Redemptionists versus rationalists and the future of world prosperity

The late great Ray Evans reminded us that Professor Robert Nisbet identified the three great redemptive struggles that had had taken place in what we now call western civilisation.  The first of these was Christianity which had a major influence in the knitting together what we now regard as Western nations and in establishing a code of ethics. The second was Marxism, which in its most virulent 50 year period sought to undo much of the legacy of Christianity.

Back in 1983 Nisbet saw rampant environmentalism, then emerging, as about to become the third great redemptive movement in western civilisation.

Back in the 1980s, the Club of Rome was defining soon-to-be emergencies and raw material depletions that would undermine the possibility of sustainable growing incomes by the end of the 20th Century.  Global warming, with its far more elusive Armageddon dates, gave this a new impetus. As a theory of disaster, the validation dates of disastrous warming can be placed far into the future.

This was not always so.  While working on the issue in Michael Porter’s “think tank” the Tasman Institute in 1990, an associate, Arizona Professor Bob Balling, pointed out that the satellite data from 1979 will provide irreproachable evidence of global climate changes and, with twenty five years of data, the global warming scare will be over early in the 21st century.  Balling was right about the climate trends; actual increases, which are likely largely due to the on-going increases evident since 1800, have been around 0.4 degrees, far less than prophesised.  But the momentum persists, buttressed increasingly by commercial vested interests.

The fires in Australia have added to the scare.  Almost everyone reading this will find themselves agreeing with these conclusions by Roy Spencer:

1) Global wildfire activity has decreased in recent decades.

2) Like California, Australia is prone to bushfires every year during the dry season. Ample fuel and dry weather exists for devastating fires each year, even without excessive heat or drought.

3) Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain, illustrating the importance of natural year-to-year variability.

4) Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation.

5) While reductions in prescribed burning have probably contributed to the irregular increase in large bush fires, a five-fold increase in population in the last 100 years has greatly increased potential ignition sources, both accidental and purposeful.

Yet this cool clinical rational analysis has no place in the mainstream media.  The Fairfax press, the ABC and the Guardian have wall-to-wall commentary saying the fires are evidence of dangerous warming.  As epitomised by Piers Morgan, they also are quick to lay the blame on Australia for allegedly not doing enough. This is notwithstanding that Australia wastes twice as much as any other nation on “clean energy” and has more rooftop solar facilities, the electricity from which costs three times as much as that delivered from coal generators.  Moreover, anything that Australia did would have trivial impact on something that can only be global in nature.

The communist experiment was proven false in less than half a century but still has its adherents (many of whom transferred to the green movement).  Proof or otherwise of the global warming issue will always face the difficulty of establishing the counter-factual against which outcomes can be measured.  It will be a long debate and the measures used to counter a supposed warming trend (replacement of coal and gas by wind and solar, prevention of water use for farming, green tape on land clearing and mining approvals) could easily wreck existing living standards.

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28 Responses to Redemptionists versus rationalists and the future of world prosperity

  1. stackja

    wreck existing living standards.

    As proven in USSR and China famines.

  2. local oaf

    Socialist propaganda could always be countered by pointing to actual socialism in practice, i.e. the USSR, North Korea, etc.

    There is no “green” country and never will be, so refuting their fantasies by reference to how they work in practice will be exceptionally difficult.

  3. Eyrie

    Our living standards have already been wrecked by high electricity prices which feed into almost everything. Keeping food cold for one.

  4. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    marxism lives on in the form of the cucktural wars, female hypergamy riding a wave of betas and white knights to the detriment of sustainable society

  5. I_am_not_a_robot

    I suggest the professor might use William Strutt’s Black Thursday on the masthead for a while.

  6. Roger

    3) Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain, illustrating the importance of natural year-to-year variability.

    4) Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation.

    Largely due to a long lasting positive Indian Ocean Dipole.

    Bet Piers Morgan has never heard of it.

  7. max

    Environmentalism as Religion by Michael Crichton

    I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people—the best people, the most enlightened people—do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
    Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
    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. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

  8. min

    Elephant in the room is population increase. Hardly gets mentioned yet probably one of the reasons hazard burning is more difficult these days. the

  9. Iampeter

    The first of these was Christianity which had a major influence in the knitting together what we now regard as Western nations and in establishing a code of ethics. The second was Marxism, which in its most virulent 50 year period sought to undo much of the legacy of Christianity.

