Global Warming a New Religion

One of Leighton Smith’s pet topics on his talk radio show on Newstalk ZB, is global warming. He and I share similar opinions in this regard, and its edifying to hear someone in New Zealand with a modicum of sense surrounding the issue. 

I don’t know how I became sceptical of the global warming cultural phenomenon. Perhaps already being sceptical of evolutionary models that made me see the hype of global warming as the same old sensationalist rhetoric that accompanies a decisive lack of substantive evidence. Perhaps it was a dozen little things that collected and connected in my mind. 

Like the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) being chiefly composed of bureaucrats instead of scientists. Like the political momentum the debate has gathered. Like the ridicule aimed at respected scientist with doubts or dissenting views. Perhaps it was Al Gore’s reputation for honesty. Perhaps it was the late meteorologist Augie Auer puffing at the idea on Sports Cafe, calling it a ‘joke.’ Perhaps it was that I learnt that a single volcano pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere in (something like) a single hour than the whole of America does in a year.

Perhaps it was something else. Entrenching my scepticism were the videos linked bellow, especially The Man-made Global Warming Hoax, an excellent documentary. 

Now one has to point out first that Global Warming is not just the idea that the planet is slowly heating. This everyone agrees with. It is also the idea that man is responsible for the increase in temperature and it is on this point where the controversy lies. 

I don’t confess to be a scientist, but I do think of myself as a philosopher and the global warming cultural phenomenon makes for an interesting case study for the interaction with science and religion. As Leighton Smith said, global warming is not science, its a political agenda and a religious movement similar to that of the crusades in the middle ages.

So I ask, what is supporting the movement if not the science. I have a few suggestions aside from the media’s sensationalism below. Can you think of any more? Why is the global warming phenomenon gathered to itself so much momentum?

1) Humanism. A system that incorporates the belief that people are genuinely good and capable of saving themselves. Though responsible for destroying the environment through neglect and indifference, the enlightened mind is capable of renewing and restoring the natural order. In its extreme form it can manifest itself by the few intellectuals rising up to rule and manipulating and controlling the unthinking masses, and can also give justification for population control, which entails things like euthanasia, infanticide, abortion as a contraceptive method, and eugenics.

2) Misplaced Authority. It is a philosophical assumption whether one accepts scientists as authorities and what the say is true. In current culture scientist are the priests, and the popular religion is scientism. The past teaches us that scientists are fallible and often prone to error, so it questionably wise to accept a scientists word as final judgement. In fact, it is the genetic fallacy to conclude that something is either true or false based upon the origin (the scientist word) of that belief. Logic and its laws is an extremely technical sub-dicsipline of philosophy akin to mathematics so when one thinks to himself, or does any sort of reasoning he is using philosophy. 

4) Belief of an age old earth (as opposed to a young earth). The earth may well be ancient, nevertheless it is chiefly a philosophical question whether one accepts this view and denies the young earth view and the evidence for it. For when determining the age of something, this falls outside the observational scientific method and one must assume specific principles in order to hypothesise. Principles such as that the world was not created five minutes ago with the appearance of age, or that our current knowledge of the past is accurate, or uniformity. 

5) Uniformitarianism. This is the belief that the ‘past is the key to the present.’ It is the dogmatic assumption and application of the principle of uniformity, that holds that the same processes performed today in exactly the same conditions will yield the same results as they did yesterday, and the same result will result tomorrow. This principle is necessary for the success of science, but when assumed dogmatically may render predictions false or unsuccessful. For instance, this rules out a priori any world wide flood hypothesis.

6) Communism. This I hesitate to add, but the idea originated not with me but comes from the documentary The Man-made Global Warming Hoax. It suggests that the collapse of the Berlin wall and the disintegration of communism in the Soviet Union dispersed anti-capitalists throughout the west. Instead of promoting a political solution now they found in global warming a linchpin to hang their economic and social agendas.


More Resources:

On Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth


Documentary on The Man-made Global Warming Hoax (Parts 1-8)


Glenn Beck telling Irena’s Story

11 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    I suspect the Greens and their cronies are behind it. They have a long record of creating “climates of fear” and would love a good reason to reduce human population so they can continue to worship their beloved planet.

    It would be fun to look at this issue. Why SHOULD we look after the planet? For Christians I think the answer is simple and goes back to the early chapters of Genesis. But for the atheist, who cares if the planet dies?

