“There was an Old Testament ring to the forewarnings, an air of plague of boils and deluge of frogs that suggested a deep and constant inclination enacted over the centuries to believe that one was always living at the End of Days, that one’s own demise was urgently bound up with the end of the world and therefore made more sense or was just a little less irrelevant.”
Yes! Great! Tick in the margin! Here is a great novelist at the height of his powers summing up perfectly the atavistic impulse which leads generation after generation to believe it is the chosen one: the generation so special that it and it alone will be the one privileged to experience the end of the world; and the generation so egotistical that it imagines itself largely responsible for that imminent destruction.
The Aztecs thought it; Medieval peasants thought it; green doom-mongers think it today. But the fact that generations of credulous berks believed these things does not make their guilt-laden, quasi-religious convictions any more valid now than they were a thousand years ago. The end of the world is not nigh. We will go on evolving and adapting as we have always done. The richer we get, the more advanced our economies, the more money we shall have to spend on conserving our environment. This is how the real world works as opposed to the fantasy one devised by Millenarians, eco-loons and other frothing nutcases.
Now contrast those wise words at the beginning, with that of an AGW-believing celebrity author recently interviewed on the BBC who rather ridiculously claimed, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that:
“The world of science is not at loggerheads. The consensus is colossal.”
(Not just “settled”, note. Actually “colossal”, don’tcha know?)
Now here’s the weird part. The clever, wise author who wrote the sentence at the beginning and the rather silly chicken licken one quoted by the BBC are one and the same. Ian McEwan, author of a new global warming novel Solar. I must confess that I haven’t yet read the novel, so I can’t be sure quite how far down the path of climate scepticism McEwan’s book dares to venture. But I do know that certain deep Greenies have been slightly miffed at the way McEwan satirises their antics on a pleasant freebie – sorry, important scientific mission – he took up to the Arctic Circle on an agreeable sailing boat with the Cape Farewell project.
Could it be that McEwan is suffering a severe case of cognitive dissonance, with the achingly PC, AGW-believing, public version of Ian McEwan battle for supremacy with his inner creative genius which seems to have a much, much more insightful understanding of the real issues at stake with AGW?
Some of these issues are discussed on the BBC’s Review Show – which I urge you to watch before it gets taken off the BBC website, partly so you can admire the heroic defence of empiricism and commonsense by the New Culture Forum’s Peter Whittle, partly so you can discover the true meaning of rhyming slang courtesy of libtard historian Tristram Hunt.