Now that Pat Robertson has converted to Al Gore's version of the Chicken Little gospel (a.k.a., "The sky is falling!"), it's time to filter the frenzied phenomena of global warming through the calm analysis of the seasonal / generational paradigm.
First, we must understand the past in order to make sense of present predictions. Every generation in history from every culture of mankind has had its contingent of doomsdayers. The repetitive rhetoric of these would-be prophets has always been the same: The world will end in our lifetime. Twenty-first century Americans have their own brand of fatalism, but they are no different than the rest -- except in one regard: group Al Gore acolytes is the first in the history of man to say that we will be the cause of our own destruction. We are not at the mercy of God or petulance or some invading army. We control our own destiny, and we will bring about our own destruction.
How arrogant. How self-absorbed. In short, how Baby Boomer.
I fully acknowledge that I am not a scientist. However, I am a student of history, and history is a subject that the former vice president -- who is also untrained in the hard sciences -- has chosen to ignore for the sake of his budding movie career. So at the onset, I contend that my opinion carries just as much weight as Al Gore's -- depending on your world view, of course.
Historically speaking, there are four distinct seasons that shape every observer's perspective. Each of these seasons has a profound impact on the generation of people who come of age when it occurs. For example, Generation X came of age in a particular post-war season that significantly influenced its world view. Likewise, the Baby Boomers are products of their own season in history. One could argue that the issue of global warming is merely political, but political persuasion is only one piece of the pie. The idea of global warming is deeply rooted in the generational and seasonal perspective of the Baby Boomers.
The Baby Boomers came of age in the 1960's, and they matured during the winds of profound societal change. As a result of these changes, their generation is uniquely endowed with the capacity to induce guilt. They possess the power to exploit the collective remorse innate in previous generations. The Baby Boomers have spent their entire lifetime coming to terms with a host of "-isims": racism, sexism, and, of course, environmentalism. Like every generation of American youth, they rebelled against authority. But unlike every generation, they won the rebellion. Those who centered their entire outlook on questioning authority suddenly held the positions of power. Along with the good (a commitment to racial and gender equality), came the bad: political correctness, racial quotas, expelling God from schools and society, and -- maybe worst of all -- erecting a pseudo religion of environmental worship.
When God left the building, man praised the next best thing: himself. Part of the arrogance of environmentalism is that Baby Boomer environmentalists actual think that they can control the future of the earth. They believe that they have sovereign control over climate. They unabashedly predict the weather. (Never mind that they're usually wrong.) What passes for scientific inquiry is actually extreme paganism. This environmental generation bows down to its soothsayers and priests (the "scientific" community) and exacts tribute (my SUV) to appease its god, Mother Earth. And here is a uniquely American twist: If Mother Earth is not pleased, then, according to chief priest Al Gore, we have only nine years, 177 days, 15 hours and 32 minutes from the time of this writing until our planet burns into oblivion. How scientific.
Do you feel guilty yet?
In 1983, the word from "green" soothsayers and earth priests was "glaciations." They pontificated this theory that lower global temperatures would portend a new ice age. Again, the cry was to give up our indulgences or die for earth's sake.
In 1988, Hollywood actor Ted Danson preached a ten-year time frame to save our oceans. If we ignored his prophecy, were told, the consequence would be our own destruction.
Sound familiar? The thematic subtext is always the same: The earth will end in our lifetime, and it will be our own fault.
For argument's sake, let's say that the earth really is warming up. Is human kind really responsible? At the very most, we are only partly responsible. In fact, it is very difficult for human beings to impart that kind of influence on the planet's temperature. A recent Life Science suggests that the sun is probably responsible for up to 30 percent of global warming. The sun? Yes, the sun. It generates far more heat -- and has far more influence -- on the earth.
A number of researchers have concluded that the planet Mars is experiencing just as much "global warming" due to solar activities. Imagine that. The sun might have a role in warming our globe -- and Mars -- as opposed to human kind's all-powerful place in the Baby Boomer perspective. The September 2006 issue of Car and Driver magazine clarifies the point even further. A renowned climatologist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Richard S. Lindzen, was quoted as saying that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas and that humans contribute less than 0.1 of greenhouse effect. In essence, oceans have a greater impact then humans on global warming; the sun is of greater consequence than the world's SUVs. That's not good news for a human-centric, Mother Earth-worshipping world view.
The question is: Whatcha gonna do about it?
The answer depends on your political world view, which was shaped by the season of your youth. If you are a Boomer, you are going to worry, whine and complain about it. Then you will get to work advocating meaningless alarmist protocols. None of which do absolutely anything to solve the problem. At least your efforts will make you feel better about yourself, and that's really the point anyway.
If you're a member of the Millienial generation, which followed Generation X, then your mind has been poisoned by "green" cartoons like Captain Planet and religious recycling. It's not your fault you were young and impressionable. But there is still time for you. You do not belong to a generation of idealism. Your practical and conservative natures will eventually save you. But you must take a leap of faith and study your history. Either that or watch the Gen X-ers.
If you are a conservatism Boomer or a product of any other adult generation, you won't let environmental propaganda persuade you. You likely realize that there is a God -- that He is in the building and that "global warming" is His business, not yours. You know your place. If the excrement hits the fan, you will simply move out of the way or die and face eternity. Again, seasons shape our generational perspectives.
Trying to fix the planet is folly. It always has been and it always will be. In 1948, Hans Ahlmann, a professor at the University of Stockholm, wrote an article titled "The Present Climatic Fluctuation." In the article, he chronicled the changes that had caused "alarm" in European citizens as extreme heat and drought transformed Western Europe into a "virtual steppe" (treeless and arid). Sounds like global warming to me. What's different was his conclusion:
"If we find in the Antarctic similar evidence of the present climatic fluctuation as has been found in other parts of the world, we shall be justified in concluding that the present fluctuation is a world-wide phenomenon and probably the result of variations in solar activity which, slow as they may be to take effect, are actually resulting in an improvement in the climate of our world."
Wow. The glass was half full. The good professor cited the sun and said that it was good. No doomsday scenario. No global warming hysteria. Just good common sense analysis.
It might not sell movies, but a seasonal perspective makes all the difference.