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Don’t Bogart That Joint My Friend

It is truly a fine day in the neighbourhood. The sun is high, the temperature is autumn cool – light jacket weather and the leaves are just on the edge of starting to change colour. It is a picture perfect fall day and we’ve been out enjoying it at the farmer’s market and running errands. Somehow, running errands on a day like this doesn’t seem quite so tiresome. On a day like this one could almost begin to believe that everything is alright with the world but, of course, that would be delusional and a sign that self-medication is probably not a good idea.

I grew up with autumn days like this – same temperature range, same seasonal transition and I’ve been around for more than just a few years. Nonetheless, in the past 25 years, we have been threatened by climate change. I know this because everyone from David Suzuki and Elizabeth May in Canada to Al Gore in the States have been preaching the gospel of impending doom for quite some time – and making a good buck at it too, I must say.

I probably should have considered fear mongering as a career path in my younger days. It seems to pay handsomely. There are just so many government grants and tax-payer funded credits, it’s virtually impossible not to make a good living at it and that’s not to mention all those great conferences in far away places.

The fact is that for reasons I’ve never fully understood, climate change suddenly became a crisis back in the 90s. It started with global cooling. Climatologists and environmentalists started ringing the bells about the impending Ice Age. The Polar Ice Caps would expand; glaciers would begin to gobble up arable farm land, temperatures would drop shortening the growing season and we wouldn’t be able to produce enough food for everyone on the planet.

Global cooling would result in famine, wars over food and the end of civilization as we know it.

Phew! It took my breath away but before I could panic, climatologists and environmentalists changed their minds. The planet wasn’t cooling, it was getting warmer. Wow, I thought. There’s good news but I was wrong.

The prediction was that temperatures would rise, the Polar Ice Caps would melt resulting in the flooding and destruction of major coastal cities like Los Angeles, New York and Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The growing season would be shortened, arable land would dry up and the planet wouldn’t be able to provide enough food for everyone.

Global warming would result in famine, wars over food and the end of civilization as we know it.

Now, we’re back to predictions of global cooling and it will only be a matter of days and weeks before the hysteria and the dire predictions begin again because that’s how we handle things theses days. Everything is a crisis and that, my friends, is the real problem with self-medication – the drugs pervert your perspective.

From climate change to the irrational fear that vaccinations are linked to autism, people today have discarded common sense in favour of hysterical fears that have no connection to reality.

When a research doctor in England released a fraudulent and totally discredited study linking vaccinations to autism, the hysteria spread like a Miley Cyrus twerking video. It didn’t matter that the World Health Organization, The United Nations and The Surgeon General of the United States all released statements that it was not true, parents all over the world took their cue from Jenny McCarthy and Oprah Winfrey. God knows that when it comes to the safety and well-being of children, there are no greater health authorities than a former porn star and a talk show host.

But that’s what it has come down to these days. Celebrities and opportunists are the new authority and hysteria is the only thing trending any more. Even Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s admission that he had smoked a joint was enough to get the Canadian media and conservatives on social media so worked up that they almost had me convinced that it would lead to the fall of civilization as we know it.

The absurd part of it is that inevitably, almost none of the hysteria leads anywhere but nobody seems to care (or learn from it). In 2009, Al Gore predicted that within 5 years there would be some summer months when there would be no Polar Ice at all. His 5 years are up next year and according to a report just released by The Met in the United Kingdom, Polar Ice has actually expanded by more than 60% over the past few years.

Undeterred by simple facts, no fewer than 117 serious and usually dire predictions have been made by the global warming crowd of which only 3 were more or less accurate. The rest – that would be 114 for my mathematically challenged friends – were off by as much as double.

Oops!

We have no perspective any more and have lost the ability to actually think things through for ourselves. Consider this simple fact. For decades, parents have vaccinated their children against crippling and fatal diseases but there was no sudden epidemic increase in autism. That’s a simple fact but it didn’t stop the hysteria or cause too many parents make responsible decisions about their children’s health. Jenny and Oprah said it was so and that’s all it took.

We are too willing to be afraid; too willing to believe the worst and despite the fact that all of the world knowledge is at our fingertips online – including a lot of secret stuff governments don’t want us to know, thanks to WikiLeaks – most people never bother to do their homework. That’s too hard. It’s just easier to listen to some wingnuts who makes their living turning something into a crisis.

We used to be smarter than that but as I said yesterday, the meds aren’t working anymore. The world is going mad; sinking into a kind of perpetual psychosis that is becoming increasingly irrational and disconnected from any semblance of reality.

Perhaps we should stop medicating and take a cue from Justin Trudeau – don’t bogart that joint; just pass it around until everyone’s calmed down a bit.

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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear

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  • Sherry

    Here’s one for ya. http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/ArcticEscalator2012_med.gif

    EDIT: I dont know why, the graph appears wrong. the link does work however.

    I agree with what Cynthia says– it’s important to think critically. But I’ve looked at the evidence, and it’s not good for the skeptics side.

    Also, re: money in alarmism, what you say might be true, but you can’t deny that there’s significantly more money in proliferating climate change denialism, if you think about it, the default position should be that more money is being spent to proliferate doubt on the hypothesis that humans are causing climate change– despite this, the scientific consensus as well as the public consensus is still that we’re causing it.

    I love your blog, but this is one point where I can’t agree with you. As conservatives, I think we should be predisposed to being cautious, and conserving the environment before throwing caution to the wind and ploughing full ahead with our nonrenewables.

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  • http://www.commonplacecrazy.com/ Cynthia Meents

    Well written, my friend. I keep trying to teach at least my honors students to think clearly. Just doing my little bit for sanity in an insane world. Actually, I’m probably just setting them up for misery when they grow up and realize they’re the only ones not going with the alarmist non-thinkers. Maybe I’ll stop.

    • MaggiesBear

      Never stop. Otherwise we become no different than the lunatics.