First Posted 22-Jan-2015
I guess I’m making the very mistake I complain about. Folk ‘sposed to stop being silly when it comes to the phrase, “Climate Change”. I’ve written over 800 words making this mistake. It just seems so obvious that the phrase “Climate Change” means nothing. Oh, and as you reach for your mouse to add a comment and call me a “climate hater” or “climate denier” remember this: blogs thrive on controversy. I tagged this blog, “A House of Trolls”. A flame war on Climate Change would make my year.
Both phrases are fraught with meaning in the language of those who believe in an apocalyptic future triggered by a failure to properly take care of Mother Earth. Here’s the thing, Climate Change is just about the most perfect phrase for this community. It’s self-confirming. You don’t need a typical syllogism with two predicates leading to an irrefutable conclusion. You can skip predicate 1 and 2 and just get right to the conclusion: the climate is changing. You can say it with all the dread you can muster in your voice. Carry a warning of pending apocalypse just as scary as those Christian freaks who have a 10 year supply of freeze dried lasagna for the day the Rapture comes. Wait, if the Rapture does happen, won’t that supply of freeze dried lasagna be useless?
Sorry, ok, back to the point of this blog post. The climate can do whatever. Your conclusion will hold. Even if you base your conclusion on super-computed big data analysis of the rise & fall of annual temperature, the increase or decrease in the size of the ozone hole, and the migratory habits of polar bears. You can do all this. Maybe throw in some charred sheep ankle bones. All of that fuss and sweat will just be smoke & mirrors. Any conclusion reached will confirm the hypothesis: the climate is changing. Because climate changes. The weather changes. Climate changes.
If your super-computed analysis gives you a warming trend line you can shout in the headlines that we are getting warmer, the ice is melting at the poles, numerous species used to colder weather are migrating north, anything you want. It won’t matter. You will be right.
You will be no less right if you produce a PowerPoint deck with super-computed line graphs saying we are getting colder, that because of an increase in carbon emissions less UV rays are getting through the atmosphere causing the graphed downward trend in global temperatures. Either way, you will be right. My point, though, is that you can’t infer an apocalyptic outcome from changes in the climate.
I’m being reasonable though. I forget that those who scream about the end of the world from global warming/cooling/climate change are kin to me. They don’t operate on reason. They live in their hearts and truth comes from how they feel about something. They feel like the world is going to end in 5, 4, 3, 2 . . . BOOM! Not dead? dang. Guess it hasn’t happened yet. Freeze dried lasagna is not bad.
They feel that it’s getting colder/warmer and it’s because evil corporations hate the peepul and mother earth so the solution is law that forces evil corporations to luv the peepul and love mother earth. They feel this so it is true. I’ll listen to someone with a claim that climate change is science once we get out of the rhetorical shell game of claiming truth to be what we feel it to be. Meaningless phrases like “Climate Change” that are branded with meaning based on baseless assertions won’t get it done for me.
And no, you can’t toss me in the pen under the Coliseum with other “climate haters”. That’s too easy. It’s another two word phrase that is pablum not worth the minuscule space it’ll occupy on the virtual web server that hosts this site. God put us here to take care of his creation. We owe it to him to care about the environment, to be climate lovers. But, as I love to say, asking an unreasonable world to be reasonable is a fools errand. You’ll have as much luck asking an angry woman to calm down, to be reasonable. I forget that I live behind the looking glass where all the maths are irrational. The geometry is impossible because of the uncertainty introduced when we look at something.
Rhetoric is much more a child of the storyteller and poet than it is of the careful reasoning of the old Greeks like Aristotle & Plato. It’s an odd world I live in where insanity is the norm. So, here too, wanting those who believe in the looming disaster of climate change to be reasonable is stupid. But, it’s a foolish wish from a fool living in Wonderland. Maybe at least being open about it has some merit. Maybe. Maybe I am a climate denier and a climate hater and just don’t understand. I need a new tinfoil hat. I washed the last one and it came out badly crunched up and partly melted.