Planet Gore

Camille Paglia Answers Reader Mail on Global Warming

The global warming crusade has become a hallucinatory cult”:

Q: Have you noticed how much the call for combating global warming crusade has in common with how we got into the Iraq war?

In both cases, there are “experts” who tell us that evidence justifying action is undeniable. They say, “The risk of doing nothing is too great for us to do nothing.” And as a fallback position they say, “Even if we’re wrong, we’ll still be doing some good in the world.”

Kind of makes me think man-made CO2 emissions will turn out to be the biggest case of nonexistent WMD since Saddam Hussein’s nukes. (Or maybe even bigger!) What do you think?

Jim Carroll

A: Wonderful letter! I became a vocal opponent of the onrushing Iraq incursion when I was shocked by the flimsiness of evidence presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations in 2003. Similarly, I have been highly skeptical about the claims for global warming because of their overreliance on speculative computer modeling and because of the woeful patchiness of records for world temperatures before the 20th century.

In the 1980s, I was similarly skeptical about media-trumpeted predictions about a world epidemic of heterosexual AIDS. And I remain skeptical about the media’s carelessly undifferentiated use of the term “AIDS” for what is often a complex of wasting diseases in Africa. We should all be concerned about environmental despoliation and pollution, but the global warming crusade has become a hallucinatory cult. Until I see stronger evidence, I will continue to believe that climate change is primarily driven by solar phenomena and that it is normal for the earth to pass through major cooling and warming phases.

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