Death of a not-so-great religion

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.

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.

And there is this: Religions are sustained in the long run by the consolations of their teachings and the charisma of their leaders. With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that’s another way religions die.

Source.

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305 Responses to Death of a not-so-great religion

  1. C.L.

    the profound similarities between creationists and climate change denialists

    LOL.

  2. JC

    Sanchez, are you a troofer. Honest question.

    You think the US government was responsible for the WTC, yea?

  3. JC

    Cl

    We’re had our fill of stupid lefties here before, but this one is the “best” so far and beats all.

  4. Sancho

    This similarity you are building is all in your delusional mind.

    Yet you’re determined to avoid the article I’ve posted repeatedly. Here it is again:

    http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/the-green-dragon-slayers-how-the-religious-right-and-the-corporate-right-are-joining-fo

    Climate change denialists and creationists are a perfect match. Go ahead and show us some examples of creationists supporting climate change science instead.

    The arguments are the same:

    Firstly, deny the existence of any evidence, and rely on public illiteracy and ignorance to posit conspiracy theories about the motivations of the scientists:

    “There is no evidence at all for [heliocentrism/evolution/lung cancer/climate change]!” [Galileo/Darwin/doctors/climatologists] are trying to confuse us with big words and mathematics because they hate [the church/God/corporations/capitalism]!”

    As the public becomes more aware of the data and straight denial won’t wash, concede that SOME of the science is correct, but not enough that any action is required:

    “Okay, there is clearly a little basis to the claims of [Galileo/Darwin/doctors/climatologists]. This is not a reversal of our position! We never denied the scientific evidence, we just didn’t think it was compelling. But the scientists go too far! These findings barely support their claims, and you will find that [the bible is infallible on every other topic/micro-evolution only!/tobacco only causes cancer in lab conditions/humans aren’t driving climate change].

    Continue to smear scientists and appeal to authority:

    “Funny, isn’t it, that the findings of these so-called scientists so perfectly suit the goals of [atheists/communists/enviro-hippies]? [The church/man’s primacy/corporations/high-emission industry] are inseparable from the history of western civilisation, and we should view with great suspicion anyone who claims we should change it in any way.”

    Play follow-the-money in one direction, but not the other:

    “Just look at the money and influence [Galileo/Darwin/doctors/climatologists] stand to gain from public acceptance of their “data”! Fame! Research grants! Political power! THIS is what motivates them!”

    “What? There’s nothing wrong with incredibly wealthy [religions/tobacco companies/industry] employing scientists and public relations experts to discredit scientific data that threatens their influence and profit margins. It’s crass to suggest that these professionals would tell lies for money.”

    [Disclosure: much of this brought forward from previous posts.]

  5. JC

    Sanchez

    Answer my question please,

    Do you think the US government conspired to bring down the towers, yea or no? Stop avoiding it please.

  6. Gab

    Have you withheld his pills, JC? If so, please give him his medication now. Ta.

  7. Sancho

    Do you actually…read the things you post, C.L.?

    Despite your interpretation, it’s telling that your response to the overwhelming evidence of large-scale collaboration between religious fundamentalists, climate change “skeptics” and the industry lobby is to post some quotes (carefully selected by the ever-neutral-and-not-at-all-well-known-for-intellectual-dishonesty Tim Blair) – that seem to show one public figure saying something silly and ambiguous.

    Well, that’s all even, then.

  8. Sancho

    Answer my question please,

    Do you think the US government conspired to bring down the towers, yea or no? Stop avoiding it please.

    It doesn’t work like that. You don’t get to ask people questions unless you also answer theirs. Let’s go again:

    At your post of 12.25, you appear to be saying that you won’t discuss the profound similarities between creationists and climate change denialists because having opinions on supply and demand curves isn’t creationism and anyway people you don’t agree with would be slaves in “better days” but that’s not an endorsement of slavery also JC is awesome.

    If that’s not correct, please explain how I’m mistaken.

  9. JC

    He won’t answer it Gab. Lol. As if we didn’t know why.

