‘Every night on the network news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations.’ – Al Gore
The gift of prophecy has been prized by societies throughout time. I am the owner of a beautiful, annotated reproduction of “The Augsburg Book of Miracles,” illustrated and compiled in about 1550 in Europe, in the midst of the Little Ice Age (1300-1860). The Little Ice Age was a period much colder than today; in certain times it was so cold that birds dropped dead from the sky. Unprecedented hail storms dropped giant balls of ice, killing people and cattle. Blood rains poured down from time to time. Comets and frightening sun dogs appeared.
Al Gore would recognize the images instantly.
Floods washed away 100,000 people in Zeeland. Strange eclipses of sun or moon were portents of earthquakes or destructive fires. Catastrophic extreme weather events happened and were recorded in dramatic, colorful illustrations.
The powerful impression this book must have made in a time when there was no television, and peasants had little access to dramatic, colorful imagery is hard to imagine today. The opening images recount important points of Biblical history. The middle section of the book explores current catastrophic weather events and miraculous signs in the sky. The ending is, in fact, an illustrated walk through the Book of Revelations.
The Little Ice Age was such a time of erratic, mostly cold (but sometimes very hot) weather blocks, that this was also a time when many people were burned at the stake for the crime of “weather cooking, with the help of Satan.”
The signs were all there in the sky. Repent. The end is nigh.
It is amusing and a bit disappointing to see how this is a powerful, repeating motif throughout human history. Humans are somehow intrinsically attached to the notion that we can know what tomorrow might hold, and by changing something in our behaviour today, we might forestall fate. Indeed, according to a June 17, 2018 report on BBC News, tarot card sales are booming because of…. Trump and Brexit.2
So what are we to think of the fact that President Trump has put together a climate science review board, headed up by the eminent scientist William Happer? Here, we have an important political figure trying to bring some calm and sanity to the climate change science and policy discussion, but the public are buying tarot cards to try and cope with their fear of social and climate change.
Happer, a physicist, has been dismissed as a ‘denialist’ in main stream media like the New York Times. Meanwhile doomsday predictions from David Wallace-Wells, a columnist, gets multi-page coverage. And look at the reviews!
ABOUT THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible.
We saw this last summer when the New York Times released “Losing Earth.” At the time my organization, Friends of Science, mocked that dark work as simply a modern day version of Medieval prognostication, in a report we entitled “Countering the Climate Tome.”
How can there be such a split in society? In modern society. We just witnessed the successful splash down of Space X from its mission to the International Space Station, and yet Prof. Happer is called a denier, while climate guru at NASA’s GISS, Gavin Schmidt, lauds the 16-year old Swedish child climate activist Greta Thunberg for her ‘clarity and authenticity.’
In fact, Greta is the unwitting front for green billionaires and their vast publicity and social media networks, according to “The Wrong Kind of Green.”
Gavin Schmidt mocks Bjorn Lomborg, “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and head of the Danish Copenhagen Consensus Center. Lomborg’s crime? He wants to make the world a better place and spend just $75 Billion to address real needs like poverty, access to water, sanitation and medical care, instead of spending $14 trillion dollars on ‘climate action’ to accomplish nothing.
Schmidt, a scientist, meantime, appears to think we should follow a child, who is parroting talking points from the Climate Mobilization project which is the brainchild of a psychologist who, shamefully, wants to scare the world into ‘climate action’ by terrorizing them into thinking ‘our house is on fire.’ She claims to offer “The Transformative Power of Climate Truth” – but how can what she says be true? She’s a psychologist, not a physical scientist or climate expert of any kind.
Some transformation! It is the same motif as in days of old, from climate sinner to saint. Repent – and you’ll save the planet.
Want to know what the future holds for you? Tune in to the nightly news for your next edition of the “climate horrorscope.”
Michelle Stirling is a CFACT contributor and communications mManager for Friends of Science Society. Stirling is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the AAAS.