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Published April 14, 2009, 04:42 PM

Down on the Farm -- Heed the global warning

By: Eric Bergeson, Morris Sun Tribune

So, do you “believe in” global warming?

The question is insane.

The ice caps on both the north and south poles are quickly shrinking. Almost every one of the world’s glaciers is retreating, from Alaska to Argentina, from Africa’s mountains to Europe’s Alps.

Greenland’s monstrous ice pack is melting in a hurry. New Zealand’s glaciers are a shadow of what they once were. These facts are irrefutable.

Global warming is not a matter of belief. It is a matter of simple observation. It is gobsmackingly obvious that something is going on.

Now, we may not agree what is causing the warming, or what, if anything, we can do about the warming, but to just deny that global warming is happening is delusional.

Yet, talk radio hosts and commentators, eager to humor their ignorant listeners, argue that nothing whatsoever is happening and that if it is, it is no big deal and we should just not worry about it.

Every time a cold spell hits Minnesota, or Florida, or wherever, the smart-alecks say, ha! Whatever happened to global warming?

Never mind that worldwide climate change can result in some areas being warmer, some drier, others wetter and others colder.

Much of the public eats up the denial, despite obvious observable facts available to anybody who can read.

Why?

First, the masses are inherently lazy. They do not want to be told that they should change their habits. And they will cling to any belief that allows them to evade responsibility.

Case in point: When the potato famine hit Ireland in 1848, the English sent no food, even though their bins overflowed with wheat.

England hid behind the philosophy of Thomas Malthus, who argued that diseases were a natural corrective to overpopulation. If you feed the starving, they’ll just have more babies and you’ll usurp nature’s attempt to get rid of the excess Irish.

Sounds cruel now, but England refused to send food while over a million Irish died.

The Brits followed Thomas Malthus because his philosophy allowed them to do nothing and feel good about it.

Second, there is always money to be made telling the masses that science is bunk. Denial of science is a big industry. Just watch late night infomercials or read the vitamin magazines that promise magic solutions to complex medical problems.

Look how long it took the general populace to accept the findings of medical science that cigarettes kill.

For decades, the government denied that cigarettes killed and subsidized tobacco to boot. Cigarette companies denied that their product was unhealthy. The media, worried about lawsuits, carefully tiptoed around the matter.

Lawyers for the cigarette companies argued that the anti-smoking movement was an unpatriotic attempt to spoil people’s attempts to relax. They usually won.

Seems crazy now, doesn’t it, now that we all are so used to smoke-free public spaces that if somebody lights up we practically call the cops?

Crazy indeed. About as crazy as the lunatics who forced Galileo to shut up about his finding that the earth was round or be tortured to death by the Church.

All through history, scientists who reach conclusions that upset the precious delusions of the masses have been met with violent opposition.

And it is happening again. Those who merely suggest that something is happening to our climate are scoffed at and mocked.

What’s worse, the deniers are making it a matter of faith. If you are so much as concerned about global warming, professional ignoramuses will paint you as possibly a socialist, probably a heathen and definitely a pansy.

Denying the obvious is never harmless. The Creation is at risk, yet millions believe there is nothing they can or should do. They prefer to be smug, lazy and indifferent. To top it off, they claim to be righteous by doing so!

It is a perverse system of belief that makes denying the obvious a test of one’s piety.

But it is hardly new. Just ask Galileo.

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