A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Friday, March 04, 2005

We have no need of critical savants.....

I cannot recommend too highly this extremely important interview with Ray Evans of the Lavoisier Group, presented by Michael Duffy on Radio National's 'Counterpoint' (28 February): 'German Environmental Romanticism'.

Ray Evans argues brilliantly that the divide between the USA and Europe is religious, not scientific - a clash of USA protestantism with European green fundamentalism. Here are two telling quotations from the transcribed interview:
".....the Kyoto Protocol is an extraordinary development in my view for two reasons. Firstly, within Europe it has become a mark of acceptability - if you say in public that you think the Kyoto Protocol and global warming is a load of nonsense, you’re regarded as they used to regard heretics. It is attacking a very deeply held belief. Secondly, my understanding of it is that the European Union itself is in desperate need of legitimacy; a legitimising principle which will draw the Europeans together. And, for some reason or other, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming, to be more precise) is the instrument that they have devised. So, any attack on the Kyoto Protocol, any attack on global warming as an article of faith is therefore an attack on the European Union. And because the EU itself, in my view, is on very fragile ground, that it’s problematic as to whether it will survive or not, then of course this makes the issue all that more passionate. So I think in Europe there is this need for a legitimising principle and they’ve picked on global warming. Secondly, it fulfils a religious need. They need to believe in sin, so that means sin is equal to pollution. They need to believe in salvation. Well, sustainable development is salvation. They need to believe in a mankind that needs redemption, so you get redemption by stopping using carbon fuels like coal and oil and so on. So, it fulfils a religious need and a political need, which is why they hold onto it so tenaciously, despite all the evidence that the whole thing is nonsense."

".....it didn’t take me long to work out that we were dealing with religious belief, that the elites of Northern Europe and Scandinavia — the political elites, the intellectual elites, even the business elites — were, in fact, believers in one brand of environmentalism or another and regardless of the facts. Some of the most bizarre policies were coming out of these countries with respect to metals. I found myself having to find out - why is this so?...because on the face of it they were insane, but they were very strongly held and you’d have to say that when people hold onto beliefs regarding the natural world, and hold onto them regardless of any evidence to the contrary, then you’re dealing with religion, you’re not dealing with science."

This is trenchant stuff, but I'm absolutely certain that Evans is on the correct analytical track. What is more, The Daily Ablution blogsite has recently extracted the relevant religious rituals of mortification from (where else?) the The Fundamentalist Guardian: 'Guardian Ethicist: "Don't Wash Your Hair", More From G2' (The Daily Ablution, March 3). Gee, The Guardian has gone truly loopy.

And remember Lavoisier himself? When Lavoisier requested time to complete some scientific work after he was sentenced to death during the French Revolution, the presiding judge answered: "The Republic has no need of scientists." It was, of course, a Republic of Virtue. Say no more!

You know,we should not be afraid of shouting from the roof tops that many aspects of the Kyoto Protocol (not to mention of 'global warming') are scientific and economic madness, often on a par with the rantings of some of the nuttiest and most dangerous of the way-out religious sects.

We cannot afford to allow this lunacy over climate to continue any longer.

Philip, lunch, as the snow once again brings Kent to a halt. Cold comfort for 'global warming'.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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