In Startling Reversal, Scientific American Counsels People to ‘Chill Out’ over Global Warming.
Apocalyptic scenarios attributed to global warming are simply false and the human race will be able to accommodate whatever “climate change” throws at us, claims a remarkably sober new essay in Scientific American.
The essay, penned by John Horgan, the director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, analyzes two recent reports by “ecomodernists” who reject climate panic and frame the question of climate change and humanity’s ability to cope with it in radically new terms.
One of the reports, a work called “Enlightened Environmentalism” by Harvard iconoclast Steven Pinker, urges people to regain some much-needed perspective on climate, especially in the context of the overwhelming material benefits of industrialization.
Pooh-poohing “the mainstream environmental movement, and the radicalism and fatalism it encourages,” Pinker argues that humanity can solve problems related to climate change the same way it has solved myriad other problems, by harnessing “the benevolent forces of modernity.”
Separating himself from environmentalists who seem to detest modernity, Pinker asserts that industrialization “has been good for humanity.”
“It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children. It has allowed people to read at night, live where they want, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts,” he says.
And just as human ingenuity has allowed us to overcome countless obstacles in the past, he notes, it is more than reasonable to suppose it will do so in the future as well.
The second report put forward by Horgan is a recent article by Will Boisvert titled “The Conquest of Climate,” which contends that the “consequences for human well-being will be small” even if human greenhouse emissions significantly warm the planet. more