  10. Gab

    He seems to be in a manic phase, JC. Poor chap.

  11. JC

    It doesn’t work like that.

    Yes, but what do you think. Did the US government conspire to bring down the towers?

  12. C.L.

    Climate change denialists and creationists are a perfect match.

    LOL.

  13. Sancho

    Well, all of the scientific and forensic evidence suggests it was the work of Saudis and Egyptians, which indicates the work of the global Marxist conspiracy also behind climate change.

    Since the only evidence we have is their “science” and “observable data”, we can safely say that the twin towers were destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, operated by illiterate Afghani farmers.

  14. JC

    Sanchez, brave up a little and answer the question.

    Did the Us government/Bush conspire to bring down the towers? Yes or no.

    Show some leg here and brave up Sanch. Tell us what you believe. I swear I won’t pass judgement. Scouts honor.

  15. Sancho

    Keep at it, C.L.!

    Post that link enough and eventually one Flannery will be equal to the massive, organisation-level alliance of creationists and climate change “skeptics”, organised by the industry lobby!

    Some more hyperlinks and denialist arguments will stop being direct rip-offs off creationist claims because of something Tim Blair posted!

    Flannery will even begin to actually refer to climate change in that interview if you just post it a few more times!

  16. C.L.

    In fact, as I’ve pointed out several times before, the synchronicity and simpatico between warmenists and Rapture evangelicals is stunning. Both believe in a creation rendered unliveable thanks to human sin, both believe we live in the End Times, both believe in an eschatological coming – evangelicals call this the parousia; warmenists believe in the imminent physical manifestation of Gaia. Both are famous for their hypocrisy: Jimmy Swaggart in motels with hookers; James Hansen taking bribes, Tim Flannery living on the waterfront, Al Gore buying a second mansion, Ross Garnaut the coal magnate. Both are Luddite and believe we should prepare ourselves for The End by divesting ourselves of what caused our ruin; evangelicals and warmenists alike share a quasi-Amish loathing for technology and modernity (viewing it as the enemy). Both habitually refer to weather events as signs of theistic disfavour and impending global catastrophe. This shared belief in signs – a belief that makes warmenists and Rapture evangelicals almost indistinguishable – has one other faternal dimension. When each and every prediction of the parousia/return of Gaia comes to nothing, warmenist and evangelical ‘scientists’/pastors effortlessly explain away the world’s continued existence and set a new date for planetary ruin.

  17. Fisky

    Since the only evidence we have is their “science” and “observable data”, we can safely say that the twin towers were destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, operated by illiterate Afghani farmers.

    Sancho, if you are a truther then don’t be scared to say so. We won’t hold it against you.

  18. C.L.

    Australia’s chief warmening priest:

    “I think that within this century the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest.”

  19. Sancho

    That’s the way, JC. Keep showing ’em that you’re comfortable defending your statements in open discussion.

    With every post, you make Catallaxy more relevant and credible.

  20. Fisky

    Both are famous for their hypocrisy: Jimmy Swaggart in motels with hookers; James Hansen taking bribes, Tim Flannery living on the waterfront, Al Gore buying a second mansion, Ross Garnaut the coal magnate.

    And tens of thousands of their accolates flying around the world to attend expensive banquets and fancy parties with lots of imported carbon-rich delicacies. The whole priesthood is rotten to the core.

  21. JC

    He’s not brave enough to come out and say, Fisk.

    That’s my biggest disappointment in him so far. It’s not that he’s stupid, but that he doesn’t have the balls to admit to his friends that yes, he believes the US government charged the towers and brought them down.

    How sad.

  22. Fisky

    So Sancho, what about them towers? Did Bush really bring them down?

  23. JC

    That’s the way, JC. Keep showing ‘em that you’re comfortable defending your statements in open discussion.

    With every post, you make Catallaxy more relevant and credible.

    Okay here goes again.

    Did the Us government/Bush conspire to bring down the towers? Yes or no.

