Reincarnation of the Reds

Ilana Mercer, December 29, 2006

Primitive man worshipped nature and imbued inanimate things with human qualities. So do environmentalists. James Lovelock, one of the movement’s godheads, and the godfather of the Gaia hypothesis, imbued the earth with mystical powers. The Lovelock-inspired concept of “planetary consciousness” is really a philosophical excrescence of Animism, “the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.”

Nature worship is a form of this fetishism. Primitives worshiped idols and amulets, but also conferred divine honor on the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, trees, and animals; air, fire, and water. Environmental animists à la Lovelock believe that to tamper with one aspect of the interlocking system of “organisms, surface rocks, oceans and atmosphere” is to tempt fate. To quote Lovelock’s adoring acolytes at the New York Review of Books, this balance is now being disrupted by “our brief binge of fossil fuel consumption.” Reduce ocean levels of algae and “teeming billions will perish,” or so they say.

Most of Lovelock’s earlier gloomy predictions have not panned out, but this has done nothing to cool the reverence he receives from media. They, like Lovelock and his ilk, aim not to “save” man, but to subjugate him to the Goddess Gaia. Indeed, major media have had a good reason for pushing apocalyptic climate-change theories for over a century. “A global central planning authority is implicit in all potential international efforts to combat alleged global problems,” explains economist George Reisman. Environmentalism is socialism revived; the Greens are the Reds incarnated.

In his seminal work, Capitalism, Reisman elaborates on the philosophical affinity between these maniacal movements: The Reds argued that “the individual could not be left free because the result would be such things as ‘exploitation,’ ‘monopoly,’ and depressions. The Greens claimed that the individual could not be left free because the result would be such things as the destruction of the ozone layer, acid rain, and global warming. Both claim that centralized government control over economic activity is essential. The Reds wanted it for the alleged sake of achieving human prosperity”; the Greens for the alleged sake of avoiding environmental damage.”

Republican Sen. James Inhofe recently traced the historical arc of media hysteria: “[F]or more than 100 years journalists have quoted scientists predicting the destruction of civilization by, in alternation, either runaway heat or a new Ice Age.” The Business and Media Institute, a valiant defender of the free market, is in agreement, after “conducting an extensive analysis of print media’s climate change coverage back to the late 1800s.” Its report,”Fire and Ice,” found that, “the print news media have warned of four separate climate changes in slightly more than 100 years—global cooling, warming, cooling again, and, perhaps not so finally, warming”:

Many publications now claiming the world is on the brink of a global warming disaster said the same about an impending ice age—just 30 years ago. Several major ones, including The New York Times, Time magazine and Newsweek, have reported on three or even four different climate shifts since 1895

Warnings of an approaching ice age lasted well into the 1920s. Then, an imperceptible warming in the earth’s surface saw the Times begin to blow hot air about global warming. This phase ended when, in the 1950s, Fortune magazine heralded an Ice Age. For some time, the Times remained suspended in journalistic permafrost, but soon warmed, in 1975, to the idea of “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable,” to quote its headline. Hot on the heels of this cold cycle, the paper joined the current crop of Chicken Littles to bewail global warming.

That’s right, not so long ago they clucked about global cooling; now mainstream media claim the sky is falling because of global warming.

More fundamentally, theirs is, ultimately, an “argument” against continued economic progress. Be it warming or cooling, the goal is the same: climate kooks want to scale back the market economy that is responsible for the marvelous living standards enjoyed in industrialized countries.

To accomplish this unchanging ambition, these mutant Marxists have had to create a theory that can’t be falsified—the kind of “theory” Karl Popper, a philosopher of science, referred to as irrefutable. As Popper reminded us, “A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is,” of course, “non-scientific.”

Thus evidence that contradicts the global warming theory, climate Chicken Littles enlist as evidence for the correctness of their theory; every permutation in weather patterns—warm or cold—is said to be a consequence of that warming or proof of it, thus making the global warming theory unfalsifiable and not subject to testing.

Then again, a leap of faith is necessary if one is to sustain the belief that the specimen that designed the microchip and painted the Mona Lisa is no better than a monkey—a creature that has never created anything, lives in trees, throws coconuts, and hoots to communicate.

©2006 By Ilana Mercer (December 29),
The Colorado Springs Gazette (January 17, 2007)
& The Orange County Register (“The Reds have Become the Greens,” January 19, 2007)

* Image credit

CATEGORIES: Capitalism, Environmentalism, Reason, Science & Junk Science