Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stupidity and Willful Ignorance

This really grinds my gears.

From New Hampshire to California, American Indian leaders are speaking out more forcefully about the danger of climate change.

Members of six tribes recently gathered near the Baker River in the White Mountains for a sacred ceremony honoring "Earth Mother."

"Earth Mother is fighting back - not only from the four winds, but also from underneath," he said. "Scientists call it global warming. We call it Earth Mother getting angry."

I've been saying it forever, global climate change is a religion. You're just seeing one face of the religion that is environmentalism. Earth Mother is getting angry, folks. Gaea is going to rise up against us. I really hate to break it to them, but the Earth has been angry for a long, long time. We live on an extremely violent planet; this is not something thats new. The only difference is that when they were running around in loincloths and early settlers were starving at Jamestown, the fastest method of transferring thoughts was by letter on a ship. Now we have the Internet, which allows a rapid transfer of information -- such as news of natural disasters -- making such things seem much more commonplace. As Michael Crichton puts it,
Is this really the end of the world? Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods?

No, we simply live on an active planet. Earthquakes are continuous, a million and a half of them every year, or three every minute. A Richter 5 quake every six hours, a major quake every 3 weeks. A quake as destructive as the one in Pakistan every 8 months. It’s nothing new, it’s right on schedule.

At any moment there are 1,500 electrical storms on the planet. A tornado touches down every six hours. We have ninety hurricanes a year, or one every four days. Again, right on schedule. Violent, disruptive, chaotic activity is a constant feature of our globe.

Is this the end of the world? No: this is the world.
Another thing that really burns me up is this infantile insistence that the indians that lived here in America were somehow these amazing stewards of the land, that they lived "in harmony" with nature and cared for it.

Aside:Apparently that only applies to North American natives; the natives in South America that practice slash and burn farming (just like nearly every native tribe or primitive agricultural society) are denounced as "hurting the rain forests".

Hate to break it to all you environmental loons, but the indian's brand of land management would be best described as "brutal". No matter how many Pocahontas or Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron movies get made it remains a fact that the native populations hunted large animals almost to extinction, regularly practiced large scale slash-and-burn agriculture, and were inhumanly cruel to what domestic animals they had.

For example, most indians rode horses with a war bridle, a simple and brutally effective means to control a recalcitrant horse:
This is a great tool if you don't care about your animal and don't have time to properly halter break or even saddle break a horse. A war bridle in various forms is essentially a slip knot -- but its much, much harder on the horse than a bit. It works because it can be used to inflict large amounts of pain very easily. This is what the indians used to ride. Harsh, effective pain; not whispers from Earth Mother into the horse's ear.

The indians didn't live in harmony with the land; they raped it to survive. But it was effective, and there weren't ever enough of them that it had lasting, permanent effects.

There's a joke I read in a book published around the turn of the century (the previous one) that goes like this -- "What do you do with a horse after you've worn it out? Sell it to a cowboy, who rides it for 3 more months. What does he do with it? Sells it to a Texan, who rides it for 1 more year. What does he do with it? Sells it to an Indian who rides it to death, cooks it and eats it."

Now read this and tell me what it tells you
Though many people will look for "a consensus in the scientific community" to convince them of climate change, Krech said, others will seek "perspectives from Indian society. . . . Native Americans have a rich tradition that springs from this belief they have always been close to the land and always treated the land well."
This traditions springs from a belief. Not from fact, or history, or truth. Just a belief. I'd bet even money that his quote was taken out of context -- and the addendum to it was "even though in the past they didn't."