The Cult of Global Warming, er, Climate Change, er, Global Climate Disruption Grows

I have noted before in this space that in two arenas–evolution and climate change–the language of discourse tends to veer sharply into the language of faith. We are pressed to “believe” in these things and many of the trappings of religion tend to adhere to them in ways they do not adhere to say, the physics of gravitation, or hydraulics, or electrical engineering. We are offered “carbon credits” as indulgences. We can even confess our carbon sins. Heretics are offered, not so much arguments as denunciations.

And, as with all deities, spirits and inscrutable supernatural powers, Global Warming is regarded as having the mysterious power to control everything with its mysterious omnipotent might–including the murder rate in Chicago:

For from it and to it and through it are all things. There is nothing it cannot do, nothing for which it is not ultimately responsible.

There is something in the human soul that cannot resist sacralizing really huge things. Climate is a huge thing. So is the vast panoply of life. So is the universe. All of them tend to get turned into religious objects of devotion.

"No, he/she doesn't. Obviously didn't listen the tape; hasn't watched the videos."

Not Romans 13. John 8:44
"Go read the plaque on the Statue of Liberty. And don't forget that American involve ..."

Not Romans 13. John 8:44
"BS. Where is your proof of that claim. Gaming the system is what #45 and ..."

Not Romans 13. John 8:44

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  • Sean O

    All of what you say can be true. And it can still be true that man’s rapacious activities are having a large and negative influence on the climate, on the health of our planet.

    Roughly 400 years ago when the pilgrims came to America, the vast countryside clean and pure and covered in forests. Today our air & water is polluted and our fresh forests felled, replaced by asphalt parking lots and strip malls from sea to unclean sea.

    You can’t see or breath in Bejing. Animal species are pushed to extinction everywhere and the polar ice caps are retreating before our eyes. This is the result of unchecked or unconsidered human activity. This is a big problem. The vast majority of scientists agree that much of the problem is due to human activity even if they don’t understand all the interactive complexities. The few holdouts are essentially business shills, brothers of the scientists who agreed with the tobacco industry that we just don’t know if smoking is bad for you.

    • MarylandBill

      I agree that climate change and the ecology of the whole is bordering on a religion for the left. At same time, I think there is some persuasive evidence that the current global warming trend (along with all its associated impact which can include regional cooling) is tied to the massive emission of greenhouse gasses.

      The thing that gets me is that the left seems dead set to object to every source of power. Any carbon based fuel is right out, but they also object to nuclear, hydro-electric, wind and I wouldn’t be surprised if some object to solar.

    • MClark

      The forests were cut down to make farmland. If you drive across the midwest you will see much more farmland than parking lots and strip malls. Take the two lane state roads to really see the country side.

      The forests of Appalachia have made a remarkable recovery in the last 100 years or so. Our air and water are much better off then they were forty years ago. There are still concerns, problems, but its not all doom and gloom.

    • Mark’s not discounting the problem of climate change. He’s pointing out that people tend to present claims attributed to natural science on this issue using theological language.

      Focusing on the theological issue at hand, I it’s fascinating when new agers and new atheists (not attaching those labels to anyone here) grapple with the fact that humans are capable of destroying nature, yet claim that humans are no less a part of nature than whales or ants. Christian theology has an oft-overlooked answer for this apparent contradiction: the fall.

      We are called to responsible stewardship of creation; not idolatrous worship of it, and the best way to start is to reconcile our lives to nature’s God.

  • Will

    There are always people who are extreme. Ignore them. Pay attention to the science. What do most of the scientists say? This is acceptable to the Church.

  • Subsistent

    One “huge thing” I think we all tend to be overawed by, especially since modern advances in astronomy, is hugeness itself: bigness; distance; the “vast reaches of space”. Yet a mere moment’s reflection is enough to show that bigness and smallness are really utterly, radically relative and comparative: something is thought of as “big” or “small” simply because it’s bigger or smaller than something else. (When we speak of “large” or “small” without explicit comparison, we just mean something is bigger or smaller, longer or shorter, than what we reckon usual.)
    Clearly, then, there’s absolutely no reason at all why an entire solar system, even an entire galaxy, couldn’t be the size of your keyboard, say. (Supposing, at any rate, that it were somehow insulated from any interference from our galaxy’s gravitational/magnetic “fields”, or the like.)
    What I think IS awesome, is that our whole observable universe seems to be on one same scale.

  • Another thing I think we can presume is that researchers will do their best to make sure that their grant applications (and subsequent papers) include lots of buzzwords of the sort that legislators like on studies to prove that they are doing something.