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Roosters of the Apocalypse

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  • Roosters of the Apocalypse

    Since I became interested in the global warming / climate change controversy back in January of this year, I have acquired quite a library of books on the subject, perhaps the best of which is one that is the shortest/smallest but which impressively arranges documented references to and quotations from nearly all the rest ― in a way that comprehensively sums up the essence of the many-faceted subject.

    Roosters of the Apocalypse: How the Junk Science of Global Warming is Bankrupting the Western World (NEW REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION) was copyrighted in 2013 by the author, Rael Jean Isaac, and was published in 2013 by Bravura Books: Washington D.C. ― remarkably without any of the usual legal language forbidding any use of or quoting from the text. I have the impression that Dr. Isaac and her publisher do not wish to impede, in any way, sharing of the information she has so brilliantly presented.

    The book consists of 96 pages of text, plus a 19-page "Notes" section that contains 319 documentations of sources. The cost at Amazon.com (to me as a "√Prime" customer) is $3.75 for the Kindle Edition and/or $6.29 for the paperback edition. I suggest that you ignore information at Amazon re the first edition (still available there), for several reasons that need not be explained in this post.

    This is how the book proper begins, on page 13:
    Forward

    By Richard Lindzen

    The events in Roosters of the Apocalypse could almost be mistaken for a parody. Unfortunately, those of us who have followed this issue for decades know that they are not.

    The book's title, as Dr. Isaak explains, comes from Richard Landes's study of apocalyptic millennial movements. The classic example is that of South African Xhosa tribe's futile attempt, led by what Landes refers to as the society's Roosters, to defeat the British by sacrificing their cattle and crops in the hope that this would induce their ancestors to come to their rescue.

    This is the paradigm invoked by Dr. Isaak for our current bizarre war on energy. In doing so, Dr. Isaak appropriately, in my view, places the current concern over climate in the realm of social anthropology rather than science. This is an extremely important observation.

    In an earlier book, But Is It True? A Citizen's Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues, the late Aaron Wildavsky argued that the only way for the ordinary citizen to assess environmental issues based on science was to dig seriously into the science by reading the professional literature. Although Wildavsky offered a methodology for doing this and showed how it could be done, there is little question that his approach was ultimately quixotic.

    Rael Isaak, on the other hand, shows that the issue has its origins in a much older opposition to the development of the modern industrial world and that the specifics of the climate issue are merely a riff on the broader motivation. She makes it evident that the nonscientist need only be a sentient human being in order to see the intellectual incoherence of the argument concerning both energy and climate as well as the obvious corruption of science itself displayed in the infamous Climategate emails. Dr. Isaac illustrates this with merciless precision.

    The enemy of the Xhosa was the oppressive British, and the ideal the tribe sought to restore was the world before the British arrived. Isaac quotes the former head of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth (David Brower) as saying that for the environmental movement, the enemy was the energy that was "applied in vast amounts to tools with which we began to tear the environment apart." The presumed ideal was the preindustrial era.

    I can't help suspecting that the real enemy of such movements is the common man, whose condition was vastly improved by the massive improvements in energy technology. It is, therefore, no surprise that polls show that support for climate alarm is rapidly evaporating among the population at large but continues to engage the fevered enthusiasm of the privileged. For the privileged, it matters little whether energy is provided by modern fuels or the sweat of the common man. Environmentalists might argue that they merely want more sustainable forms of energy. However, as Dr. Isaacs notes, although such sources as nuclear and natural gas were once favored by environmentalists, environmental support for any source of energy ceases when that source proves viable, as observed by Peter Metzger in the '70s.

    Rael Isaac's brief work adds clarity and insight to an issue that has profoundly lacked both. It is also a pleasure to read.

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