  24. Sancho

    In fact, as I’ve pointed out several times before, the synchronicity and simpatico between warmenists and Rapture evangelicals is stunning. Both believe in a creation rendered unliveable thanks to human sin, both believe we live in the End Times, both believe in an eschatological coming – evangelicals call this the parousia; warmenists believe in the imminent physical manifestation of Gaia. Both are famous for their hypocrisy: Jimmy Swaggart in motels with hookers; James Hansen taking bribes, Tim Flannery living on the waterfront, Al Gore buying a second mansion, Ross Garnaut the coal magnate. Both are Luddite and believe we should prepare ourselves for The End by divesting ourselves of what caused our ruin; evangelicals and warmenists alike share a quasi-Amish loathing for technology and modernity (viewing it as the enemy). Both habitually refer to weather events as signs of theistic disfavour and impending global catastrophe. This shared belief in signs – a belief that makes warmenists and Rapture evangelicals almost indistinguishable – has one other faternal dimension. When each and every prediction of the parousia/return of Gaia comes to nothing, warmenist and evangelical ‘scientists’/pastors effortlessly explain away the world’s continued existence and set a new date for planetary ruin.

    Quite a manifesto. So why do you think creationists are embracing climate change “skeptics”, and vice versa, under the auspice of industry lobby groups?

    If you’re correct, creationists would be rushing to join green groups. Why aren’t they?

  25. Fisky

    I agree, JC. Lots of prominent people believe that Bush brought down the towers. Why can’t Sancho join them openly? Sancho, you’re not saying Charlie Sheen is beneath you?

  26. Gab

    I love Flannery’s eyes in this rant.

    Shame he’s not wearing a tinfoil hat.

  27. Sancho

    That’s my biggest disappointment in him so far. It’s not that he’s stupid, but that he doesn’t have the balls to admit to his friends that yes, he believes the US government charged the towers and brought them down.

    So Sancho, what about them towers? Did Bush really bring them down?

    When in Rome…

    I already made it clear in my post of 1.31. Do you disagree that the global Marxist conspiracy faked an Al Qaeda attack in order to cover up for Saddam Hussein and the Taliban?

  28. JC

    If you’re correct, creationists would be rushing to join green groups. Why aren’t they?

    There are limits, Sanchez.

    Now answer the question.

    Did the Us government/Bush conspire to bring down the towers? Yes or no.

  29. Fisky

    Quite a manifesto. So why do you think creationists are embracing climate change “skeptics”, and vice versa, under the auspice of industry lobby groups?

    What on earth are you talking about? If you have evidence that Bush brought down the towers then please provide it at once.

  30. JC

    I already made it clear in my post of 1.31.

    No, you didn’t

    Answer the question:

    Did the Us government/Bush conspire to bring down the towers? Yes or no.

  31. Fisky

    Sancho, what on earth is “clear” about this?

    Well, all of the scientific and forensic evidence suggests it was the work of Saudis and Egyptians, which indicates the work of the global Marxist conspiracy also behind climate change.

    Since the only evidence we have is their “science” and “observable data”, we can safely say that the twin towers were destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, operated by illiterate Afghani farmers.

    Make up your mind. Was it Bush, the commies, Egyptians, Saudis, Saddam or Mujahideen? You’ve got five different theories flying around at once and they’re all confused.

    Answer JC’s question.

  32. C.L.

    …why do you think creationists are embracing climate change “skeptics.”

    I dunno. Why is the entire international left embracing the ‘science’ (that is, the faith system) of ‘global warming’?

  33. Fisky

    It’s quite chilling to see how warmists are really no different to religious extremists. Remember when Bob Brown blamed the Brisbane floods on the NSW coal industry? No different morally to Pat Robertson (I think it was him) blaming 9/11 on homosexuals.

  34. Sancho

    Always fun, guys, but it’s bedtime.

    I meant what I said upthread: you’re excluding yourselves from rational debate by indulging in foolish conspiracy theories about global communist plots, and no matter what you tell yourselves, everyone else can see the plain similarities between your beliefs on climate change and the arguments against evolution, the flat earth and the tobacco-cancer link.

