Ecomyths is a blog designed to help people think for themselves. Empirical data are contrasted with theories to examine axiomatic myths: ideas taken to be so well accepted that they don't need to be proven. It seeks to change ideas, correct fallacies and challenge dominant constructs by having people read, think and reflect for themselves about contemporary issues. Facts don't change your perspective. Your perspective changes your facts.
A long delay between posts while I continued my recuperation from back surgery in Florida with assistance from both my immediate and extended family in a little ritual known as March break, a well-established adaptation to extended winter practiced by Canadians for generations. Today was my first day back to scan and read ecomyth related material and I wanted to post this link to Steve McIntyre's presentation at the 2009 Heartland Climate Conference.
Steve sets a great example for all by posting his talks, and the presentation is available as a PowerPoint, word and/or PDF file. Regular readers of Climate Audit will find this a good updated summary: newbies will find the presentation an excellent way to catch up without having to do quite so much homework for themselves.
Those operating with closed minds probably don't read my posts and will already have dismissed the link as soon as I attached Steve's name to the post header: why is it people fear what they do not understand? And why to people seek to marginalize, demonize and trivialize that which they fear?
These are not simply rhetorical questions. Ecomyths has now exceeded 80,000 readers in 156 countries. So pretty much, there's a reader of Ecomyths in every corner of the planet where there's internet access. In the coming months I can continue to post re-buttals and counter the most offensive ecomyths, but I am aware that I am in danger of re-cycling my own ideas and comments -- if I haven't already done so.
So, by way of personal and blog renewal, my focus in the coming year is not so much on the nature and evidence of ecomyths themselves as it will be on an extended exploration of the underpinnings of the ideology that supports their perpetuation long after their rational demise should have occurred. To some extent, this has been an implicit theme within the blog since its inception: my goal now is to make the links between ecomyths, the prevailing ideology and social construct formation, adoption and retention, more explicit.
What we understand, we do not fear. What we understand we utilize as knowledge for our individual and collective improvement. Knowledge used for the good of many is wisdom. The world is short on wisdom: it is not short on potential for wisdom.
The situation in Britain mirrors that in many other jurisdictions (including my home province of Ontario, the US and Australia). It can be summarized thusly:
...individuals in the Government want to use the climate change issue to generate moral authority for themselves, especially on the world stage. They can't do that unless the UK is seen to be green, with green laws, green economy, green industry, and green people. Hence, over the last year, the UK has seen a raft of measures hurried through so that the UK contingent can arrive at the UN Climate Conference in Denmark later this year dressed as planet-saving super-heroes, not as a ship of foolish Chicken Littles, struggling to sustain their political legitimacy.
None of Brown's aspirations are shared by the public. They are his, and the political establishment's aspirations. Very few people want to live in an eco-home in an eco-town or eco-city. Very few people want their children indoctrinated by eco-dogma. Brown pretends that he wants us to share his eco-centric eco-vision, but Mandelson and Miliband have already revealed that it is inevitable, and that we don't have a choice. We are to be eco-proles, whether we like it or not.
Here we see familiar lines in action. There are imperatives, and a low carbon economy is inevitable. That is to say that democracy has no say in determining what is or isn't an imperative, or what the Government's priorities ought to be. But as we have pointed out before, environmentalism has never been tested democratically in the UK. All the parties absorbed its 'imperatives' into their manifestos in a process that has never been challenged or really even debated
The language about the inevitabilities and imperatives of environmental catastrophe are attempts to explain failures as success, decline as progress, and inactivity as activity.
Change the names and locations, and all that is so eloquently described can apply to your own jurisdiction. Then give it a label like change, new policy, innovation and, yes, even sustainability, package it for the media, present with PowerPoint slides and charisma and you have what passes for politics in today's brave new world.
Central to this narrative is complicity with the fraud that more governance is the answer to the problem and not its cause.
At least now there is both renewed appreciation, and a new market, for old style Soviet humour.
For those of us not able to attend in person the second Heartland International Conference on Climate Change in New York, here is an excellent summation of the first day's keynote addresses by Vaclav Klaus and Richard Lindzen. (Also see here and here).
Bailey always writes well and a couple of his quotes from the first day really resonate:
...many politicians were discussing these more stringent targets "even though their own countries had not fulfilled their relatively modest Kyoto Protocol goals."
Klaus confessed that he was puzzled by the environmentalist ideologues' approach to technological progress. They oppose the technological progress that free unregulated markets make possible. On the other hand, environmentalists want to mandate what they call clean technologies.
