A climate of levitation?

As M. Simon's post on magick reminded me of the practical impediments to willing something to happen (or not), my thoughts drifted back to that marvelous demonstration of magical impotence in 1967, during which the Pentagon failed to levitate as the demonstrators hoped.

And as my thoughts further, um, drifted to the recent snow, I wondered... Just how many of the AGW crowd believe in magical thinking, in teleology? Might there be a division between the scientists in their ranks and the true believers who imagine things like cities and continents underwater? Like poet Al Gore, who imagines this:

One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea

Geez. I hate to be a spoilsport, but isn't making a continent disappear a taller order than levitating the Pentagon?

What will they do if the plans don't work out? And what are the implications? If global warming is politics, and politics is like war, then the proponents of the theory must wish devoutly that the nightmare scenario they envision happens, or at least start to happen, so they will be proven right and get what they want, while the other "side" will want them to fail, and thus wish it not to happen. From a Machiavellian perspective, this can be reduced to "cold" logic. "Coldening" is in the interest of the opponents of AGW theory, while warming is in the interest of the proponents. But of course the climate itself is not subject to persuasion.

Hence Climategate.

It is to be devoutly hoped that genuine scientists are not teleologists, for with all due respect to magic (and magick), I think it's fair to say that scientific magical thinking is unprofessional.

But what about the other, non-scientist, blatantly political AGW faction? The "Imagine" people. What are they imagining? Are they hoping for warming? Do they actually pray for the catastrophes they predict? I hope not, because that would be downright mean-spirited and negative and evil -- at least as mean-spirited as Rush Limbaugh hoping for Obama to fail. And they condemned that, didn't they?

If we return to levitating the Pentagon, it could be argued that the goal (at least from the perspective of the levitators) was a good thing. But here, unlike the case of the Pentagon, the goal of the wishes is admittedly a bad thing. Doesn't this place the teleological warmists in an inherent conflict of interest?

Think about it; if they want to be the good guys and catastrophe makes them happy, while the bad guys are made happy by uneventful normality, the good guys must be suffering from a bad karma overload by now.

I should feel sorry for them. Please forgive my levity.

MORE: Gerard Van der Leun explains how Al Gore's poem will cause mass suicide.


Maybe this teleology business is more powerful than I realized.

posted by Eric on 12.09.09 at 09:59 AM


Speaking of "wishing makes it so", do you remember the moronic Hundredth Monkey Hypothesis, touted by so many New Agers back in the 80's?

In brief, if you get a few monkeys to believe something, then their psychic vibrations will cause all the other monkeys to believe it, too.

pst314   ·  December 9, 2009 10:55 AM

We, in Oregon, have a fully developed Pixie Dust industry. Our state is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Pixie Dust.

The failure of the proposed levitation is a direct failure of the levitators to have assured themselves a sufficiency of Pixie Dust, hence, Oregonians must suffer higher unemployment rates as scab levitators fail to support our Pixie Dust Industry.

If you don't support our native Pixie Dust Industry, why should we continue to invest heavily in Pixie Dust?

Our goal is your goal. A little solidarity here, please?

OregonGuy   ·  December 9, 2009 11:00 AM

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