    This is just fundamentally wrong.
    Western Civilization is not Christian and predates it by centuries.
    Far from “knitting” anything together, Christianity is the source of every major issue and setback the West has suffered. It is an anti-man, anti-life, anti-reason, collectivist horror show.
    Marxism wasn’t undoing the Christian legacy. It IS the Christian legacy.

    If you believe an innocent man dying for the sins of others is moral, if you take this altruistic ideal seriously, then collectivism, mass expropriation and gulags is what you’re going to get.

    Marxism is still around today because those trying to oppose it actually agree with it on the fundamentals without even realizing it.

    Sorry but to reject Marxism you have to reject Christianity and you have to understand WHY this is the case.
    Else you’re just not even ready to begin these discussions.

  10. So plodes fails to recognise the dialogue between the Israelite and Hellenic cultures and how Christianity adopted Plato.

    You have to keep in mind plodes isn’t actually a Randroid, he’s just a far leftist LARPing as a rightie.

    Plato and other great Greek philosophers, as with the Romans, believed in the old gods.

    Northern Europe before Christians also believed in the old gods.

    They too had stories of sacrifice and rebirth. Christ was god and man. The crucifixion & resurrection story isn’t about offing a poor sod to appease a bloodthirsty god. It is about the inevitable failure of satanic rebellion (and ultimately forgiveness of sinners).

    Marx in no way represented Christianity. He was an entitled leach with crackpot ideas.

    If “I Am Peter” was intellectually honest at all, he’d acquaint himself with Aquinas and Rerum novarum. Christianity followed on from Israelite tradition and the Greeks & Romans, and socialism is not supported at all logically or theologically.

  11. Roger

    Marxism wasn’t undoing the Christian legacy. It IS the Christian legacy.

    Ah…that explains why Marxists have always despised Christianity and murdered Christians.

    I see it all clearly now.

  12. Lee

    Marxism wasn’t undoing the Christian legacy. It IS the Christian legacy.

    Ah…that explains why Marxists have always despised Christianity and murdered Christians.

    I see it all clearly now.

    And it explains why Chinese communists have had a seventy year love affair with Christians.

    Complete and utter BS by a bigot.

  13. Tim Neilson

    if you take this altruistic ideal seriously

    This is one of those Iamashiteater dogmatic generalisations that disintegrates on contact with reality.

    On the basis of previous Iamashiteater bloviation it seems that Iamashiteater’s “altruism” doesn’t include the following rationales for action:
    (a) people judging that what they’re doing is really in their own interest – obviously enough;
    (b) people really wanting to do it (e.g. a mother self-sacrificing for her children);
    (c ) people acting on “principle” e.g. soldiers dying for their comrades.

    The obvious question is whether anyone, anywhere, any time, has ever acted self-sacrificially for any other reason.

    In particular, only a very good Christian indeed would always be capable of (b), but (a)* and (c ) seem to be ubiquitous in any decision by a Christian to follow Christian precepts.

    (* as I understand it, even Calvinists believe that the discipline of Christian action is useful in inculcating the necessary attitude of acceptance of God’s grace.)

    Iamashiteater has yet to explain why everyone is obliged to accept his arbitrary edicts about what is or isn’t “principle” for this purpose [i.e. (c )], and why we should accept his dogmatic atheistic insistence that Christian beliefs aren’t true [i.e. for the purpose of (a)].

    So in the end his “altruism” schtick is revealed to be railing against nothing.

  14. Iampeter

    Ah…that explains why Marxists have always despised Christianity and murdered Christians.

    Christians have despised and killed each other too. Take Catholics and Protestants for example.
    Doesn’t change the fact that they still agree on the fundamentals.

    Fundamentals that are as usual ignored because it shatters the shallow, cargo-cult view of Western Civilization that conservatives have.

  15. Chris M

    Why not apologize that somehow you misunderstood and confused two quite opposite things (Christianity and Marxism), you would begin to have some credibility if people thought you could see logic at times and were not just trolling

  16. Iampeter

    Why not apologize that somehow you misunderstood and confused two quite opposite things (Christianity and Marxism)

    It’s you who is confused and commenting on a topic you clearly know nothing about.
    Marxism is the logical consequence of Christian teaching. Pointing this out is not trolling, it’s actually pretty basic.
    It’s you who needs to apologize for taking the tone of an expert and accusing someone of trolling when you actually haven’t got a clue.

  17. Chris M

    So you can show us where the NT Bible espouses Marxism? After decades of study I’ve not seen this and can’t recall anyone else who has concluded in that direction. You would need to substantiate your radical claim.

