The Irish Government’s mooted plan to slaughter some 200,000 cattle has been getting a great deal of attention this week. It is said, implausibly, that doing so will help save the planet from global warming, although prominent commentators, such as Jordan Peterson and Elon Musk, have been quick to point out that, as policy measures go, it looks, well, quite mad.
A warning to everyone: https://t.co/6pCFCwRWxd
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) June 5, 2023
Sudden urges to slaughter herds of cattle are, however, not without historical precedent. In 19th-century South Africa, a child prophetess named Nongqawuse persuaded her people, the Xhosa, that if they slaughtered all their livestock and burnt down their granaries everything would be miraculously replaced. Of course, when they tested her claims out, the reality was very different and, cattle being the basis of their economy, the policy resulted in the utter destruction of their society. Ireland beware!
The story of the cattle killings is told in The Grip of Culture, a new book that will soon be published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (full disclosure: I am the book’s editor). Its central theme is that, like the Xhosa, our society is now being directed by what is known as a ‘cultural entity’ (or ‘a culture’ for short); the term covers both religions and extreme political movements – secular religions, if you like. The culture we are facing is, of course, climate catastrophism.