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The gods must be angry

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Are we reaping the consequences of our moral as well as our environmental degradation? ...Read the full article

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  1. Kim Huynh from Canada writes: Somehow, I still believe Mother Nature khows how to take care of these things.After all, we, humankind come from the Earth itself ( I am talikg of our own Solar system, not of any far far away galactics ). If all of us chose the path to self destruction, Mother Nature will take care of it and out of the blue, other wave of human creatures will rise from the ruin and the saga will continue. As in the Collapse by Jared Diamond, some societies chose the wrong path and disappeared but others survived. As you said, we are so sophisticated to all choose to die as pridicted in some religious texts. Some 14 thousands years back, the earth did go through the warming period with the Artic ice melting and the ocean rising, but this planet managed to survive. Before we all are sucked up in the Al Gore 's movie and the likes of David Suzuki's preaching, we must remember that we are made of the stuffs out there in nature. It's a shared world with shared responsibilities. And ultimately the world evolves in cycles. It's been like that for thousands of years.
  2. Jim Bradley from Disneyland-on-the-Rideau, Canada writes: It's always a pleasure to read Ms. Wente's uncommonly clear perspective. Sometimes the ranting about climate change reminds me of various times in history when a concept was taken as so incontrovertable that people were put to death for speaking against it. Fortunately we've moved past public executions for counter arguments but increasingly people seem unable to look at climate change with any sense of perspective or critque. For example: Canadians are criticized for a very high PER CAPITA rate of pollution - but there are very few Canadians compared to many nations in the world. Divide the millions who live in Asia into their huge volumes of carbon emissions and you will get a smaller per capita figure that is used to whip Canadians even though the overall amount of greenhouse gases emitted by them dwarfs Canadian volumes. Thus, per captia measurement is a distortion. A megatonne of greenhouse gases hurts the enviornment just as much when it comes from Beijing as it does from Belleville - the reality is that Beijing is producing many more megatonnes that Belleville. Canadians are turning themselves into prezels trying to go 'green' while China opens one coal fired electrical generating plant after another. Until we get THAT trend stopped we're going to get nowhere on climate change.
  3. jiri Z from Canada writes: Thanks, Margaret. The parallel of religion* (based on blind belief if you disregard the mumbo-jumbo like Lourds) and this *anthropogenic climate change has been strikingly obvious.

    Ironic, that people who would not be caught dead in church are now lying prostrate on the altar of al gore.
  4. Howard Beale from Canada writes: Jim Bradley, you make an important point. Our GHG emissions should be measured on a per square kilometer basis, not per capita. Just one more example of how Chretien got snookered and we must pay.
  5. William Hanlon from London, Canada writes: Margaret, Margaret, Margaret.... This may be your most disingenuous article yet. It never ceases to amaze me how you manage to flagrantly ignore fact and logic at the same time that you make a career out of pointing out the idiocies of others.

    There is one simple yet decisive difference between blaming gay rights and "moral degradation" for the deluge, and blaming unmitigated human fossil fuel burning and "environmental degradation": Scientific evidence. Carbon in the atmosphere is measurable. "Gayness" is not.

    If the language used by preachers of religion and of climate change sounds similar, it is because the end-game is the same. The difference you fail to grasp, however, is that the preachers of religion go by their feelings, prejudices and the conflicting dictates of a book written by dozens of authors thousands of years ago, whereas the climate-change preachers have the benefit of mountains of scientific data. Sure, you are correct to compare the fire and brimstone language of both camps. This is a worthy topic for your column, because one could argue that certain environmental advocates are in danger of turning off the public with their fundamentalist-sounding rhetoric. But you are incorrect to conclude that the arguments of both camps must also be equally invalid. Just because the language of some environmentalists is overly preachy and apocolyptic, doesn't mean the documented facts behind the language are incorrect.

