Climate Alarmism is the Left’s Apocalypticism
On Rush Limbaugh’s program yesterday (6.24.19), Rush spent some time discussing the HBO show Big Little Lies and how a teacher was scaring children that the world was going to end soon because of Climate Change. One student is so distraught that she hides in a closet and faints. “She’s lying unconscious in the closet. She has attempted to escape the classroom. So they find her, they go in there, they take her to the hospital. The parents show up, of course in typical panic blaming the school, blaming the doctor, blaming everything. The doctor explains she had an anxiety attack. Her mother, who is a walking anxiety attack, asks, ‘About what?’ The doctor says, ‘She was scared to death about climate change.’”
Climate Armageddon is the new secular apocalypticism. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was nuclear destruction. That was always a possibility because the United States and the former Soviet Union had real nuclear weapons. Students were to “Duck and Cover” in case of a nuclear attack. Like this was going to do any good.
While there is great disdain for mixing traditional religious principles with science, politics, and morality, secularists don’t seem to have a problem mixing their own brand of religion with their ideology. “For many,” Douglas Young, a professor of political science and history, argues, “their new religion is politics, their faith is their ideology, and their church is their political party. Like religious zealots, they fervently believe they have a monopoly on truth and are hell-bent on spreading their convictions, whatever the consequences.”1
Unlike those who believe in ethical standards and the limitation of power in every area of life, these secular religionists have nothing to limit them in their quest to use politics to “create heaven on earth.” The result is fascism, where the State is the “true reality of the individual.” Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) defined fascism this way: “The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.” Of course, liberals don’t see their ideology as being fascist because whatever they believe is good is by its nature good, “and good things can’t be fascist by simple virtue of the fact that liberals approve of them.”2
The Religion of Science
Similar to politics, science has become a religious ideology with its own religious texts (On the Origin of Species, Relativity: The Special and General Theory, The Selfish Gene), its high priests (Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Richard Dawkins, Al Gore), its seminaries (MIT, Stanford, Harvard), and its creedal dogmatism (there is no longer a debate over global warming, and evolution is a fact). While Einstein was not an atheist, this has not stopped atheistic relativists from incorporating his relativity theorems in their secularist canon of inspired books. Paul Johnson writes:
The impact of his theory was immediate and cumulatively immeasurable. At the beginning of the 1920s, the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes: of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, above all of value. Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism. No one was more distressed than Einstein by this public misapprehension. He was bewildered by the relentless publicity and error which his work seemed to promote. He wrote to his colleague Max Born on 9 September 1920: “Like the man in the fairy-tale who turned everything he touched into gold, so with me everything turns into a fuss in the newspapers.” Einstein was not a practicing Jew, but he acknowledged a God. He believed passionately in absolute standards of right and wrong.
He lived to see moral relativism, to him a disease, become a social pandemic, just as he lived to see his fatal equation bring into existence nuclear warfare. There were times, he said at the end of his life, when he wished he had been a simple watchmaker.
The public response to relativity was one of the principal formative influences on the course of twentieth-century history. It formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture.3
This misappropriation of Einstein’s ideas has led to the break down in the way science is practiced today. Its agenda is driven to make the facts fit the theory. This is often the case because there is money to be had for “crisis” research. You don’t need money if there is nothing to fix.
For example, “Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed articles about global warming, published between 1993–2003 and found that not one disagreed with the consensus position that humans bear responsibility for climate change. Not one.” The author claimed that “None of these (928) papers argued that [current climate change is natural].” But there is disagreement among scientists on what is or is not causing an increase in global temperatures. There is also disagreement about the conclusions of the “consensus” as it is presented in the Science Magazine article. There is disagreement—a whole lot of it—but those disagreeing are often marginalized because their opinions are contrary to the received faith even though we have been warned about climate change for 100 years with no agreement whether it’s global cooling, global warming, or neither. Even so, dogmatism persists:
- Former Vice President Al Gore compared global warming skeptics to people who “believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona” (June 20, 2006) and the earth is flat (November 5, 2007).
- Gore, pushing an absolutist agenda, declared “there is no longer any serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on global warming.”
- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC view on the number of skeptical scientists as quoted on Feb. 20, 2003: “About 300 years ago, a Flat Earth Society was founded by those who did not believe the world was round. That society still exists; it probably has about a dozen members.”
- ABC News Global Warming Reporter Bill Blakemore reported on August 30, 2006: “After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate” on global warming.
Even reporters have likened anyone who questions climate alarmism to those who deny the Holocaust. “Every time you address the Holocaust, you don’t bring somebody in that says it didn’t happen. And we’re at that stage now. We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And to be honest, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference,” Bill McGuire, an earth sciences professor, said on ABC’s August 30, 2006 edition of “20/20.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen asked these questions of about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in December 2004: “Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?” He went on to say, “Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by ‘all scientists,’ you don’t have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief.” Once someone becomes a believer in global warming, he never has “to defend this belief except to claim that” his opinion is “supported by all scientists—except for a handful of corrupted heretics,” Lindzen added.
Claude Allegre, a former education minister in France and a physicist, has written Ma Verite Sur la Planete” (“My Truth about the Planet”). He likens those who follow the man-made global warming threat as religious zealots.
You can pick almost any topic and find a similar result. For those advocating abortion, to oppose “choice” is akin to the subordination of women. For those claiming that homosexuality is a genetic condition, to argue otherwise makes you a bigot. If these were just personal opinions, few people would object. But they’re the stuff of law. The impact of global warming dogmatism has resulted in Congress passing laws that tell us what types of light bulbs we have to buy. People will say, “But this is being done for our own good.” And that’s the rub.
- Douglas Young, “Secular fanatics take fervor too far,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 8, 2008), A13. [↩]
- Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 7. [↩]
- Paul Johnson, Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties, rev. ed. (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 1–3. [↩]