Climate Change and Sacrifice

by Limbic on November 20, 2009

These is a great interview with Howard Bloom on Scientific Blogging. He repeats something he said in his Interview with Jon Udell, about how sacrifice – an age old human habit – underpins some Environmentalist ideas:

I’m a skeptic about global warming.   With or without smokestacks, the big shifts of this globe’s weather kill.  There have been 146 mass extinctions that we can count. And there were probably many more whose evidence we haven’t yet learned to detect.  In some of this planet’s past climate shifts, the carbon dioxide level, the level of “greenhouse gas”, was 20 to 200 times what it is today. There were roughly 80 ice ages from 2.2 billion years ago until 12,000 years ago, when modern culture began. Twenty of those ice ages took place while we were evolving as human beings. In the last 120,000 years, there’ve been 20 global warmings in which temperature has shot up between 10 and 18 degrees in a decade.  None of these catastrophes were caused by man.  None were caused by industrial pollutants, automobile emissions, or human consumerist excess.  The message?  Forget about sacrificing to mother nature so she will make the earth a garden of Eden.  Mother Nature, to quote a chapter title of one of my books, The Lucifer Principle, is a “bloody bitch”.  She exults in creativity.  And she exults in destruction and death. She has doomed neutrons to find proton partners in 10.6 minutes or disintegrate. She has given birth to stars and killed them.  From that star death she has wrung 89 new forms of atoms, 89 new elements. Her ways of creation are not always nice.  To me our fixation on apocalypse, our fixation on global warming, is a sign that we are slipping into a new dark age.  Cultures that look up move up.  Cultures that look down sink and die.  The Global Warming fixation is our way of looking down, very far down indeed.  We feel that we have sinned and must sacrifice, that we must atone.  Our sin is the rape of the earth.  Our atonement is the self-denial we call “conservation” and  “sustainability”.

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It brought to mind a quote by Bertrand Russell:

“Even more important than the domestication of animals was the invention of agriculture, which, however, introduced bloodthirsty practices into religion that lasted for many centuries. Fertility rites tended to involve human sacrifice and cannibalism. Moloch would not help the corn to grow unless he was allowed to feast on the blood of children. A similar opinion was adopted by the Evangelicals of Manchester in the early days of industrialism, when they kept six-year-old children working twelve to fourteen hours a day, in conditions that caused most of them to die. It has now been discovered that grain will grow, and cotton goods can be manufactured, without being watered by the blood of infants. In the case of the grain, the discovery took thousands of years; in the case of the cotton goods hardly a century. So perhaps there is some evidence of progress in the world.” – Bertrand Russell, “Ideas That Have Helped Mankind

For more posts on Howard Bloom, click here.

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