I do not understand people.
I am autistic.
The second statement, to some extent, explains the first.
My autism diagnosis is a late life discovery.
[As it happens, I am HFA (High Functioning Autistic) which explains how I have been able to function within society for my lifetime of sixty years.]
For a number of years, not knowing I was autistic, I tried to figure out what was “wrong” with me: that I did not fit in with others, did not seem to be motivated by the things that seemed to motivate those around me, preferred time alone to time spent in the presence of others, and so on and so on and so on. Thus I spent a whole lot of time looking into differences between me and those around me. Trying to make sense of those differences, it meant trying to achieve two things: to understand myself and to understand others.
Not the easiest of tasks to set for oneself.
Now, I have said all of the above for one simple reason. This reason is central to my observations and efforts to understand the motivations of those who follow Climate Change.
(That is Cap C, Cap C vs small c, small c. Climate Change vs climate change. Climate Change (Cap C, Cap C) refers to what used to be termed AGW or Anthropogenic Global Warming. Since that is falling flat on its face, the practitioners are now trying to move the goal posts over into a less specific area where the same fears can be exploited more easily and for a longer period of time further into the future.)
And my reason is? Rituals.
As an autistic, I understand rituals and ritualistic behaviors in ways that resonate with my very being.
I am a person that doesn’t like change all that well. I much prefer doing things the same way over and over again. I have my daily routines (rituals) which I prefer and when they are interrupted, the interruptions tend to irritate me greatly. I am fortunate that my autism is mild and that for the most part, I am able to compensate well enough to survive (if not actually thrive) in the world of neuro-typicals (NTs or “Normals”) without drawing major undue attention to myself in the process.
So, here we are at the crux of the matter. Rituals. In every sense of the word.
To start with, visualize this scene: people standing at the top of some flat topped pyramid. There is a high priest mucky muck with a sharp knife. There is the requisite sacrificial virgin. There are onlookers and chanters and all sorts of others present. Maybe it is a volcano where they are standing instead of a pyramid. Perhaps there is just a raging river or a standing pool of water. It does not really matter the location.
What I am referring to is the inclination by some (often those in a position of authority) to sacrifice someone (a follower or a believer) in the name of or before the image of some sort of God or Gods or other deity or concept in order to spare the rest from some sort of catastrophe or doom or cataclysmic event. Such as this:
Image and below from the wiki: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritual)
Anthropologist Victor Turner defines rites of affliction actions that seek to mitigate spirits that inflict humans with misfortune. These rites may include forms of spirit divination (consulting oracles) to establish causes—and rituals that heal, purify, exorcise, and protect. The misfortune experienced may include individual health, but also broader climate-related issues such as drought or plagues of insects. Healing rites performed by shamans frequently identify social disorder as the cause, and make the restoration of social relationships the cure. [Turner, Victor (1967). The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. pp. 9ff.]
Rites of affliction. Ritualistic sacrifices. Appeasement of Gods or Angry Spirits or … or whatever the case may be. Misfortune experienced … climate related issues …
Surely in this day and age of high scientific understanding, the human race has distanced itself from such simplistic and primitive exercises? Surely!
Ummmm. Nope. At least not completely.
Consider Climate Change. (Cap C, Cap C.)
Divination or consulting oracles.
What is behind the effort of creating computer models if not a form of divination? The models are intended to forecast future events, that is to say, the divining of what the temperatures will be in how ever many years you choose to refer to. Now, these computer models are programmed into computers which are very high tech devices. Sadly though, what is the difference between this effort and the earlier methods of divination? How are these computer models any different than reading the leavings in the bottom of a tea cup, or looking at the folds and contents and shapes of animal intestines, or the geometric patterns created by a handful of sticks dropped on a flat surface, or the peering into globes of crystal? Methodology may differ, but without proof of accuracy, without demonstration of the understanding of cause and effect which in turn would demonstrate a high degree of certainty that the output is valid, how can the result(s) of computer modeling differ in any wise from intently looking at Tarot Cards? Or the entrails of a goat, chicken or other beast of one’s choosing?
Mitigating Spirits that inflict humans with misfortune.
Oh the rhetoric. The glorious foolish incredibly asinine rhetoric. I will not go into in any sort of detail, but the base idea is simple: too much CO2 is bad, bad, bad. Bad juju. Very bad juju. Must stop bad juju. Must stop bad juju by shutting down coal burning power plants, by using electric vehicles, by putting up power producing wind turbines and solar panels and all the other alternative power sources as advocated by the so-called “environmentalists” or other high mucky muck greenies.
This will take very highly reliable power grids and turn them into inconsistent and highly unreliable sources of very, very expensive, limited and rationed power. This will hurt. It will hurt the poor. It will hurt everyone but the high mucky mucks who propose these solutions. But this SACRIFICE has to be made or else all sorts of terrible bad things will occur: average temperature will climb and then there will be hurricanes and tornadoes and floods and droughts and plagues of pesky insects and ______________ (fill in the blank). But this is so. The computer model (oracle) tells us so!
