Dying certitudes

On the heels of Bookworm’s excellent, hard-hitting essay on narcissism comes a nice coda on man-made global warming that is emblematic of Bookworm’s theme.

Because of major discoveries involving the interaction of atmospheric aerosols and cosmic radiation, “climate models will have to be revised,” stated a communication from CERN that promises to completely overhaul scientific understanding of climate science. CERN is the European center for nuclear research. These discoveries are important, because they deal directly with the dynamics of the overwhelmingly dominant atmospheric greenhouse gas, water.

The complete article by Andrew Orlowski, in the U.K.’s The Register, is found here complete with supporting links:


These recent discoveries regarding cosmic ray effects on climate pretty much render obsolete all previous climate prognostications by self-proclaimed experts. To use an analogy, it is as if these experts had tried to authoritatively explain the inner workings of an automobile by studiously ignoring the engine.

“When (leading CERN physicist) Dr. Jasper Kirkby first described the theory in 1998, he suggested cosmic rays “will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” continues The Register‘s Orlowski.

The underlying theme here, however, is not cosmic rays or global warming, it is hubris. It is the self-righteous certainty and self-proclaimed wisdom with which scientists, politicians, media ideologues and demagogues could claim sufficent knowledge and command to engineer huge changes to society on the basis of their own self-righteous objectives. Their narcissism, in other words. In their world, their view was revealed truth, all else was anathema. We ourselves discovered some of this self-proclaimed righteousness from previous commentators on this blog. This is exactly the “fatal conceit” of which Friedrich Hayek.


A qualifier is in order: I am in no way suggesting that the work by CERN is definitive. It does, however, illustrate how little we know and that, when pursuing any form of scientific inquiry, humility is a stellar virtue. No doubt, many more blockbuster revelations await us regarding  the complexities of climate dynamics, but we the main point is that we fallible humans are in no position and will never be in a position to mandate radical changes to either the globe or humanity on the basis of perceived knowledge. The believe otherwise is not just unwise, it is, forgive the term, stupid.

The CERN  announcement is emblematic of what is happening today, as we see other revealed truths such as socialism, Keynesianism, multiculturalism, peak oil, environmentalism and government central planning collapse under the repeated poundings of 2x4s called “reality”. It’s a painful process but, hopefully, it signals the birth pangs of a more practically-focused world to come, where the humility, skepticism and spirit of inquiry bequeathed by our Western philosophical traditions can once more hold sway over ignorance, dogma and ideology. Given the $-trillions of resources and human capital that have been wasted to date in pursuit of climate science and the other myths and illusions of our time, this would be a good thing.

We desperately need it.

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  • Mike Devx

    Book’s prior post is about narcissistic delusion on the left.  They won’t even be able to contemplate the concept that global warming science is wrong and has been wrong from the beginning.

    Besides, look at all the good that has come from their global warming hysteria:  The children have been well and thoroughly indoctrinated in that false science!  For years and years they have been indoctrinated!  Isn’t that GREAT?!?!??

    It’s not the global warming part that is so great, actually.  It’s the fact that they’ve been robotically indoctrinated itself.  they are all primed and ready, these little robot angels, for the next round of indoctrination by the leftists.  Whatever the topic will be.

    “Robots – TO THE LEFT! MARCH!  You darling little American kiddies, you!  My goodness, why do you all *think* exactly the same way?  Isn’t that just CHARMING?  Here’s your entitlements check, too, now go vote correctly.”


  • Danny Lemieux

    Ah, good point, MikeD. 

    What will be interesting to see is what happens when these young ones find out they’ve been lied to. There’s already a growing of remorse among the unemployed 20-something crowd for their support of Obama and the Left. I don’t think they buy the “Bush did it” meme.

    AGW has been so central to Leftwing /environmentalist ideology that, when that edifice crumbles, I think there will be quite a backlash. I think that this is one reason that Gore has been getting so unhinged recently – he knows that the world won’t love him quite so much anymore (see Book’s post on narcissism).

