Sunday, March 22, 2009

Signposts on the Road to Disaster

This past week wasn't a good one for those who still hold hope for America---or for the world.

We've seen the rampant greed demonstrated by the various bonus-laden Wall Street executives who led our economy into the sewer. Right beside them were a host of preening, self-important politicians, who gladly accepted whatever perks their fat-cat buddies were willing to slip them in order to look the other way. Between them, we have the American public---being led down the road to disaster by people we trusted to know what they were doing---and by the very people we elected to tend to the public welfare.

I really hate to say this, but I think that in many respects our current problems just reflect the reality that our country---or, at the least, the "elites" that define our country for us---has become. When it became more important to protect "self-esteem" than to be concerned about accomplishments, I think we entered a dangerous stretch of history for ourselves.

Among the critical moments in a democracy is when the public realizes that it can vote itself money from the public treasury. For us, that moment came during the Great Depression, when we first turned to the Government to rescue us from a crisis. Over the last 75 years, we've seen the role of government gradually expanding, at the same time that cultural influences were undercutting our traditional notions of personal responsibility. Now, I think we're facing yet another critical moment...and it's not looking pretty.

At heart, I remain a hopeless romantic, and so I'm still not convinced that things will end in disaster. I hope, instead, that the public will recoil from the spectacles we see in Washington and Wall Street...cashier the lot of them...and start anew, having been chastened about being too trusting when it comes to spending public money. But I've also read about the various stages of development in a democracy...from Despotism to Liberty and back again...and we do seem to be a bit more than half-way through the cycle. And just as Rome collapsed as a result of its own excesses (and was promptly overrun by barbarians), I don't think America is immune from the same fate, if we allow ourselves to be guided by our greed and passions, rather than our ideals and principles.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.


jdt said...

Jeff, what scientific data are you aware of that credibly supports our government's current march forward under the Global Warming banner? It would seem to me that should such a hand in glove relationship exist between carbon emissions and global warming....a relationship that is being touted as the reason for a global legislative "answer"....there would have been a world wide public forum televised with multiple scientists explaining the science, etc... I've seen no more than a political forum. Should we not demand a more clearly reviewed and scientifically substantiated explanation? This "belief" is driving a potential Trojan horse into our "city". Jeff

Jeff Caminsky said...

Thus far, I'm aware of no such scientic data...for one very simple reason: nobody has done a real scientific study; everything done to date depends on computer which the results(surprise, surprise!) depend on the data fed into the model. But since even the best computerized climate models can't reliably "predict the past," I doubt they'll be much better at predicting the future.

In a different incarnation, I've studied some geology and astronomy. Both lead me to conclude (a) that our current "climate change" is no different than those the Earth has experienced in the past (we haven't even reached the peaks seen during the Medival Warming Period, for instance); and (b) minute variations in the output of the Sun will cause variations in Earth's climate that dwarf anything that its insignificant inhabitans can possily cause.

Actual "science" demonstrates that the warming effect of the 0.3% of the atmosphere that is carbon dioxide---a mild and generally benign greenhouse gas---is dwarfed by the effects of our most potent and prevalent greenhouse gas: water vapor. In addition, there is a discernible lag time between a warming climate, and increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide---meaning that CO2 levels REFLECT an increase in global temperatures, rather than causing it. And geological history suggests that we're in the middle of a gentle cyclical warming (part-way through the last Ice Age and the Next One)...and that the next Little Ice Age shouldn't be more than a few hundred years away.

I could go on...but my general impression from what I've seen of the methodology of the "science" behind global warming, the authors would have trouble getting passing grade in a properly taught grad school class. This would make all the hype and hysterial laughable, if it didn't carry the danger of some very serious consequences. Fortunately, the climate seems to be starting on the downward slope on the next mini-cycle...and if we're lucky, the alarmists will be stuck explaning how Global Warming is now causing the planet to get colder.

We had the same hysteria over man-made Global Cooling in the 1970s; I suspect that the Chicken Littles of the world will always be with us.