Whither Climate Change?
I have said before that much of modern environmentalism is little more than a secular religion and a pseudo-faith. It has become a leading cause to commit to, with faith often trumping fact. And those who do not go along with the orthodox line are treated as heretics and apostates, and treated accordingly.
Of course by now the facts are well and truly catching up with even diehard true believers who had failed to acknowledge the evidence. But you can tell the tide is turning when even mega-PC papers like the New York Times almost start to concede that the gig is up when it comes to global warming.
As Timothy H. Lee writes, “It appears that the new scientific consensus is also unraveling. This week, The New York Times ran its own article entitled ‘What to Make of a Warming Plateau.’ ‘As unlikely as this may sound,’ it began, ‘we may have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming.’ Well, it wasn’t ‘unlikely’ to anyone living outside the global warming echo chamber. And ‘lucked out’ is apparently its euphemism for ‘been completely, embarrassingly wrong.’
“Regardless, this amounts to a milestone mea culpa from one of global warming orthodoxy’s loudest trumpets: ‘The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the past 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace. The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists’.”
He continues, “The same Times article assures us that carbon emissions cause a greenhouse effect: ‘We certainly cannot conclude, as some people want to, that carbon dioxide is not actually a greenhouse gas. More than a century of research thoroughly disproves that claim.’
“Presumably, the century of research disproving that claim is totally separate from the research that previously assured them of impending global warming cataclysm. ‘Rising temperatures,’ it wrote on June 16, 2002, ‘are not a topic of debate or distraction.’
“Meanwhile, this week the International Energy Agency announced that global carbon dioxide emissions increased 1.4% in 2012 to a record 31.6 gigatons. Accordingly, carbon emissions have continuously increased to record highs, yet temperatures over the past two decades have flattened. Perhaps the prevailing climate orthodoxy at the Times will finally move from the front page to its more rightful place in the obituaries.”
The inability to think critically is a big problem here. The true believers prefer faith over critical analysis. Anthony J. Sadar, “a life-long atmospheric and environmental scientist and long-time college-science educator,” says that getting students to think critically is a vital task for all educators.
For example, consider the alarmist poster which begins with these words: “Scientists have warned that climate change could bring stronger, more destructive storms….” He tells his students to think critically here: “Each sentence can be evaluated literarily and scientifically.
“As literature, students could be challenged to examine the style, flow, and tone of the message. The highlighted first sentence could be assessed for its real substance: Who are these ‘scientists’ who have such a dire warning? How many are we talking about, 2, 10, every scientist? Is the statement too nebulous to even have serious meaning, regardless of the one example of Sandy that follows? Furthermore, phrases like ‘crashing down’ and ‘reign of terror’ could be parsed for their effect on eliciting deep emotions and inciting readers to ‘doing something to save the planet.’
“From the science perspective, how is ‘stronger’ and ‘more destructive’ actually determined, including considering measurement techniques, availability of historic records, increased population and property development, and the like? Further, what is meant by ‘largest tropical storm on record’? In reality, how extensive and extreme was the storm’s ‘reign of terror’?”
But exactly because global warming has become an article of faith for so many, we fail to see such careful thinking and analysis. British MP Peter Lilley recently spoke to this very matter. He begins: “G.K. Chesterton said that ‘when people stop believing in orthodox religion, rather than believe in nothing, they will believe in anything’. One of the ersatz religions which fills the void in recent years is belief in Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming. It claims to be based on science. But it has all the characteristics of an eschatological cult.
“It has its own priesthood and ecclesiastical establishment – the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; they alone can interpret its sacred scriptures – the Assessment Reports; it anathematises as ‘deniers’ anyone who casts doubt on its certainties; above all it predicts imminent doom if we do not follow its precepts and make the sacrifices it prescribes.
“What most clearly distinguishes the Catastrophic Global Warming cult from science is that it is not refutable by facts. As Parliament enacted the Climate Change Bill, on the presumption that the world was getting warmer, it snowed in London in October – the first time in 74 years. Supporters explained ‘extreme cold is a symptom of global warming’!
“The Met Office – whose climate model is the cult’s crystal ball to forecast centuries ahead – has made a series of spectacularly unreliable short term forecasts: ‘Our children will not experience snow’ (that was 2000, before the recent run of cold winters), a barbecue summer (before the dismal 2011 summer), the drought will continue (last spring before the wettest summer on record). Now they say that rain and floods are the new normal. But – hot or cold, wet or dry – global warming is always to blame.
“Alarmists are reluctant to admit that the global surface temperature has not increased for 16 years, despite CO2 emissions rising far more than predicted. They wave this inconvenient truth away with the non-sequitur that this decade is the hottest since records began, so the world is still warming.”
He concludes, “This cult enables adherents to feel morally superior at little personal cost. Buy a Prius or vote Green and save the planet. Unfortunately, costly renewables are driving many into fuel poverty and manufacturing jobs overseas. Action by Britain is pointless unless China, India and Africa join in. They are most vulnerable to climate change. But they are vulnerable because they are poor.