    Don't like scientific evidence? Find it too hard to reconcile the idea that climate change means drier conditions generally, and then monsoon-like conditions when it does finally rain? Is that too hard an idea to grasp? If so, and the general population is as slow on the uptake over this as you are, Ms. Wente, we are in serious trouble indeed.
  6. jiri Z from Canada writes: William Hanlon's comment above seems to indicate a degree of intelligence.

    However, it is only a small degree and common sense is sadly missing.

    BTW, another ironic truth is that "common sense" is actually quite uncommon. Particularly in our celebrated 'seats of learning' like UWO.
  7. Shane Mason from Canada writes: Jim - not sure what you are on about, really. Per capita measurement is the only measurement. Otherwise you are claiming a right to pollute based on land ownership. The more land you own, the more you are allowed to pollute. Considering how rich we are compared to those other high population density countries, don't you think we should be investing some of our wealth into helping to fix the problems that exist in the world, rather than sit back and watch, patting ourselves on the back for sidestepping the ills that beset other nations, much of which we help create? Are you that irresponsible?
  8. Cymro yn byw yma Canada from Canada writes: A lot of people really do believe that the Earth would be a better place without us.
    Who would be there to appreciate it and write all that lovely poetry.
    Funny thing Margaret I've been reading your delightful stuff for along time & I got a clear impression that you were a climate change denier or at least disbelieved that it was due to carbon emissions. I have been disabused of that notion..... ...or have I?
  9. S. Ives from Ottawa, Canada writes: What's with the gay throwaway line? It weakens the argument (and I'm sure there is one somewhere) and distracts from the idiocy of the real statement.

    Personally speaking, I seriously dislike the characterization of the earth as a mother and I wish it would stop.

    The book by Weisman is actually worth reading for the description of what might remain should we suddenly disappear. I'm disappointed to see it referenced in such a fashion in this column. Forget the sentiments and read the science. Further, the comment concerning the Permian is highly accurate and one that, in context, is one even Ms. Wente can applaud.
  10. Not Withstanding from Not Toronto, Canada writes: Wente has pretty much nailed it.

    The whole environmental extremist / global warming movement is, at root, a latter day religious cult - and specifically, a puritan one.

    The original Puritans warned God would smite Man if Man didn't stop dancing and drinking and watching Shakespeare and otherwise engaging in "excessive" behaviour.

    Our current batch of Puritans warns us that Gaia will smite us unless we stop spending money on SUV's and get back to that simpler, more wholesome lifestlye of our ancestors.

    Too bad we don't have a new world to ship our modern Puritans off to and get rid of them.
  11. E A from another university town, Canada writes: @William Hanlon. Brilliantly stated.
    I believe some of the comment-writers were able to recognize a higher education and harbour some resentment for those capable than more than a ill-quoted truism.
  12. Robert Bott from Calgary, Canada writes: MAN, n.
    An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
    ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
  13. jiri Z from Canada writes: E A: another brilliant excrement of the 'academia'.

    While William Hanlon seems to be a scholar (with all the derogatory meanings implied and however derogatory) you are just a silly puppy.

    Please get another MJ going and leave.

  14. Kim Huynh from Canada writes: While Ms Wente has doubts about blaming human on the same "climate change" phenomenum when the weather gets wetter or drier , one may wonder perhaps the total resources on earth are constant. Take water for example. It's been viewed by scientist as a source of like. If the amount of water is constant then if the distribution went out of wack, we would see some areas too dry while drier areas on earth soaking wet. That said, givien time, Mother Earth will find ways to balance it out. Same bulk of data may yield different forcasts. Look ar some historical facts about auto industries and how different comapnies viewed data differently from others, and hence came up with different market strategies. When we look at the "climate change" things, we have to consider things in terms of decades and centuries. The story about climate change is the story of green house effects caused by human uses of fossil fuels. Step insie a green house and you will feel the heat. When the heat can not escape, it will circulate the room. But the idea to use green house to grow plants have escaped the audience of this same topics. If the green house effects help grow the plants, by the same logics it may help the trees to groow on this palnet, and the trees will suck up all the CO2 emission by human activities. There you have it. Mother nature has ways to cope, so would us, the chilren of nature.

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