Arts &
Arts Culture Analysis
Vol. 23, No. 3, 2024
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Robert J. Lewis
Senior Editor
Jason McDonald
Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Robert Lyon
Howard Richler
Chris Barry
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
Music Editor
Serge Gamache
Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Jerry Prindle
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
Emanuel Pordes

Past Contributors
Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somerville
Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

the big lie



David Solway is a Canadian poet and distinguished essayist (Random Walks). His editorials appear regularly in PJ Media. His monograph, Global Warning: The Trials of an Unsettled Science (Freedom Press Canada) was launched at the National Archives in Ottawa in September, 2012. A CD of his original songs, Partial to Cain, appeared in 2019. His latest book of essays, Crossing the Jordan, is now available.

We’re told that seeing is believing, but more often than not, hearing (or reading) is believing while seeing resolves into a kind of blindness. I am thinking of the aura of infallibility that clothes our weather pontiffs and climate shamans — that is to say, those who are wrong at least as often as they are right. Or to be more precise, according to a two-week study I made of CBC forecasts, the weather guys are right only around 50% of the time. As for the climate shamans, to give them the credit they are due, they sport a perfect record; they are right around zero percent of the time. And yet they command the respect of the multitudes.

A case in point is the March 15 hail storm in Fort Bend County, Texas, that destroyed an entire solar farm covering thousands of acres. Our climate gurus confidently predict what the earth’s meteorology and temperature will be in ten, twenty, or even a hundred years if we do not eliminate carbon, yet cannot foresee a massive storm barreling down the horizon just a day or two away. As Jeffrey Tucker writes in an editorial called  "What If Renewable Energy Is a Racket" (which of course it is), “It also turns out that discovering whether the temperature is changing depends entirely on what you measure and how long you measure it.” It also depends on what computer models you happen to be using and what datasets you are force-feeding them. The whole business, as they say, is a crock.

Global warmists are fond of saying that weather and climate are two different things. We may not be able to predict the weather with sterling accuracy, but climate is another matter altogether. Our millennial savants are unerring scientists, apparently. But there is little difference between a meteorologist and a climatarian except, as Tucker suggests, what you purport to measure and the scale you apply. Temperature now and temperature a hundred years from now is still temperature. Prediction is still an iffy proposition. Climate is weather writ large; weather is climate writ small. It is, obviously, easier to deal with immediate quantities, but neither operation is apodictic or foolproof. Far from it.

What is most distressing, however, is the gullibility of the public that assumes the competence and reliability of these charlatans. There seems to be a reluctance to question even the most absurd and constitutionally unverifiable of their hazy and impalpable utterances. For example, we are constantly informed that there are two parameters that govern temperature, both equally valid. The temperature is minus 9 this morning, but it feels like minus 14. How do they know this? Where is the measuring device that tells us what an objectively recorded temperature subjectively feels like?

Just today in Vancouver, I learn that it is plus 4, but it feels like plus 3. Our swamis are so expert at their trade that they can distinguish a one-degree differential between the empirical and the sensitive. I can imagine a dialogue between two occupants of the weather bureau. “Well, Harry, it’s minus 12 out there.” “Yep, but it feels like minus 18, doesn’t it.” “No, Harry, I went outside for a mo and it feels like minus 16.” “But Larry, I was out just before and it did feel like minus 18.” “Alright then, Harry, let’s compromise and say it feels like minus 17.” “Fine by me, Larry.” And so it was a bitter cold day of minus 12 but it felt like minus 17.

DH Weather News in Vancouver informs us that “The second half of Easter weekend is going to be anomalously warm, to the tune of maybe even seven, eight degrees warmer than seasonal.” That’s what we hear. What we actually experience is that it is unseasonably cold by several degrees more than usual. Which is it, what we are advised or what we observe? We are told that Vancouver has suffered an extended drought, which is continuing. Not quite. This has been the rainiest winter we have experienced in living memory. My wife grew up here and cannot recall anything similar in the past.

Next, we discover that “there is so much pressure on Mother Nature for May and arguably even more in June.” Whatever this might mean, these seers have their priorities reversed. The pressure is not on Mother Nature but on us. We are those who suffer at her hands. But Mother Nature, after all, is a goddess, Gaia, and humans are merely parasites on her bounty. Moreover, the planet is somehow conscious. 

Who are we to quibble with an annular mind? One can see how myth has infected science. It just feels so good to serve the goddess rather than the rigorous protocols of science.

As we move up the ladder of magisterial science, we meet the mountebanks of Climate Change on their quixotic adventures. How often have they announced that we have only a few years before climate doomsday trashes the planet? In 1989, the late Stephen Schneider, Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford and author of Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?  advised colleagues: “So we have to offer scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” (Twenty years earlier, the esteemed professor had predicted a returning Ice Age.) In 2009, then Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon warned  that “We have just four months to secure the future of our planet,” though the estimate was revised upward to 12 years. According to wunderkind Greta Thunberg, it’s a mere eight years. The experts at the IPCC gave us a  target to change our errant ways — or else! In July 2019, that renowned climatologist King Charles had settled on 18 months. We are constantly on the brink of extinction, it seems. 

