Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A world of hemp lingerie? No thanks | Melanie Reid

As expected, lots of material the past couple of days in all media around Earth Day, a symbolic event that has steadily become institutionalized into another Hallmark day.

This year, it appears the number of comments questioning Earth Day and its role seem more prominent than ever. The pick of the bunch for me was this pithy comment from Melanie Reid. She writes:
  • Long before we are extinguished by global food shortages or raised sea levels, I predict, we are fated to die of boredom, struck down in our prime by the devastating virus 0157eco-smugness.
  • This is the terrible paradox of the environmental movement...that, if society proceeds down the true path of eco-purity, we may well save the planet; but will simultaneously discover that life is too dull to be worth living on it any more.
  • What is becoming so fascinating about the new puritanism is not just that we are all being brainwashed to accept the inevitability of hair shirts, but also their unquestioned moral worth.
  • We should not be surprised when global-warming policy officers and climate-change academics rush to declare that the evidence for pending disaster is "overwhelming"....These people have, after all, to justify their job titles; the industry of which they are part is worth billions of pounds a year....Just as the makers of aspirin wish you had a headache, the eco-alarmists rather love high temperatures.
  • My real problem with the eco-alarmists is the pleasure they take in austerity; their evident desire to strip away pleasure.
  • The environmental movement has become, if not quite a man-made hoax, then at the very least a fashionable bandwagon for very dodgy facts and sharp marketing.
  • Frankly the thought of life in this smug, dull, joyless, labour-intensive, recycled, fair trade, waste-free world makes a woman yearn to be already dead and buried in her eco-friendly coffin, fertilising some field for methane-free cows. At least that way one can be sure of a rest.
And elsewhere, more reports on the frailty of climate models, here related to the effects of the black carbon component of soot; here on the cause and effect relationship(s) between temperature and carbon dioxide; here on the lack of scientific value; and, in this realistic assessment of the state of government climate plans: long on political correctness, short on precise science and economics.

A last word on Earth Day goes to commentator Phil Valentine who writes:
  • There's a phrase that's entered the American vernacular in recent years. It's called "jumping the shark." It's taken from the episode of Happy Days when Fonzie jumped a shark on water skis. It started out to specifically reference television shows but it now applies to anything that passes the point of absurdity into the realm of the ridiculous. The environmental movement "jumped the shark" when it began trying to convince us that CO2 is a poison. Carbon dioxide is what we exhale with every breath. It's what plants take in and convert to oxygen. It's an essential part of our planet, yet it has been demonized to the point of absurdity.
  • This Earth Day, let's try to keep things in perspective, shall we? The prophets of doom of the '70s were just as hysterical — and just as wrong — as the prophets of doom of today.

And then there is:
  • this commentary on the erosion of science within eco-activism and its concomitant replacement with political and moral agendas, and
  • this observation of why climate models are non-falsifiable (and thus, inherently non-scientific).