Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Gods Are Angry

The gods are angry….

Thus are furious with us. They send us hurricanes and typhoons, tornadoes and earthquakes, fires and floods. They ravage the earth, pollute our rivers and streams, poison our livestock and render our fruits and vegetables inedible. You have to be very dense not to have gotten the message... about the climate.

The gods are really, really angry… They are angry at us, at us for having done terrible things to each other and to the planet. Their anger exposes our guilt. We must be punished. Only then can peace reign on a planet that we have systematically ravaged for our own consumerist lust.

But, we know what we must do to placate them, to attenuate their rage. We must make sacrifices. Remember Agamemnon who famously sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis in order to raise the winds so he could set sail to recover his kidnapped sister-in-law.

Imagine another scene. Imagine a primitive, pagan village suffering a drought. (If you like you can call it California.) The villagers call on the medicine man. (aka Jerry Brown) It badly needs rain, lest everyone perish. So, the medicine man offers an incantation to the gods. Please, gods, send us rain. The gods respond that the people must demonstrate their sincerity by making a sacrifice. They must sacrifice a goat or a lizard or their crops. Only then will the god send rain.

If they do as they were told and sacrifice the goat, it might happen that the rains come… torrentially. None of us is going to believe that there is any necessary correlation between the sacrifice and the rain, but, you will never convince the people of the village that there is none.

Besides, what else can they do when they suffer a drought or a flood or an earthquake? Should they wait it out, pick up and move to Texas or sacrifice another goat? Perhaps it would be better if they tossed a virgin into the mouth of a volcano? That will calm the gods down, don’t you think?

At the least, the image of primitive idolatry is good for a few laughs. How can people be so unsophisticated that they fall for this claptrap? What makes them think that their actions have any influence at all on sunspots, solar flares and the tilt of the earth’s axis?

You know, because everyone knows, that the weather, even the climate has nothing to do with how many goats or virgins you are willing to sacrifice. It doesn't even have to do with how many times you exhale or how many times the cows fart. And yet, people still believe that the sacrifices are worth making. In fact, many of the world’s leaders are gathered in Paris in order to pay obeisance to the gods and goddesses of the climate.

Bret Stephens doesn’t mention the gods, but he describes the magic tricks that their acolytes use to convince us to bow down to them:

The semantic trick in the phrase “climate change”—allowing every climate anomaly to serve as further proof of the overall theory. The hysteria generated by an imperceptible temperature rise of 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880—as if the trend is bound to continue forever, or is not a product of natural variation, or cannot be mitigated except by drastic policy interventions. The hyping of flimsy studies—melting Himalayan glaciers; vanishing polar ice—to press the political point. The job security and air of self-importance this provides the tens of thousands of people—EPA bureaucrats, wind-turbine manufacturers, litigious climate scientists, NGO gnomes—whose livelihoods depend on a climate crisis. The belief that even if the crisis isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be, it does us all good to be more mindful about the environment.

Facts do not trouble the true believers. Compared to the wrath of the gods, the facts, Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser explain, are anything but dispositive:

Even with this year’s El Niño-boosted warmth threatening to break records, the world is barely half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it was about 35 years ago. Also, it is increasingly clear that the planet was significantly warmer than today several times during the past 10,000 years.

Nor can it be the consequences of this recent slight temperature increase that worries world leaders. On a global scale, as scientists keep confirming, there has been no increase in frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts, while deaths attributed to such natural disasters have never been fewer, thanks to modern technology and infrastructure. Arctic sea ice has recently melted more in summer than it used to in the 1980s, but Antarctic sea ice has increased, and Antarctica is gaining land-based ice, according to a new study by NASA scientists published in the Journal of Glaciology. Sea level continues its centuries-long slow rise—about a foot a century—with no sign of recent acceleration.

If it’s not the facts and if it’s not the reality, then surely the proponents of climate change are worried about the angry gods. In fact, if you fail to join their cult, if you do not become a true believer and if you are unwilling to sacrifice someone’s  livelihood, then you are a denier and deserve to be thrown in jail.

We are not, dare I say, dealing with rational thought. We are in the world of pagan superstition.

In the end, it’s about the culture wars. Or better, it’s about a call to return to pagan polytheism. It about replacing Western civilization and its one God with the multicultural worship of the multiple gods and goddesses of polytheistic cults.

In the book of Exodus the Commandments that found Western civilization being with God’s saying:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lordthy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Even before Catholics and Protestants fought a culture war against each other, our civilization was founded on the notion that there was only one God and that He did not allow anyone to worship any other gods. It was founded on a battle between those who believed in God and those who believed in many cults to many gods.

