As rival magazines started to crank out the usual unquestioning pieces in the run up to Copenhagen, I wondered if all architects agreed with their institute's line. I had recently talked to a scientist, now retired from the Met Office, who said he thought the emphasis on CO2 concentration was 'misplaced' and told me, off the record, that the Met's new computerized climate models did not tally with the old models.
I wrote my weekly leader arguing the reason that so few architects had turned up to listen to the secretary of state for energy Hillary Benn talking at RIBA's headquarters the week before might be because of "a weariness with a government that trots out the same line year after year — that climate change is predominantly man made — without allowing this claim to be challenged, despite the growing wealth of scientific evidence that it is not".Brava!
The reaction was swift and shocked. ....
I should have known better than check my BlackBerry late on a Friday night when the bloggers, fortified by a few drinks, really get going. I soon realized that what I saw as provocative journalism had put me in the camp of the climate deniers- a sort of outer darkness from which you can only come back if you undergo re-education and a public apology. Along with the anonymous RIBA member who said I should have the word 'bitch' tattooed across my forehead, my critics said I was clearly mad, dangerous, and most likely in the pay of the petrol-chemical industries. "Calling for debate on this issue is like calling for debate on evolution. The debate is settled" thundered one.
I came to the conclusion that the journalists who work on the Guardian environment desk do my job for me. The people who flock to its web site to "hunt down the unbeliever" make its cause look even less credible. They claim to argue from a scientific viewpoint but reject anything that conflicts with this regardless of its value. They are a vicious bunch that like nothing better than a good punch up. But what they hate with a passion is a journalist, like myself, entering the fray. How dare I.
But I did dare, and I have no regrets.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.