Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

15 February 2010

The Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Bandwagon Plunges Off Cliff

Most people have a strong desire to fit in with a group and to be accepted by that group.  We see this in high school aged children, where numerous cliques abound, with the criteria for membership in one or another being often quite superficial.  We see it in that most of the people of a given area are of the same general religion.  If you are American, you are much more likely to be Christian than anything else.  If you are Egyptian or Iranian, you are much more likely to Muslim.  If you are from southern India, you are most likely Hindu.  If you are from the Northeast or the Left Coast, you are more likely to be a Democrat.  If you are from the Rocky Mountain states,  the Great Plains, or the South, you are more likely a Republican.  If you are an Ivy League or other top college graduate, you are more likely to think well of socialism and want America to be more like socialist western Europe.  People want to belong and they cluster into groups of similar belief.  This process often defies all observation of the facts of reality and it often means believing in things with effects very different than those the believers claim is their intention.  Of course, there are also usually group members whose intention is to accomplish the aims which will be accomplished.  There usually are those who are happy to take advantage of the delusions of crowds.

In recent times, one of those bandwagon ideas one just had to accept in order to belong to the Democrat faction or to the well-educated college graduate clique, was that man is destroying the Earth in a number of ways, but mostly because man has developed an excessively industrialized and consumer-driven way of life.  The fact that we lived much more secure, longer, and richer lives than ever before, was in various ways ignored or denied.  In effect, all that we had done to raise ourselves from the status of the Noble Savage was a mistake.  In particular, our use of relatively inexpensive, convenient, and reliable fossil fuels was destroying the Earth by overheating it with emissions of carbon dioxide.  We were told that polar ice caps would melt and parts of New York City, much of Florida, much of the Netherlands, and much of Bangladesh, not to mention many sea islands, would go underwater.  We were told that polar bears, penguins, butterflies, and toads would suffer.  We were told there would be more droughts and wildfires and that hurricanes would be more frequent and more destructive.  We were told the oceans would become acidic and shells would be dissolved and coral reefs would die.  We were told that if we did not cut back on our fossil fuel use almost immediately by at least 80% the Earth was doomed and with that doom, so was mankind doomed.

Let me remind you all of what John Galt said in his speech to the nation in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:
"But to think is an act of choice." ..... "In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival -- so that for you, who are a human being, the question 'to be or not to be" is the question 'to think or not to think.'
The fallacy of those who unthinkingly jump on a popular bandwagon has been familiar to mankind for a very long time. I read a post today by a friend who compared catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory to the phlogiston theory of fire and combustion, before he noted that perhaps it was even more like the scientific hoax of Peltsdown Man.  He closed with an interesting quote from Buddha:
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

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