This is just an idle thought, prompted by the kerfuffle about British scientists' emails [check the news -- too complicated to spend time summarizing it here].
Opponents of proposals to curb carbon emissions seem to focus all of their fire on the claim that the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused primarily by human actions. Why on earth does that matter? HIV-AIDS was not caused by human action. Polio was not caused by human action. Earthquakes and tsunamis are not caused by human action. Is that a reason not to try to do something about them? The geological record demonstrates decisively that major changes in the earth's climate can bring results [ice ages, etc] that would be devastating to human life as we know it today. We know that we are in an inter-Ice Age period, and perhaps what we are witnessing is the onset of yet another such climate change. If what we do can have an effect on the speed or severity of the change, then we ought to do it, no?
Another idle thought, on a totally different subject [but not really so]. Yesterday, I took Susie to the Judea Reform Synagogue in Durham where my Marx course met, and where her course on the First Amendment is still meeting [she cannot do highway driving anymore, and there seems to be no other way to get there]. While her course was meeting, I wandered about, reading some Freud for my up-coming course, and reading the stuff on bulletin boards. On a table in front of one of the bulletin boards, I came across a copy of Tim LeHaye's latest novel in the Left Behind series. For those who are totally out of touch with the real America, these are the fabulously successful novels that chronicle the miseries and struggles of those who are left behind to confront the Antichrist after the Rapture [if you really don't know what the Rapture is, you need to check it out on the web right away -- this is what is obsessing a major fraction of the American public, even more than Michael Jackson's death or Tiger Woods' indiscretions. Almost up there with American Idol.]
Anyway, I had assumed, without ever actually reading any of them, that the Left Behind novels were rather well written, albeit based on a crazy premise. Not so. Judging from my dipping into the novel I found, these are the cheesiest, schlockiest, worst written novels I have ever encountered. Next to them, Romance Novels look like Jane Austen. It is bad enough that a sizable fraction of the American public believes utter nonsense. The real crime is that their literary sensibilities, such as they may be, are being corroded. Far, far better if they spent their time reading the King James version of the Bible.