{Empty title} | The Nation

Let us assume that the scientists who support theories of anthropogenic global warming are shills of Big Environment, that the earth has undergone many recurring cycles of heating and cooling, of which our present warming trend is just a disturbingly rapid example, that the burning of fossil fuels has not contributed in any significant way to the creation of holes in the ozone layer, the melting of polar ice caps, the rising of sea levels or the destabilization of weather patterns around the globe. Let us trust that Alexander Cockburn's proclamations on the laws of thermodynamics are as weighty and well-reasoned as a fourth-century bishop's proclamations on the nature of God and the Holy Ghost. But then let us step back and look at the rest of the picture. By similar logic, we cannot conclusively link the burning of fossil fuels to increasing rates of pulmonary disorders in urban populations, though anecdotal evidence of smog-related ailments stretches back to the beginning of the industrial revolution. There is no incontrovertible proof that our thirst for oil was in any way related to the disastrous war in Iraq, though our soldiers secured the oil refineries with fascistic precision as museums and mosques were looted of their irreplaceable relics. Some evidence would indicate that the lakes of toxic sludge created by mountaintop removal are harmful to humans and other species, but the jury is still out. And so let us renounce our outlandish forays into intellectual fantasy, reject all scientific theory that cannot be indisputably proven, and embrace a new Medieval Warm Period with the spiritual calm and serenity that is Alexander Cockburn's gift to the faithful.