Nihilism Is a Laugh


Filed Under General, Latest News on Apr 21 

Michael Barone recently pointed his readers to a website where a science communicator wishes for the destruction of Cairns, Australia, with 150,000 inhabitants, to get us all panicked about global warming. In fact, the article suggests that an event as horrific as the wiping out of 150,000 folks would not even be sufficient to ensure the “conversation” the writer so desperately wants. Fortunately, that writer — one Brad Keyes apparently — and his website, Climate Nuremberg, seem to be an elaborate joke. With coy references to The Onion, what we have is a very sharp satire of the fanaticism and hostility that dissenting opinions provoke in the climate debate. So yes, it’s funny, but it’s also uncomfortable reading that perversely reflects the tone of said debate, especially from the righteously alarmist side.

A documentary a few years back asked the viewers to imagine Earth without any human life; it stated explicitly that it didn’t matter how, just imagine our planet without a single human on it and how the remaining life might adapt. Does misanthropic even come close to describing this attitude? It opens the door to the type of environmental terrorism that posits the complete disappearance of the human race as the only solution that would enable Planet Earth to exist in harmony once again. One could define it as environmental nihilism: a negation of mankind’s civilizing role if you will. Does the hostility which seethes throughout the alarmist side of the climate debate share this nihilism? There seems to be very little doubt over the results of the modellling that produces this righteous, hostile, apocalyptic anger. It is natural, however, even rational, to display a little skepticism in the face of their predictions of doom, even as one may have concerns about local issues concerning the environment. And that skepticism provides a necessary counterweight to the overarching programs of control and proscription that flow from such doomsday outcomes. So if Climate Nuremberg bothers you a little even as it makes you laugh, that’s a good thing.