Climate Change and the New Iconoclasts

 

Clasm_ChludovThe ancient city of Constantinople was heralded as a “new Rome” and quickly replaced the old one in splendor and importance. As the western Roman Empire withered and fell, the eastern Christian empire flourished. But after a few centuries of success, their good fortune ran out.

The first recorded bubonic plague killed more than a third of Constantinople’s inhabitants. Then in a series of bloody, expensive wars with the Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Persians, the city finally stabilized their empire only to see the majority of it swallowed by Muslim conquerors. Add in the coups, civil wars, and a spectacular volcanic eruption off the island of Santorini, and Christians wondered what they did to lose the favor of God.

Fearful citizens allegedly convinced Emperor Leo III that the city’s celebrated icons were to blame; the Lord was punishing Constantinople for the sin of idolatry. Leo and the iconoclasts removed and destroyed images bearing the likeness of Christ and other religious figures to purify the empire and appease an angry God. Other powerful leaders and priests opposed the desecration and pointed to other possible reasons for God’s disfavor.

Christians call this type of debate “theodicy;” an attempt to answer why a good God would allow evil to befall His people. It must be some form of divine testing or punishment — why else would an omnipotent Creator let awful events harm good people?

Here in 2015, the smart set has abandoned such crude mysticism. When a war flares up, a crop fails, or a natural disaster strikes, modern man determines the cause through reason and science. There isn’t some angry sky god creating deadly storms or forcing Muslims to invade their neighbors. Mankind has evolved past these silly superstitions.

Now, as the U.S. leads Western civilization, our President congratulated the 2015 class of the Coast Guard Academy. After spending a single paragraph discussing the Coast Guard’s serious duties (maritime security, disaster response, interdicting drugs, and preventing terrorism) and another paragraph bashing the GOP, he spilled out 2,200 words on a far more important concern: Mankind has angered the earth god Gaia.

Obama insisted that climate change “constitutes a serious threat to global security.” Denying global warming is un-American since it “endangers our national security” and “undermines the readiness of our forces.” The solution is to appease the climate gods. “We need to act — and we need to act now.”

Understand, climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world. Yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram. It’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East. So, increasingly, our military and our combatant commands, our services — including the Coast Guard — will need to factor climate change into plans and operations, because you need to be ready.

Around the world, climate change will mean more extreme storms. No single weather event can be blamed solely on climate change. But Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines gave us a possible glimpse of things to come — one of the worst cyclones ever recorded; thousands killed, many more displaced, billions of dollars in damage, and a massive international relief effort that included the United States military and its Coast Guard. So more extreme storms will mean more humanitarian missions to deliver lifesaving help. Our forces will have to be ready.

In essence, every misfortune undermining civilization — war, famine, natural disaster, even high prices — are Gaia’s judgment upon sinful man. The only way we can regain her favor is to destroy these secular icons of modernity. Sacrifice the internal combustion engine. Stop using electricity. Smash capitalism and give your money to Gaia’s high priests.

1,500 years from now, mankind will look back and laugh at our silly superstitions. I wonder if they will call their new explanations “science.”

Published in Science & Technology
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  1. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Hard to believe a Harvard graduate is so ignorant. He expects the Coast Guards to be just as ignorant as well.

    • #1
  2. user_891102 Member
    user_891102
    @DannyAlexander

    He’s like our very own Ramsay MacDonald — and it would be great if he could make his exit the way MacDonald made his.

    • #2
  3. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    LOL.  Nice post.

    One thought on the Justinian plague: it could have been worse—you could have been a Zoroastrian.

    • #3
  4. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Danny Alexander:He’s like our very own Ramsay MacDonald — and it would be great if he could make his exit the way MacDonald made his.

    Crawling away with his head hidden? Somebody has written a bio trying to make him a hero.

    • #4
  5. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    There was a time when even liberals knew a mad dog when they saw one. What a dangerous world it has become and not because of global warming. A World full of mad dogs and leaders without the sense to recognize them. Plenty of modern day pirates out there. The coast guard has a job to do and it’s not going to get any easier with Barack the Magic Dragon still hanging around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Roberto Inactive
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:1,500 years from now, mankind will look back and laugh at our silly superstitions. I wonder if they will call their new explanations “science.”

    Is it not far past time we acknowledge Environmentalism for what it is? A new pagan faith?

    Such tenuous claims as it makes to be somehow associated with science are simply that tenuous, no more and no less. If someone wishes to worship Gaia in whatever fashion they choose I have no objections to this, the 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of worship.