If you were wondering why the gods are so angry, why they are preparing to destroy Western civilization, there it is. They are furious that they were replaced by the one God. They are going to take their revenge. And they will do so... unless we make some serious sacrifices, like sacrificing our liberty and repealing the Industrial Revolution. In case that is not doable, why not begin by sacrificing the livelihood of West Virginia coal miners?

As any climate change true believer will tell you, the gods are so angry that they are going to visit apocalyptic misery on all of us. They are far beyond any damage a bunch of terrorists can ever inflict on us.

Strangely enough, for the climate change cultists and the multiculturalist left, Islam does not count as a monotheistic religion. After all, some Muslims are adept at the art of human sacrifice. Doesn’t ISIS fascinate because it has made human sacrifice an art? Don’t some Muslims believe in sacrificing their daughters to placate some god or other? They call it honor killing, but it’s really about a girl doing something to anger a god.

When Swedes and Norwegians turn a blind eye to rapes committed by Muslim immigrants against Scandinavian women aren’t they showing themselves willing to sacrifice a few of their daughters to mollify those whose brutality manifests the anger of the gods?


Ares Olympus said...

Wow, an almost fact-free blog topic, but I see one claim "Even with this year’s El Niño-boosted warmth threatening to break records, the world is barely half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it was about 35 years ago."

Although we can accept 2015/16 are likely to be anomaly years (like 1997/1998) due to the El Niño, it looks like we'll be close to 0.9C above the last century average, with 6 of the last 7 warmest years occurring in the last 6 years.

And if we take the WSJ's 0.5C in 35 years, that extrapolates to 1.5C in a century. And perhaps the sun is helping us out by being in an unusually quiet period, leading to slightly less radiation over the next couple decades, that's not actually a good thing, since it means whatever warming we experience under "quiet sun" will be accelerated further when the sun becomes more active again.

It would be nice if we had perfectly dependable models that could give you a "look up table", 400ppm in 2015, 450ppm in 2040, 500ppm in 2060 (assuming we stablize population under 9 billion people and 2/3 of the world's population is content to not burn more fossil fuels), and then predict all the global and local temperature changes and then make a rational cost-benefit analysis of what the future can afford.

But I'll tale Judith Curry's position that it is a "wicked problem" and we won't be able to predict exactly what the future hold. We don't know if the rates will moderate by negative feedbacks, or accelerate by rising population and consumption patterns of future humanity. And we don't know how long the "lag" period is between what we do and what effects we see, and if we knew the lag was 100 years, would that make it any easier to fret about changing the world's climate in irreversible ways for the 7th generation to deal with?

It's all a wicked problem, and probably beyond humanity, and probably our economic system is the bigger short term problem, with debt levels supporting economic activity that would have halted long ago without the ability to shift costs to the future. So I tend to think we're already 30 years into financial overshoot, and all the COP21 plans of redirecting trillions of dollars are pipedreams of people who want to believe we can be masters of our own destiny.

But if that's not the case, perhaps it is better just to believe in fate, believe in the inherent evil of humanity, and believe we and our descendants deserve the worst possible future we can create, by transfering all benefits to our present consumption and comfort, and all costs to a future which must deal with all the normal things it ought to deal with PLUS everything we don't want to deal with.

So maybe that's a more honest view, and maybe we don't have to bother trying to do anything better, because the apocalypse is at hand, by whichever loving, neutral, or wrathful god or gods you'd like to imagine.

But even if we can't agree on anything else, conservatives and liberals might agree that petroleum is a deadend, and the U.S. could benefit by reducing our consumption to equal our production, and be willing to pay whatever price that demands, and then ween ourselves off our dependence based on natural local limits of our resources.

Then we can finally agree Saudi Arabia is not our friend, and we need to back away from the middle east since a greater chaos is coming and the Arabs and Muslims can then be free to find their own destiny without oil revenue. They'd seem to be back to war on horseback and swords in a hurry by my guess. There's no happy ending for oil exporters anywhere, but at least Norway can go back to sailboat fishing with luck.

Bizzy Brain said...

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

Ares Olympus said...

Bizzy Brain, is that genesis verse a promise that the seasons always repeat and the earth will keep turning, or a promise deserts never advance, rainforests always regenerate and that the burning 100 million years of fossil fuels over 100 years will have no effect on the ability of the earth to support 7 to 15 billion people on modern American lifestyles?

Sam L. said...

California could have built dams and impoundments and saved water for the future, but Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Can't have that, said the Enviros,

Dennis said...

For your edification: https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/climate-and-human-civilization-over-the-last-18000-years-updated/