Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Easy Way

I have been watching the climate debate more closely of late.  Not because it especially intrigues me, but because I am coming to the conclusion that it is just a reflection of our current political circle jerk.

Dave Cohen over at Decline of the Empire is an excellent example of this lately.  The I-don't-want-to-believe-it trolls have been commenting on his blog lately and he is getting fed up with it.  Can't really blame him for that.

But, back to the dialog that is taking place at the national level.   More so than anything, our debate is degenerating into the type of demagogic crap that was the staple during the Thirty Years War.  Lutherans and Calvinists having at each other hammer and tongs, agreeing on most issues, but refusing to come to a reasonable accommodation because of intransigence over some obscure nonsense (who even knows, other than the current flavor of obtuse zealot, what transubstantiation of the host means).

The "climate deniers" are attempting to assume the role of Bellarmine.   The global warming defenders are trying on Galileo's robes but are finding them not quite right.  But the roles of distractions that both these "sides" are taking are a close enough approximation of 1632 that I can use them to illustrate a point.

Galileo was a mean-spirited prick who was wrong about as often as he was right.  Ask him about comets and you will giggle.  He viciously attacked anyone who disagreed with him.  The church and inquisition which opposed him were savagely and aggressively attempting to squelch any world view contrary to the system that allowed them to hold the reins of power.

But if you place this little bit of scientific trivia (or as I refer to it "People" magazine science) within the context of the first half of the seventeenth century, you will see it for what it is, a academic speed bump.   The same will probably be said a couple of centuries from now about the sissy-boy-slap-fest that is trying to pass itself off as a climate debate.

The world is in the middle of one of its great turnings, just like the reformation years that rocked Europe so long ago.  The Middle East are The Germanies.  France and England and the Holy Roman Empires are The US, China, and The EU.

We are entering a period of decline due to the probable lack of energy that drives our current world.  Unless someone comes up with an energy source equivalent to the concentration of free energy available in fossil fuels, the civilizations we so cherish are going to go through some profound changes.

I remember hearing a quip years ago.  Two men were discussing the sun rising in the east.  One of the men said, "do you believe how stupid men used to be?  When they saw this, they thought that the sun rotated around the earth".

The other thought about it for a while and merely answered "yeah, I wonder what it would have looked like had it been that way"?

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