Global warming and the Y2K bug

For those who accept the global warming theory unquestioningly, simply because the powers that be say so, would be good to pause a moment and reflect about how often our government, our media, and other authoritative outlets of opinion, have been wrong in the past. Just because an authority figure says so, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Let me give you an example.

I remember in 1999 when there was constant buzz about the impending disaster of the Y2K bug. Apparently, planes were going to fall out of the sky, electricity was going to shut off, and civilization might possibly even break down in the ensuing chaos. The media, and other voices of authority, constantly talked up the impending danger, as well as the consequent need for everyone to get Y2K compliant.  At the time, I don’t remember any important voices in the media, or government, or anyone else of importance seriously questioning this theory. Everyone seemed to be going along with it, or actively promoting it.

In the end, despite all the hype and scaremongering, the Y2K phenomenon turned out to be a big nothing. Russia, which did virtually nothing to be Y2K compliant, had no problems when the new millennium arrived. Nor did anyone else. The media and other authority figures completely got the story wrong. Even the most basic questions, that might’ve put the whole Y2K fear into doubt, were never even raised.

Furthermore, after was revealed that we had been massively misled by the media and others, no one ever mentioned it again. One would think that the media would be doing a groveling mea culpa after having so misled the public, and gotten it so wrong. But, they said nothing, as if the whole incident had never even occurred. I suppose the whole scenario was just too embarrassing to even have to admit. But, not only does it show how are authority figures — and the media particular — are corrupt and incompetent, but they’re also so arrogant that they can’t even admit when they make massive blunders.

In the end, the whole Y2K phenomenon was simply a cause that turned into a rolling snowball, because a lot of different interests decided that it would be to their advantage to promote it. Fundamentalist Christians used Y2K to signal the end times. The computer industry saw the whole idea as a massive way to drum up business by treating a problem that didn’t even exist. Others also hoped to make money out of it, or they felt that the growing hysteria served their purposes in one way or another. Certainly the media whipped up Y2K, I believe, because it made good sensationalist copy, and also because they were being paid by the computer industry which found the whole Y2K phenomenon to be very profitable. In the end, or lots of different interests decided to hitch their wagon to the freight train of Y2K, because fear is always a good seller and can be very profitable.

How is any of this really different from the whole global warming brouhaha? If everyone got Y2K so wrong, and people didn’t even ask the most basic questions, how do we know that the same thing is not happening now with so-called “climate change”. After all, if our authority figures were all wrong in the past, why can’t they be wrong again? In light of how the experts have misled, and lied to us so much in the past, shouldn’t we take what authority figures say with a grain of salt?  Shouldn’t we at least hear both sides, and get an informed opinion, before we categorically decides that one side is right and one side is wrong. It seems to me that far too many people who zealously support the theory of global warming do so mainly in the belief that our institutions of power cannot be wrong, and that, by extension, they must be blindly followed.

I believe that, liked the Y2K phenomenon, the theory of global warming has become so entrenched: because of institutional inertia, and pride, and because many organizations have found it to further their interests. Environmentalists see it as a way to scare people straight. Traders see it as a way to make a ton of money. Researchers see it as an easy way to get grant money. Appliance makers see it as a way to sell a whole bunch of new appliances (all supposedly green).  Contractors also see it as a way to motivate people to make modifications to their house to become green compliance. Alternative energy makers see it as a way to promote subsidies to them. Politicians see it as a way to look progressive, and responsible, and be able to dole out money to interest groups. Marxists see it as a way to undermine capitalism. Third World nations see it as a new excuse to get more development funds. Even nature photographers can use global warming as an excuse to get National Geographic to sponsor an expedition to the Arctic “to study the polar bears”.  So many people have an interest in keeping the phenomenon going. Just mention the word “global warming”, or “climate change”, and suddenly everyone jumps up, because it is “the most serious threat that humanity faces”. It’s hard to argue with that. Grave threats and fear have a tendency to get things done better than dispassionate facts and reason.

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