    However let us please stop pretending debates with Environmentalists are anything other than religious debates. They have their faith, some of us have different beliefs. It is inappropriate for such activists to be permitted to use the law to advance their religious beliefs.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Wait until Obama finds out the quickest, surest way to reduce carbon emissions will involve making government smaller.  He’ll lose interest immediately.

    • #7
  8. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    We now know who is funding Obama’s post presidency- Putin and Iran. If you wanted to weaken the US, it would be hard to have a larger impact for a minimal investment than the climate change religion. Capital investment is directed away from productive purposes and wasted on studies and compliance. Generations are growing up suspecting industrial technology despite being completely dependent on it.

    It will take decades to undo the destruction of the once strongest economy in the world.

    • #8
  9. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Laugha while you can, Monkey Boy!

    Before Barry leaves office, one of the Coast Guard’s principal mandates – by Executive Order – will be to catalog the negative effects of Climate Change on the world’s oceans. (And note, that’s “catalog,” not “look for possible…” or the like.)

    I’m surprised he hasn’t already banned “non-essential military uses of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change.” Like, ya know, air shows and fly-overs at sporting events.

    I could even see him going for a twofer: work to degrade readiness and “reduce climate change” by insisting that only 10% of hours required to maintain flight status be spent airborne, with the rest in sims (whether or not we have enough sims to accomplish that).

    Of course, it might not all happen. Iran may nuke the White House before he gets a chance to implement everything.

    • #9
  10. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    I’ve posted this quote by sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card on other Ricochet threads before and I’ll post it again here:

    …the god of the devout Left is Global Warming; here is the Psalm of Al, from which the faithful constantly quote (King James Version):

    1. Great storms ravage our cities, and the wise man saith: Global Warming hath done this.

    2. Drought keepeth all storms at bay, and the wise man saith: This also hath Global Warming done.

    3. Global Warming maketh the oceans rise; it maketh deep snow to fall;

    4. Flood and fire, feast and famine, typhoon and tornado, hail and lightning, all things good and bad that come from sky or sea, Global Warming hath made them all.

    5. And when our homes are beneath the waves, we shall know that Global Warming in its wrath hath seen our sins.

    6. For our vehicles that glut themselves on oil, for the trees we cut and land we clear,

    7. For the cooling and heating of our houses, for the plowing and harvesting of our fields, we are punished.

    8. Whenever we burn carbon and release it into the air, we shall know that Global Warming seeth it, and is wroth.

    9. O man! Thou hast flouted the great god of the sky, and by three degrees of temperature we shall be burned,

    10. For Global Warming is a jealous god, and small and annoying is man.

    • #10
  11. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @WardRobles

    The sheer demagoguery of President Obama’s argument is breathtaking. Climate change did not cause these regional wars. But, climate change causes bad weather which causes drought which causes regional wars in which hundreds of thousands are displaced and tens of thousands are killed. Climate change cannot be blamed for especially bad storms that do similar damage. But it will. And you or your loved ones may be next. It is only a matter of time until politicians accuse their opponents of attempting to crucify the Planet on a cross of gold.

    • #11
  12. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    So it can safely be assumed that Hitler opened up a second, disastrous front with Russia because of climate change, too?

    Time to re-write the history books.

    We have a fool for a President.  We have a nation filled with fools who voted for him.

    • #12
  13. SPare Member
    SPare
    @SPare

    I’ve long thought of parallels between the fall of the Byzantines and our own time.  It is still far too soon to think that we will fall to invaders as they did- the power imbalance is still too large, but the folklore that they were too busy arguing over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin to notice that the Turks were at their gates does have some resonance to today.   Only in our case, we are discussing whether transgender bathrooms should be mandated.

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Eeyore:Laugha while you can, Monkey Boy!

    I’m surprised he hasn’t already banned “non-essential military uses of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change.” Like, ya know, air shows and fly-overs at sporting events.

    Hasn’t already? Sure he has. The only military aircraft that perform flyovers for the Air Force Academy football games are vintage WWII — flown by volunteer civilian pilots. The Thunderbirds still flyover for the AF graduation (May 28 this year), but that’s it for the Academy.

    • #14
  15. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    SPare:I’ve long thought of parallels between the fall of the Byzantines and our own time. It is still far too soon to think that we will fall to invaders as they did- the power imbalance is still too large…

    The Byzantines fell to Justinian’s Plague.  Only then were they weak enough for the Arabs to have free reign.

    An Empire’s Epidemic

    • #15
  16. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Sterling column, sir!  And now I know the cause of traffic jams.  And tailgating.  And morons who cut off 80,000 pound vehicles. I feel much better now.  Thank you.

