UK: Global warming - beyond debate?Times Higher Education. That strange but powerful social phenomenon, first described by Charles Mackay in 1841, turns a widely shared prejudice into an irresistible 'authority'. Could it indeed represent the final triumph of irrationality?
After all, how rational is it to pass laws banning one kind of light bulb (and insisting on their replacement by ones filled with poisonous mercury vapour) in order to 'save electricity', while ploughing money into schemes to run cars on...electricity? How rational is it to pay the Russians once for fossil fuels, and a second time for permission (via carbon credits) to burn them? And how rational is it to suppose that the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere take between 200 and 1,000 years to be felt, but that solutions can take effect almost instantaneously?
Whether rational or not, global warming theory has become a political orthodoxy. So entrenched is it that those showing any resistance to it are described as 'heretics' or even likened to 'Holocaust deniers'.