It is difficult to type with one’s fingers crossed but the superstition that says that we might jinx a desired happening by announcing its arrival prematurely would seem to require that I do so in saying that this winter seems to finally be over. It was the worst winter that I can remember and the people who keep track of this sort of thing have told us that this is the worst on record since 1898. Since I live in a city that is noted for its bad winters, leading to the inevitable “Winterpeg” pun on its name, that is truly saying something. It started earlier than usual, hit us from the beginning with the kind of cold temperatures we usually receive in January/February accompanied by blasting winds and an unusual relentlessness. In the rare and short breaks in the relentless cold we received large amounts of snow, usually far in excess of what the meteorologists predicted, making this the oddity of a winter that was harsh in both extreme temperatures and snowfalls. March came in like a lion, with a weekend in which it got even colder, and went out like the exact same animal, as, to mix metaphors, the winter took one last stab at us with its dying breath.
In all of this I cannot help but wonder what happened to the global warming the environmentalists have been promising us for almost as long as I can remember. I think that Winnipeggers have a good case for a class action lawsuit against the environmental lobby on the grounds of false advertising. Have we been breathing out all that carbon dioxide for decades for nothing? Somebody make sure that David Suzuki does not flee the country while I speak with a lawyer!
It seems to be an open-and-shut case to me. Granted, the defence might attempt to argue that you and I have not lived up to our end of the bargain, but realistically I don’t think they have a leg to stand on. Surely we cannot be expected to spend all of our spare time cruising around the city emitting greenhouse gasses, what with the rising price of petroleum and the state of the city’s pothole-ridden streets. Furthermore, there are only so many uses to which an aerosol spray may be put, even if one is somehow able to still find a can that uses chlorofluorocarbons.
Of course the environmental lobby might try to escape facing the music by pointing out, with an uncharacteristic display of honesty and candor, that back when they got into the business of apocalyptic scaremongering in the 1970s it was the doom of global cooling that they first conjured up in their crystal ball. Indeed, having seen the handwriting on the wall like old king Belshazzar of Babylon, many of the environmental prophets of doom have in recent years again switched their terminology, now preferring to speak of climate change, a conveniently vague phrase that covers any conceivable change in global weather patterns. In the unlikely event that the global climate was to evolve so that the planet became a universal, year round, tropical paradise, this too could be accurately described as climate change. The coining of the expression climate change was the greatest moment in the history of covering all of one’s bases since Charles Dickens declared it to be both the best and worst of times!
Please do not misunderstand me. My point is not that concerns and fears about the environment are never to be taken more seriously than those of a nutty old man in a potato sack with long hair and a beard carrying a “The End is Near” placard. We humans are finite beings who live in a finite world with limited resources. Some of those resources are renewable, others are not. We have a right to use the resources available to us but that right does not take precedence over our duty to take care of our world and to conserve its resources so that they will still be available for future generations. We also have a duty to avoid disposing of the waste products of our use of resources in such a way as to mar the beauty of our surroundings or taint our water supplies and atmosphere. While all of this seems fairly obvious once it is pointed out, it is also easy to ignore in practice. The conservationist movement began as a legitimate and necessary response to the depletion of forests and the disappearance of various species of wildlife. Environmentalism in the broader sense of the term, was started in response to the very real problem of the pollution of air and water due to industrialization.
The problem is that in the late twentieth century the environmentalist movement, which originally attracted a wide range of supporters, was hijacked by socialists. Socialism, like pollution, is an unpleasant by-product of industrialization. As the socialists gained control of environmentalism its message came less and less to resemble common sense and more and more to resemble crackpot anti-business propaganda. It is one thing to say that a resource like our forests ought to be preserved so that future generations can enjoy it as well. That is both reasonable and in accordance with common sense. It is another thing to say that logging companies, driven by the profit motive, would, if not prevented by activists and government agencies, deplete the forests. This makes no sense whatsoever. Even if a company has a callous disregard to all concerns other than profit-making it will be concerned about its long-term profits as well as its short-term profits and there is no long-term profit in using up your resources. This is why reforestation, a conservationist project, has long been a project of the forestry industry.
It is the socialist infiltration of the environmentalist movement that brought about the scaremongering campaign about man-made climate change. The gist of what the environmentalists claim is that the greenhouse gasses that human beings have emitted into the atmosphere over the last couple of centuries are altering the global climate so as to pose an imminent threat to human existence. For this claim to make any sense it would have to be the case that the world’s climate has been more or less the same throughout human history until the last century or so. This is not remotely close to being true, no matter how many hockey stick graphs are drawn up, or how many tiresomely egotistical “documentaries” Al Gore makes. A thousand years ago, Norsemen settled the west coast of Greenland and established nice, farming communities in the moderate climate they found there. Needless to say, these colonies did not survive the coming of the Little Ice Age in the fourteenth century. These sort of historical truths are rather inconvenient for the theory of man-made global warming and its supporters.
Man-made climate change, we are told by the scaremongers, places our very existence in jeopardy. Huge bodies of ice, floating on the ocean, will melt, they tell us, raising the level of the seas until they overflow their banks, inundate coastal cities, and basically create a need for Noah to return and round up the animals two by two once again. Presumably, whenever these people order a cold drink they guzzle it down very fast lest the ice melt and their drink overflow.
The theory of man-made climate change is not a theory drawn up to explain observable data but rather to promote a political end which is the signing of international agreements concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These treaties, however, would not reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to prevent the predicted climatic disasters even if the theory were sound. The only effect such treaties could possibly have, would be the handicapping of Western countries to the advantage of non-Western countries and an increase in the amount of socialism in Western countries.
Frankly, I’d rather have the global warming.
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