Saturday, October 07, 2006

Global warming: the chilling effect on free speech

An excellent commentary by Brendan O'Neill on the continued efforts to suppress dialogue and examination of global warming. He notes that 'there is increasingly a pernicious moralism and authoritarianism in the attempts to silence certain individuals and groups.' For some agencies and individuals, those who continue to question the dogma of global warming are themselves a danger to humanity. Consequently, 'there is a knowing authoritarianism in green activism', wherein '‘the task of climate change agencies is not to persuade by rational argument but in effect to develop and nurture a new "“common sense"...[working] in a more shrewd and contemporary way, using subtle techniques of engagement. The "facts"” need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.'

In effect, for those subscribing to this ideology, global warming is the central axiomatic construct of contemporary environmentalism, and any that dare to question this orthodoxy should be dismissed, derided and/or denied their democratic freedom of expression. As O'Neill concludes 'campaigners and officials are using scientific facts -- over which there is still disagreement --– to shut down what ought to be a political debate about what humans need and want'.

That there is still disagreement over the science was made even more evident this week, with release of new research relating to the role of cosmic rays and water vapour in climate change. As Stott suggests, this latest research provides the basis for a profound paradigm shift in the science of climate change and reinforce those who argue in favour of alternate hypotheses for climate which diminish the role of carbon dioxide as the driver of alterations in climate.

Lastly, there are the beginnings of a backlash to those who adopt the 'pernicious moralism and authoritarianism' noted by O'Neill. If one is to preach restraint and conservation, one should be a little more Ghandian in lifestyle, a frugality not many of today's leading exponents of idenvironmentalismnmnetalism are embracing in today's age of globalized communication and travel.

Quote: It is impossible to withhold education from the receptive mind, as it is impossible to force it upon the unreasoning. Agnes Repplier