"They want to operate technologies that have only one defect," said Klaus. "They have not been invented." Klaus added, "There is no known and economically feasible a way for an economy to survive on expensive unreliable clean green energy."
...skepticism about man-made global warming does not, by itself, make a good scientist. Nor does accepting global warming make one a poor scientist.
Lindzen acknowledged that most of the atmospheric scientists he respects do endorse man-made global warming. He added, however, that most of their science is not actually about global warming.
Most of the funding for climate research would not be there were it not for the global warming issue. Lindzen added, "Most science funded under the rubric of climate does not actually deal with climate, but rather with the alleged impact of arbitrarily assumed climate change."
This year's conference has garnered more media coverage than last and, I would suggest, more favorable coverage at that. The very fact that this year's conference is being held is, in itself, vindication that AGW realism is a function of sound scientific, and political, skepticism and not willful denial.
In some respects, it is sad to see the visceral, defensive and often sophomoric reaction some alarmist journalists and blogs continue to have to any attempts to dispute their dogma.
On the other hand, such reactions are acts of political suicide as they strike a strong discord with non-activists. The increasingly shrill rhetoric of alarmism contrasts with the political reality of the present economy situation: AGW is destined to be yesterday's hysteria.
...environmentalism remains a largely elitist project, beloved of politicians, priests and prudes keen to control people’s behaviour and curb our excessive lifestyles, and it rubs many ‘ordinary people’ up the wrong way.
The psychologisation of climate change denial – even the very use of that term: denial – reveals how utterly aloof and cut off are the environmental elitists from mass society.
Psychologising dissent, and refusing to recognise, much less engage with, the substance of people’s disagreements – their political objections, their rational criticisms, their desire to do things differently – is the hallmark of authoritarian regimes.
Sami Wilson and James Inhofe may be the the most vocal politicians questioning AGW, but they will no longer be a minority. All politician's seek re-election. Ultimately, the electorate always cares about the economy, not bogus theories.
Quote by H.L. Mencken, famous columnist: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Already famous as a green nanny state, where every course at every school is to be larded with environmental propaganda, Ontario is now set to become a kind of green fascist state.
An election can not come soon enough in my home province of Ontario. The present government has introduced new proposals that aim to make Ontario 'a leading green economy in North America', which is a euphemism for a quasi-religious pledge to achieve fiscal suicide on an alter of green-washing.
Ontario does have an abundance of cheap energy: hydro, nuclear and coal. None of which are fashionable for today's green dogma which promotes in-efficient, expensive and utterly useless for large scale utility "options" of wind, solar and biomass.
For those unfamiliar with Ontario, it gets really cold snaps in the winter when the arctic high sits unmoving over the province: unmoving as in still, dormant, crystal clear air with no wind -- when its coldest there will be no wind power. No problem, peak demand is in the summer humidity, when power surges as consumers survive the haze, heat and humidity with a little invention known to civilization as air conditioning. Hot, hazy and humid because the summer humidity is a function of a stationary air mass full of moisture from the Great Lakes: yep, peak demand, no wind power.
So not only is the stuff really expensive, its not even available when most needed which means you still have to have the same alternative supply options for system stability you would have had without the addition, and expense, of the useless but supposedly "green" alternatives.
Just once, I would like a green advocate to actually read the meaning of sustainability which has three imperatives:
social equity, AND
One can not be efficient until one is firstly effective -- the so called green energy options are not effective suppliers of reliable, regional electricity. They are neither effective nor cost-efficient.
Look it up. Anywhere in the world, wind, solar and biomass are not the most efficient nor most effective options for energy provision. They are, however, the most subsidized, most authoritarian and most idealized projects advocated by those who stand to profit from them politically, ideologically and economically.
Perhaps that's the new meaning to "green": selfishness and profit under the guise of dogmatic deceit.
But Ontario is not alone. Many are awakening to the realization that their elected government has, gasp,
... a promiscuous unwillingness to set priorities and accept trade-offs. There is evidence of a party swept up in its own revolutionary fervor — caught up in the self-flattering belief that history has called upon it to solve all problems at once.
Social engineering is always an endeavor of the ruling elite, imposed on the rest of society, using the power granted them by the well-meaning but brain-washed, politically correct, moderate majority. In its current manifestation, the political dogma employed by all seeking to impose such schemes isgreen-washing.