Climate scientists claim that, should the warming of the earth exceed  1.5 degrees Celsius, we would be facing the end of life as we know it: the die-off of coral reefs, the advent of destructive hurricanes, melting icebergs and flooded cities, and whatever else the tumescent imagination can come up with. Far too many of these eco-cultists are not so much dispassionate scientists or rational thinkers as they are pedestal theorists, instinctual religious crusaders, or happy recipients of lavish government grants and university sinecures. Some mean what they say, having invested in an eschatological delusion; others are shrewd operators, having invested in power and lucre. JamesLovelock, who in his 2006 The Revenge of Gaia prophesied the charring of the planet, now admits he had been “extrapolating too far.” An ardent proponent of the Global Warming boondoggle, Lovelock more or less  reversed course, claiming that the science is far from settled and “our university and government scientists might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to a loss of funding.”

Global warming has become more of a social, religious, political, and corporate issue than a genuinely scientific one. Indeed, global warming (aka “Climate Change”) is a profitable industry. Carbon capture is a lucrative but  unworkable scheme. Carbon taxes are a shuffling hoax. Jay Lehr, science director for the Heartland Institute, has no doubt that "Man-caused global warming is the biggest scam perpetrated against society since time began . . . the whole concept behind climate change is fear and control,” a public swindle “based on mathematical models" that have proven faulty time and again. We are at the mercy of junk science , but feel somehow vindicated, the best of eco-citizens doing our utmost for the planet that cares not a whit for us and will survive without our misguided interventions.

For many of us, then, seeing is not believing, experience is not worth paying attention to, rational insight is not worth pursuing, and common sense is an imp of the perverse that must be banished and left unheeded. Following a show of hands, the experts have it. But their expertise is little more than an expert tease. Meanwhile, people are led by their pied pipers either into dreamland or to the edge of a hypothetical precipice. We can’t say for sure what weather conditions will be like tomorrow, but we know with absolute certainty that a thermal catastrophe awaits us a century into the future. We have come away with a pig in a poke and we dine on rinds.

By David Solway:

In Praise of Joe Biden
The Underground People
The Bonfire of the So-Called Vanities
No Quality in Socialist Equality
Curse of One-Sentence Paragraph
Recyling Plastic Myths
Among Broken Columns of the Twilight Kingdom
What Is Evil
The Necessity of Walls
Is Western Civ on the Way Out?
On Gravity
The Demonization of Carbon
Honouring the Higgs
Whatever Happened to Reading?
Hyphenated Sex
Skeptical Take on Queen's Gambit
Systemic Envy
Nonsensical Covid Rules
We Have Entered a Looking Glass World
The Socialist States of America
Feminism: A Self-Canceling Project
House Hunters: A Window on a Derelict Culture
The Tattoo: Sign of the Times
Where Have All the Alphas Gone?
They Burn Witches, Don't They?
Aboriginal Claims of Sovereignty
Toxic Feminism

The Scourge of Multiculturalism
Power of the Phrase: Hidden Persuaders
Is Islamic Reform Possible?
Living on the Diagonal
The Birds and the Bees
Free Speech Vs. Hate Speech
The Shaping of Our Destiny
The Scandal of Human Rights
Reconsidering the Feminine Franchise
A Melancholy Calculation
Canada: A Tragically Hip Nation
The Ideal of Perfection in Faith and Politics
The Mystery of Melody
The Necessity of Trump
Dining out with Terrorists
What About Our Sons
Identity Games
The Hour Is Later Than We Think
Caveat Internettor
Why I Like Country Music
We Have Met the Enemy
The Obama Bomb
Don't Apologize Dude
Winners and Losers
Why I Write
Praying by the Rules
Age of Contradiction
Snob Factor Among Conservatives
Islam's Infidels
David Suzuki Down
Infirmative Action
The Education Mess We're In
The Intelligence Potential Factor
Gnostics of Our Time
Decline of Literate Thought
Galloping Agraphia
Socialist Transfer of Wealth
Deconstructing the State
Delectable Lie (Multiculturalism)
The Weakness of the West
When a Civilization Goes Mad
Deconstructing Chomsky
The Multiculti Tango
Utopiah: Good Place or No Place
Palin for President?
The Madness of Reactive Politics
Liberty or Tyranny
Shunning Our Friends
A Culture of Losers
Political Correctness and the Sunset of American Power
Talking Back to Talkbackers
Letting Iran Go Nuclear
Robespierre & Co.
The Reign of Mediacracy
Into the Heart of the United Nations
The Big Lie
As You Like It
Confronting Islam
Unveiling the Terrorist Mind

Arts & Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the Library and Archives Canada.
ISSN 1718-2034

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