Fa­nati­cism is now our great­est peril

Daily Express - - NEWS -

CLI­MATE change and global warm­ing are phrases that as­sault us all on a daily ba­sis. The whole sub­ject di­vides into three: the slow chang­ing of our cli­mate which ap­pears to be a fact; the warm­ing of the oceans which is al­leged to be the rea­son; and the 100 per cent cul­pa­bil­ity of the hu­man race for both.

On this third al­le­ga­tion I am nei­ther de­fi­ant rebel nor obe­di­ent slave. The­o­log­i­cally, I am eco-ag­nos­tic. But the case for the new or­tho­doxy of im­mi­nent catas­tro­phe would be a lot more per­sua­sive if the eco­ma­ni­acs were not push­ing their con­vic­tion in such an ag­gres­sive and fa­nat­i­cal man­ner.

I am in great part scep­ti­cal of the claims just be­cause I dis­like and re­coil from all forms of fa­nati­cism.

In the past 100 years our con­ti­nent has been rav­aged by fa­nat­ics. A fa­natic is not just a con­vinced be­liever who may still be gen­tle and mild­man­nered, he is one de­ter­mined to brook nei­ther con­tra­dic­tion nor op­po­si­tion and to per­se­cute any­one show­ing th­ese ten­den­cies.

First came fa­nat­i­cal com­mu­nism about a cen­tury ago. Be­fore it died two decades ago world com­mu­nism (mainly un­der Stalin and Mao) had mur­dered 100 mil­lion peo­ple in its name.

In the midst we wit­nessed fa­nat­i­cal Nazism which not only mur­dered 14 mil­lion in 12 years but per­suaded two hith­erto highly cul­tured na­tions, Ger­many and Aus­tria, to con­vert and carry out the hor­rors. NOW

it seems there are four be­liefs, all held by mi­nori­ties, but with such ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion that their ad­her­ents are ef­fec­tively now in the driv­ing seat.

Po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness started out as a plea for greater tol­er­ance of the dif­fer­ent. But it has con­verted into a creed ded­i­cated to its own ab­so­lute in­tol­er­ance of any­one who dis­agrees. It has taken over and now rules great swathes of our so­ci­ety.

At an equal level of noar­gu­ment con­vic­tion, and also a mi­nor­ity whose in­flu­ence is out of all pro­por­tion to their num­bers, are those who be­lieve they have seen with a clar­ity de­nied to the rest of us the fu­ture of Europe and our own coun­try and for them it is a great uni­fied con­ti­nent. Those who dis­agree are treated openly as mad or evil.

A por­tion of Is­lam has con­vinced it­self that the mass mur­der of men, women and chil­dren will please Al­lah even though the Ko­ran says ex­actly the op­po­site. Again, the fa­nat­ics are a mi­nor­ity but over­awe and ter­rify the lead­er­ship of the ma­jor­ity.

And those one might call eco­fa­nat­ics, con­verts to the new­est of all the new re­li­gions, preach their creed with the fe­roc­ity once re­served for the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion. There must be no re­fusal to con­cur. It is all sci­en­tif­i­cally proved. Or is it?

I know not much of sci­ence but two things I do know.

One is that if you wish to prove some­thing sci­en­tif­i­cally you ab­so­lutely must not start with the des­ti­na­tion you wish to achieve and pro­ceed to­wards it ac­cept­ing only those pieces of ev­i­dence that suit and re­ject­ing ev­ery­thing that seems to point the other way. The sec­ond is that you must con­vinc­ingly dis­prove all al­ter­na­tive explanatio­ns.

But the fa­nat­ics have not done that – at least not to my sat­is­fac­tion and that of thou­sands of eru­dite sci­en­tists.

I know that of all the many branches of sci­ence none has more mys­ter­ies and “we-don’tknows” than cli­ma­tol­ogy. There are mil­lions of vari­ants in cli­ma­tol­ogy that we study but have not yet fath­omed.

So is hu­man ac­tiv­ity 10 per cent re­spon­si­ble, or 20 per cent, or 50 or 100? We truly do not know. But we do know the fa­nat­ics are in con­trol now and in­tend to tax us tril­lions of pounds to pur­sue their ab­so­lute con­vic­tion based on se­lec­tive and maybe slanted sci­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.