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The Spot-On Quote Of The Day…

22 April 2010 @ 09:05

…is awarded to Stacy McCain who, in making specific points about the fallacy of Global Warming, makes some great general points as well:

In its basic outlines, the AGW panic combines the motifs of several previous liberal fear crusades, especially Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” scare of the late 1960s and the anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s and ’80s. There is a distinct element of Malthusianism at the root of it, as well as the kind of transparent prejudice against Western capitalist society that motivated those who marched for a (unilateral) “nuclear freeze” and those who chained themselves to the gates at the Diablo Canyon project.

Ever since global-warming theory became a political controversy — in the 1997 ratification fight over the Kyoto Protocol – I have dismissed AGW as merely the latest manifestation of the same anti-Western doom-and-gloom hokum that liberals have peddled so often in my lifetime. That this gut-hunch reaction is not scientific, I readily admit, but I am one of those “men of untaught feelings” of whom Edmund Burke spoke, and have never subscribed to the Temple Cult of Scientism.

Furthermore, I have a stubborn resistance to bandwagon arguments cloaked in the trappings of prestige: “How can anyone possibly disagree with so many sophisticated experts?”

When the facts are clear and the logic is sound, there is no need to invoke prestige, and therefore whenever I hear such an argument, I instinctively suspect a scam is being perpetrated. Judging from the revelations at East Anglia, that suspicion was well-founded as regards AGW.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and AGW theory was — from the perspective of environmentalists — far too good to be true….

I too am a man of ‘untaught feelings’, but don’t assume that this means what you instinctually think it means.  It is important to understand Mr. Burke’s reasoning [and, yes, in describing what on its surface seems to be a call to following your gut feelings, Mr. Burke employs Right Reason].

From Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution, paragraphs 145 and 146:

You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess, that we are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted, and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. Many of our men of speculation, instead of exploding general prejudices, employ their sagacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them. If they find what they seek, and they seldom fail, they think it more wise to continue the prejudice, with the reason involved, than to cast away the coat of prejudice, and to leave nothing but the naked reason; because prejudice, with its reason, has a motive to give action to that reason, and an affection which will give it permanence. Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man’s virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature.

Your literary men, and your politicians, and so do the whole clan of the enlightened among us, essentially differ in these points. They have no respect for the wisdom of others; but they pay it off by a very full measure of confidence in their own. With them it is a sufficient motive to destroy an old scheme of things, because it is an old one. As to the new, they are in no sort of fear with regard to the duration of a building run up in haste; because duration is no object to those who think little or nothing has been done before their time, and who place all their hopes in discovery. They conceive, very systematically, that all things which give perpetuity are mischievous, and therefore they are at inexpiable war with all establishments. They think that government may vary like modes of dress, and with as little ill effect: that there needs no principle of attachment, except a sense of present conveniency, to any constitution of the state. They always speak as if they were of opinion that there is a singular species of compact between them and their magistrates, which binds the magistrate, but which has nothing reciprocal in it, but that the majesty of the people has a right to dissolve it without any reason, but its will. Their attachment to their country itself is only so far as it agrees with some of their fleeting projects; it begins and ends with that scheme of polity which falls in with their momentary opinion.

Doesn’t that second paragraph brilliantly describe the Leftists currently wielding power in America?  Leftism: the unchanging evil force.

  1. 22 April 2010 @ 15:33 15:33

    I liked the RSM phrase, “overwhelming rhetorical force.”

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      22 April 2010 @ 16:59 16:59

      What about Eddie-Baby?

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