    • #16
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: and a spectacular volcanic eruption off the island of Santorini, and Christians wondered what they did to lose the favor of God.

    Not to nit pick but the last major explosive eruption was in 1645 BC, during the Bronze age…

    I’ve been to Istanbul several times in the last year.  To stand by the city walls of Constantinople and realize that HERE is the end of the Classical world fills one with profound sadness and the knowledge no civilization is immune to time.

    DSC_0136 copy 2

    • #17
  18. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Dave Carter:Sterling column, sir! And now I know the cause of traffic jams. And tailgating. And morons who cut off 80,000 pound vehicles. I feel much better now. Thank you.

    I suspect when your dispatcher sees this, you’ll be spending a lot more time in the Northeast, knowing that traffic conditions there will no longer have negative effects on your blood pressure or the politeness of your language.

    • #18
  19. FloppyDisk90 Member
    FloppyDisk90
    @FloppyDisk90

    Western Chauvinist:

    Eeyore:Laugha while you can, Monkey Boy!

    I’m surprised he hasn’t already banned “non-essential military uses of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change.” Like, ya know, air shows and fly-overs at sporting events.

    Hasn’t already? Sure he has. The only military aircraft that perform flyovers for the Air Force Academy football games are vintage WWII — flown by volunteer civilian pilots. The Thunderbirds still flyover for the AF graduation (May 28 this year), but that’s it for the Academy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN6vUPllayY

    Actually, after doing a bit more searching, this appears to be an exception.

    • #19
  20. J Flei Inactive
    J Flei
    @Solon

    Here’s what I tell global warming people:

    Man, in his over-inflated sense of self-importance, imagines that he has more impact on the earth’s climate than he actually does.  Then, in his arrogance, he imagines that he knows what to do about the problem.

    • #20
  21. J Flei Inactive
    J Flei
    @Solon

    Actually, I think this may be the single most important issue to me because it’s the one that makes conservatives look the worst.  We need to fight back here.  No one denies climate change, period.  That is a classic straw man.  We question the extent to which humans influence the earth’s climate.  This is a far more sophisticated argument than most people are aware of.

    It is just so arrogant to claim that people deny science.  We can’t let them get away with this, just for honesty’s sake.  It is a moral issue, and it is about respecting other people’s ideas and learning from one another.  I used to think that way, I would have agreed with Obama 5 years ago, but I looked into it a little and found I was completely wrong.  Most people don’t look into it, so we need to help them.  GOP candidates need to punch back on this one twice as hard.

    • #21
  22. tbeck Inactive
    tbeck
    @Dorothea

    You all have identified yourselves a climate-change-denying national security threats. That knock at the door is your escort to the reeducation camps.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Dorothea:You all have identified yourselves a climate-change-denying national security threats. That knock at the door is your escort to the reeducation camps.

    Those were the good old days when the totalitarians knocked first.  These days it’s done with no-knock raids.

    • #23
  24. tbeck Inactive
    tbeck
    @Dorothea

    No-knock raids…and your dogs killed…and you and your friends and neighbors forbidden from speaking to an attorney, lest they miss the opportunity to round up all like-minded for the reeducation camps. The totalitarian impulse of the Left, once more on display.

    • #24
  25. user_83937 Inactive
    user_83937
    @user_83937

    This is no different than any other progressive that attempts to indoctrinate youngsters and steer them to the new and improved government teat.

    Bush 41 did this, when he reshaped them into a force focused on the War On Drugs.  Bush destroyed the USCG with that move, forcing them to treat the boating public as suspects, to constantly be harassed and boarded.  I was bringing my boat south from the Carolinas to Florida during that era, after many other harrassments, on my boats or those belonging to others.    The Coasties pulled me, ran my large boat into the mud, pulled my girlfriend out of bed and sat her on the back deck, with submachine guns pointed at her, while they thoroughly tore up my treasured boat.

    Why?  Did they think I was transporting drugs down to Florida, from North Carolina?  Later, once they realized who I was, they explained it to me:

    No budget for fuel, to even leave the dock, unless they made constant drug-interdiction “efforts”.  Bush 41 told them to focus on drug interdiction.  Any boater during that era can probably attest to the constant harassment that law-abiding boaters had to endure under Bush.

    Coasties are a red-headed-stepchild within our military community.  They will discover what it means to have scarce resources for training and operation.  They will do as they are told.

    Nearly everything Bush 41 did, rubbed me wrong.  I even voted for Clinton, just to get rid of him.  My bad?

    • #25
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