Monday, February 16, 2009

George Will and Global Warming

Ah yes, even the great George Will is being flippant about global warming:

Chu recently told the Los Angeles Times that global warming might melt 90 percent of California's snowpack, which stores much of the water needed for agriculture. This, Chu said, would mean "no more agriculture in California," the nation's leading food producer. Chu added: "I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going."

No more lettuce for Los Angeles? Chu likes predictions, so here is another: Nine decades hence, our great-great-grandchildren will add the disappearance of California artichokes to the list of predicted planetary calamities that did not happen. Global cooling recently joined that lengthening list.

How nice. It's not like there isn't evidence here (polar ice cap and glaciers worldwide disappearing!!!!!). Unfortunately, this is a case of wishful thinking, as if the world is so big and we humans are so small that, surely, we couldn't accomplish this.

It is a miracle, is it not, that we haven't blown the world up with nuclear weapons. We could have, and we still might. I've been living with that nightmare all my life.

So why would someone with the intelligence and thoughtfulness of George Will make fun of global warming? Because it's too horrible to contemplate? Because he lives all his life in an artificially generated environment of heat and cold in Washington, DC and is never out in real nature? Because he really doesn't like science? Who knows. But it is a sad thing and one more reason not to take his brand of conservatism seriously.

In general, I think George Will and people like him are having a real problem accepting the reality that virtually everything they have argued for over the last 30 years is wrong. So they play make-believe instead.

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