Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Camille Paglia a Global-Warming Skeptic

As a Wisconsin native who went to youth camps in the Kettle Moraine area of the state throughout my childhood, I felt a twinge when I read of Camille Paglia recount her youth in upstate New York, and living at the base of a drumlin for years as a child. Read her languourous limpid pellucid prose on this and then watch her switch to her polemical mode, though in a low-key low-decibel fashion:
I am a skeptic about what is currently called global warming. I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue. As a lapsed Catholic, I detest dogma in any area. Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.

Camille is a grown-up and has lived in areas deeply affected by long-term climatic events and realizes that the Sun has something to do with the whole process, making her seem far more insightful than the average climatologist/scientist quoted on TV:
Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Camille has a good focus on the big picture that the blow-dried hairdos and blowhard gasbag pols avoid:
Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.[my emphasis]

We all want clean air, but anthropocentric thinking will not prove anthropogenic global warming, though it will reveal the self-referential, self-centered, solipsistic intellectual narcissism of many proponents of AGW. Just a projection onto the planet of "It's all about me!" [and my funding/electoral/showbiz prospects] Camille has few kind words for the colossal ninny seeking to parlay something he claims [and we all remember AG's propensity to claim credit] he has been studying for thirty years---even though thirty years ago, global cooling was all the rage. Either Al is gilding the lily, or he is an even greater trend-setter than I suspected.
I voted for Ralph Nader for president in the 2000 election because I feel that the United States needs a strong Green Party. However, when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.

Wish I'd said that, and she couldn't have said it better. "Self-thwarting" sums up this busted flush who couldn't carry his home state of Tennessee. Camille ends:
Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by . Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere. Though I am a libertarian, I am a strong supporter of vigilant scrutiny and regulation of industry by local, state and federal agencies. But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.

Hollyweird and B-List Pols like Gore want to perform surgery with a dirty scalpel, pushing "propaganda and half-truths" on gullible people like the SCOTUS and the Democrat Party. Giving twinkies to kiddies can be bad for their health.

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