Columns

Climate and COVID: The Erosion of Common Intelligence and Common Sense

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

In a recent article for PJ Media, I discussed the decline in IQ scores across the West over the last decades, a phenomenon confirmed by many psychological studies and clinical reports. In the article I provided links and documentation as well as numerous episodes and examples in support of the survey’s conclusions. But I omitted for reasons of space what strikes me as a cardinal illustration of the contemporary erosion of common intelligence and common sense, namely, the popular belief in “climate change” and so-called renewable energy sources, and, more recently, mass compliance with government public health dogma and politically inspired COVID legislation.

With regard to climate: Untold millions credulously buy into long-exploded pseudo-scientific fables like anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and the utility of wind turbines and solar arrays, attesting to the ongoing debility of critical inquiry and independent reasoning, qualities associated with intelligent thinking. The unsightly despoiling of the environment, the distribution of these monstrosities in fields and pastures across the national landscape, and the hecatombs of bird and insect species caused by these lookalike Imperial Walkers should give us pause.  

Moreover, the toxic nature of industrial wind, involving hazards like ILFN (Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise), noxious REEs (rare earth elements), and the installation of Permanent Magnets whose components produce prodigious amounts of radioactive waste, cause serious health impacts and deformities. This has become a matter of criminal import, something people should be aware of. The data has been available for years. In this connection, a legal challenge has been launched in France against the government under articles of the Penal Code. 

The notorious Texas freeze, to take a recent instance, should have provided abundant evidence that wind and solar are not only weather-dependent and inadequate suppliers of electric power but potentially disastrous; yet many continue to believe that the answer to such emergencies is even more green technology. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, who introduced the Green New Deal in Congress, claims that the infrastructure failures in Texas “are quite literally what happens when you don’t pursue a Green New Deal.” The degree of stupefaction here is legendary. Renewables are not only ill-suited for, but wholly contra-indicated to serving as primary energy sources for industrial societies.

Climate delirium has been with us for a generation and more and has been discussed and analyzed in innumerable articles and books. The authentic literature on the subject has long been discoverable by any sentient person. What is comparatively new on the psychogenic scene is Covid Derangement Syndrome.

The massive public accommodation to the onset of the coronavirus and the draconian measures deployed to combat it have proven to be useless and, indeed, ruinous. Support for such oppressive measures remains high, despite the fact that public health lockdowns are unprecedented in the West and testify, as former Clinton advisor Naomi Wolf and American Institute for Economic Research senior fellow Donald Boudreaux warn, to the imminence of totalitarian rule. These measures are instruments of political control, more suited to the police state than to a democracy. Tucker Carlson gets it right in his February 23/21 segment. Even so, the masked stream by like armies of the living dead or creepy, beaked creatures from outer space, scarcely humanoid. It’s a positive relief to see people who still have faces. 

Multitudes continue to insist on virtual incarceration and the demolition of small businesses. Studies into the effect of mrNPIs—more restrictive NonPharmaceutical Interventions, i.e., lockdowns—conducted by the prestigious European Journal of Clinical Investigation do not “find strong evidence supporting [any] additional benefit of stayathome orders and business closures.” These benefits, the report continues, assuming they exist, “may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures.” The language is careful but the findings are undeniable. The evidence is there to be disinterred. Even the efficacy of PCR testing, which public authorities and the general populace have fervently championed, has now come under suspicion;  The Lancet itself admits that up to three-quarters of “positive” tests turn out to be of post-infection or non-infectious people. 

Of course, a skeptical mind and a degree of perseverance have become increasingly necessary to weed through the media lies and the bias and obfuscation of the Big Tech platforms and many of the Internet sites. But the information is still out there and remains accessible to any curious, independent-minded person.

A population in the throes of panic is easily cowed and manipulated. As Charles MacKay remarked in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852), people “go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.” The return to reason is slow and laborious. But a population that takes unctuous and deprecating comfort in its own reduction or demise, and is unwilling to, or incapable of, asking questions and seeking answers is already lost. It is moot whether MacKay’s “one by one” would be able to mount sufficient countervailing force. 

As Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky writes in his newly released memoir Never Alone, “In the West today, the pressure to conform doesn’t come from the totalitarian top… Instead, it comes from the fanatics around us, in our neighborhoods, at school, at work, often using the prospect of Twitter-shaming to bully people into silence—or a fake, politically-correct compliance.” 

Of course, there is pressure from the top—from the political class, government-funded medical personnel, profiteering greenpreneurs and the media, whom Boudreaux regards as “pathetically uniformed…largely innumerate and, in many cases, intellectually lazy.” But the pressure comes also from the bottom and the middle, compelling conformity with climate doctrine that is destructive of the environment and economically devastating, as well as consent with COVID regulations envisaging years of lockdowns ahead and the collapse of society as we have known it. When a free society collectively agrees to the surrender of its freedoms, it is clearly in the grip of a cognitive fiasco of the first magnitude.

The reflex and untutored widespread belief in anthropogenic global warming on the one hand, and the enthusiasm for masks, lockdowns and antigen testing on the other, are clear signs of a massive failure of public intelligence. Despite the dead hand of media censorship and the vapors of popular sentiment, the information still circulates and is ready to be tapped. The facts are available to any active mind.

What we are observing is the shrinking of perception that comes with acquiescence to the pressures of group-think and collective mind-forming. We begin by being susceptible to repression. We proceed by accepting its diktats. We finish by experiencing a narrowing of the sensibility. Ultimately, we grow stupefied, shedding IQ points like autumn leaves. Of course, the reasons for the decline of intelligence in the West are many and varied as well as controversial, but the downward trend is well-documented. The public response to “Climate and COVID” is a sure indication of the debacle.

The Assault on Greatness