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The Global Warming religion

I havent posted much to this site as the two sides in this debate had become very fanatical and I dont like dealing with fanatics. Since the site is dedicated to looking at both sides of the debate, fanaticism made that impractical. Regardless of the validity of a claim by one side, the other side always condemned it as a lie. Rarely was there scientific discussion as to the validity of the claim or how it was misunderstood but rather a general condemnation. Even the discussion that the other side was unreasonable has become fanatical can you ever envision a reasonable conversation between Hannity and Gore?

This morning I read a great article on the religion of global warming.  It was in the Wall Street Journal and therefore copyrighted so I am not going to produce it in entirety here.  I will point out some worthwhile paragraphs though.

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don’t oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

This week, the conclave of global warming’s cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years. The idea is to come up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year, and to require rich countries to pony up $100 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the alleged effects of climate change. This is said to be essential because in 2017 global warming becomes "catastrophic and irreversible," according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse.

The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won’t be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won’t make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they’ve spent it all on Greece.

Cap and trade is a dead letter in the U.S. Even Europe is having second thoughts about carbon-reduction targets that are decimating the continent’s heavy industries and cost an estimated $67 billion a year. "Green" technologies have all proved expensive, environmentally hazardous and wildly unpopular duds.


That’s where the Climategate emails come in. First released on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit two years ago and recently updated by a fresh batch, the "hide the decline" emails were an endless source of fun and lurid fascination for those of us who had never been convinced by the global-warming thesis in the first place.

But the real reason they mattered is that they introduced a note of caution into an enterprise whose motivating appeal resided in its increasingly frantic forecasts of catastrophe. Papers were withdrawn; source material re-examined. The Himalayan glaciers, it turned out, weren’t going to melt in 30 years. Nobody can say for sure how high the seas are likely to riseif much at all. Greenland isn’t turning green. Florida isn’t going anywhere.

The reply global warming alarmists have made to these dislosures is that they did nothing to change the underlying science, and only improved it in particulars. So what to make of the U.N.’s latest supposedly authoritative report on extreme weather events, which is tinged with admissions of doubt and uncertainty? Oddly, the report has left climate activists stuttering with rage at what they call its "watered down" predictions. If nothing else, they understand that any belief system, particularly ones as young as global warming, cannot easily survive more than a few ounces of self-doubt.

Meanwhile, the world marches on. On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm. Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions. Expect Mayan cosmology to take a hit to its reputation when the world doesn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012. Expect likewise when global warming turns out to be neither catastrophic nor irreversible come 2017.

Now if only we could convince both sides of this issue to have a logical and scientific conversation about the issues.

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2 Responses to “The Global Warming religion”

  1. It really isn’t logic that is needed in the debate. If you talk to most people, they will say something like the following (and this applies to the supposed harms of cigarettes as well): “Oh, I know the science is exagerrated…but if it makes the Earth a little cleaner, I’m not against it….” And this is a logical conclusion, given that people adhere to the idea of “useful fictions.” Just as it is good to make a child think that monsters live in the irrigation ditch up on the hill – to scare them away and keep them from possibly falling in and drowning – so it is good to make the public think that overindulgence harms the planet. This is all very logical, especially when you come to the table with the assumption that people are at bottom very foolish. But at the end of the day, the people see through it, and go along with the charade, just as they’d go along with their children on Christmas. My assertion is that logic is not enough – we need a thirst for truth. A ‘scientific conversation about the issues’ is also not enough – it won’t happen unless people care enough to find the truth.

  2. But when that “fiction” means the massive redirection of limited wealth to projects that won’t help then the fiction becomes detrimental. Instead of trying to head off global warming to save the million lives that it might cost the world (especially if it is a fiction) for far less money we could supply AIDS medecine or malaria nets to far more people and therefore save more lives. By inappropriately using resources to “save the world” we are hurting the use of those resources to actually save the world.