Big nature and tiny us
By Bruce Walker
Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano has forced tens of thousands of airline flights in Europe and the North Atlantic to shut down. The last time this volcano erupted, in 1821, it continued for two years. No one knows when the eruption will stop this time. This uncontrolled and unpredictable explosion of nature's power steps across our puny civilizations with frightening ease. Nineteen years ago, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines coughed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide. The Chicon eruption in Mexico nine years earlier perceptibly cooled the planet. A few years before that, Mount St Helens, erupted in 1980 and threw gases and particles in the sky which were clearly visible for hundreds of miles.
The Icelandic Laki eruption in 1783 was believed by Ben Franklin to have cooled the planet. In 1815 the Tambora Volcano in Indonesia produced the "year without a summer" - distant New England experienced snowfalls in July and livestock in America died in huge numbers. Krakatoa, exactly one hundred year after Laki, was twenty times more powerful than Mount St. Helens and it cooled the planetary temperature by more than one degree. These volcanoes are dramatic evidence of a mundane truth: We exercise very little control over our planet. Nature has much more power than we do, and that power is easy to see and to believe. No one needs a hockey stick generating software program to prove that a simple, natural volcano produces very real global cooling. What if the Eyjafjallajokull results in a significant cooling of Earth?
The Church of Global Warming is in high gear trying to dissuade us from seeing the Icelandic volcano, which has crippled human travel in a way that no manmade environmental change has ever done, is not really that big a deal. The Pinotubo Volcano spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere and lowered the global temperature by one degree Fahrenheit. The Icelandic volcano today is spewing 750 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air each second, according to the Icelandic Institute of Earth Sciences. That does not sound like a lot, until one does the math: that is 2.7 million tons an hour. How much of that is entering the stratosphere? Atlantic Monthly reports that the ash cloud is extending seven miles into the stratosphere. So, maybe this volcano will cool the Earth perceptibly too.
The headline story is this: Big Nature and Tiny Us. Humans and their technologies are helpless against the whims of volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and the other burps and hiccups of our planet. We have known for many decades that some day in the near future, California and most of the Pacific Coast might be violently savaged by the shifting of the San Andreas Fault and that cities might quickly wind up at the floor of the Pacific Ocean. What would that do to "the environment"? In the narrow and petty minds of Warmers, the consequence would be tens of millions of internal combustion engines and modern homes would stop ruining the environment, but, of course, the true impact would be vastly more deadly to man and his tenuous hold upon life here on Earth…and upon the environment of our world. Why are these busybodies not working on ways to keep plate tectonics from producing this calamity? Because no one can really stop the drift of continents or the volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes which nature causes: Big Nature and Tiny Us.
One fine day a meteor or an asteroid will smash into our planetary home. We will have little advance warning. There is not much we can do to stop it. We can scarcely predict when this will happen. The impact could easily cause the destruction of all human life and maybe the extermination of much animal and plant life on Earth. Despite the conflict about manmade global warming in the scientific community, there is no disagreement that this disaster will, eventually, happen and that it will cause indescribable harm. Yet the clergy of the Church of Global Warming proposes virtually nothing at all to meet this threat which the dark ocean of outer space whispers is not an "If?" but "when?"
The Church of Global Warming is not really concerned about how well the environment at all. The obsession is with controlling individual human behavior. Liberated man is the enemy of Warmers, and human liberty is the hated object of these Warmers. Their goal, in the simplest terms, is raw political power, whatever harm this power may cause the rest of us. They must paint man as a creature which must be regulated, licensed, and taxed into regimented slavery in a vast empire of pseudo-science. The truth – that nature is enormous and we are puny - would lead us to conquer what we can to make our lives safer, richer, and happier.
So, like Druid or Aztec priests before them, these modern clergy of offended nature propose the myth that what we innocently do keep the sun from rising or spring from coming or the gods from spewing forth lava from their homes inside volcanoes. Only by priests making sacrifices which we present them can our offense of nature be placated. All mischief must have a cause in the conduct of man, because otherwise we could discard our chains and live as free men. These modern mythmakers seek to drag us back to the dim days of long ago when dreary pantheons demanded goods and lives from us, and the mediators of this process were always scolding, angry, fat priests.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
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