Imagine A Junkie Pontificating On The BBC About People's Passion For Chocolate

Imagine a junkie given space by the BBC to pontificate about people’s passion for chocolate.   Some would laugh, others would despair at the BBC turning into a all-out asylum.

Alas, it is not just a hypothetical situation. Step forward Lisa Jardine, “Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary” (at the University of London, not the inpatient unit at Roehampton Hospital).

Prof Jardine is of course completely stranger to hard drugs, however somehow managed to write an entire essay about “Climate change and craving a cause” absolutely clueless about the way “climate change” has become THE cause for its believers, rather than for the skeptics. We’re treated instead to pearls of wisdom such as:

Instead the climate sceptics have created an intricate web of their own associations and allusions, to produce their version of an alternative story which runs contrary to that of mainstream science. […] Faced with an uncertain future and declining prosperity, without religion for reassurance, what could be more comforting than to join a select band searching for the Holy Grail?

Never mind that Climategate one and two have shown how climate scientists did create an intricate web of their own associations and allusions, to produce their version of an alternative story which runs contrary to that of mainstream science, removing the Medieval Warm Period for example.

Prof Jardine has absolutely no idea about what skeptics are skeptical of, has surely never ever spoken to a skeptic, doesn’t know what climate change is (falling as she does into the old cliché of “climate change predictions“), and bases her point of view on dubious mob rules:

the continued commitment of almost all the world’s nations surely points to the fact that the danger to our planet of high-level carbon emissions is a real one […]

Attenborough’s audience have accompanied him on a personal voyage of discovery on his most recent visits to the polar regions. They have witnessed with him the changing patterns of life there, and shared his reactions to dramatic change that has taken place during his lifetime. They may feel properly in a position to share his disturbing conclusions.

I can’t imagine anything more remote from Renaissance thinking than to follow the herd of the Great and the Good.

ps There is really only one bit that might be saved from Prof Jardine’s essay:

Perhaps a more discursive approach which focuses on observable change backed up by scientific evidence may be more persuasive

Well dear Prof, have you got yourself anything to show about observable change and scientific evidence? I thought so.