September 13, 2009

'When the Ice Age Ended, How Did the Polar Bears Feel?'

Clever and insightful commentary from Rupert Wright in Arab Emirates 'The National' newspaper.

I can’t recall exactly when it became unfashionable to be sceptical about climate change. However, I can vividly remember where I was when just as I was giving my trenchant views that it’s all a lot of tosh, I looked around the table and realised that I had gone too far. “Still,” I said. “It’s clear that we must do something for the polar bears. Absolutely imperative.”

Secretly I remain a heretic: but if I hadn’t mentioned the bears the Climate Change Inquisition would have been round to the house quicker than you can say “ice cube” and started pulling out my fingernails until I recanted.

(...)

Cutting greenhouse emissions is of course a good idea. The sooner everybody agrees that using the sun as a power source is the way forward, rather than burning dirty coal, the better. What I dislike is the unhealthy alliance of non-governmental organisations, the European Union, the United Nations and others all running around telling us what to do. Wasting taxpayer money seems to be their main priority. And I particularly dislike Trudie Styler, the wife of Sting, a pop star, who pitches up here and there telling us not to burn wood, then flies off in her private jet to one of her 20 homes.

Having said that, as somebody who has spent most of his life in the northern hemisphere, I’m all in favour of climate change. I’ll be sorry to see the end of Bangladesh of course, and I’ll probably never get a chance to see the Maldives unless I go deep-sea diving. But think how good Scotland and Sweden will become.

That is the thing about man: endlessly adaptable. It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who wrote: “You can never step in the same river twice.” Change happens and we learn to live with it, even embrace it. Think of all that virgin tundra! Even Canada might become habitable.

He's all wrong about solar power of course but it's good to see these other refreshing points of view in print. But then, it shares pages with the story 'Omanis Frown on 'half-naked' expats.'

Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe Posted by JohnGalt at September 13, 2009 10:41 AM

Great, great post -- though I was must admit that the photos for the "half-naked expats" were really disappointing.

I have thought from early on that geoengineering might be the answer. Bjorn Lomborg is now on board. Now it strikes me that we would be giving the UN control of the weather -- is that a good idea?

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2009 11:05 AM

Well, jk, using the rhetorical trick we're so fond of, why not? After all, the UN has that impeccable track record. It successfully kept out communists bent on destroying liberty -- from the very first conference -- and look at its successes toppling the USSR and Saddam's Iraq, and preventing Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear technology. What could go wrong?

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 13, 2009 8:29 PM

A friend saw a particularly beautiful sunset the other night, and I replied that it's such a wonderful experience that Obama should mandate them throughout the United States. Like with health care, it's patently unfair that anyone should experience more of a great sunset than anyone else. But unfortunately atmospheric conditions are not equal everywhere, so we'll all have to be content with only smidgens of good sunsets.

Finally getting to the article about the ex-pats. For shame! Good heavens! "His wife was wearing a blue skirt showing off most of her suntanned legs."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at September 13, 2009 8:34 PM

Geoengineering makes me nervous. Man is great, but he is not all conquering. Not yet. The cost of messing up there could far exceed the cost of other climate change -- natural or man made.

Posted by: T. Greer at September 14, 2009 5:20 AM | What do you think? [4]