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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Apocalypse now ...

Apocalypse seems to hold a permanent fascination for a large section of the western population as I've commented before this. Some folk seem to thrive on being afraid of everything from the earth being hit by a stray asteroid, an 'invisible' planet, or an alien plague. Then there are the conspiracy theorists who can't accept anything from an official and usually pretty well documented source, and must invent a whole range of extreme scenarios around it, often turning the whole thing around. The Twin Towers is a case in point, some folk are absolutely convinced that the buildings were blown up by President Bush - or at least on his orders.

The strange thing is, that no matter how often these folk are proved wrong on any of the popular doomsday scenarios, they keep coming back with a "yes, but ..." and carry right on believing their pet theory. Often it boils down to 'presentation' rather than 'fact' and sometimes this is exploited by those with an agenda aimed at getting money for some pet theory, or to maintain a 'power base' they've benefited from. A case in point is the discredited "97% of scientists agree Global Warming is man made." A new paper purports to "prove" that 97% of CLIMATE scientists agree on this. Their methodology appears to be a little on the loose side, and it probably would not stand up if it were examined in a criminal court, since it involved a simple trawl of one website that collects and lists scientific papers published everywhere.

Their search parameters included "Global Warming" and "Climate Change" and, not surprisingly, they got a few over 12,000 hits. Some they then discarded, a small number of around 200, and the rest were assessed as being supportive or 'denialist' - but here's the bit it goes a bit wobbly. They didn't read each paper in its entirety. They only scanned the Abstracts and used a "Key Word" search to do that and "categorise" each one. Bingo, the result desired! The problem is that many of their "key words" appear in papers which do NOT support the AGW/Human Caused Climate Change theories. In fact there are a very large number of scientists now demanding their papers be reclassified or removed from the study. Oops.

But not to worry! The authors have already found a solution. Play down the controversy and the content, play up the "consensus" and go for it in a "marketing campaign". The sheer arrogance of this approach is breathtaking - especially as they have published in full their plan of campaign on a supportive website which sets out, step by step, how they plan to push this "proof of consensus" onto a gullible media and the public. Cynical exploitation? Probably, but then, in a war of ideology, anything is permissible - even blatant deceit.

In the meantime, unfortunately for the "Global Catastrophe is happening now!" fans of the various "green" organisations, the temperatures being recorded now are not conforming to the "models" and are certainly not consistent with the favoured theory. The Northern Hemisphere is slightly warmer, but the Southern Hemisphere is cooler. The Arctic ice is shrinking, but Antarctic ice is spreading, weather patterns are changing, but observational records show that this may be cyclic, and so do the ice cores taken from many different places around the world. Yet the clamour for governments to "ban" hydrocarbons, coal, nuclear and almost everything to do with our current industrial and economic activity to "save the planet" continues to grow.

The only plausible explanation for this is that the supporters of the "Green" agenda are absolutely in love with the "End of the World Is Nigh!" message, presumably it gives them some frisson of an adrenalin rush thinking about it, and don't want to look at the wider picture and the consequences of their favoured alternative society.

Personally I plan to continue as I am, doing a little bit to be "greener" as I was before it became a fetish, because I like a clean and unspoiled world. But I'm also a pragmatist. I can't control the climate, I can't turn the clock back, and I rely on electricity, clean water and food, clothing, and so on from the local shop. I don't plan to return to growing flax, weaving my own linen shirts and making my own shoes or slaughtering my own livestock.

The sky isn't falling, the oceans aren't rising dramatically, the continents will continue to drift, floods happen and droughts arise. I can't change any of it, any more than I can create the elixir of eternal youth. So, today, I shall take Harry, my fabulous little Sheltie, for a meeting with other Shelties and enjoy watching a pack of some twenty or so Shelties of all ages and colours have a ball playing together while their owners chat, swap stories and sup the odd beer.

Life is for living and enjoying, not worrying about how to spin out some new dire doomsday scenario.

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