“They will remain poor until they harness energy like us. Requiring them to forego fossil fuels in favour of renewables costing several times more condemns them to remain poor. The cult requires sacrificing the poor to Gaia. As Professor Bruckner concludes: ‘save the earth, punish mankind’.”
But don’t just take my word for it. For starters, take the word of 31,487 American scientists who have signed a petition which states that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will, in the forseeable future, cause heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.”
14 Replies to “Whither Climate Change?”
One sacrafice of this Green religion is the western economies and their poor. What people on the Left and Right frequently don’t understand is just how costly the Carbon Tax and the Renewable Energy Target (which the Abbott government disgracefully supports).
Driving up the cost of energy hits our most important industries – mining and manufacturing. These are jobs where we actually make stuff and contribute to the world economy so they are absolutely vital – unlike service sector jobs, retail, finance. It was having such a productive mining sector that kept us mostly out of recession.
On top of this, driving up the cost of energy hits the poor the most. The very wealthy don’t care what their household bills are but the poorest of the poor do. Having a renewable energy sector ensures that the poor subsidise the rich owners of these massive wind farm companies.
Piers Akerman writes in The Carbon Tax is a Crime
Last week, Maurice Newman, a former chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange and the ABC, and long regarded as one of the country’s most respected business figures, told The Guardian that continuing taxpayer subsidies for the renewable energy target (RET) represented a “crime against the people”.
Newman owns a property near a proposed wind farm in the NSW southern highlands and may be considered to have a conflict. But his argument against the expensive subsidies relies also on their effect on poorer households, and the apparent collapse of the scientific argument…
…Wind power, which costs up to four times as much as coal or gas-fired power, can generate electricity only 30 per cent of the time, he told me.
“Those times are impossible to predict; wind has a reliability factor of a very low 8 per cent or less. Yet we are funnelling billions to set up unreliable wind turbines across Australia: money not from out of government’s coffers but from the hip pockets of every energy user in Australia.”
He then rattled off the names of some of the businesses endangered or killed because of the Green fetishists.
“This week, it was Simplot sending out a warning shot that its food manufacturing plants in Bathurst and Devonport are on the brink,” he said. “Their energy costs have risen 80 per cent. “Last week, it was SPC Ardmona saying that unless it received emergency safeguards, more of its jobs would go. Its energy costs have risen. It is struggling to compete with home brand imports.”
Damien. I think you are so right in your reminder that the MMGW theory when translated into energy policies worldwide, really means much higher energy prices all round, and consequently it is the world’s poor which suffers the most.
Tony Blair had the effrontery to state in 2005 his intention to “abolish poverty in Africa and halt climate change.”
Bill has also reminded us that the overwhelming consensus amongst scientists who have not an ideological axe to grind is that climate change is not due to human activity. Some years ago the USA based Inter-Faith Stewardship group in a statement “Call To Truth” affirmed :
1. Human efforts to stop climate change are largely futile.
2. Whatever efforts we undertake to stem our small contributions to it would necessarily divert resources from much more beneficial ones. And
3. Adaptation strategies for whatever slight warming does occur are much more sensible than costly, but futile prevention strategies.
But if there is no real scientific basis for the theory, there is even less a theological or Christian one, and three basic biblical answers can be found.
Firstly, if God is omnipresent and immanent in his own world then of necessity, as Jesus himself showed us, he still upholds that world by his powerful Word. (Heb. 1:3), so that “even the winds and the sea obey him”! God continues then to be in total control of “climate change” whenever it occurs.
Second. If true, then the destiny of this world and God’s supreme purposes for it would be denied, for man would then have the capacity to direct and control the created order, and to “undo” the effects of the Fall. If God is bringing the whole of the created order to its final destiny then it is clear that he ordains every stage in that process, not man!
Third. The Bible from Genesis to Revelation makes clear God’s overruling providence and direction of ALL events including natural phenomena and his mastery over inanimate nature. He works all things after the counsel of his own will (Eph. 1:11)
Our cocksure climate alarmists should take time to ponder some of the 80 or so questions which God put to his servant Job as to the mysterious origins and workings of God’s direction of all natural processes (Job 36-41)
As Christian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein put it well: “If God created a world in which certain propositions are true, he creates thereby also a world in which all propositions consequent to them are true.”
Graham Wood, UK
So who has the blind faith then?
Thank you Bill again, Ill be forwarding this on because i have good information.
Climate change did not figure in the last presidential election, indicating how low it is in people’s priorities. So, I’m just wondering what Obama is up if this report about his proposed action on climate change is reliable.
Thanks Bill for your blog. The logical beneficial result of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere is just starting to occur. Carbon dioxide is not a polluent as our Prime Minister likes to call it, it brings about more vigorous plant growth. In fact commercial horticulturists pump the gas into their igloos to obtain extra growth and this is now becoming evident on a global scale as reported in New Scientist (a left leaning weekly scientific journal) in their June 8 edition page 14. But you wont hear this on the ABC.
