I really don’t like Rush Limbaugh all that much. I don’t listen to his show, and I rarely even visit his website anymore. He appeals to the booboisie, and much of his work lacks any real intellectual vigor. I know whereof I speak; sadly, I used to listen to conservative talk radio. I have been clean now for about four years.
Limbaugh’s work is not all dross, however. On certain matters, he cuts fairly close to the truth. Global warming is one of those issues. Years ago, I heard him compare the theory of global warming to religion. It was ingenious. In each, there is the concept of sin, and a concept of an armageddon that will ensue if the sinners are unrepentant. The global warming nightmare is a doomsday scenario, a hobgoblin, as Mencken called it (one of the imaginary ones, of course), from which the people expect the government to protect them.
There is also an aspect of divine revelation to the approach of the global warming-believing environmentalists: When certain contentions of the theory are held up to logical scrutiny and subsequently questioned, the retort often comes back with an air of more than a little self-assuredness, an expectation that we are simply to accept the assertions of the environmentalists de fide. Logic is often thrown out the window if it is inconvenient for the cause.
Kind of on the flip side of this, interestingly, is something that I have as yet not heard anyone discuss in relation to this issue: the hubris of objectivism, a problem which F.A. Hayek touches on in his book The Counter-Revolution of Science. Those who proselytize on behalf of the global warming cause come to the table armed with their statistics, and these raw facts, we are told, “prove” global warming. But these statistics only exist for a small portion of the history of the earth, and so they offer no more proof for global warming as it relates to human behavior than Joseph Smith has that angels showed him gold plates documenting a visit of Jesus Christ to America.
An article about Australian geologist Ian Plimer touches on both of these aspects of the global warming theory: its tendency to act like a religion, and its foundation built on the sand of an objectivism which interprets facts in less than thoughtful and thorough ways. He is one of many scientists who have questioned the whole climate change racket and has suffered for it. Take heart, professor; people don’t ostracize a man unless they’re threatened by him. It means that you’re on to something.