    For example Jesus parable in Mathew 20 is very much about free market capitalism – the vineyard owner offers workers a job at a fixed daily salary, they are free to accept or refuse. He pays them directly upon completion. Some workers are subsequently unhappy that they were paid a daily rate and not hourly and he states “Take what is thine and go. But it is my will to give to this last even as to thee: is it not lawful for me to do what I will in my own affairs?”

  18. Iampeter

    So you can show us where the NT Bible espouses Marxism?

    The cross itself espouses Marxism.
    Your issue is that you don’t understand what Christianity or Marxism are fundamentally about.
    Leaving you to focus on random, out of context and non-essential tidbits.

    You would need to substantiate your radical claim.

    Yea I did that in my first post in this thread.

  19. Tim Neilson

    You would need to substantiate your radical claim.

    Yea I did that in my first post in this thread.

    This would be true if “substantiate” meant “conceitedly assume that one’s own dogmatism somehow counted as evidence in support of one’s factually false and logically untenable assertions”.

  20. Tim Neilson

    “Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive.

    Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat”.

    CS Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

    Hmm, doesn’t look too much like Marxist dialectic to me, nor a paean to collectivism.

    Come on Iamashiteater, say it – you know you want to – say that you know more about Christianity than CS Lewis.

  21. Iampeter

    This would be true if “substantiate” meant “conceitedly assume that one’s own dogmatism somehow counted as evidence in support of one’s factually false and logically untenable assertions”.

    I agree and you should probably take your own advice.

    Hmm, doesn’t look too much like Marxist dialectic to me, nor a paean to collectivism.

    Yes, out of context quotes, focusing on random, non-essentials, that line up with whatever position you also have taken for random reasons, generally look like whatever you want them to. How convenient.
    That’s why they don’t prove anything other than your lack of knowledge of whatever subject your trying to discuss.

    Like I already said: Your issue is that you don’t understand what Christianity or Marxism are fundamentally about.

  22. Chris M

    2Peter 3v15 “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. “

  23. Tim Neilson

    I agree and you should probably take your own advice.

    Ah, an early entry in “Lamest Online Retort of the Year”.
    Given that you’re already an All Time Legend in the Lame Online Retort Hall of Fame, why do you persist?
    I guess that humiliating yourself abjectly online is just your passion and vocation, and you’ll never ever stop striving for more lameness and self-beclownment.

    Your issue is that you don’t understand what Christianity or Marxism are fundamentally about.

    Tell me oh wise and infallible one, where did you get your knowledge of what Christianity is “fundamentally about” (apart, obviously, from reading Ayn Rand’s misrepresentations of it)?

  24. Tim Neilson

    The reason I ask is that I attended a Christian school, was resident in a Christian college at university, have attended Church for over five decades, have read the Bible from start to finish numerous times, and have read numerous books by Christian writers about the Christian faith, and I have never once in the course of those experiences come across any exposition of Christianity which bears the slightest resemblance to your caricature of it.

  25. Tim Neilson

    Yes, out of context quotes, focusing on random, non-essentials, that line up with whatever position you also have taken for random reasons, generally look like whatever you want them to. How convenient.

    Please feel free to quote from the source to show that my quotation was taken “out of context”. Also that my quotation relates to “non-essentials”. Reminder – the source is “The Weight of Glory” by CS Lewis, probably the most famous of all his speeches as a Christian thinker, delivered at Oxford University in 1941.

    Perhaps you can take the following passage:

    “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    Oops, maybe not. But of course, given your profound insight that my first quote was “out of context” you’ll easily be able to show why the sermon was really all about “altruism” and somehow supportive of Marxism.

    Equally, if my quote was so out of context etc., it should be very easy for you to point to Christian scripture or theological writing which validates your contrary view.
    Note that merely paraphrasing Ayn Rand’s misrepresentations of Christianity don’t count as pointing to Christian scripture or theological writing.

  26. Iampeter

    Tim, trying to argue that Christianity is not self sacrificial, which is what it looks like you’re trying to do by making random out of context quotes, is only proving the point that you certainly don’t know anything about Christianity.

    And that you’re pretty damn dishonest.

  27. JohnL

    “Iampeter”
    It puzzles me why somebody would read posts from this shithead and why somebody responds to his idiotic posts.
    Respond and you encourage him (her, it).
    Ignore him and he (she, it) may go away or shut the fuckup.

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