    You can sit here in the echo chamber exchanging conspiracy theories, but in the real world creationists are gravitating – wholesale – to climate change denialism because it fits perfectly into their existing anti-science model of reality, and it’s all being funded and encouraged by the industry lobby.

    These are simple facts. You can either buy yourselves some relevance by acknowledging them, or wallow in groupthink and continue to whine about the world not living up to your demands.

  35. JC

    hippie group wailing at dead trees.

    http://www.break.com/index/hippies-wail-for-dead-trees.html

    Listen to them.

    Sanchez are you embarrassed?

    And don’t forget the question:

    Did the Us government/Bush conspire to bring down the towers? Yes or no.

  36. Gab

    C’mon Sancho. Be a sport and answer JC’s question.

  37. C.L.

    …everyone else can see the plain similarities between your beliefs on climate change and the arguments against evolution, the flat earth and the tobacco-cancer link.

    By “everyone,” you mean the Pat Robertsons of the ‘climate change’ movement.

  38. Sean

    He’s such a fraud he will twist and lie about anything to support an arguement.

  39. JC

    A complete and total fraud. In other words the perfect Greens supporter.

  40. Steve

    I could provide about a $40 million saving to tax payers and cut emissions by 3000 tonnes a year. The $40 million comes from halving the depreciation at 20% of the expensive vehicles by changing to small cheap ones. Now as it is your mates in the government wasting my money and causing excessive emissions could you let them know how wasteful they are and inform them of easy money saving initiatives. I don’t like paying for the government to be driving in 6 and 8 cylinder cars whilst they are telling me to cut my emissions and pay tax.

  41. .

    I meant what I said upthread: you’re excluding yourselves from rational debate by indulging in foolish conspiracy theories about global communist plots, and no matter what you tell yourselves, everyone else can see the plain similarities between your beliefs on climate change and the arguments against evolution, the flat earth and the tobacco-cancer link.

    I never said any of those things.

    What I said:

    Here is the big picture:

    Climate models do not backtest

    Climate models cannot explain MWP

    Climate models cannot explain CO2 absorbtion nonlinearities

    CO2 as a climate driver halves in sensitivity in most properly time series technique corrected (cointegrated, unit root appropriate) regression models, as opposed to basic GARCH models

    Regional warming much less than urban warming records

    No warming since 1998

    Sea ice levels fine

    Increased coral calcification (no acidification)

    No sea warming as predicted in the absence of atmospheric warming

    Sea level rise = 1.8 mm per year since 1880

    The CRU etc lied about data

    We have cheap and plentiful non CO2 polluting energy (nuclear) up the ying yang

    Nuclear generation of the Gen IV type is now off the shelf and close to parity with coal, (all that matters now is scale economies which would see parity or better)

    Don’t be scared

  42. Steve from brisbane

    What a hide CL has, emphasizing faults in Rapture evangelicals And comparing them to climate change advocates, when the Pope is the best known religious leader in the world who has repeated called on the world to come up with a fair solution to climate change.

    The Pope is smart enough to not believe environmental science is all a Left wing conspiracy and misplaced religion, but not CL.

  43. .

    NUCLEAR POWER!

    http://decarbonisesa.com/2011/05/30/the-case-against-waiting-for-generation-iv-nuclear-and-the-case-for-urgently-bringing-it-to-commercialisation/

    What I am saying here is that currently available nuclear power technology is basically 99 times better than coal, when some sort of average is taken across the range of criteria we might call “the Bad”: impacts from energy sources that are undesirable. That accounts for greenhouse gas, other air pollution, mining impacts, health and safety, environmental impacts, and water security. Across the board, currently available nuclear is about 99 times less bad than coal. So the square above for Generation III+ nuclear is 1/100th the size of that for coal.

    Current generation nuclear technology produces vastly more energy than coal, but only consumes about 1% of the uranium as fuel. New generation nuclear consumes 100% of the fuel, so you will see that “The Good” for the new generation nuclear is 100 times bigger than for the Generation III+. This time around, instead of the 100 fold difference between the nuclear technologies delivering a mere 0.9% variance on current circumstances, it delivers a 99%+ change for the better. Coal on the other hand is so relatively weak in energy density that in this chart it has disappeared all together. So it should, to be consigned to history as the 18th century power source that somehow fudged its way into the 21st.

