Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Getting herded

It's not especially surprising that a blogger using the name "Mr. Dilettante" would be especially skeptical of herd mentality. Right now I get the sense we're all being herded hard on global warming/climate change/Sky Is Falling version 9.4 or whatever we're calling it.

It seems like there's a new, conclusive report coming out every day. It seems like we are being told over and over again that the overwhelming consensus is that global warming is happening right now, dammit, never mind what your thermometer might say at the moment. And it looks like we're being put into a giant holding pen illuminated with compact fluorescent bulbs.

I dunno. I have noticed that the winters have been warmer lately and that my shovel isn't wearing out from overuse this winter. I have noticed that the hot streaks are a little hotter in July the last few years. But the descriptions of how the climate change will supposedly affect Minnesota simply aren't particularly alarming. Summers like Kansas! Winters like Illinois! This is horrible and beyond comprehension?

I lived in Chicago for five years. The winters in Illinois are plenty cold. In fact, I would submit that the coldest place I've ever been is standing on an El platform on a windy, wintry day in Chicago. There is no escape from the cold there. Kansas, of course, has the reputation of being a horrible, uninhabitable place in the summertime, filled with sand dunes, tumbleweeds and the bleached bones of tenant farmers scattered on the parched ground. Actually, none of that is true, but if we're going to be scary, we probably need to punch it up a little.

Truth is, life wouldn't change that much. Maybe we'd be fishing for bass instead of walleye. Maybe we'd find a greater affinity for NASCAR. Or maybe it won't be that big a deal at all. No one knows. What we do know is that we can make changes to our heart's content, cramming ourselves into clown cars, I mean Priuses, and paying 20 large for the privilege of having no room for your luggage. We can put in all the compact fluorescent bulbs we can find. We can affix as many bumper stickers to our clown cars as we want. But all of it will be, to use the words of our beloved Vice President, Evil Dick, a "private virtue," because there are no plans afoot to change the polluting behaviors of India, China, etc.

I will say this, though -- the solar powered cattle prods are a nice touch.


Anonymous said...

Mr Dilletante should read "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton. For that matter, everyone else, including the pop scientists who put out all of the global warming hype should read it as well. Then we should have a discussion about Global Warming.

Mr. D said...

Hey anonymous,

Not bad advice, but Crichton has already been dismissed as a "novelist" by the Global Warming crowd. Of course, no one ever learned anything from reading a novel. I mean, you can't discover anything about the 19th century whaling industry by reading "Moby-Dick," right?