Tuesday 22 July 2008

The Loch Ness Monster vs Global Warming

There are two ways of looking at our planet. I consider it to be a ball of rock, surrounded by a thin breathable atmosphere, rotating through space around the sun.

Others prefer to think of it as a living thing, Gaia, inhabited by an Earth Goddess, and that we should worship it like the Druids did in the days of old. Ley lines, the mystery of Stonehenge and all that guff go hand in hand with a cult little different from Aztec worship of the sun.

Don't get me wrong - it was my ancestors that had druids, erected Stonehenge, painted themselves with woad and ran into battle naked. They seemed to enjoy drinking mead, raping, plundering and pillaging and sacrificing virgins. But we gave all that up about 1500 years ago, began to study the world around us instead of believing in fairy tales and hobgoblins, and applied logic and analysis to problems rather than reading the entrails of chickens. We cast out the demons of superstition, witchcraft, faery magic, the Evil Eye and all those other things that marked us as primitives.

I like to think of myself as a product of the modern age. I prefer logic to emotion. I like to look at the facts, rather than relying on supposition, conjecture and folk magic. I prefer things that I can see and feel and hear to the make believe. Cold analysis beats and passionate argument.

Why then are so many people slipping back into the kind of behaviour that we laugh at when we read about the same thing in National Geographic being practiced by a bunch of unlettered tribespeople wearing nothing but penis sheaths who spend all day hitting each other over the head with stone axes?

I have been to Loch Ness. I paid good money to go there, because it seemed like the done thing to do. It's a splendidly spooky place in the middle of winter, when it's freezing cold and the mist rises slowly off the waters of the lake like a demonic fog. Plus the whisky that they make roundabout is worth a sample. The lake looks even spookier and more mystical and magic after 10 or so of the local whiskeys.

But I never saw the monster, and I doubt anyone else has ever seen it.

It's a myth. A great myth. A money-spinning myth for the locals that live off the tourist trade that it supports. But a myth nonetheless.

It's a harmless myth, and I am happy to go along with it and sit by the lake in a ruined castle, drinking whisky and buying a couple of Loch Ness Monster tea towels as souveniers.

But just because I am prepared to self indulgently go along with one myth, it doesn't mean I am prepared to go along with all of them - global warming especially.

Because it isn't harmless.

But it is a monster, and from the evidence to date, no one has ever seen proof that AGW exists.

Wanting to believe in a myth does not justify throwing buckets of money at it. Especially money that belongs to other people, which is what carbon trading amounts to.

So there is no "versus" between the Loch Ness Monster and Global Warming. The complement each other, like the Yeti and the Bunyip and the Unicorn. It's time we treated it as such.

1 comment:

Kaboom said...

You are just so wrong on so many levels, BOAB.

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity, and the science is settled conclusively.

The air will burn up and suffocate us, if we don't cease carbon emissions completely, right now. There is no turning back.