Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Home COVID-19 The cancel cultists frightening us with Covid hobgoblins

The cancel cultists frightening us with Covid hobgoblins

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HAVE you been cancelled? I don’t mean by an NHS doctor or surgeon – a regular enough occurrence these days because we are ‘protecting the NHS’.  

No, I mean have you been turned into a non-person; refused the right to speak in a public arena or on the BBC? Universities have been doing it regularly. If you are not ‘woke’, then you are ‘cancelled’.

The American scholar and essayist H L Mencken (1880-1956) said: ‘The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.’

Covid is such a hobgoblin (not entirely imaginary, but mostly so) and ‘climate change’ is another. It is no coincidence that ‘global warming’ became the new crisis in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall fell and the ‘Red Menace’ virtually disappeared overnight. We exchanged one hobgoblin for another.

The result was a new religion, or a tweak of an older religion stemming from the so-called Enlightenment and the Romantics – a bunch of mostly drug-soaked poets and artists who in effect worshipped ‘Nature’.

Like all religions, it needed its prophets, priests and scriptures. Regarding scriptures, the seminal book was Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring which has caused – and is causing – more death and misery than Mein Kampf and Das Kapital put together.

The priests are the ‘environmentalists’ and the prophets are characters such as Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, who has made more false predictions than I have had hot dinners.

Then you need to have crusades, and we can see how St Greta has successfully led a children’s crusade.

Daily the BBC treats us to a succession of ‘environmental’ fears, extinctions being the latest craze. David Attenborough is the great High Priest of this, even though he does not actually believe the carbon dioxide mythology.

You may not contradict the religious dogma or you are treated as a heretic. Many real scientists have suffered this fate. I know of several. Recently an environmentalist, Michael Shellenberger, ‘came out’ as sceptical of an approaching catastrophe in his book Apocalypse Never.

He has been promptly cancelled. His book is very readable and – a bit of a plot spoiler – explains why whales were not saved by protest groups, but by the oil industry!  

Or why there is a reduction in insects in the UK. Nothing whatever to do with farmers and farming, but to do with Germany’s wind farms. Many insects migrate (or are blown) across the Channel and one-third of them are splattered on to wind turbine blades.  

So when you notice fewer squashed bugs on your windscreen than normal, remember those wind turbine blades covered in dead insects!

Reverting to the supposed Covid pandemic, or – more precisely – panicdemic. If you express the considered view that the best approach would be to protect the vulnerable but allow the infection to spread among the general population to build community immunity (the exact opposite of Government/NHS policy to date), you will be cancelled.

Take the case of Professor Michael Levitt, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2013 (for protein modelling of receptor sites for viruses such as Covid, among other things).  

There was to be a special conference with Levitt as the honoured lead speaker. But he has expressed the considered view that Covid is not a serious disease and that the panic measures in the developed world are quite unnecessary.

 

The conference was cancelled because other speakers refused to share the platform with him. 

Levitt is one of the most careful and thorough scientists in his field. I have this from a colleague of his at Cambridge who knew him well.

If you think that belief in witches in the past was something strange and barbaric, think again. We live in an age which is far worse, both in its superstitious ignorance and its viciousness.
 

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Philip Foster
Revd Philip Foster is the author of While the Earth Endures: creation, cosmology and climate change.

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