Thursday, February 11, 2010

AGW as a belief system

Comment over on WUWT thread about AGW and its current, shall we say, terminal thrashing about.

The middle of the road stance is, surely, adaptation. And there are some unlikely allies in this: read Stewart Brand's latest 'Whole Earth Discipline', and it is clear that there is a splintering of the entire movement from within.

Brand advocates moving to cities (concentrate service delivery, allow opportunity, release women from rural idiocy, and generate real wealth), nuclear power (deal with concentrated waste instead of millions of smokestacks) and generally drives a Sherman tank through a whole bunch of environmental shibboleths.

Add to this the 'Resilient Community' effort from John Robb and crew, and we have a large part of the adaptation recipe right there before us.

The analogy here should be to the Reformation, which blew apart a corrupt and arrogant medaeival Catholic Church for ever. Climategate is about 1517 on that scale: the nailing up of Luther's theses. There's a bit of water to go under the bridge until we get to the 1520's, when Henry VIII figured out that he could get a twofer: his old marriage declared null, and (by declaring himself head of the Church in England), he could clip the ticket on the Church's takings. Which he finally got, 100%, by the dissolution of the monasteries, in 1536-8.

The AGW frenzy is fed by funding, just as was the Catholic Church. It's fun and cathartic to do the iconoclastic stuff - tear down the brazen images, paint over the elaborate frescoes, and generally try to eradicate the outward vestiges of the belief system.

But it's a better ploy, after that emotion subsides, to go after the AGW funding. Cut off the oxygen. The neat thing is, it makes better economic sense, too. Instead of wasting a lot of scarce dollars on researching 'the effects of climate change on the mating habits of the Greater Nebraskan Loon', it would be better use of that dosh to get one of Henry VIII's twofers: say, accelerate production of electric cars/build many small-scale nuclear plants And stop giving petrodollars to unfriendly regimes.

Oh wait. 'Accelerate'. My bad. Work on the braking software, too.