Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Climate change: who's afraid of geo-engineering?

When it comes to the debate about possible solutions to climate change, environmentalists are forever banging on and on about the fact that it is they who are 'armed' with nothing but the latest peer reviewed science. As well as that, how many more times have I got to hear that climate change is the most pressing crisis facing the whole of mankind - now war, poverty and disease have been relegated to second place? What is worse is the fact that when a solution (other than micro-managing humanity back to the Dark-ages, or worse, the caves) is put forward as a possible solution, it is green activists who are normally the first to poo-poo such solutions - and normally, in just one sentence.

This does make you wonder if environmentalists really do want to bring this climate change 'crisis' under control? Indeed, if humanity were to come up with a viable, reliable and peer reviewed scientific tool that could halt climate change, green activists would be put right out of business, they would affectively have their green rug snatched from right underneath them. Such is the emerging challenge that environmentalists appear to be facing from scientists involved in 'geo-engineering' plans and solutions. It seems that the greens would rather see the planet, and humans burn than support geo-engineering solutions.

For all the green talk about tampering with nature, human hubris, or how one environmental organisation based in Canada put it 'Gambling with Gaia', geo-engineering may very well offer some serious global solutions to climate change. Of course, it almost goes without saying, don't take my word for it, even the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller thinks the same, Teller argued that geo-engineering actually 'appears to be a promising approach'.

Ultimately, it is not the potential that geo-engineering has to halt climate change that is sneered at by most environmentalist, as far as most greens are concerned, geo-engineering does not address the core problem of climate change - for the greens, the core problem relating to climate change is in the domain of morality. The truth is, environmentalists do not really want to halt climate change, what they appear to want to stop, and attack, are all forms of overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation. What the greens would really prefer is humanity to suffer first - and stop people believing in the idea that humans might one day conquer the threat of climate change. The greens dare not imagine such a thing as putting an end to climate change, that would just rob them of their raison d'etre - would it not?


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Zimbabwe: a state the West loves to hate

It has become highly fashionable in the Western media to draw far fetched parallels between the architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler, and Zimbabwe's current incumbent, Robert Mugabe. Of course, such comparisons are complete fantasise which says far more about those who use such terminology to describe Mugabe, than it does about the current situation on the ground in Zimbabwe.

In the rush to demonise Mugabe, many have forgotten that it was in fact the white supremacist and former Rhodesian leader Ian Smith who first coined the phrase 'Black Hitler' to describe Mugabe and his national liberation movement - and many in the West have also ignored how the Great Western powers, their governments and fiscal institutions have played the most important role in bringing the Zimbabwean economy to its knees. Indeed, it has been the outside interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe that have twisted and distorted the countries economy.

It is difficult to imagine how back in 2001, The New York Times gave Zimbabwe the title of the 'worst government on earth' - yeah, right, as if - what, worse than China? Such statements actually betray the narrow and highly selective nature of criticism directed against Zimbabwe by its opponents in the West. Some Western observers (former colonials) seem to lose all sense of proportion when talking about Zimbabwe, for one writer of the The Times (London), what appears to be unfolding in Zimbabwe is nothing less than a 'silent genocide'. Even the organisation Genocide Watch rightfully argue that such claims can appear 'ridiculous' given the fact that there have been relatively few deaths due to conflict in Zimbabwe.

Much of what I see and read about Zimbabwe is no more than unsubstantiated junk propaganda. As the astute political journalist Brendan O'Neill kindly reminds us, there are a few honourable exceptions, like the US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who had the temerity to question received Western wisdom on Zimbabwe. McKinney rightfully argued that Zimbabwe is 'Africa's second-longest stable democracy', it is a country that has 'multi-party' elections, the opposition has 'over 50 seats in the parliament. It has an opposition press which vigorously criticises the government and governing party. It has an independent judiciary which issues decisions contrary to the wishes of the governing party'. That's more than can be said about Egypt, Rwanda, or the Congo. Yet all three of these countries are allies of the West who receive serious amounts of funding from the United States.

Zimbabwe, viewed from the perspective of Western colonial, 'Eton-educated' bi-focals appears more like a horrific symbol of African arrogance and cockiness. It is a point of view that cannot comprehend how 'our last white man in Rhodesia' Ian Smith was humiliated and forcefully jettisoned out of office, by a ‘Black Hitler’ to boot.