    Don’t be scared, Steve.

  44. Steve from brisbane

    Now watch CL come out later today with his tired and irrelevant attempt to say “but the Pope says you’re not a true environmentalist unless you’re against abortion”; which does nothing to address the point at hand, being CL being completely at odds with the Pope’s ability to recognize a real science issue and not blame it all on displaced religion or lefty conspiracy.

  45. .

    Steve,

    How many times a day do you change your underwear?

  46. Steve from brisbane

    Here we go. Dot you are a loudmouth who is strangely gullible in your own way, such as when you recently attacked anyone who didn’t believe that cold fusion had been proved. Now you are in a frenzy that the world can go entirely nuclear overnight and that solves everything.

    You are an easily overexcited man with an enormously undeserved confidence in your own judgement.

  47. .

    Dot you are a loudmouth who is strangely gullible in your own way, such as when you recently attacked anyone who didn’t believe that cold fusion had been proved.

    No, I never said that. I didn’t attack anyone if they didn’t believe. I’m still undecided. I attacked people for a stupid tribalist mentality without presenting any evidence it doesn’t work. Of course it is up to Rossi tpo prove everything, which looks more doubtful now, but I will listen to the report of the Swedish prof. before I think about it anymore.

    You are an easily overexcited man with an enormously undeserved confidence in your own judgement.

    I truly pity you Steve.

    I am happy for humanity if it finds cheap clean power. This scares you. I also am a highly functioning individual and you envy this.

  48. .

    PS

    Don’t be scared. Don’t dodge the evidence. Nuclear is 99 times better than coal. Gen IV is 100 times better than that.

    Don’t be scared of cheap, clean power Steve. Some people don’t want to deindustrialise like you.

  49. Tiny Dancer

    No stevie.

    Catallaxy has the largest collection of obnoxious, immature, misogynistic, unreasonable, dishonest, disingenuous, lazy, dumb, gullible, un-insightful, self absorbed, uncharitable, childish, abusive, detached from reality, unpleasant, unscientific, selfish, tribal, repetitive, hypocritical, pedantic, tedious, psychologically unbalanced, and flat out wrong collection of commenters in all of the Australian blogosphere

    You are the loudmouth.

  50. Thanks for the pity in bold all the time, dot. I must take to putting you are truly a jerk in bold all the time too.

  51. Steve
    I would never make the arguement that Australia should not move first because big poor countries do not. I just make the arguement that the tax is poorly designed and a better way to reduce emissions is to tax the waste only so as not to affect those who do not want to waste energy as a matter of principle. We have actually done that with another so called inelastic good. That is water. As you are from Brisbane you would have read at some time that the per capita water use has haved since the 70s so it can be done without much fuss at all. Despite my thinking it is a non problem if we as a country wishes to reduce emissions without affected lifestyle this will make us collectively richer. I would like to be richer rather than poorer. Use of new technology is a non issue. There are 4 cylinder cars out there, there are LCD tvs out there, there is increasingly LED for lighting being available. When all savings are made then talk of spending should take place.

  52. kelly, I appreciate that you have a nuanced view about this, although I doubt that your type of “direct action” is really capable of being effective enough in lieu of immediate carbon pricing.

  53. I am working on it and might be possible to get some movement. It is definately capable of having a major effect but politically the will is to spend money first and ask questions later and this criticism is of both sides of politics.

  54. .

    Thanks for the pity in bold all the time, dot. I must take to putting you are truly a jerk in bold all the time too.

    Steve,

    I am not being a jerk. I am being positive, open minded and critical within reason. AGW is real. It isn’t a problem unless we don’t mitigate within 50-60 years.

    This scares you. You purport to being correct but you cannot debate the issues. You refuse to engage but persist in hit and run trolling.

    If you’re not a phony I really do pity you.

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