The environmental fundamentalist's battle with the climate change denier is like two religious zealots fighting
There’s a nice little spat running between George Monbiot and Christopher Monckton which again demonstrates how the climate-change argument has acquired the characteristics of a bust up between religious fundamentalists.
Yesterday the ever pompous Monbiot rubbished Monckton’s articles in the Sunday Telegraph (to which the admirable (apart from his views!) cassilis first drew my attention). Today Monckton, whom Monbiot sneeringly reminds us is a Viscount, replies in the Guardian.
I’m not a scientist but donkeys’ years ago I got a degree in electronic engineering (with Honours) from a (fairly) reputable university. Electronic engineering is basically maths with knobs on plus a bit of science. So I guess I’d be fairly high up any league table of the population’s scientific knowledge.
And I can spot some pretty basic hogwash in both Monbiot and Monckton’s writings. But I haven’t any real way of knowing which, if either, of them is right. My engineering training tells me to look for scientific concusses, the problem with these two chaps is that they look mainly at extreme results. I suspect the truth is somewhere between their positions.
As with religion people must latch onto a seemingly reliable person to guide them through unknowable complexities. But environmental writers are, like priests, highly selective in the texts they choose to interpret and jolly good at spinning them to produce the results that suit their flock’s desires and/or prejudices.
There are many in the ‘green’ movement who take a great delight in anything that seems to show ‘big business’ or the US in a bad light. Equally there are many deniers who prefer to bury their heads because they don’t want their comfortably selfish pleasures interfered with.
But, as any geologist could tell you, our planet is in no danger from mankind's activities. Some species, including our own, may be at risk but extinction is an essential component of evolution. It is only human vanity that leads us to speak about saving the planet rather than our own skins. If we were all wiped out tomorrow we’d leave hardly a trace in the fossil record because we’ve been around for such a short time. As John Maynard Keynes put it 'In the long run we’re all dead'; it’s being so cheery that keeps me going...