The fervor of the climate-change cataclysm crowd is often rightfully compared with religiosity. As the late Michael Crichton observed, radical environmentalism’s tenets run parallel with foundational Judeo-Christian traditions: “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.” In other words, we have poisoned pristine Earth through technological advance and will ultimately be punished by Mother Nature (rather than Father God) for our brazen selfishness.
Another climate change skeptic, Australian geologist Ian Plimer, recently made direct comparisons between the global warming faithful and “fundamentalist” creationists, “who, when challenged, become quite vicious and irrational.” This statement gave me pause, because although I largely agree with Plimer’s (and Crichton’s) skepticism of warming “science” and its religious undercurrents, I see little evidence today of Christians becoming “vicious and irrational” about anything – including creation – despite being the targets of a never-ceasing onslaught from the secular establishment in the media, judiciary and academia.
The war on Christianity in America isn’t new. Prayer in schools and public displays of Judeo-Christian symbols have been restricted by the government for years. Christians are frequently lampooned by Hollywood in movies and on television. Churches are targeted by militant homosexual activists. Christian views are rejected in campus classrooms across the country. But rarely do we see news of Christians lashing out irrationally in response to these injustices, much less to the general rejection of their beliefs by secular elites.
Rather than Christians, the global warming faithful are actually more akin to another religious group that does lash out “viciously and irrationally” to those who challenge their “science”-based views: neo-Darwinian evolutionists. And while observers such as Plimer may prefer to compare climate alarmists with Christians, only the theories of the former are being pushed by the media and academic establishment as an undisputed, scientifically based lens through which man and the universe are interpreted – much like neo-Darwinian evolution.
Those who question evolution, even on the basis of scientific evidence, are shunned by Darwin’s disciples, either in court or by their employers and peers. A science textbook disclaimer that says evolution is a theory rather than a fact is found to violate the First Amendment’s restriction on Congress establishing a state religion. Any questioning of the theory by anyone in a position of import is ultimately quashed by the neo-Darwinist zeitgeist that demands complete ideological conformity to its precepts. Nearly every book, educational program and news story that references evolution does so with the presumption that the theory has been proven beyond all doubt; it is as certain as the fact that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Indeed, for the establishment, neo-Darwinian evolution is not simply a theory or even an endeavor of scientific inquiry; it is law.
Regardless of whether one accepts neo-Darwinian macroevolution, it is undeniable that the theory has cemented itself as truth into nearly every aspect of Western civilization (and beyond). Once simply the domain of biology and other hard sciences, the idea that the universe and humankind are the products of undirected evolutionary processes has infiltrated every modern field of study, including seemingly unrelated disciplines like journalism.
Further, the application of evolutionary theory has for some time extended beyond the realm of the hard sciences and into areas once the province of religion alone. A holistic neo-Darwinian worldview seeks to answer existential questions of morality, human behavior and the afterlife (there is none). And regardless of what metaphysical issue or field of study evolution addresses, it does so from the position of inviolable truth.
The theory of manmade global warming is approaching a similar point of unassailable “truth,” in which it underpins all understanding of the environment and our relation to it – much in the same way evolutionary biology (once only a theory) became the foundation for all modern science (and more). In nearly every mainstream news story about the environment, human-caused global warming is almost invariably accepted as established truth. Its mention is rarely tempered with skepticism and critics are – like creationists – relegated to crackpot status, often discredited for receiving a few petrodollars (as if the billions backing climate “research” have no influence).
If left unchallenged, so-called manmade global warming will reside in the cultural consciousness the same way neo-Darwinian macroevolution does: unquestioned, irrefutable and all-defining. It will no longer be simply a theory regarding a certain aspect of the natural world. It will be an entrenched framework through which existence is understood and in relation to which mankind must operate. The next few years may be pivotal in preventing climate alarmism from being firmly established, irrevocably, as the next “scientific” religion.
An Obama administration steeped in the dogma of global warming hysteria is promising to make major changes to the outgoing president’s handling of the issue. Obama has established himself as a high priest in Al Gore’s church of unbending global warming orthodoxy, declaring recently that “few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.” The longer the drum of “beyond dispute” is beat, the closer manmade climate change moves toward neo-Darwinian evolution status as a basic construct of the world thought structure.
Carbon cap-and-trade regimes, increased environmental regulation of the auto industry and Kyoto-esque treaties circulating through Congress in the next four years may present global warming skeptics with perhaps a final serious opportunity to make their case. With such economically draconian measures on the cusp of implementation, those who question the writ of global warming must take a stand against not only their enactment, but also against the ideology and “science” that motivates them. Only a full-on assault against global warming alarmists’ underlining claims will hold any hope for preventing the need to repair the erosion of liberty and economic prosperity that Obama’s initiatives will exact. But the debate is also needed to preclude global warming theory from becoming, à la neo-Darwinism, a full-fledged worldview that infects nearly every aspect of societal consciousness. The alternative for the global warming skeptic will be banishment, with new-world creationists and intelligent design proponents, to the isle of the discredited – until, of course, that day arrives when the undeniable truth of reality exposes the theories and computer models for the frauds they are. Nonetheless, the damage wrought in the interim would not be worth the wait.