I've recently been getting into arguments with people who should be my friends--which is what makes the matter hurt worse--over the subject of global warming.
I maintain that the Earth is simply going through a natural cycle, and that humans have to have a very high opinion of themselves indeed to believe that our paltry efforts have been able to change the climate on a geophysical scale. I point out that the Earth has gone through numerous ice ages and warming periods over the past several hundred million years, and happens to be in an ice age right now. I further bring up the subjects of sunspot activity and the Maunder minimum, when the unusually cold period we now call the Little Ice Age took place. I follow that with the observation that we've only been keeping accurate records for a little over two centuries, and that a lot of the science on which "global warming" is based, is somewhat speculative insofar as we say it works because we believe we're right.
They tell me I'm an idiot. They insist that every single scientist on the planet except for one or two crackpot cranks is now totally convinced that anthropogenic climate change is real, is happening, and is going to kill us all if we don't immediately Do Something About It.
I'm sorry, but their zeal is exactly what makes me a "Denier."
I can't think of any subject that has ever had a 100% (okay, a 99%) agreement from everyone who should be considered a scholar on the subject. That right there raises some big old red flags for me.
Considering how I get smacked down every time I try to bring up the possibility that climate change is actually a natural, normal part of the Earth's cycle, the way springtime follows winter, the way it seems to have been happening for millions of years before we came along, I can see why no scientist wants to even bother trying to submit any papers contrary to the accepted doctrine. They'd be treated the same way heretics were treated by the Church. Wait, what am I saying--they ARE treated like heretics. No one will listen to them, they're ridiculed and blacklisted and denied access to funding, so what else can they do but toe the party line?
And it IS a party line. Most of your global warming zealots are liberals. And most of your deniers are conservatives. The liberals have been trying to force us to loathe humanity and wear hair shirts and ashes for the better part of the twentieth century. Okay, I agree that back in the days of ocean dumping and rampant pollution, something had to be done. Rivers really should not be able to be set on fire. But with each success, the activists found some new horror to threaten us with, some new means of scaring us into complying with their environmental agenda, that gets increasingly strident over increasingly nebulous causes. I sometimes think they won't be happy until we all commit mass suicide in order to save the planet.
I'm not saying protecting the environment is a bad thing. It's the only one we've got. It's in everyone's best interests to have clean air and water and uncontaminated soil for growing food.
But the global warming agenda just strikes me as a very unsubtle attempt to grab power and dictate how everyone else must live. They will never allow dissent because there is too much at stake--and I don't mean the lives and happiness of millions of people, I mean too much money and power, the usual things that inspire people to try to conquer their neighbors.
They make enemies of people that it's easy to hate--the rich corporate bigwgs who callously poison our planet in the name of profits. They make themselves out to be caring custodians of nature and all that is good and lovely. How can they be wrong? How can it be bad to stop polluting?
It isn't. But what IS bad, is to then set out to force people to live by their precepts, to go from banning open sewers to banning light bulbs, and to stifle any debate with high-volume accusations making the dissenters out to be evil enemies of the planet.
You can't find any scientists who dispute global warming because it's career suicide to try. And guys like me, who don't have a PhD after our names, can look at charts and graphs that seem to indicate that perfectly natural causes like sunspot activity coincide with the same warming trend that is being blamed on the use of fossil fuels, but we don't count because we aren't real scientists.
I believe we're being sold a suit of clothes here, and it's the sort that will make us glad the temperature's going up.