Don’t Knuckle Under to the Enviro-Luddites

March 5, 2007

In spiritually weak moments, I sometimes envy the blind faith of the environ-zealots, even if the object of their faith is hardly sacred.

For all their self-congratulation over their allegiance to science and the scientific method, they flatly violate the spirit of scientific inquiry in their approach to environmental issues.

Of course they cloak all of their claims with the cover of science. They accompany their manifestos with endorsements from hundreds or thousands of scientists, who serve as the functional equivalent of human shields to insulate their extreme claims from scrutiny by the not yet converted.

Never mind that many of the credentialed signatories are anything but experts on climate science. They are scientists, and they buy into the dogma. End of discussion.

Never mind that the reports said to be the final word on these subjects are sometimes crafted by results-oriented, ideologically intoxicated bureaucrats and published before the signatories have had the opportunity to read them.

What matters is that the bishops of this secular cult have issued an edict proclaiming that a consensus on global warming has been reached: It is occurring, human behavior is contributing substantially to it and radical alterations of that behavior are mandated as a moral imperative.

When the religion’s evangelists are challenged, their answer is always the same: There is a consensus. All scientists agree, except those having sold out to evil corporations with a vested interest in disputing the theology.

They approach their faith with an unflinching zeal reminiscent of Dan Rather’s protest upon being caught promoting forged documents, that the underlying claims of the documents remained true.

They claim to have definitive proof of their theories, yet they can’t even be sure of much of their data, much less their ends-driven analysis of it. Though I certainly don’t purport to be an expert, I doubt that there is any more science behind their claims than that, for example, behind the ever-changing claims about the benefits or detriments of coffee, or the pros and cons of the Atkins Diet.

They demand draconian changes in our lifestyle, insisting that without them the planet will soon be on an irreversible path toward inhabitability. Yet they completely ignore that other nations, like China, presently are on course to contribute far more pollutants to the environment in the near and distant future than we could possibly nullify by heading back to the Stone Ages as they prescribe.

While I can’t go so far as to say that the deacons of this church are primarily driven by a desire to destroy capitalism and its glorious civilization-advancing fruits, I will say that they seem unconcerned that their demands would have that effect. They pretend to aspire to carbon neutrality, but the only thing they’ll end up neutralizing is human progress.

Though these types routinely denigrate Christians as unthinking robots whose faith is based on a disgraceful form of human weakness, at least our God encourages us not to abandon our reason or ignore doubts we might have. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind and always to be prepared to give the reasons for our belief.

Our faith is not so fragile as to be threatened, but instead is strengthened by intellectual doubts and an examination of the evidence. We are never told that we cannot question its precepts because our church fathers arrived at a consensus on doctrine and memorialized it in various creeds.

But the religious zeal of the earth goddess Gaia’s apostles doesn’t permit them to question any article of their faith, as intellectual curiosity is strictly forbidden. It also discourages them from holding accountable their demonstrably failed prophets, whose fantastic claims have long been discredited, such as the infamous Paul Ehrlich or the actor Ted Danson.

Nor do its congregants seem even to consider that its apocalyptic claims are born of the grossest form of humanistic pride, that which says that as a result of sheer human activity we will destroy the balance of life on earth.

Such hubris obviously prevents them from marveling that “the universe is specifically tweaked to enable life on earth — a planet with scores of improbable and interdependent life-supporting conditions that make it a tiny oasis in a vast and hostile universe.” (See Norman Geisler and Frank Turek’s “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.”)

We should be responsible stewards of the environment, but we should not shut down scientific inquiry or Western Civilization itself on the hyperbolic demands of those, who, imprisoned by their own pagan idolatry, refuse to follow the scientific standards they require of everyone else.