Posts Tagged ‘Climate change’


Climate change denial, heresy & witchcraft

December 18, 2008

The excellent neo-neocon points us to scientists who have changed their minds on climate change (UPDATE – including Australia’s David Evans).  Once convinced, they are now declared sceptics. The climate, if you know what I mean, may be changing.

And see more here.

As more and more scientists come out ‘in denial’, it may be predicted with a fair degree of confidence that the momentum of the AGW bandwagon will begin to slow rather rapidly from now on, and its wheels will actually fall off within the next few years. The light and heat will die down, and the issue will quietly slip out of public discourse.  Historians of the future will find it as difficult to understand AGW belief in the early 21st century as we do in seeking to explain why the 15th century believed in witchcraft.

And on that very subject, here is an interesting parallel.  In their 1487 manual for witch-hunters, Malleus Malificarum (‘The Hammer of Witches’), Dominican Inquisitors Henry Kramer and Jacob Sprenger set down their first proposition:  that is was heretical not to believe in the existence of witches.

QUESTION I Whether the Belief that there are such Beings as Witches is so Essential a Part of the Catholic Faith that Obstinacy to maintain the Opposite Opinion manifestly savours of Heresy.

Witch-denying heretics of another kind are abroad and amongst us, frightening the sheep terribly, and they are growing in number.

Ian Plimer recently on the ABC:

TICKY FULLERTON: You are a greenhouse heretic, if I may say so. How can so many governments and the media have got it wrong?

IAN PLIMER: Well heretic is quite correct. That’s a religious word and that’s what we’re dealing with- a modern political religion.

Fortunately their enemies do not have at their disposal the instruments of the Inquisition, but it’s easy sometimes to believe they wish that they had.  Certainly, we’ve heard many calls for the criminalisation of ‘climate change denialism’.

But in today’s and tomorrow’s world, people will increasingly realise – and their governments will, perforce, agree with them – that  (a) in all probability AGW isn’t actually happening; (b) it would be far too expensive to do anything material about it even if it were; and (c) whatever we did would be completely ineffectual anyway.

Further to (c),  it would be down to the UN.  And when did the UN last fix one of the world’s larger problems?  The Middle East?  Darfur? Exactly.  And this one, if it existed, would be huge.  By general consensus the UN is the most inefficient organisation ever wrought by the hand of man.  We wouldn’t have a chance.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that the period of the great witch trial frenzy in Europe lasted from about 1570 to 1630. Then for some reason so far unexplained (unless there’s recent scholarship I’m not aware of), the authorities simply stopped prosecuting, and sent complainants away with a flea in their ears.  Perhaps they just didn’t believe in witches anymore.

I’d give AGW belief 30 years, not 60.  And we’re nearly there.