Treacher comes out as pro-choice. Welcome to the light, my friend.
Lionel Shriver is an American lady novelist in London and a Guardian columnist of conventionally leftie views. But she has a corker of a piece in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal (subscribers click here) about the creepy ecototalitarianism of the British state, all in the interests of “saving the planet”. Among the examples she cites: $200 fines for poorly separated recycling and “microchips implanted in wheelie bins [trash cans] to weigh residential refuse – dragging Britain’s surveillance culture to a new low”….
If George Bush put a microchip in your garbage under the Patriot Act, there’d be mass demonstrations across the land. But do it in the guise of saving the planet and everyone’s fine with it.
Meanwhile, no one’s listening to the scientists like Reid Bryson who actually know about climate. They’re full of too many inconvenient truths:
“Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?”
“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”
Little Ice Age? That’s what chased the Vikings out of Greenland after they’d farmed there for a few hundred years during the Mediaeval Warm Period, an earlier run of a few centuries when the planet was very likely warmer than it is now, without any help from industrial activity in making it that way. What’s called “proxy evidence”—assorted clues extrapolated from marine sediment cores, pollen specimens, and tree-ring data—helps reconstruct the climate in those times before instrumental temperature records existed.
We ask about that evidence, but Bryson says it’s second-tier stuff. “Don’t talk about proxies,” he says. “We have written evidence, eyeball evidence. When Eric the Red went to Greenland, how did he get there? It’s all written down.”
Bryson describes the navigational instructions provided for Norse mariners making their way from Europe to their settlements in Greenland. The place was named for a reason: The Norse farmed there from the 10th century to the 13th, a somewhat longer period than the United States has existed. But around 1200 the mariners’ instructions changed in a big way. Ice became a major navigational reference. Today, old Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers.
Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”
We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.
“A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says. “There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal.”
But hey, let’s assert that we can control climate change anyway because it makes us feel less powerless and more godlike. Sort of like the way many on the left blame all the world’s ills on Bush or America: If that’s true, then they can just get enough people to vote with them and the problem is solved.
Bin Laden doesn’t respect democratic consensus and neither does the Sun that warms the earth at its whims, but those are just annoying details, really.
And by the way, ecoextremists do want to get into your bedroom to do more than just change the bulbs.