Beneath the warm cuddly exterior of the bunny-hugging greenie beats the heart of a fascist. If you ever doubted it, check out this Vox interview with William T Vollmann.
Vollmann is an award-winning author and war correspondent once described as the most “ambitious, audacious writer working in America today” and tipped as a plausible Nobel Prize for Literature candidate. He claims once to have been a climate change ‘denier’ but not any more.
The climate change threat is so dire, he believes, that only the most drastic solutions will do:
It’s not just what some consumer does at home. It’s niggling little issues that add up. In Japan, roughly 50 percent or so of all the methane emissions — and that’s one of the three most dangerous greenhouse gases — are caused by rice growing. All this stuff that seems so innocuous. It seems to me that you have to drag people into some kind of regulatory hell, unfortunately. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, but I don’t see one.
Stopping the Japanese eating rice because muh climate change? Now that is extreme. But then, Vollmann is an extreme person: his ascetic, Luddite lifestyle – he doesn’t have a cellphone or use email – at one point led police to suspect that he might be the Unabomber.
What’s not clear from the interview is why he is so convinced that climate change is such a threat. Perhaps the answer can be found in his 600-page book No Immediate Danger, the first of a two-volume polemic Carbon Ideologies, in which he explores why it is that people are so addicted to their carbon fuelled lifestyles.
Well, we all have beliefs, feelings, and interests. They tend to be centered around our own personal comfort and our aspirations to make tomorrow better than today. I think most of us feel, legitimately so, that if we couldn’t drive our cars wherever we wanted, or turn on the heat or air conditioning when we wanted, that our lives would be worse.
What are we going to do about that? Are we prepared to endure lives with less comfort and maybe less safety?
Then again, I think I could probably save you the 600-page trek (that’s just the first volume, remember) and answer in a sentence: because cars, airplanes, air con and heating are comfortable, useful and a definite improvement on living in caves.
Still, it’s important to hear the thoughts of green thinkers and influencers like Vollmann now and again because that way we can be reminded of what it really is that motivates environmentalists. They dress their feelings up as love for the planet – but what it’s really about is hatred for technology, hatred of creature comforts, hatred of human achievement.
As the antidote to Vollmann’s doommongering, it’s well worth reading Gregoire Canlorbe’s interview with Willie Soon, one of the world’s bravest, outspoken and distinguished climate skeptics.
Dr Willie Soon is an independent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has been studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth’s climate for more than a quarter of a century. He doesn’t pull his punches in this interview, in which he nails many of the myths that alarmists like Vollmann find so scary. (He is also – if you read the full interview – quite terrifyingly well-read and erudite).
On polar bears:
The real threat to polar bears was unregulated hunting, which reduced the population to perhaps as few as 5,000 bears in the early 1970s.
After the November 1973 agreement to regulate hunting and outlaw hunting from aircraft and icebreakers, the polar bear population rebounded. By 2017 it was approaching 30,000. In 2016 a survey by the Nunavut government found a vulnerable population in the western Hudson Bay region to have been stable for at least five years.
I should say categorically that this polar bear fear-mongering is evidence of mass delusion promoted by group think.
On sea level rise
Sea level has risen by 400 feet over the past 10,000 years. For the past 200 years it has been rising at about 8 inches per century, and that rate may well continue. It has very little to do with global warming and much more to do with long-term climate cycles. In fact, so slowly has sea level been rising that environmental-extremist scientists have tampered with the raw data by adding an imagined (and imaginary) “global isostatic adjustment”, torturing the data until they show a rate of sea-level rise that has not in reality occurred.
It’s the sun, stupid
For a quarter of a century I have studied the hypothesis that solar radiation is causing or at lest modulating climatic variations over periods of several decaes […]
I have sought the best empirical evidence to show how changes in incoming solar radiation, accounted for by intrinsic solar magnetic modulation of the irradiance output as well as planetary modulation of the seasonal distribution of sunlight, affects the thermal properties of land and sea, including temperatures. In turn, temperature change affects atmospheric water vapor as well as the more dynamical components of equator-to-pole insolation and of temperature gradients that vary on timescales of decades to hundreds of years.
We are on the right track after all in investigating solar radiation (rather than something else) as the driver and modulator of most things climatic.
On climate models
The current state of our understanding of the dynamical evolution and variability of the Earth’s climate, in the observational as much as in the theoretical domain, is so immature that, as prudent and careful scientists, we should stop and think. I am confident that, even if we were able to find some “agreement” between the outputs of the current generation of climate models and the available measurements and observations, we ought to be cautious, because we can be almost 100% certain that the apparent agreement is fundamentally incorrect.
The full interview can be read here.
Once you’ve read the two articles – the Vox interview with an alarmist and Canlorbe’s interview with a skeptical scientist – you’ll be left in little doubt as to where to stand on the greatest hoax in history. One side has the facts; the other has ‘muh feelings’. There can only be one eventual winner. It won’t be the side that bases its arguments on computer modelled projections and a Malthusian sense of impending doom.