Last week's London snowstorm was the last straw. With no particular scientific evidence in hand, I have come to the conclusion that global warming is a looney cult. Londoners may have frolicked on the frozen Thames in the days of famous diarist Samuel Pepys in the mid-17th century, but today's Britons cannot reconcile this disruption of their lukewarm climate with the notion that temperatures are steadily rising.
The scientific controversy is beyond me, but I can recognize the fixed stare, the strained voice-throb and the rigid jaw of a madman at a hundred paces. The Greens hector us about the impending end of the world. I put it to them: perhaps it is not the end of the world, but just the end of you. Analysis of global temperature is a subtle issue about which reasonable men might in good faith reach different conclusions. The evangelical zealotry that motivates the global-warmers has a different source than the facts.
Human beings cannot bear their own transient existence without some hope of immortality. Except for the Americans, whom Europeans dismiss as bovine about such things, the children of the West long ago abandoned the promises of religion. The childless Europeans lack even the consolation of physical continuity. They have no future; other people will occupy the lands where they dwell, and their languages will be entombed in libraries. The myriad amusements available to them cannot forever distract them from the horrible advent of their own disappearance. Europeans: As a matter of demographic fact, it is indeed the end of you (Why Europe chooses extinction, April 8, 2003).
That settled, let us consider the minor matter of the end of the world. For the same reason that men cannot live without the hope of immortality, they cannot bear their gray, miserable lives without some sense of exaltation - religion, art, music, poetry, sex, drugs, violence, whatever. With the decline of Christianity and its bodyguard, the high culture of the West, sex, drugs and violence predominate. These devices eventually leave the user all the more anxious.
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