Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Kabuki Theater of Global Warming

You humans and your politics.  Your antics are indeed amusing, but nonetheless I sometimes despair of you.  You are so easily misled – especially in large groups – so ready to suspend logic and ignore the evidence of your own senses in order to better integrate with the herd.

“Kabuki Theater” is a highly stylized form of Japanese play, and in reference to politics it refers to the stage-management of an apparent conflict where all the actors have already agreed on what they are going to do in advance, and the public show is all posturing.  Sort of like professional wrestling but with lower production values.

Especially in the current United States, nearly all politics has been reduced to the level of Kabuki.  For example: the Democrats and Republicans have cooperated in giving trillions of dollars to wealthy Wall Street insiders, and they are moving to pay for this welfare-for the rich by gutting social security for the middle class.  But that’s not what you hear on the news.  The Republicans attack the Democrats as socialists who will bankrupt the nation by refusing to cut social security – even though it was their own largesse to the rich that created the deficit, not social security.  The Democrats will then attack the Republicans as heartless scum who will force the elderly to live in poverty – even though that is exactly what the Democrats themselves are voting for.  The ‘conflict’ is all for show.

So also with “Global Warming” we now have two camps, both totally opposed to each other in public, both totally in agreement in private. 

The so-called conservatives demand as an act of faith that global warming is a hoax, that it is impossible for any human activity to harm the environment in any way, and that therefore humanity can continue to be bred like rabbits and the world filled with billions of people and the land stripped bare for resources. 

The so-called liberals demand as an act of faith that global warming is a validated fact, and sneer at the conservative skepticism.  However, the liberals have no problem with humanity continuing to be bred like rabbits and the world filled with billions of people and the land stripped bare for resources.  The liberals claim that the answer to global warming is to believe – oh, and maybe drive a Toyota Prius and recycle aluminum cans.  But the important thing is to just believe.  Liberals are like that sub-species of Christians who feel that one need not actually follow the teachings of Christ, one need only exclaim loudly that one is a Christian and sneer at atheists and Hindus.  

Sneering is such a big part of your politics.  I like a good sneer now and then myself, but you really are overdoing it.

OK, here is the truth on global warming.  It is a fact that human beings are injecting enough carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere that it is physically plausible for it to affect climate in a substantive way.  It is also a fact that your current knowledge of climatology is primitive, and there might – or might not – be countervailing forces, and even if climate is changed, it might not be entirely a bad thing.

However, when you don’t know what you are doing, caution is surely the path of wisdom.  You humans do not understand your environment well enough to say for certain what all this CO2 is going to do.  So you should just let it alone until you do! 

Imagine that you are flying in a jet plane, the pilot has gone to the bathroom, and you – with no knowledge of how a modern jet aircraft is flown, are left alone in the cockpit.  Do you randomly flip switches and push buttons because you cannot PROVE that this is a bad thing?  That’s insane – keep your grubby little primate hands off the controls at least until you have figured it out.

So given that you don’t understand climate very well, you should leave it the heck alone until you do.  Proof that human-produced CO2 is causing global warming is not necessary.

However.  The way to avoid messing with the environment is not to recycle, or embrace green technologies, or drive a Prius, or mindlessly state ‘think globally act locally’ so many times that I am driven to homicidal ideation.  The way is to just control your population.  Forget all the propaganda about climate change being the fault of the rich – wrong – it’s the fault of the numbers.  Even the most miserably poor existence requires non-trivial resources, and multiply that by billions, and you will strip the Earth bare.  But with a modest population, even a high per-capita consumption can have minimal environmental impact.

The environment does not care about per-capita consumption of resources.  It cares about per-capita consumption multiplied by the number of people, and divided by the amount of land.  Period.

An Australian driving a big pick-up truck with air conditioning and grilling inch-thick steaks is an example of man living in harmony with nature: the sky is blue, the streams and lakes clean.  A Chinese factory worker crammed into a tiny unheated room and eating a meager diet of rice and beans is both a human and an environmental disaster: the skies are choked with soot, the rivers run with filth, all wildlife is exterminated to turn the land into a choking human feedlot.  Open your eyes, humans!  That’s not a prediction: that’s reality!  It’s established fact! 

As far as ‘conservation’, well, over its functional lifetime a Toyata Prius hybrid car will consume about the same amount of energy and resources as a regular car – because the higher gas mileage is counteracted by the higher energy costs of constructing the battery.  With a few exceptions, ‘recycling’ costs more in energy and resources to collect, sort, clean and process the ‘recycled’ material than it would take to make new material from scratch.  Recycling is a quasi-religious feel-good exercise in self-deception, nothing more.

Limit population growth.  Do that by fighting against the corrupt lovers of cheap labor who have been pushing the lie that more people is always better.  If you don’t, then whether or not man-made CO2 is causing global warming is or is not true will not be relevant: as your numbers keep increasing, and you keep using more and more of the Earth’s resources, SOMETHING will give out, and you won’t enjoy it.  It’s only a matter of time.

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