Monday, December 28, 2009

A Bronx Cheer for the big guy at the end of the aughts

It is customary at the end of a year to reflect on the events of that year and what we might have learned from them, for better or for worse. The same sort of exercise applies to the end of a decade. Often media writes these reflections up as the most “newsworthy” stories, etc. Since media claims to be the gatekeeper of news, this is kind of a poor man’s Academy Award show, where industry insiders pat themselves on the back for their picks.

I am a blogger, so screw MSM. I’ll sort my way through the decade.

With respect to the past year, I would say that climate science gets the top billing.

First, we had the Copenhagen conference, two years in the planning, which was supposed to set the stage for an embryonic world government to deal with planetary resources. By any measure it completely failed. It was probably the last gasp of something Maurice Strong put in motion 30 years ago.

Many of the same sad bunch will meet in Mexico City next year, but it won’t hold a candle to the promise that was to be Copenhagen.

Second, we had the leaked or hacked e-mails from the climate science top dogs who admitted to themselves, if not to us, that the science is anything but settled. Leaving aside the career jealousies and the attempts to control the peer review process that were evident in these 2,000 pages of e-mails, they puzzled over the hiatus in warming for the past decade, had no explanation for it, admitted it did not fit the theory, and began to doubt their own analysis and the data behind it. They clearly demonstrated that they had really no idea why the world of the past warmed or cooled, having dismissed ice core samples as being imprecise and having trouble making tree ring data fit the theory as well.

I am told relentlessly by fans of AGW that the medieval warm period is irrelevant, and in any case, we don’t know enough about it, and that all that matters is the dramatic rise in the past century of CO2. This is unprecedented they tell me.

How do we know, I say, when we don’t anything reliable about the past? Logic fails here for reasons I get into later.

What also fails to knock these folks off their game is that the temperature and the CO2 have not been consistent. For periods in the past century, including the last decade, the temperature has not been inexorably rising as the AGW says it should since the CO2 has been unalterably rising.

I would say that many more people believed the AGW hypothesis than disbelieved it at the beginning of this decade and, at the end of the decade, these numbers have reversed, with more disbelieving it than believing it. This will have political consequences.

During this decade, I would say religion was the most important driver in world affairs. And by that I mean religion in its broadest sense, including the religion of global warming.

We started the decade believing a new era of reason, science and rationalism would prevail. Not more than a year passed and we saw religious zealots of Islamic persuasion carry out audacious suicide attacks on the cities of New York and Washington.

One of the fallouts from these attacks was the new stringent security rules that air travelers were subjected to before they could board airplanes. At the end of the decade, yet another in a long line of Islamic attempts at murder by aircraft in Detroit has led to even more onerous impositions on air travelers.

So, on behalf of all civilian aviation, let’s give Mohammed a big Bronx cheer.

One of the things that began to dawn on western societies during this decade was the impact of Islam, not just in Islamic countries, but in the heart of western civilization. We have not yet found a way to effectively deal with this foreign political-religio philosophy and I expect the next decade will see us increasingly absorbed by that issue.

One of the things that has become clearer near the end of the decade, however, is that, like the doubts that have begun to permeate over the certainty of climate science, the rose-coloured lenses that viewed Islam as “one of the world’s great religions” and a “religion of peace” have cracked and fallen away.

In Europe, the people are either voting with their feet, leaving for non-European western nations, or are organizing populist political parties that take aim at Islam as a menace. The political establishment in Europe is on shaky ground having spent its political capital during the decade appeasing and propping up Muslims while simultaneously suppressing nascent European nationalism. Its cupboard is nearly bare and I would expect to see the old guard swept away in future elections by those who do not wish to see the Islamification of Europe. After all, there are still many more Europeans who vote than Islamists and they know they will have to act politically soon while they still can.

The outcome will not be pretty.

Australia has shown some muscle in dealing with the issue, but Canada appears to be still very much asleep at the switch.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Americans have elected an anachronism to the highest office. Just as the rest of the world begins to march down a different path opposing Islam, President Obama runs around the planet praising the religion to the skies, misrepresenting it in the process, and promising to defend the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab, ignoring the right of Muslim women not to wear the hijab.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that his efforts are viewed by the Islamic world as weakness, and by even some of the jellyfish European politicians as foolish, and by the American public as misguided.

The day after the Fort Hood massacre, Obama cautioned the public not to jump to conclusions. Three days after the attempt to blow up the airplane in Detroit he has not said anything to the American public. Air travel in the United States is in complete turmoil, but not a word directly from the President. Perhaps if the news stories had been framed, not as another Muslim terrorist at it again, but as white people arresting a black man on board an airplane, he would be inclined to be more loquacious.

Unless he shifts ground within the next year, he will probably suffer the worst fate a President can endure; he will lose his moral authority to govern.

No comments: