To suggest that the human species is *not* a pestilence upon the nobly suffering visage of the Mother-Planet Gaia?
Careful, Orlowski, they'll be picking you out a lamp-post before long...
Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell had a powerful impact on the way climate change was marketed to the public, without even knowing it. Gladwell's marketing book, published in 2000, embedded the phrase "tipping point" into the public's imagination, and this in turn was used to raise the urgency of climate change. It seems …
For hundreds of years we've been preached to by "the high lords" that we are all bad and should be ashamed of our innate evilness. It is hardly surprising that people in the western world naturally see it as the proper nature of things that we must be decimating the planet despite the rather dubious evidence.
Perhaps if we all flog ourselves, perhaps the planet will feel better for it...
Because it's a doctrinal conflict. The greens *are* Christians, though they haven't admitted it even to themselves for the better part of a century; in fact the word 'progressive' in its modern sense originates from the phrase "Progressive Christianity", which was the name used by the ancestors of the modern progressive movement -- that is, back before the movement abandoned any concept of God as an adaptive mutation increasing its chances of gaining the political power necessary to attempt to implement its program. (Worked out pretty well for 'em, too.)
Think I'm full of it? If you've been raised on Whig history and nothing else, I don't blame you; I was raised that way myself, and I'd have thought I was full of it too. Before you write me off completely as a Bircher or tinfoil-hat type or both, though, you might Google "American Malvern" and read the Time article that should come up first in the results. (If you don't have a subscription, use the 'print this article' option to dodge the paywall.)
That's the program adopted in 1942 by the members of the US Federal Council of Churches, a Protestant ecumenical organization -- and it is also, in every essential and most every detail as well, the program of every progressive political organization in existence today, whether they admit the inheritance or not. (They don't. And if you're wondering what this has to do with the UK, then read about the original Anglican conference at Malvern College in 1941, from which the so-called 'American Malvern' drew its inspiration.)
Which is where the greens come in, because "environmental stewardship" has long been a part of the Protestant theology as well -- that is, the idea that humanity has a responsibility to keep the planet neat and tidy, because Jesus is coming back some day and he'll be pissed if the place looks like a bunch of teenagers used it for a house party. When the rest of mainstream Protestantism mutated away from religion and toward secular power, that strain came along as well, giving us wonderful things like superstitious terror on the subject of nuclear power, a bloody-minded insistence on eggbeaters for all, and the elevation of Thomas Malthus to the college of saints.
So what we're looking at here is not "the greens blaming the Christians"; it's "the Progressive faction of Christianity, which is currently very much in the ascendant, kicking the Traditionalist faction, which has been losing out for at least a century." Sectarian triumphalism really never does go out of style, especially not when decades of increasingly hegemonic Whig historiography have painted it not as a sectarian religious conflict at all, but rather as some kind of Tolkien-meets-George-Lucas warfare, with the scrappy good guys always just on the edge of being overwhelmed by the oncoming tide of evil.
but I'm certainly willing to argue that modern whiggery does.
The US is one of the three countries which has since 1945 made the most noise about the excesses of the National Socialist movement, of course, and what is for obvious reasons very rarely mentioned at all by anyone in the United States is that the excesses of the National Socialist movement, especially in the earlier "Action T4" days, were to a very great degree inspired by the excesses of the eugenics movement, which is absolutely and entirely the brainchild of the United States' own "Progressive Era". (Nice name, that, implying that the condition no longer obtains.)
As for Herr Schnellnhuber CBE himself, I find myself fairly comfortable describing him as a whig, not least because one does not expect to find, among the greatest and the goodest of the AGW movement, a regressive-minded sort who'd be likely to scruple before suggesting the deliberate slaughter, whether directly by fire and the sword or indirectly through unchecked famine and disease, nearly nine in ten of all the humans now living.
Dr. Johnson, everyone's favorite old monster of a Tory, said that the first Whig was the Devil; Albert Speer, everyone's favorite thoughtful Nazi, wrote that you can't expect to recognize the Devil when he puts his hand on your shoulder -- and whiggery, or progressivism if you prefer that name, has already amassed quite a sizable mountain of skulls over just the last hundred years or so. (Say what you like about the Romanovs, but I doubt very much they'd have let a mad murderer like Jugashvili anywhere *near* power.)
Whose hand, I wonder, is on Herr Schnellnhuber's shoulder right now?
Severn Darden did this while working in the comedy troupe that became Second City back in the 50s. He told Elaine May that he wanted to offend a group that had never been offended before and chose the Danes, because what was there to object to about the Danes?
So every show, he would take at least one time to spout off about the horrid, nasty, evil, dastardly Danes ... particularly as his character Professer Walter von der Vogelweider.
At one point, the Danish consul in Chicago wrote a letter asking what had happened to make him feel that way and if he could help Darden in any way.
So blame the Danes, you might get the autograph of an ambassador.
"If you are of the view that mankind is a disturbance to a natural order, you're much more likely to believe in runaway effects. If you're of the view that nature is here to be tamed for our benefit – an idea born out of the Enlightenment – you're more likely not to panic."
The opposite is more nearly true, surely. The noble savage is an Enlightenment conceit.
"he saw human beings as the planet's enemy – and the planet must come before human life"
see this is where I get annoyed the most. We as a species are not going to effect the existence of the planet. We may effect the planet to the point where we make it uninhabitable for us (not saying we will, but you for the sake of argument, we *could*) but one thing's for certain, the planet won't care and will continue to be here for an exceptionally long period of time way after we've died out.
The absolute best the climate change believers could convince me of is that we might ruin the planet for ourselves. You'll never ever convince me that we are going to somehow make this rock disappear. You'll never convince me that we make a significant and measurable difference to the planet anyway, but that's an entirely different matter.
"but one thing's for certain, the planet won't care and will continue to be here for an exceptionally long period of time way after we've died out."
Anyone who's seen a tornado will agree with that. We just don't matter and the planet/sun/universe doesn't care one way or the other. Then again, there seems to be a teenager-like egocentrism among the ecomentalists that means they don't get this and they don't get that they don't get this.
Bigger than that. No, bigger. Bigger still. Big enough you can't even imagine unless you try very hard. I mean, you may think it's a big trip down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to planets. Listen...
...put it this way. Even if we had big enough bombs, and could put as many of them as we liked anywhere we liked within the mass of the planet -- neither of which is true -- even if we could, by so doing, shatter the planet, it *still* wouldn't be enough to destroy it, because gravity would just stick it all back together in exactly the same way it did when the planet coalesced in the first place; in order to truly say you've destroyed a planet, you must scatter that mass widely enough, and at high enough velocity, that it can't come back together under its own power, and that takes a *lot* more energy than just shattering the planet to begin with.
So, in short, don't worry about it! At most we can wipe ourselves out, and frankly even that contention strikes me as wildly hubristic.
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