Sunday, April 23, 2006

Feeling Bad Never Felt So Good

Mark Steyn has a column today in the Chicago Sun-Times in which he discusses the misplaced fears of the climate change crowd in a way that only he can:

Do you worry? You look like you do. Worrying is the way the responsible citizen of an advanced society demonstrates his virtue: He feels good by feeling bad.

But what to worry about? Iranian nukes? Nah, that's just some racket cooked up by the Christian fundamentalist Bush and his Zionist buddies to give Halliburton a pretext to take over the Persian carpet industry. Worrying about nukes is so '80s. "They make me want to throw up. . . . They make me feel sick to my stomach," wrote the British novelist Martin Amis, who couldn't stop thinking about them 20 years ago...

So what should we worry about? How about -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- "climate change"? That's the subject of Al Gore's new movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth.'' Like the trailer says: "If you love your planet -- if you love your children -- you have to see this movie." Even if you were planning to kill your children because you don't want them to live in a nuclear wasteland, see this movie. The mullahs won't get a chance to nuke us because, thanks to rising sea levels, Tehran will be under water...

Here's an inconvenient truth for "An Inconvenient Truth": Remember what they used to call "climate change"? "Global warming." And what did they call it before that? "Global cooling." That was the big worry in the '70s: the forthcoming ice age. Back then, Lowell Ponte had a huge best seller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?

So what do these eternally pessimistic environmentalists do when they can't make up their minds exactly what to worry about? They use the generic term "climate change" to cover all the bases and convince people to worry about everything under the sun instead of living their lives and dealing with more urgent issues that are likely to affect them long before the "global winter" or "global summer", or whatever the heck they're calling it now.

I suppose one is entitled to worry about penguins suddenly being forced to wear sunscreen on their long march across the desert that just yesterday was Antarctica, but I have better things to do with my time and much more urgent problems to worry about. My gut tells me that a mad man with a nuke or a terrorist with a death wish and a dirty bomb is a much more urgent threat than a melting iceberg. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

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