  2. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    True to form, Ken Perrott from Open Parachute mistakes the article above for an attempt at debunking the science behind Global Warming. This I find is sadly all together typical of scientists who are ignorant of basic philosophical principles.

    Whether Global Warming is caused chiefly by humans or not is not the the point. I was writing on the philosophical underpinnings of the global cultural phenomenon. For the scientific side of the equation I post some links for your information. If anyone bothers to read his blog on the link posted above, notice the first sentence.

    Creationists commonly appear to also be anti-science when it comes to the human contribution to global warming

    Two points. (1) Creationists aren’t the only ones sceptical of the human contribution to global warming. Also many creations are not sceptical and are environmentalists and worried about the human contribution to global warming. (2) What’s wrong with a little scepticism when it comes to science? Having the matter settled in your mind is the ‘anti-science’ Ken is so afraid of, but he’s not afraid to settle the matter by (a) making a minor point into major and then exposing it as false, (b) claiming majority rules and (c) the authority of climate change scientists.

    2a.) Is why I’m not interested in his challenge.

  3. Ken
    Ken says:

    I may have pressed the wrong button.

    I was objecting to your questioning of my integrity – and misrepresenting of my post. That post simply took issue with you claim: “the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) being chiefly composed of bureaucrats instead of scientists.”

    I listed the names of the many NZ connected scientists involved in preparing and reviewing the IPCC’s scientific reports. I then invited you to list the names of the NZ connected “bureaucrats” involved in the scientific work of the IPCC. This is not “making a minor point into major and then exposing it as false” – the scientific conclusions of the IPCC are extremely important for mankind and are taken very seriously by governments. I welcome any challenge on the basis of science (and that goes on all the time in the scientific community). But it is dishonest to make the claim you have if you have no evidence – and hardly minor as it is aimed at discrediting the science. My suggestion is that you should either substantiate you claim by providing a list of the bureaucrats (that will certainly interest me) or admit your mistake and apologize to the scientists involved for misrepresenting them.

    Further, you misrepresented my attitudes on the issue of the science behind climate change. I have several times said that I think that the existing consensus does not mean unanimity. That about 70% of climate change scientists support the IPCC’s assessment, 15% think it exaggerates the contribution and effects of anthropogenic inputs and 15% think it underestimates these. Quite a normal sort of distribution for a scientific consensus around such a complicated subject.

    I urge readers to ignore your assessment of my views and instead have a look at some of my articles – for example Climate change controversy, The real climate change swindle?, Climate change and New Zealand or Spreading doubt on climate change.

  4. Stuart
    Stuart says:


    My pointing out that the IPCC was full of bureaucrats was not to support the conclusion that the human contribution to global warming is not true. If it had been your comments above would be justified.

    My pointing out the IPCC was full of bureaucrats was to give one example of why I became and remain sceptical of the human contribution to global warming. Quite a different point.

    Beyond the philosophical underpinning of the cultural movement I’m not really that interested. If you could show scientifically that the detractors of the anthropogenic cause of global warming are wrong that would be quirk my interest some and perhaps dull my scepticism.

  5. Ken
    Ken says:

    I have pressed the wrong button again. So I repeat.

    Simply – forget about whether climate change is, or isn’t anthropogenic. Was the scientific assessment, its formulation and review, carried out by bureaucrats (as your article more than implies) or scientists?

    I have given a long list of the scientist involved in the assessment and review. If you insist that this was carried out by bureaucrats – please give me the equivalent list.

  6. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    I don’t believe that your assessment of what the article implies is accurate.

    Certainly the scientific review was taken into account by the IPCC, but I don’t believe a body of bureaucrats is a good mediator of what scientists discover and conclude and what the public is led to believe.

  7. Ken
    Ken says:

    The scientific review is what the IPCC produces – together with 2 other reviews which included likely physical and social effects (also produced and reviewed by experts in those fields). This is what governments rely on in the development of their policies. Bureaucracy and commercial interests certainly come in at that stage (Rodney Hide is a classic example of these sorts of motivations) – but don’t blame the science for that.

    I guess you comment is the closest I will get to an admission that the IPCC scientific assessment is produced and reviewed by scientists rather than bureaucrats. But that certainly is not indicated by your article – quite the opposite.

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