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    If people want to see a real echo chamber, look up Jim Jones or the followers of malignant narcissists.

  • Mike Devx

    Danny, thanks for that point about Al Gore!  I was going to comment on that, too:  I’d wondered why Al Gore was coming so unhinged, and when I read your post, I thought, “Aha!  Al Gore got advance notice of this study, and it is so destructive to his entire reason for living these days, that he simply lost it.”

    As a certain link put it:

    The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”
    If it weren’t all so very tragic, it would be all so very funny.

    1. State your name: ________________
    2. Do you believe in global warming the way that we do?   Yes___   No____
    3. If you answered “No” to Question #2, Thanks, but No Thanks.  Good Bye.
    4. …

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Left talks about stopping profit, but have you ever noticed how many people profited from these environmental regulations and laws? The Main Sewer Media doesn’t talk much about that, now do they. People reading their local Californian newspapers sourced from the AP and Reuters, think they are getting the real deal…

  • Libby

    Michael Crichton was right – belief in Global Warming became a religion, and it will be darn near impossible to shake their faith. I cannot imagine a scenario in which Gore would recant his belief in AGB.

  • Jose

    Gosh, they’re going to rebuild their models to include that round fiery thing up there.  Maybe it does have a some impact….
    From wikipedia: It has a diameter of about … 109 times that of Earth, and its mass (about ….330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.
    I’m sure everyone heard the speculation a few days ago that space aliens would destroy us because of AGW.  Aside from the total absurdity of the idea, did it never occur to one of these genius’s that intelligent alien life might resemble plants? That they might love our CO2?

  • Charles Martel

    Here’s my concern, which I’ve shared with the savants at East Anglia University: The new revelations from CERN are going to cause a lot of heads to explode (Al Gore’s being one of the first). Will the clouds of exploded-head brain matter refract light in such a way as they pass into the jetstream as to warm up the atmosphere and bring on another Jurassic age?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Charles M – I suspect that the high density of such exploded brain matter might affect the gravitational pull of the moon, leaving us all moonstruck. Then again, Gore’s brain might leave a wormhole to an alternate universe. 

    I am leaving the country for a couple of weeks and will come back with many tales to tell, I am sure. 

    Keep the comments flying, folks. 

  • Michael Adams

    Not apropos at all, but, Sadie, keep us posted about the hurricane, and whether it causes y ou any griefs or cares, and what we might do to alleviate any distress you might experience.


    Michael Adams – very sweet of you to ask and offer.
    Irene should be in town Sunday morning around 6 a.m. – she has emptied the supermarket shelves of bottled water and flashlights and I live 60 miles inland. I am not trying to minimize the potential impact, but I am not stocking up either. No electricity in an all electric building – I won’t be cooking if the grid is out, so I guess canned tuna and fresh fruit and peanut butter sandwiches will be a meal or two if necessary and I’ll figure out how to boil water over a yahrzeit (remembrance) candle if necessary for the coffee. The building manager posted to the message board to remove anything from our balconies “that can fly” and the township made robo-calls to all the residents and even my insurance agent sent out emails today with telephone numbers (just in case). If I have electricity [read that as internet service] I’ll keep you all up to snuff. I can see the Schuykill River from my balcony (it runs into the Delaware River). The only problem I foresee, other than the electric grid going down would be to see the river over run its banks into the parking lot and oh yeah, the winds blowing out floor to ceiling sliding door windows up here on the 11th floor. Other than that, the comment below, which I read somewhere on a hurricane thread – pretty much sums it up for me.
    Look at the bright side of the hurricane, It will be gone in less than a few hours. Obama will be around until 2012. That’s reason for panic!

  • Mike Devx

    Good Luck, Sadie!  What’s worrisome about Irene is the continued very low atmospheric pressure (barometer) readings.  It’s not a small intense storm that’s going to carve a narrow path of destruction.  It’s a *big* storm that’s going to deliver a broad whallop.