Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Anthro-centric global scare mongering, VI

I wish that someone could tell me what this means:
We face a challenge in the conversation of democracy that we must be up to in order to save the climate balance on which our civilisation depends.

These were part of prepared remarks given by former Vice President, Al Gore, at the Hay Festival in the United Kingdom. "Prepared", I said. Can you imagine what the semantic content of the rest of his speech must have been? Can you say "Zilch"?

I see where Mr. Gore's new film, "An Inconvenient Truth", scored well on a per-theatre average over the Memorial Day weekend. It earned $366,000 in four theatres. That's $91,500 per theatre, far outstripping "X-Men's" $32,554 average. Of course "X-Men" ran in 3690 theaters. I will certainly see this movie when it comes to my area. I see it having about as much effect on public policy as "X-Men", too.

Since anthro-centric global warming can only be mitigated through political action, I wonder if that action will be as effective as President Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security. Yes, yes, I know they have nothing to do with each other. But both issues are thoroughly political, even though advocates for both claim a huge body of evidence supports the political action required.

This may be the best hope for those who, like me, have strong doubts about the impact humans can have on the climate. That is, if we look at the results of the attempt to privatize Social Security all at once -- and going further back, the attempt to nationalize health care during the Clinton administration -- we can take heart that people are basically conservative, meaning that they're resistant to change. The "third rail" of politics remains untouchable. That was proved by the failure of privatization and the assurances opponents put forward that Social Security really isn't in danger. Enacting massive measures to reverse climate change will fail, too, primarily because the "sea change" Gore talked about in his speech won't take place.

I think that for massive policy changes to pass there would have to be a climate upheaval as lengthy and dramatic as the Great Depression was for the economic "climate". I mean, FDR and Congress were able to push through a huge amount of legislation establishing social programs because they saw that they had to "do something". Hurricane Katrina isn't enough for global warming legislation to be passed. There'll have to be a decade-long drought and record-breaking high temperatures across the country every year, all year. I just don't see it happening. Not that I'm unhappy about that, you understand...


Brian Dunbar said...

My own opinion (what, you weren't asking?) on global warming is that it might well be happening; climate change happens. Ask the Vikings about Greenland, or how Knox sledged cannons from Ticondaroga to Boston.

Humans might or might not be responsible - we've been busily doing things on the planet for tens of thousands of years. Could be. It doesn't matter at this point - we simply won't be able to make the changes needed to stop impacting the earth - it's not in our political or cultural or social better interests.

Better to avoid egregious environmental degredation and create wealth. Wealth will get us through times of climate change better than climate change will get us through times of no wealth.

Steve Erbach said...


Man, you can opine all you want!

I'm glad you mentioned Greenland and the Hudson River representing historical high and low temperatures. I've said often that if the people that believe the computer models about anthro-centric global warming could run a computer model that explains both of those situations, why, I'd be easier in my mind about using computer models rather than real science.

And I love your mangling of the "get us through times of" quote. Thank you.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank