Here, as promised, is Part II of the István Markó interview. It was conducted by French journalist Grégoire Canlorbe. (Full interview here).
Dr Markó, who died earlier this year, was professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium’s largest French-speaking university, as well as a Breitbart contributor and a brilliant and outspoken climate skeptic.
In Part I, Markó covered the science of global warming. It proved a massive hit with readers and, just as importantly, it sent the leftist trolls absolutely mental.
Part II deals with the politics and economics of global warming.
The ‘science’ on global warming has been hijacked by left-wing politics
To begin, I believe in science: I mean that I believe in the possibility of objectively knowing reality through science. I believe that there are truth and falsehood, that science allows us to distinguish between the two, and that truth must be known; that scientific knowledge must be placed in the hands of the population. I also believe in freedom. I believe that every man is entitled to lead his life and to manage his goods as he sees fit, that he is the only possessor of himself, and that statist socio-economic control is as morally reprehensible as it is harmful in its social, economic, and environmental consequences.
The people are being taken for a ride
I note two things distressing me: firstly, the population is increasingly misinformed scientifically; and secondly, the media and governments take advantage of this to propagate a theory that is doubtful, namely that of anthropogenic warming, and to promote coercive measures on its behalf. Few people take the time to get vital information about the actual CO2 footprint; and few people, more generally, are still interested in science. I deeply regret that our Western societies have succeeded in cultivating such mistrust of science: such a reluctance to have confidence in its capacity to know the world objectively and to transform it positively.
Anthropogenic Global Warming theory is not real science
The theory of anthropogenic warming claims to be scientific; but if people accept this theory, if they hold it to be true, it is clearly not out of interest for science. Such a fragile theory, in view of the CO2 facts I have presented to you above [see Pt I of the interview], could never have been accepted by people who truly care about science; and who possess a deep understanding in that field.
It’s about religion and self-hatred
In my eyes, there are two main reasons—or if you prefer, two main types of feelings—that make people let themselves be seduced by the theory of anthropogenic warming so readily. In the first place, the Catholic religion is in decline in the Western world; and what I call ecologism comes to replace it.
In the second place, Westerners have a pronounced taste for self-flagellation; and the theory of anthropogenic warming provides justification for that tendency, possibly anchored in our Judeo-Christian heritage. So, on the one hand, we have religious feelings: faith in a new system of thought, which is ecologism; the veneration of a new divinity, which is benevolent and protective Nature. On the other hand, we have a feeling of guilt, expressed in our conviction that, if the climate warms up, it is our fault; and that if we do not immediately limit our CO2 emissions, we will have sullied and disfigured our planet.
The scarce resources/Limits to Growth myth
To begin, those who convey the idea that the finite character of resources renders infinite growth impossible, leave out of account the ability of the human being to innovate in our technology, to enrich our knowledge of nature, and to enhance our extraction strategies. Let us take the case of this finite resource that is petroleum: one notices, firstly, that new reserves are regularly discovered; secondly, that the depleted oil reserves, (originally tapped by conventional drilling) are exploited by more advanced methods which improve the yield and recovery rate of remaining, formerly unrecoverable oil; and thirdly, that the “peak oil,” which Malthusians constantly say is about to be reached, is constantly postponed. On the other hand, humankind devises recycling methods that let us glimpse the possibility, in a more or less surrealist future, to build growth on perpetually and integrally recycled resources.
Stop whining about ‘mass consumption’ and ‘industrial progress.’ They have made us wealthy, healthy and free.
To blame mass consumption and industrial progress as such leaves me perplexed, were it only because it is waste, not consumption itself, which is the real problem. As much as the struggle against waste seems to me to be well-founded and necessary, the struggle against the “consumer society,” which happened to inspire a certain terrorism, seems to me irrelevant. I recall that it is notably mass consumption derived from the industrial exploitation of fossil resources that have liberated Western society from poverty and from a whole series of tasks that previously degraded him. The victory of medicine, which is so often praised, would never have been possible, without the chemistry of fossil resources. It is the chemical and industrial advances in pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers that have enabled us to master our environment.
The Soviet dissident author Alexander Solzhenitsyn railed against the way industry and mass consumption have destroyed our spirituality and made us mad. This is rubbish.
Solzhenitsyn’s criticism seems to avoid denying the economic and sanitary benefits of “progress.” That is, it seems to focus on the psychological consequences. But even from that point of view, one easily exaggerates the deleterious effects associated with scientific and technological development and the resulting material comfort and mass consumption. Pathological behaviors, such as addiction, are the work of a minority of consumers: they are therefore exceptional and accidental; and not a sort of congenital disease of “consumer societies.”
As to the idea that having a comfortable life would create in us a moral desert, that it would make us greedy and heartless, this notion does not stand up to scrutiny either. It is enough to note to what extent people in opulent societies give to charitable organizations of all kinds. Ironically, Asian societies, which have remained faithful to their spiritual traditions, today cultivate a much greater respect for science and technology than that which prevails in the secularized West. It is therefore false to claim, as Solzhenitsyn seems to do, that the spirituality of people atrophies as their way of life is more centered on science and technology.
The real problem with improved material comfort is this: it has made people soft and forgetful of how hard-won our achievements are
There are indeed psychological drawbacks that I think can be legitimately attributed to material comfort. Over generations it gradually disposes people who take their comfort for granted, to lose sight of the inhospitable and dangerous world in which they live. Blinded by the ease of their standard of living, and the facilities stemming from their scientific, industrial, and technological advancement, Westerners have finally forgotten a fundamental law: this world gives nothing without effort. Again, the reason we are able to inhabit this planet in conditions that are so favorable to our health and to our hygienic wellbeing, as well as to our economic and demographic development, is that we have rendered our environment hospitable.
We are far too sentimental about Nature – which is cruel and harsh.
Gaia does not take us under her protection; nor is she that delicate and innocent goddess, offended by blood and toil, raped by factories, mines, and urban groups, which ecologists celebrate. I mentioned above the colonization of deserts by plants thanks to the greater amount of CO2 available to them. Colonization genuinely comes from Nature itself, not the human being; it is not so much that humans “invented” colonization, or industry, commerce, war, or even infanticides; we only inherited those behaviors from Nature. If the reader does not take me seriously on infanticides, let him think of the polar bears that do not hesitate to kill their own offspring and to take their heads away for the evening meal.
Wind energy is an economic and environmental disaster
The wind industry, over which ecologists swoon, produces highly unpredictable output, depending on the intensity of the wind. Even under good atmospheric conditions, wind delivers too little electricity to be a profitable industry on its own. Warren Buffet, who owns one of the largest wind farms in Iowa, said it without embarrassment: “On wind power, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. This is the only reason to build them. They do not make sense without the tax credit.” The ecological balance is just as bad: onshore wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands, even millions of birds and bats per year. As for wind turbines at sea, they kill many marine mammals, again in the utmost indifference of ecologists.
Nuclear, not renewables, is the answer
We are plagued, in Europe, by a morbid fear of nuclear power. The Chinese, but also the Russians and the Indians, know that this fear is irrational, and that renewables that can only provide intermittent energy, are not a viable alternative. They are developing their nuclear industry at a brisk pace and are already experimenting with the next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor. As for the Germans and the French, and soon the Belgians, alas, they are regressing! They are horrified by the Fukushima accident, encouraged by silly elites, and so they are destroying their wonderful energy/power generation industrial parks, becoming the laughing stock of emerging countries. I recall that the earthquake and the tsunami of 2011 certainly caused numerous victims, about 20,000 deaths. But no one has died because of the nuclear industrial accident as such.
The West’s green ideology means we are being overtaken by the Russians, the Indians and the Chineese
In the United States, there currently happens to be an upsurge in funding for what one calls small modular units. But China assuredly possesses leadership in the nuclear industry. They are in first place before the Russians and the Indians. The Chinese regularly build nuclear power plants, having become masters in that field, they do so faster and faster. They are, today, in the process of devising two thorium-based nuclear pilots. They know that its combustion results in highly radioactive products, with long life spans; but they have managed to solve that problem and find a way to obtain ultimate products that are very weakly radioactive.
Besides this, the Chinese are on the way to becoming leaders in the conquest of space. They built their own platforms, which they managed to send into space and they also have their own launchers, which are extremely reliable, and which are much cheaper, for example, than the Ariane launchers. If the Chinese are such high performers and so innovative, it is because, like the Indians and the Russians, they have faith in science: they have faith in the ability of science to embellish their future and to create a better world. In Europe, there was a time when we, too, had faith in science; and faith in an evolution of our societies that would rest on science. Today we have not only turned our backs on science, we are choked and infantilized by bureaucrats who suck the living forces of the old continent.
Ecologism is the communism of the 21st century
Many persons, generally those coming from the former Eastern Bloc, let themselves be seduced by the idea that the resolution of our environmental problems would be that of global governance. In many respects, ecologism is also the communism of the 21st century. In the same way as Islam, it occupies the place left vacant by the decline of Marxism-Leninism. I do not know if a convergence of struggles between Islamists and ecologists will actually take shape; however, I note that we already have the equivalent, on a smaller scale, of the global ecological caliphate. I am thinking of the European Union, which gives us a foretaste of the bureaucratic, global, and totalitarian governance that the United Nations manifestly endeavors to establish.
On Arnold Schwarzenegger wanting to punish skeptics by strapping their mouths to the exhaust pipe of a truck and turning on the engine
Having myself practiced bodybuilding in my youth, I am a great admirer of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man and his cinematography. But I suspect his chemical knowledge, at least what he shows of it, to be a bit light, in contrast to that of Swedish screen star Dolph Lundgren, who at least graduated in chemical engineering. When it comes to getting an enlightened advice in politics or philosophy, I would rather trust Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Arnold expresses himself here completely ignoring that all greenhouse gases are not poison. To strap a car’s exhaust pipe to the mouth of someone and to turn on the engine will only result in blowing up the lungs of the person, which does not have much to do with the greenhouse effect. For my part, the worst ‘punishments’ I would wish upon a devotee of anthropogenic warming, on-screen or in reality, is to be confronted with honest information, data and figures that are not manipulated, which oblige him to recognize the vacuity of his dogma. The Belgian martial arts expert and movie star is known for his support of Trump and for his concern for the protection of natural species.