The Cult of Global Warming
Global warming has become the apocalyptic cult of the new millennium. None of the other jeremiahs, throughout the ages, can hold an end-of-the-world candle to ozone-layer mystics prophesying climate Armageddon.
I just came across the ultimate Al Gore coffee table book, “The World Tomorrow: Scenarios of Global Catastrophe” by Yannick Monget.
On the jacket, the author is described as “the founder and chief representative of the Ankaa Group, an organization dedicated to conceiving and developing ambitious projects for the environmental protection of Europe.”
If that weren’t enough of a contribution to mankind, we are told Monget “has written several volumes of socially committed science fiction in France” – which didn’t sell nearly as well as Gore’s several volumes of socially committed science fiction, including “The Earth In Balance” and “The Assault on Reason.”
“The World Tomorrow” is a lavishly illustrated book that stunningly depicts ecological end-times in familiar settings.
Singapore is demolished by super tornadoes. Fires ravage downtown San Diego (made to resemble Dresden during the Allied bombing). Torrential downpours and “terrible floods” drench Central Europe. (Prague looks like Venice during monsoon season.) Berlin’s lush lawns are replaced by dusty, cracked earth. The ruins of Madrid are in the middle of a jungle. Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral is stranded in a snowy wasteland. New York City is locked in ice. And D.C. is returned to the forest primeval, with what appears to be a giant, mutant iguana crawling in front of the Capitol – oh, I beg your pardon, Senator Clinton.
This enviro-porn compliments the ravings of Global Warming’s nuttier acolytes – chimp girl Jane Goodall, at the Live Earth U.S.A. concert, squawking: “Up in the North the ice is melting. What will it take to melt the ice in the human heart?”
Not to be outdone, and demonstrating that the Kennedy clan loses brain cells with each succeeding generation (impossible as that may seem), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — son of RFK and president of something called the Waterkeeper Alliance – raved to the Live Earth audience: “Get rid of all of these rotten politicians (presumably, Republicans) we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies. This is treason and we need to start treating them as traitors!” His old man, who once worked for Joe McCarthy, would be proud.
Boy Bobbie could have put it differently: “This is heresy. And we need to start treating them as heretics!” Which way to the Global Warming auto-da-fe?
The environmentalist canon may be described thusly: 1) Global Warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions is revealed truth. 2) If we don’t repent, mankind will be eternally damned. 3) Doubters are monsters and mental defectives comparable to Holocaust-deniers and members of the Flat Earth Society. And 4) It’s time to purge our SUV sins by abolishing the industrial revolution and turning to pig manure and solar power for energy. The former may in found in abundance among Global-Warming advocates in Congress and the media.
In a 2003 speech to San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, popular science novelist Michael Crichton described the religion of environmentalism, predecessor to the Church of Global Warming:
“Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism,” Crichton disclosed. “Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. . There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability.”
Facts are irrelevant, Crichton explains, “because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation (the elect), or on the side of doom, whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.” Them being RFK Jr’s “corporate toadies,” “traitors” and other wretches yet to be saved by the amazing grace of biodegradable products.
Ditto, Global Warming. The CO2 witch doctors view a modest rise in the Earth’s temperature with the alarm of Stone Age savages in Borneo encountering a 747. It’s as if the surface temperature of the planet has been a constant for the past 5 billion years and suddenly things are heating up – due to greenhouse gases.
In reality, the Earth has regularly gone through hot and cold cycles. A thousand years ago, Viking settlements in Greenland were growing crops. (It really was green then.) When Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants in 218 A.D., it wasn’t nearly the feat many imagine. There was little ice and snow.
Reid Bryson, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is known as the father of scientific climatology. Bryson is a Global Warming iconoclast, and thus is shunned by many of his colleagues.
The professor does not doubt the Earth is warming, as we come out of what’s known as the “Little Ice Age.”
“However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide,” Bryson told a reporter for Madison.com (in an interview published on June 18). “We’ve been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It’s been warming up a long time.”
Why then do so many scientists bring offerings to the altar of the Greenhouse God? Says Bryson: “There is a lot of money to be made in this. If you want to be an eminent scientist, you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can’t get grants unless you say, ‘oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.’” Or, as Big Brother told Winston Smith: “Right thinking will be rewarded – wrong thinking punished.”
“Speaking out against global warming is like being a heretic,” Bryson significantly declares.
Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, observes that much of the recent warming trend occurred prior to 1940 – “before the emission of much greenhouse gas from human activities.”
On March 22, 2002, the Associated Press reported that a study “appearing in the March 21, 2002 issue of the journal Science analyzed ancient tree rings from 14 sites on three continents in the northern hemisphere and concluded that temperatures in an era known as the Medieval Warm Period some 800 to 1,000 years ago closely matched the warming trend of the 20th century.” Is AP in the pocket of Exxon?
Avery sees a sunny (you should pardon the expression) future: “We’re in a mild, erratic natural warming cycle (driven by a cyclical uptick in the sun’s energy) that will gradually return us to the finest weather pattern in all recorded history – the Medieval Climate Optimum (circa 900-1300 A.D.). Winters will be milder, storms less powerful, and rainfall more abundant. The polar ice caps will not melt, and the sea level will continue to rise very slowly.”
You mean the Eiffel Tower won’t end up in the middle of a lagoon? Drat!
Scientists have documented nine moderate global warming cycles and nine somewhat harsher global cooling cycles in the last 12,000 years. Each cycle lasted roughly 1,500 years and – miracle of miracles — coincided exactly with the known cycles of the sun’s magnetic activity.
But this is an inconvenient truth for the Church of CO2 Emissions. We can’t enact an international treaty to control the sun’s magnetic activity. We can’t legislate against it. Nor can it be used as a club to beat energy companies bloody or to institute the type of draconian controls over humanity for which the left has always lusted.
Global Warming a la Gore is merely the left’s latest attempt to frog-march us into its brave new world.
With Marxism (another doomsday cult), the apocalyptic vision was a world where the rich kept getting richer and the poor sank deeper and deeper into drudgery, near-starvation and despair. The party elite was the priesthood sent to exorcise these political demons.
Since then, there has been a succession of leftist secular faiths – each calling on us to repent social sin, prophesizing doom and holding out the hope of salvation if only mankind can be coercively saved from itself.
In the ’50s and ’60s, it was the military/industrial complex. Then came overpopulation. Does anyone recall Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller “The Population Bomb”? Dr. Ehrlich confidently forecast worldwide starvation and the exhaustion of natural resources sometime between 1970 and 1985, due to overpopulation. With birthrates falling worldwide, and well below replacement levels in most industrialized nations, Ehrlich joins the League of Distinguished Malthusians.
The pollution scare started with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” (1962). We were poisoning the Earth. Species were becoming extinct. We would shortly choke to death on our own garbage and toxic fumes. Part of the service for this particular faith was banning DDT – which led to millions of Third World deaths from disease-laden mosquitoes.
And now we have the Church of Global Warming, under the leadership of Pope Albert I and his college of cardinals (the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and editorial board of The New York Times).
Its Office for the Propagation of the Faith works overtime, churning out books, movies (from the fictional “The Day After Tomorrow” to the fictional “An Inconvenient Truth”), textbooks, concerts, congressional hearings, media pleading and inquisitions.
There are even children’s versions of the Ozone Bible. “Arctic Tale” (opening in theaters August 17) is a “documentary” that follows the adventures of Mama Polar Bear and Mother Walrus and their cubs, as they try to deal with catastrophic changes in their environment due to – what else? – Global Warming.
Not to worry, soon they’ll be cavorting among the ice floes of Manhattan.
As science, Global Warming ranks right up there with the Piltdown Man and the gay-gene theory.
All of the left’s quasi-religions seek to take us to the same final destination – a state of rigid control, central planning, rationing, pre-industrial living standards and flagellation to purge us of our sins.
The end of the line can be vaguely discerned. In the United Kingdom, a group of Eco-Doom fanatics, called The Optimum Population Trust, recently got hysterical over a slight blip in the British birthrate (from 1.8 children per woman in 2005 to 1.87 in 2006 – still well below the replacement level of 2.11).
In its report, the Trust noted that a child born in Britain today will have a lifetime environmental impact (carbon-dioxide output) equal to the energy consumed on 620 round-trip, trans-Atlantic flights.
Brits have to limit childbearing, the Optimum Population Trust insists. If they won’t do so voluntarily, the government should adopt coercive measures – which in China has meant forced abortions and sterilizations, and infanticide.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
How about this for a colorful coffee-table book “The World Tomorrow – Scenarios of Economic and Social Catastrophe Courtesy of the Church of Global Warming”?
This article originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com and appears here with the author’s permission.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.