The warm lie Wednesday November 25, 2009, 0 comments

First, let me state emphatically that I have always been an ‘environmentalist’.

The reason that’s in quotes is because that word has, like so many other good words, been co-opted and twisted and bent to mean something different than it should. To me, environmentalism has always been about intelligent, efficient use of resources and intelligent, elegant solutions to the waste produced by modern industry.

But that’s not what it means any more. Now environmentalism is about being anti-government, anti-economy, ant-establishment, anti-global-warming, anti- all sorts of things. Even meat! Environmentalism has become about being against other things, not for the environment. About shaming people into approved behaviour, and shaming them out of behaviour that isn’t. Sounds like religion to me.

But of all of it, the whole thing, it’s the global warming thing that’s been getting to me the most lately.

While I agree (who other than an oil man wouldn’t?) that we should be making more efficient cars, making more efficient use of and investment in public transit, and doing out best not to waste energy, I do not believe we should be doing these things to ward off global warming. I think we should be doing them because it’s the smart thing to do. The more efficient we are, the lower our energy costs are. Hell, my kind of environmentalism isn’t anti-economy, it’s capitalism at work.

But back to the global warming thing.

I don’t really believe in it. I don’t believe in the ‘hockey stick’ graphs that the major media outlets have been trotting out for decades. I think the science behind such charts smells bad. There’s too much politics tied up in it. One need look no further than the fact that the face of the anti-global-warming resistance is a former Vice President of the United States.

I was somewhat vindicated recently when it came to light that the science that’s been supporting this wholesale attack on the phantom menace of global warming has been seriously cooked. I don’t find myself surprised. Like I said, I’ve always believed it smelled a bit funny.

While I can, like many others, point out the extremely hot summers we had from the mid-1990s till the mid 2000s as anecdotal evidence of global warming and have Al Gore and his army nod emphatically at my astuteness, if I were to point out the last two summers and winters in this area which have been colder than any I remember in my life, they’ll just say its an aberration, and that the trend is still up, up, up! One has only look at the hockey stick graph to see it, right? Forget that rubbish some scientists have been saying about solar activity. No way could changes in the output of the sun have any effect on the temperature of the earth! Their science is wrong!

How about this? Instead of lying and destroying credibility for what could be a pretty good movement, if only it weren’t becoming the next big religion, how about we just put the science out there, the measurable facts, and let people make informed decisions. Why lie?

It’s laughable that a spike in oil prices last year did more to finally put fuel efficient cars on the road than four decades of evangelizing about global warming by bearded hippies and overfed ex-politicians and bad scientists. That’s because people react locally. Hit them in the wallet, and they’ll change their consumption patterns to minimize the impact. If you want people to use less gas, make gas more expensive. See? It worked!

I am completely behind the message, if that message is that we have to make more efficient use of our non-renewable resources before we run out of them. Yes, we need to get more sustainable energy production going, and yes, we have to compensate for any reduction in production due to responsible practices by increasing efficiency and using less to do more.

But you know what? That’s just sound economics. It doesn’t have to be sold to us with a big lie.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

If I had known I was going to live to 100, I'd have taken up violin at 60.”
- Unknown centagenerian, on her 100th birthday

Twitter

  • I remember designing and building the original Playdium website in 1996 (I have screen caps somewhere of the work w… t.co/N3csm6pAwe Wednesday October 14, 2020
  • Enough of this, 2020, already. Eddie Van Halen, rest easy, man. t.co/bA8h4OtgsN Tuesday October 6, 2020
  • It is amazing how quickly one adjusts to their glasses constantly steaming up, isn’t it? Monday October 5, 2020
  • Seriously, no amount of ‘weird tricks that Warren Buffet uses’ are going to improve anyone’s life. Friday September 25, 2020
  • Was just pondering about how both writing and programming can rewrite your brain, and came to the following, which… t.co/Nm2G3G0Mz0 Friday September 18, 2020
  • Sony was, like, one front dial away from converting me over to their Full Frame cameras. One dial. t.co/C8ZMVTqjJD Monday September 14, 2020
  • t.co/Jj5Je55OyC Tuesday August 25, 2020
  • @mrmatthogg You certainly want to work with him. Tuesday May 12, 2020
  • @mrmatthogg Lately you sound like me 3 years ago, failing agains the profligate use of users bandwidth and computin… t.co/DGOM7XfVjZ Monday May 11, 2020