Kevin Myers: Biggest threat to man is probably less from 'global warming' than from the hysterical myths about it
Dawn, on New Year's Day, 2010. A silver florin of a moon was setting, west by north-west, as the sun rose in the opposite quadrant. That moon, fat and full and fair, had shone throughout a cloudless Arctic night, during which a patina of glittering hoar frost had been laid on every single object, from horizon to horizon.
Now the entire landscape glittered beneath its fading beams, and the pale shadows still cast by its lunar glow lay pointing towards the rising sun. Trees and hedges glittered in the last moments of the night's regime: a new day, the first of the year, was breaking to the east.
In a single instant, the world changed. The shadows cast by the submarine light of the moon vanished, and in that same moment, were succeeded by opposite ones, cast by the sun. I had never seen such a thing, but there it suddenly was, happening before my eyes, with the first moonset and the first sunrise on the first dawn of the first day of this decade.
The white of the frost and the frozen snow, which before had glowed like smouldering phosphorus, was suddenly edged with roselight, as the sun made its vulgar, bawdy arrival upon the south-eastern skyline. The myriad filaments of the trees suddenly became pink maps of mammalian capillary systems, stripped of all mammal flesh.
As the sun rose, the tincture of pale blood departed, and in this new, cold, hard light, the landscape glittered as millions of ice-molecules reflected the zealous, angry photons that had left the surface of the sun just four minutes earlier.
The sun is our author and our lord. It commands our tides and our times. Silly people gather expensively at exotic venues and vapour nonsense about global warming and carbon footprints.
Things are happening, to be sure. But can mere mortal man be causing the glaciers of the world to melt, as some clearly are?
The world overall is growing warmer largely in the falsified computer imagery of the new global theorists, who have taken over from where the communists left off. Instead of the deluded and fanciful statistics of the Five Year Plan, or the Great Leap Forward, we are fed the dogmatic mumbo jumbo of weather ideology.
We are told the summers are "warmer", though we watched the rain trickle coldly down the pane, June through to September.
We are assured that the winters are becoming milder, even as we emerge from the coldest December in 30 years, and in the very midst of a winter that has the makings of a 1963 or a 1947.
An ice-plain now covers much of Ireland. Roads are impassable, our meadows are tundra, and millions of sub-Arctic birds -- redwings and fieldfares -- have arrived from the bitter cold of Scandinavia and the Siberian steppes. They have not come here because man has changed the weather where they live, but because the sun has chosen to behave as the sun always does: as our master.
The men who built Newgrange knew that: so did the butchers of the Aztecs, futilely killing their young in order to placate the implacable wraths of their solar lords.
The world might be doing the same once again, as we attempt to alter the climate of the world around the demented credos of the high priests of warmism: if we stop China doing this, or Angola doing that, the world will be a better place.
An earlier generation of climatologists uttered their own incantations when they had a less credulous and less obedient audience.
In June 1974, global cooling was the front-page story of 'Time' magazine, as it reported that poor summers were resulting in catastrophic crop-loss. Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, was quoted: "I don't believe that the world's present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row."
It was rubbish of course, even though propounded by the foremost climatologists in the world. Their successors are at it again.
What have I learnt this year? This. That if you reduce peanuts to powder in your coffee-grinder and lay it on the snow, you have a wonderful feed that small birds can easily eat and digest.
And this. That cock blackbirds would rather fight than feed, even while smaller birds are devouring what might well be a diminishing supply of food on the snow. But if rooks or jackdaws are present, the blackbirds don't fight, but will eat in brotherly peace.
There now: that's what I've learnt this year, on the day that I saw sunshadows and moonshadows swap sides at dawn. It's probably a more useful lesson than were the warnings of global cooling in 1974, or of global warming in 2009.
Sure, the climate is changing, but then the climate has always changed. The biggest threat to mankind is probably less from "global warming" than from the hysterical myths about it which have besotted and beguiled the world's scientific community, and the potentially ruinous political initiatives which could result.
The sun disposes: it gives, and it takes away. And we are behaving like demented Aztecs when we try to change the future of the entire world to our own design.