by James Watkins
If you said that we have religion because we have the bad weather, you would be partially correct. Man first began negotiating with the gods when there was thunder, lightening, hurricanes, even full moons and an occasional volcano, all which triggered the same reaction in man: we must do something. So we prayed, offered sacrifices and demanded something be done.
You hear it all of the time from climate change folks. We need to ‘do something.’ We need our leaders to do something, anything, to make sure the weather doesn’t harm us.
During the later part of the Mayan Empire, we know that they experienced a harsh drought. It was warm and dry from 800 to 1000 A.D. in Central America. We also know that these people were so desperate for rain they would try all kinds of things to sway the gods into bringing rain, even if it meant decapitating its citizens, one by one (in reality it was a great way for the rulers to eliminate extra mouths to feed).
And when certain Mayan rulers figured out when periodic solar eclipses would come, they used this knowledge – not be telling its people – but by creating these grand ceremonies in which the rulers and the people (hoping it would sway the Gods) would sit and watch great spectacle performances all designed to get relief from climate change. And when the sun went dark, the ceremonies came to their thrilling climax. The sacrifices ended and all was at peace, except for the fact that the rains never came. It was one of the reason the Spaniards were able to conquer what remained of this once great empire. They had grown weak, defenseless.
We also know that, about five-thousand years ago there was a tremendous flood in Mesopotamia. The story in Genesis and the story of Noah, while a matter faith to be sure, is most likely based on a real flood that occurred during this period of prehistoric history. Millions died. Most cultures speak of a great flood that destroyed mankind.” Even back then we had climate change, and even back then, we cried for God to “do something!”
As man’s nature would have it, early Hebrew writings explained it was God’s punishment for sin. It was man being reconciled by God for being evil (stemming from the fall of Adam and Eve).
In reality, though it was climate change; a combination of the Mediterranean sea floors sinking while regional mountain ranges rose, bring more rain in increasing amounts to the flood plains of north Syria and along the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was a flood of epic proportions, and man blamed himself, just as we do today.
From the very beginning of man’s recorded history we see this belief has been embraced when the weather effects humanity, we a) are the cause of it, and b) we must also be the ones who must change it by changing our behavior (or confessing our sins).
Flash forward to today. Today, there is vast energy. We are awash in cheap crude oil, natural gas and coal.
And this is a great thing.
Most of our activity is powered by cheap energy. Lives have vastly improved globally, mostly because cheap energy is so plentiful. This past week, when a Saudi oil refinery was bombed, thankfully, America could step in and keep the supply flowing. This is a testament of our ability to harness the earth’s energy and improve our living standards. 40 years ago gas prices would have shot up and people would have panicked.
Do you suppose that many in our society just feel guilty for having it so good, that we must somehow pay for our good graces? I think so, and it’s why so many people feel a need to atone for their guilt. What better way to do so that to blame something we don’t understand on ourselves, especially if there is a way to make money and seize control doing so.
Let’s agree on two things:
1) The climate is always changing, something we have NO control over, and
2) We do have a POLLUTION program, of which we can control.
We all recognize there is a problem with waste, overconsumption, and destruction of our immediate environment. Remember the 80’s when you would buy a CD that came in this big, hard plastic container? We waste raw materials, and we also pollute our waters.
I argue that, instead of trying to lower the global temperature, which we cannot do, we should instead, harness our efforts towards cleaning up the planet of the mess we have made, which is what I think is at the core of climate change activism anyway.
Most of us are old enough to remember that Earth Day used to about ending pollution, curbing oil spills and conserve because it s smart policy. Earth Day and climate activism has morphed into a very expensive notion that we are a primary driver of the earth’s environment. The current fear of climate change is also a reminder of how man has always feared nature because he fails to really understand the process, or predict it.
Almost every predictor of global warming is based on models that are premised on a calculation that ties global mean temperatures to carbon output. It sounds reasonable, except when you consider that the earth produces 97% of the global carbon all by itself. Man is only responsible for 3% of carbon output.
Look, we may not feel like we have to negotiate with the Gods like we used to when we have bad weather, but we also need to stop feeling guilt or fear every time there is a bad weather event. People are being scared into feeling personally responsible every time there is a hurricane, a flood, or a drought. Our kids have this tremendous nihilism instilled in them because they feel hopeless that they can’t change the world to make it less frightening.
And that’s when our leaders, just like the Mayan kings and princes did before, will use our ignorance and fear against us, to rule over us even more, and the more we scream “do something,” the more they control our behavior and use political control because they know we would be willing to ‘do anything’ to feel safe.
They won’t tell us they don’t have the answers, but they do tell us we need to pay ‘for our sins’ by giving them more money, power, or both.
Pollution is the problem. If we just take care of pollution in our backyard, then that is something we we can get all get behind – and should.
But when you start talking about charging carbon tax dollars and having rolling blackouts to “save the planet,” then you know you are being hoodwinked. When “doing something” just means making energy more expensive and not having any impact on the environment, then you know we are being played for fools.
Yes, the climate is changing. We are in a warm period, just like in the a thousand years, and before that, around 100 b.c. to the 4th century a.d., which was also a very warm period.
We do have to prepare for things like more rain, floods, and perhaps a few more hurricanes, all normal weather events when the earth is warmer, just like blizzards, glaciers and frozen crops are the result of global cooling, which by the way, usually kills more people than warm periods.
Pause to consider the great plague of 1347 which destroyed one third of the entire European continent, and the London Plague of 1666, and even the Potato Famine of 1845 in Ireland, all a result of global cooling).
Don’t believe me. Check the books.
Mankind has always look to the gods when it came to things he couldn’t control because we are fearful. Today is no different, and our leaders know this.
ear is a great motivator and we all need to be diligent in making sure fear isn’t used to get us to do stupid things, like accept without question, when a 16 year old girl becomes the poster child for climate change, as she tells our elected leaders to “do something.”
Believe me, they will. Heads will roll.