Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Piltdown Climate Monster

What could happen if the whole world managed to screw up enough ethical courage to admit what everyone should already know – the Piltdown Climate Monster is not entirely kosher?

There has been no global warming for about sixteen years - a necessary and sufficient reason to kick the mangy beast into the long grass. After all, we want to build a rational world for future generations don’t we? Much better than covering the country with windmills surely?


Or do we really want that rational world? What would happen if our political class, the BBC, the IPCC and prominent climate scientists were to kill off the Climate Monster and bury the great green slob to a massed beating of chests and rousing chorus of mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa?

What it they were to admit the whole thing has been a scientific shambles of epic proportions – lessons learned, never to be repeated, cross our hearts and hope to die?

Good news or bad?

I’m not sure. We congregate around myths – have done for thousands of years. Many folk seem to see a secular world as a Good Thing, but does it have one or two tiny little weaknesses? Such as killing unborn babies by the million?

So maybe myths are important due to the moral stability they impart and their literal truth is secondary. Ghastly as the possibility may be, this could even apply to the Climate Monster even if it isn’t remotely possible to see how. Perhaps the Climate Monster is too big to bury because the social and political fallout would be far worse than we might assume from our cosy secular bubble.

So which is worse? More Climate Monster and ever more useless windmills or a public admission of the most outrageous scientific disaster in human history? Where even the word disaster is a preposterously lenient euphemism.

Hmm... Perhaps the Climate Monster could be phased out gradually like an ageing Hollywood star – say over a few more addled decades. No - on reflection we should tell it as it is and suffer the consequences.

After all there will be consequences anyway if the real climate doesn’t feed the Monster soon.


Sam Vega said...

The monster mutates. I remember him being called "Global Warming", but now he has morphed into "Climate Change". Expect him to change soon into "Human Activity Risk Nexus", or somesuch. Before you know it, he'll be less of a monster and more of a slight pest that we need to keep an eye on. Our best brains are working on it now.

Woodsy42 said...

I think he may mutate into the 'waste and sustainability' monster. All to do with reducing our use of resources including energy - which keeps the co2 monster in the scheme. Anything you buy will be taxed according to the build material scarcity and energy to manufacture, and you won't be allowed to throw anything away unless you pay heavily for the priveledge.

Sackerson said...

Piltdown makes a very good insulating material for duvets, the problem is catching enough pilts to pluck.

Climate change could be a distraction so that we don't notice that our governments aren't taking effective and consistent action on a large number of other issues.

Maybe it's also a cover for the actions they are taking that benefit themselves one way or another, e.g. the transfer of polluting productive capacity to the East, facilitated by dodgy carbon trading data and allowances.

Weekend Yachtsman said...
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Weekend Yachtsman said...
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Weekend Yachtsman said...

"We congregate around myths – have done for thousands of years."


Global Warming is a religion.

Obvious when you think about it:

- it's based on faith, not facts
- it has its high priests and its zealots, who may not be challenged
- it pursues infidels with great vigour
- rational argument has no effect on it, because it's not rational to begin with
- it requires pointless but painful sacrifices [windmills]
- it gets into bed with the civil powers and they prop each other up.

Yup, ticks all the boxes: it's a religion.

A K Haart said...

Sam - "Our best brains are working on it now" Crikey, you really know how to worry a chap.

Woodsy - yes I think that's where it is all heading. Micro-managing everything we consume.

Sackers - probably so. It's all so absurd, it must be a cover for something and the political classes know where the blame will go if it cools off.

WY - yes I agree - it looks like paganism to me. We aren't headed in a secular direction, but a pagan direction.

Sobers said...

If it dies (and its a big if, as other suggest it may well just mutate into some other way of controlling people) it will go out with a whimper not a bang. No-one who is involved at the moment is going to admit they were wrong. There will be no massive collective mea culpa. The consequences are too dire for the individuals. Can you imagine the public rage if they found out they had been lied to, and fleeced out of taxes, for the last 15 years or so, and now those responsible just say 'Terribly sorry, it was all nonsense'? People would demand heads on plates, and there's a lot of candidates.

No, it will end slowly, as the current batch of 'scientists' and politicians leave the public arena, and are replaced by new faces not in hock to the past. That is sadly the most likely outcome, unless we hit a undeniable global cooling event within the next decade. Then all bets are off. If the lights and heating are going off due to having closed all the coal fired power stations and the bird mincers can't cope, and demand is through the roof, and OAPs are freezing to death in their houses, and food prices are through the roof due to failed crops, then those responsible better look out. They are going to need good lawyers.

Dan said...

What I think is happening is that over time Western civilisation is slowly developing big organisational systems, exploring them and discovering the failure modes inherent in them.

Back in the twentieth century we saw the failure mode of gold standard currencies, and the problems with monarchy/dictatorship political systems (they only work well when the political system doesn't need to do much organising).

Now we're discovering one of the failure modes of democratic political systems, and also of the scientific peer review system. Peer review works only if the science is sufficiently well developed that charlatans may be spotted easily, and democratic politicians will gleefully try to save the world if given a chance.

James Higham said...

Feels like we're now in global cooling.

A K Haart said...

Sobers - I agree, the climate may decide. If it begins to warm again though, then they will claim to have known all along that it would and the show will be back on the road.

Dan - welcome and good points. I think the internet is showing us in an accelerated way how much of what we took for granted just doesn't work as we thought.

James - at this rate a year or two may decide it.