long list of examples, that the greenists will use any kind of lies, fraud, and tricks you can think of to support their agenda.

And then, over the long term, the climate IS going to change regardless of human activity. Kind, caring old Mother Nature is probably just preparing to send her next ice age some tens of thousands of years from now.”

Touché. And after the glaciers retreat, there will be another quasi-Carboniferous Period in which human beings will swelter cruelly and predict the end of times. For that matter, one wonders, too, why Greenland is called Greenland.

Our climatologists and environmentalists, and their fellow travelers—“the whole sick crew,” to quote Thomas Pynchon—grow daffier by the minute. The latest instance of this evolving madness comes from Bolivian president Evo Morales who will shortly table a draft UN treaty stipulating the Human Rights of Mother Earth. According to reports, “it also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature’s complaints.” The message will be delivered “by activist and other groups, including the state,” whose pentecostal fluency is surely beyond suspicion. Not to be outdone, Maude Barlow, a well-known Canadian busybody, will be supporting the agenda with the launch of her new book, Nature Has Rights.

You can stop laughing now. This nonsense would be funny if it were not so romantically naïve. Mother Earth detonates her volcanoes and fills the atmosphere with debris and pollution, unleashes flood and fire to ravage whole populations, shifts her tectonic plates around, sends devastating earthquakes to greet her worshippers and launches tsunamis to top it all off. The poor creatures who crawl on her surface get tossed about, charred, drowned and buried like interlopers who have no business here in the first place. So much for all-benevolent Gaia. Nature is not a Jewish mother.

No sane person is arguing for the rampant despoliation of the earth. Many companies and countries have already put conservation measures in place and others are following suit. This is not for the earth’s benefit but for ours. Nature in itself doesn’t give a hoot. Still, our sanctimonious activists are having none of it. They make the corporations they love to hate seem like charitable organizations. For their do-gooder initiatives are potentially harmful to human welfare, threatening to reduce compliant nations to the level of subsistence economics. They also ensure the commercial and industrial advance, at the West’s expense, of global powers like China, Russia and India that have no intention of ever going enviro-mental.

Gaia-worship is just another cult or idolatry meant to fill the void of genuine spirituality in a secular age. “When men stop believing in God,” G.K. Chesterton is alleged to have said, “they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.” Serious conviction is replaced by earnest frivolity, self-transcendence by self-infatuation masking as self-transcendence. The Gaiaists are not the benefactors they affect to be; on the contrary, to cite poet Leonard Cohen, they are merely “parasites of heaven.”

David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012. Visit his Website at www.davidsolway.com.
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