Sunday, February 08, 2004


This writer is understandably confused about the disagreement among scientists about whether there is any global warming going on. But the fanaticism of its advocates persuades him that it is no more than an ego-serving cult: "Last week's London snowstorm was the last straw. With no particular scientific evidence in hand, I have come to the conclusion that global warming is a looney cult... The scientific controversy is beyond me, but I can recognize the fixed stare, the strained voice-throb and the rigid jaw of a madman at a hundred paces. The Greens hector us about the impending end of the world. I put it to them: perhaps it is not the end of the world, but just the end of you. Analysis of global temperature is a subtle issue about which reasonable men might in good faith reach different conclusions. The evangelical zealotry that motivates the global-warmers has a different source than the facts.... The sense of the transcendent they derive from contemplating nature is of desperate importance. "It is not that I will pass from the earth without leaving so much as a grease spot to mark my stay," thinks the Green. "It is the earth herself who is in danger. The rain forests will vanish! The whales will become extinct! The German forest is dying! The ice caps are melting!"

Denis Dutton on skepticism and science and environmentalism: "In the post-Enlightenment West, religions have diminished power, but they are being supplanted by nontheological belief systems that follow patterns of religion. It is clear from Hecht's history that religions have a knack for drawing vast, cosmic conclusions from scattered and marginal evidence, such as the dreams of seers or reports from ancient, uncorroborated texts.... Today, environmentalism is my pick as the best candidate for a belief system needing dollops of the kind of doubt formerly applied to religion. Like most traditional religions, environmentalism can do a power of good. But watch out for the dodgy data and the hysterical insistence that, unless we repent and change our ways, we and our children are doomed"

A moving tribute to the late John Daly on Number watch: "Daly was the epitome of a new phenomenon of the post-scientific age, a lone scholar with all the traditions of meticulous attention to detail and truth that the word implies, with limited means upholding the principles of the scientific method in the face of adversaries with vast resources. He usually won, but the establishment media ensured that the world never got to hear of it... He made mistakes, inevitable for the lone scholar, but they were vastly outweighed by his triumphs. He spotted the fiddled graphics, the unforgivably careless publication of contradictory numbers and the sheer failures of logic that go to prop up the eco-theological morass that is the modern substitute for real science. Most of his admirers around the world never met him, but nevertheless held him in great esteem, simply on the basis of his writings. Forget all the pornographers, mass mailers and virus producers; one Daly is sufficient justification for the existence of the World Wide Web.

Wow! Is this going to be the big new Greenie campaign now that Russia seems to have killed off the Kyoto treaty? Apparently glass windows kill birds because birds don't recognize them and run into them. The solution? Change all the world's window glass to a type that birds can see! Can you imagine what a huge upheaval that would be? Don't laugh. Give the Greenies time and it will come to a window near you! I have myself seen lots of birds run into window glass but they only ever look embarrassed by it. {Thanks to Matthew Cowie for the link}


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