Steyn on Global Warming

Monday, February 05, 2007
Mark Steyn is on top of the global warming/change issue in his new Suntimes article.

As we say in the north country, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. And if you don't like the global weather, wait three decades. For the last century or so, the planet has gone through very teensy-weensy warming trends followed by very teensy-weensy cooling trends followed by very teensy-weensy warming trends, every 30 years or so. And, even when we're in a pattern of "global warming" or "global cooling," the phenomenon is not universally observed -- i.e., it's not "global," or even very local. In the Antarctic, the small Palmer peninsula has got a little warmer but the main continent is colder. Up north, the western Arctic's a little warmer but the eastern Arctic's colder. So, if you're an eastern polar bear, you're in clover -- metaphorically, I hasten to add. If you're a western polar bear, you'll be in clover literally in a year or two, according to Al Gore.

And, if you really don't like the global weather, wait half-a-millennium. A thousand years ago, the Arctic was warmer than it is now. Circa 982, Erik the Red and a bunch of other Vikings landed in Greenland and thought, "Wow! This land really is green! Who knew?" So they started farming it, and were living it up for a couple of centuries. Then the Little Ice Age showed up, and they all died. A terrible warning to us all about "unsustainable development": If a few hundred Vikings doing a little light hunter-gathering can totally unbalance the environment, imagine the havoc John Edwards' new house must be wreaking.

The question is whether what's happening now is just the natural give and take of the planet, as Erik the Red and my town's early settlers understood it. Or whether it's something so unprecedented that we need to divert vast resources to a transnational elite bureaucracy so that they can do their best to cripple the global economy and deny much of the developing world access to the healthier and longer lives that capitalism brings. To the eco-chondriacs that's a no-brainer. As Mark Fenn of the Worldwide Fund for Nature says in the new documentary ''Mine Your Own Business'':

''In Madagascar, the indicators of quality of life are not housing. They're not nutrition, specifically. They're not health in a lot of cases. It's not education. A lot of children in Fort Dauphin do not go to school because the parents don't consider that to be important. . . . People have no jobs, but if I could put you with a family and you could count how many times in a day that that family smiles. Then I put you with a family well off, in New York or London, and you count how many times people smile. . . . You tell me who is rich and who is poor."

Well, if smiles are the measure of quality of life, I'm Bill Gates; I'm laughing my head off. Male life expectancy in Madagascar is 52.5 years. But Mark Fenn is right: Those l'il malnourished villagers sure look awful cute dancing up and down when the big environmentalist activist flies in to shoot the fund-raising video.


Read it all, it is worth it.

12 comments:

Barry Dauphin said...

I think the term "eco-chondriacs" should become a hit in the blogosphere.

Buddy Larsen said...

Maybe simplified to 'echondriac'? People suffering from "globaloney'?

Fresh Air said...

Well, the Warmers have met their match this time.

Until now, with the exception of the indefatiguable Dr. McIntyre at climateudit.org, they've had the field pretty much to themselves.

But unlike such other sci-fi they've pushed on the credulous Euroweenies and American liberal idiots (such as "secondhand" smoke), you're not going to pry thousands of dollars out of American taxpayers' wallets without a major fight.

These climate fools have been working in secret, like Bill Burkett and his late-night trips to the Abilene Kinko's. Now they've produced the magic pile of paper that they think will allow them to perpetrate their global socialist theft of billions of dollars from Western nations.

But unlike smoking, where the tobacco companies had already gagged themselves with their unbelievably stupid global settlement, this issue has many large and very well-financed opponents.

Think about it: The poorest, least interesting science department in most major colleges is what we used to call EEE--basically the weather guys. Now you're going to see millions of dollars in grant money suddenly available to intelligent researchers to prepare counter studies to the Warmers.

This thing will at best end as a draw. But as usual, the eco-fools would prefer to declare victory after a low blow in the first round.

Barry Dauphin said...

The new algore sandwhich. Some globaloney, leafy greens, watermelon slices (rine included), and hot sauce served cold wrapped in your sundried wallet.

dag said...

It's not simply money and prestige and power at stake here: lives depend on how this climate debate is known too the public mind; if the Gnostics win the public over to reaction then people will die from the continuation of the oppression of filth, literal filthy drinking water that kills children and babies. Smiles, my arse, I've seen too many villagers wiped out by water-born disease because the dhimmi fascist Left convince the Western public that DDT is harmful to the world at large. It's murder. Dying kids smile because they're delirious. By God, I want to hang the dhimmis from lamp posts.

Yes, my science education is limited to having read Stranger in a Strange Land. But my experience of dead children is extensive, and it comes from seeing villages denied clean drinking water, denied by the Romantic addiction to sentimentality and gnosticism and hubris. The neo-feudalist monsters among us continue to deny Modernity to the people at large by promoting the fallacy of "authenticity" over clean water, of a Romantic day-dream of Edenic purity without Lysol and Tidy-Bowl. No flush toilets, no ceramic tiles, no capitalist encroachements on the filth of primitive living. And then count the dead! Yes, I would hang them, these Left fascist dhimmis, from tree limbs if not from lamp posts. Hang them regardless.

We walked across a field a few years ago, and as I tried to pull my leg out of a mire my boot came off because of the suction from the rot underneath, the rot of corpses buried by those who died later and weren't buried. I shriek. Hang them! Hang these dhimmi fascist Left killers.

Ever true to its proto-Nazi pagan origins, ecology continues to be murder. It's not about grants, it's about murder.

Oh, I do, I dream of Al Gore as methane. It warms my world.

Buddy Larsen said...

Helluva story, Dag. Take a look here.

Bostonian said...

I talked with a co-worker who had made a trek to Burma.

Really "unspoiled" he said.

I don't think he gave a moment's consideration to what the inhabitants would choose, if they had choices.

Buddy Larsen said...

Remember when the Left at least tried to remember to at least pretend that it was "for" the poor & needy?

Skookumchuk said...

Having worked in Madagascar, all I know is that they desire a much better material life. In fact, I once had a memorable philosophical conversation with a bureaucrat in Antananarivo. He asked me a very perceptive question - Where does America's energy come from? You don't see that in Europe. Such a person doesn't want to live in a thatched hut. He wants something better.

Skookumchuk said...

What is more, I told him that the Americans he normally met - the aid types and the Beltway consultants - were much closer to Europeans in attitude than most other Americans. I suggested he broaden the circle a bit if he wanted better results. I think he enjoyed that.

Buddy Larsen said...

If all you ever see of America is NGOs, Hollywood, and the News, you can't have any real picture, for sure.

dag said...

Thanks for the link, Buddy. I hope we can make further inroads into the public's intellectually virgin terrain to plant the seeds of doubt about the veracity of the good of ecology. Stories such as you point out above are a good start. I might be less than the right spokesman for the cause, my temper not being rightly matched to the temper of the average person in the West as this time. The film you point to seems worthwhile.

Truepeers is covering this business as well at covenant zone. Always look forward to comments there.

Regards, Dag.