Man Bites Nuclear Dog
Finland's Greens Now Fully Behind Nuclear Power
I don't think I've ever written a post about climate change here. I don't post all that much about political and social issues anyway, but still, it's mildly surprising that in all the years (eighteen!) I've had this blog I've never written a post specifically about it, considering how much attention it gets. I've mentioned it here and there, but as far as I can tell only in passing. Part of the reason, the major part I guess, is that I don't take it all that seriously.
As a threat, I mean. I'm willing to believe that it's happening, and to believe that industrialism, the automobile, and so forth are causing it, or at least contributing to it. I'm willing to believe it because many people who know a lot about the climate tell me so. And I'm willing to believe that the rising temperature will or at least may cause problems. I say "may" because there is such a blatantly tendentious (to put it mildly) effort to link any problem, especially but not necessarily if it includes weather or any aspect of the natural world, to climate change. Maybe some of those are valid, maybe not, but the political intention is so obvious that it invites skepticism--practically requires it.
But I'm unwilling to believe that climate change is going to make the planet uninhabitable, or result in the deaths of some large percentage of the human population with the survivors becoming hunter-gatherers, or have any of the other world-ending or otherwise massively catastrophic consequences that are predicted.
I don't mean just that I reserve judgment, or am somewhat skeptical, but that I actively disbelieve it. One reason is that these predictions, like the attribution of existing phenomena, have an obvious political motivation. Another is that many of them seem implausible, predicting consequences that seem far in excess of the predicted rises in temperature. But the biggest reason is that the environmentalists and others who are loudest in their alarms do not appear to truly believe what they are saying. Maybe they're purposely exaggerating for effect, as political crusaders generally do, not apparently having absorbed the lesson of the boy who cried wolf.
It's not only because so many of the crusaders are hypocritical--owning multiple enormous homes, jetting to climate conferences, and all that. Yes, it's hypocritical, but hypocrites we will always have with us. The biggest reason is that for the most part they don't allow a place for nuclear power in mitigating the problem. Compared to fossil fuels, especially from the point of view of climate change concerns, nuclear power has some major benefits. I won't bother reproducing the arguments on that score, as they are easily found all over the net.
Obviously it has significant dangers, too. But to rule it out entirely, and put all your hope on the unlikely prospect that wind and solar power can replace fossil fuels anytime soon, only indicates that you don't really believe that the danger is as great as you are saying. If there's an 18-wheeler coming straight at you, and your only alternatives are to go into the ditch or have a head-on collision which will certainly kill you, you don't say "The ditch is not an option. Much too dangerous."
It's good to see at least one environmentalist group be realistic on this point. I get the impression that a not-insignificant number of young people are being driven into terrified despair by the wild alarmism of many. Poor Greta Thunberg is blaming the wrong people for stealing her childhood.
Guns and the people who own them are certainly a much bigger problem.
Posted by: Stu | 05/26/2022 at 12:41 PM
I had a laugh as I saw the title of this post because I was just watching a video on puppy training :)
Anyway,I agree with you, Maclin.
Posted by: Louise in Tasmania | 05/27/2022 at 12:09 AM
"Guns and the people who own them are certainly a much bigger problem."
Yet our snowy neighbor to the north has loads of guns, but not the problems with them that we have. Makes me think the issue isn't just the guns.
Posted by: Rob G | 05/27/2022 at 03:12 AM
As I'm always saying, when and where I grew up, everybody had guns, including teenage boys, and nobody shot anybody. Something has changed in the culture. All in all, in spite of advances in some areas, the U.S. is a meaner place than it was 50 years ago.
Thinkers like Whoopi Goldberg and Beto O'Rourke are showing us the way forward on gun violence: scream more loudly that those who disagree with you are murderers. That'll work.
Posted by: Mac | 05/27/2022 at 09:41 AM
Like Bette Midler
Rage is all the rage.
And I am in favor of some kind of gun control, but unhinged people don't make good policy.
Posted by: Robert Gotcher | 05/27/2022 at 09:46 AM
I guess it's a side effect of celebrity that you start believing that the attention you get must mean you have some kind of authority. And an obligation to Speak Out For A Better World. "unhinged" is a fair description of Midler and Goldberg.
A hilarious moment from the Clinton administration was when Barbra Streisand complained that Bill had invited some gorgeous young actress to the White House: "She doesn't know anything about foreign policy." (At least I remember something of that sort--my memory is probably only roughly accurate.)
Posted by: Mac | 05/27/2022 at 10:29 AM