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Idol Worship in Cancún
January/February 2011

So, down in Cancún, the sun plays on the beautiful beaches, on the old Mayan ruins, on the Mexican resorts. And, yes, it played — oh so brightly, their great shining moment — on the delegates at this winter's meeting on global warming. Or, technically, at the CMP 6 to the Kyoto Protocol, combined with COP 16 to the UNFCCC. This was a UN operation, after all, and if it had a name anyone could understand, then, well, anyone might have something to say about it. Which we can't be having, this late in the day.

Christiana Figueres was there, the executive secretary of the whole shebang, to call the delegates to order on November 29, and how could they not put down their drinks — the ones with the little umbrellas sprouting up in them, the ones you get in sun-drenched bars — to applaud her? She is, you'll recall, the figure on whom the "Hero of the Planet" award was bestowed in 2001.

Hero of the Planet? Hero of the Planet? Without irony, without self-consciousness, without even any shame. Look, perhaps the claim of impending catastrophe from human-caused global warming is accurate. You wouldn't know it from the mini-ice age this winter, but maybe we've been given only a temporary respite. And yet, the first sign that someone is lying, the first reason for suspicion, arrives when ordinary language starts to go south. As in the mandated vocabulary shift from global warming to climate change — by which we found ourselves confronted with non-falsifiable calamity: the temperature goes up, the temperature goes down, but the cause is always catastrophic climate change.

And the solution is always dismantling Western civilisation.

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January 10th, 2011
6:01 AM
Is this supposed to an example of serious journalism or cultural commentary? Even more so when the writer is one of the movers and shakers from a journal which promotes itself as the leading journal of religious and cultural opinion etc in the USA.

Harlow Hyde
December 27th, 2010
2:12 PM
The great irony of the climate change uproar is that the warming of the climate during the 20th Century (which did indeed occur) was, without comment on the possible causes, highly beneficial to the human race. A simple truth that the would-be leaders refuse to recongnize!

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