What I don’t understand is why the fiscal model of constant growth is so desirable to Christians like yourself. Is it because God said to ‘multiply’, which meant originally to have human offspring, but has now been construed into a general growth industry? In my mind the constant denuding of the forrests, the open cast minings, the skyscrapers for us ants to live in, the commuting to factories producing ever more garbage we don’t need, is abhorrent. The sentence: sacrificing the poor to Gaia’ is very emotive. Do we need to become globalists i.o. to be Christians?
Danuta Glendenning, NZ
But where did I say anything about “constant growth” in my article? As to your last question, we have to be concerned about the poor to be Christians. It is called loving your neighbour as yourself. And we know that the number one way to get people out of poverty is economic growth. So I am all in favour of helping the poor to get out of poverty – aren’t you?
Of course how people use wealth is an altogether different question. Wealth can be used to help others, or it can be used on self in a purely decadent, selfish, and consumerist fashion, as you mention. But it is apples and oranges to conflate the two quite different issues here.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
The biggest green house gas is water vapour which is the biggest green house gas of 95% and yet the scientists look at the 1% of green house gases which shows their science is lacking
Thank you Bill, for your thoughts on the matter. No, you didn’t mention ‘constant growth’, that’s what I gleaned from your article and some of the other writers responses. Yes, I would like it if all beings had enough food, housing and something to dress in. But on a global level it always seems to involve first world countries operating factories in third world countries to produce unnecessary items to flood our markets, leaving the third world countries with the often unrecycable rubbish and the immense pollution. I was just in China, and from the 33
travellers 32 sustained bronchial problems because of the polluted air. It seems to me that our moral poverty is much worse than the poverty of the ‘poor’. I know I’m now drifting away from the greenhouse issues, but your articles inspire me into different avenues of thinking.
Shalom, Danuta Glendenning, NZ
Thanks again Danuta
As a Christian I am of course with you in concerns about all our Western greed, materialism, consumerism and so on. All believers should agree to that. But again, it is a different matter when we examine which economic systems have actually helped the poor. Capitalism, for all its faults, turns out to be the clear winner here. And we need to therefore look more carefully at the so-called sweatshops in Third World nations. Often times they can be far less than ideal, at least from our Western standards. But often in the host countries they supply employment, higher than average wages, and a steady job which might otherwise not have existed.
But see here for more on this:
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Dear Bill, The entire climate change issue is a false religion. The climate is always changing. That is why we have weather forecasts. It is why Rockhampton has cold periods in Winter and stinking weather or poring rain in Summer. Julia Gillard and the Greens have tried to tell the carbon tax will clean up the environment like a big vacuum cleaner. Fools.
With best wishes, Franklin Wood
As someone said, we humans are unable to reverse the effects of the fall. Jesus did not call us to abolish poverty, that is a brash irrational boast which reveals the ignorance-foolishness and pride of the speaker. He only asked us to look after the poor, do for them what they can not do for themselves and no more.
It is interesting how the green religion has things exactly contrary to Christianity. With God, humans are precious, so precious he did not spare the comfort and even the life of His own son to save them, but the world is expendable and until it is, easily renewed by Him who can make things out of nothing.
I believe what we are seeing is more extremes, both hot and cold, wet and dry, the earth is ready to be rolled up like the old garment that it is.
It is absolutely tragic though that the plight of the garment industry in poor countries does not get the attention it needs until 1000 people die, though they no doubt knew that the condition of the building were not according to any safety standards. But the blame for that is to be laid at the feet of the owners and so it should be according to God’s plan of personal ownership, responsibility belongs to the person not the collective behind which every personal responsibility can be hidden.
Tas, I sounds like Obama is planning on building a new economy after he has finished destroying this one. But I suspect as long as he destroys this one he’ll be fairly content and leave the hard work for someone else.
As a sceptical scientist among many earth scientist in the same frame, I have never seen much point (for nearly 10 years now) in discussing the merits of the global warming and worry arguments because the advocates basis for all this lumbering logomachy is not science but ever changing and evolving word worries (the most absurd and indefensible of which was to try and move the focus from “global warming” to the catch all phrase of “climate change”. No physicist I know can accept that indefensible shift, let alone the inadequate discussion of black body and cloud radiation effects, CO2 fertilization and feedback loops that would test anybody half familiar with the complex gas equations we are dealing with here.
We can’t save the world, but let’s not stop trying because of real or imagined brick walls. Let’s not be distracted with the quick dismissal of earth pressures (footprints) and quick fixes that haven’t been tested. Have confidence in what we can do together and support proven ways to develop resilience and avoid disasters by planning and investing wisely. Let us not be overcome by ignorance or fear but overcome what is a reasonable basis for inertia by supporting those who know what they are doing and know how risk management can work and achieve great things by building resilience into them.