Sacrificial virgin, anyone?
What has bothered me is this: why should any relatively intelligent person go along with this? It is a sham. It is a con. It is fake. Why should anyone ever be taken in by all of this?
Ever have a lucky rabbit’s foot? A horseshoe? A four leaf clover? A dream catcher, perhaps? Think of what ever object or action represents luck. Some team players might wear the same pair of “lucky socks” until they lose. A pilot I once knew always urinated on the tail wheel or landing gear before he took off. (Must have worked — he never crashed. That I know of.) Maybe something simple like knocking on wood or throwing spilled salt over one’s shoulder.
Everyone has something along these lines which simply makes them feel better. It is not a matter of belief. (The “lucky” rabbit’s foot was not so very lucky for the rabbit, now was it?) But it makes a person feel better. It gives a sense of “doing something” to prevent something bad happening, it gives one a sense of having some (regardless of how large or how small) control over things which are out of one’s control. Whether or not it actually does anything, it makes a person feel better.
So, Climate Change.
The climate (small c) is going to change (small c) and there is not anything a person can do about it. Looking back in history, temps have gone up, gone down, ice has covered places in depths measured in kilometers rather than just meters, ice sheets have melted, lakes have formed, lakes have dried up, forests have grown, forests have disappeared, grasslands have greened and thickened or turned into deserts.
And when it comes to weather, no one has any control (other than the choice of being inside or outside, or the choice of where to live.) So sunny day or blizzard, foggy morning or torrential downpour, 110 (deg f) in the shade (and there ain’t no shade) or -20 (deg f) with the wind blowing ninety-eleven miles an hour, no one has any control or method to change what is happening. What the weather is going to do, the weather does. It is completely out of the control of any human.
Everyone has experienced weather, whereas Climate is just a concept.
Then along comes some huckster promoting the idea that CO2 is bad juju. Because it is bad juju, this bad thing is going to happen, or that bad thing is going to happen. Ordinary weather is going to change into Climate and Climate is going to Change, Change, and Change and all for the worse. BUT (and this is important, this is the hook part) there is something people can do to stop it. Gotta reduce that bad juju CO2. Close down power plants. Stop using fossil fuels. Build wind turbines. Put up solar panels. Drive electric cars. And the list goes on.
Reality presents a disconnect.
Just like that rabbit’s foot or peeing on the plane wheel, doing these things will not make any difference. It might feel good doing it (even if only “just in case”) and it might make a person feel better just to be doing something (anything) rather than sitting still and letting it all happen to them, but the fact remains: whatever they do is going to make no difference what so ever. The weather is going to do what the weather is going to do. The climate (small c) is going to change (small c) in ways that it has always changed before, due to circumstances that no one or no thing has ANY CONTROL over what so ever. It has been doing so long before Mankind was around to take the blame and it will do so long after Mankind has had its day.
On a daily basis, a good share of the people, they look at what is going on, they see the truth and they shrug and go on about their business.
Hey, life isn’t necessarily all that easy, for a good share of the people. Gotta earn enough to pay the rent, to keep the repo company from taking back the car, to pay off the credit cards, to afford a stop at Starbucks or a shopping excursion to Macy’s or Walmart or Kmart or Costco, or to simply be able to put food on the table and clothes on a person’s back. That is the immediate problem, the current wolf that is scratching at the door demanding to be let in, while Climate Change (Cap C) (or weather or storms or whatever the case may be) is down the road a ways. That is something that MIGHT happen in the future, but tomorrow the landlord is going to be standing on the porch. That needs to be dealt with first.
Still and all, though, for some being able to DO something, be it marching in a parade holding up a banner showing a starving polar bear, dropping five bucks into a donation jar to support “brothers and sisters united to prevent damage to the climate”, or voting for a politician who promises to shut down fossil fuels, coal fired power plants, and support “green” electric cars, or just to go online and troll all those *$#^*!! denier sites, well that just makes a person feel better. Again, even if it amounts to nothing, IT MAKES THEM FEEL BETTER to be doing something. Anything.
It gives a measure of control over something where they have no control. Following what the high mucky mucks say to do, such as dividing one’s garbage into recyclables and non-recyclables, standing in the rain or the snow waiting for a bus instead of driving to work, protesting at the gates of a power plant or coal mine or any other option out there, even if it means more misery in the long run, at least they are DOING SOMETHING. Anything. It makes them feel better. Even if it happens to be the exact opposite of what they should be doing. Stopping those fossil fuels means those trucks which brings food to the supermarket are not going to be there. That means food is going to cost a lot more and / or there is going to be a lot less of it. Stopping those coal fired power plants and coal mines means the utility bill is going to be that much higher. And there are going to be times where there is no power. Rolling blackouts.
(Just as an aside. Consider New York City after repeated blackouts. Those who survive will relocate, no doubt.)
But, it makes those who are doing all that FEEL BETTER NOW.
They are doing something. They have a sense of being in control, even though they have absolutely zero control over what is going to happen. It makes them marginally more happy. For now.
Until reality’s bill comes due.