"He throws down his language, and his words a foot and a half long..."
News has come this morning that the Government and the Maori Party have done a deal to pass the Emissions Trading Scheme.
We are receiving these Glad Tidings (tm) with crashing indifference.
In my capacity as resident sprite, I have observed many religious rituals, from Holy Communion to the Juggernaut. The discovery of a new cult is at the least interesting--and the ritual prostration of the Chattering Classes before Mother Gaia is certainly that.
They send their children on missionary trips. To the accompaniment of choirs of angels, they harken unto their High Priests. They send out snake oil salesmen to sell indulgences.
This insight is not new, but it bears repeating. People cannot live without a religion.
And now, we have one: the salvation of Holy Mother Earth, complete with heretics, sinners, priests, an economy of grace, and all the pompous and bloviating apparatus of sanctimony without goodness.
Is climate change real?
Even accepting the claims of global warming, the demonisation of dissidents, the glory in self denial, the evangelical zeal and the canting clap-trap which goes with it does no service to the cause of real environmental stewardship.
Does anyone think taxing cows will help save the planet?
Does anyone think New Zealand martyring itself in the cause of green-ness (as we arguably have for free trade) will make one jot of difference to rapidly industrialising India and China?
Does anyone really think that even if the threat is real, and we adopted the targets, they would save us?
And further, does anyone think that even if we can save the planet, we should hire the government to create the system and push the innovation?
(Health which doesn't cure sick people, an education system with a tail longer than a boa constrictor, and welfare which keeps far too many people down--and we want to give them the environment as well?)
Enough. Let us do what we can by all means. But let us not pretend that Salvation cometh with a government label--especially one worked out by Committee.
In honour of our New Missionaries, we offer the quintessential hymn of missionary urgency--a little adapted--and wish them good luck. If they want to keep Greenland's mountain Icy, they better start now.
From Greenland's Icy Mountain
From Greenland’s melting mountains, from India’s smoky strand;
Where Afric’s third world fountains smelt down their golden sand:
From much polluted river, from many a warming plain,
They call us to deliver their land from carbon's chain.
What though the sulfrous breezes blow soft o’er Zeeland's isle;
Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?
In vain with lavish kindness the gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness bows down to wood and stone.
Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,
Shall we to those benighted the lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation! The Greenful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Al Gore His Name.
*Yes, yes, irony, we know....
St. Patrick and the monkish wealth of nations
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