Indeed, in a political context that’s exactly what they are. But in a religious context, they’re a cult fanatically pushing a rigid dogma.
The climate change dogma is roughly this:
- The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has increased markedly over the past century (true);
- human activities have contributed to that increase (true);
- Earth has warmed by more than a degree since escaping the harsh Little Ice Age in the 19th century (also true, thank goodness!);
- temperatures will continue to rise to dangerous, catastrophe-inducing levels (unproven, unknowable, and unlikely) unless human society is radically transformed by drastically curbing the human use of fossil fuels (a power-seeking agenda that would inflict widespread impoverishment and suffering on billions of human beings).
In connection with the United Nation’s recently completed annual extravaganza in climate change propaganda and hysteria—COP28—long-time alarmist Al Gore (who still wants today the “wrenching transformation” of society that he called for in his 1992 jeremiad “Earth in the Balance”) lamented the fact that some people actually disagree with the wildly speculative alarmist predictions (guesses) that he and his fellow alarmists are making about the future.
He blamed social media and algorithms for spreading what he considers disinformation (in more neutral terms: differences of perception and understanding) about climate change.
Mr. Gore explicitly called for the ban (the censorship) of social media algorithms—implicitly, those that present apostate points of view, such as de-emphasizing the role of CO2 in climate change or maintaining that Earth isn’t on the brink of climate catastrophe. (Here’s a link to the video. Start at the 22:00 minute marker to hear him say it.) He asserts that the algorithms pull listeners down into “rabbit holes” where they enter into “echo chambers.”
The “echo chamber” assertion is hugely ironic, a classic case of psychological projection.
It’s the climate change cabal/cult that sets up echo chambers at events like COP28, whereas outside of those echo chambers, there’s a wide diversity of scientific research that calls into question key parts of the cultists’ dogma from many different angles—the very opposite of an echo chamber.
Here are several recent examples of scientific dissent from the alarmist projections of the climate change cult:
- In Hydrological Sciences Journal, Demetris Koutsoyiannis and Christos Vournas found that the post-1900 increase in the CO2 concentration (from 300 parts per million to 420 parts per million) “has not altered, in a discernible manner, the greenhouse effect, which remains dominated by the quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere.”
- Writing in the journal Earth’s Future, W. Jackson Davis “documents an overall negative correlation between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last 210 million years,” according to NoTricksZone.com. A “negative correlation” —i.e., when the atmospheric concentration of CO2 rises, more often than not temperatures fall.
- Like other scientists in earlier years, Allan T. Emrén, writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, “found that the rate of change in CO2 concentration is controlled by global temperature rather than vice versa.”
- Norwegians John K. Dagsvik and Sigmund H. Moen (a statistician and civil engineer, respectively), writing in a Statistics Norway discussion paper, concluded that “the effect of man-made CO2 emissions does not appear strong enough to cause systematic changes in the temperature fluctuations during the last 200 years.”
- Other scientists believe that the “hottest ever” summer that the climate change cult has hyped in 2023 (which actually, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, was the 15th hottest since 1910 on mean temperatures and 22nd hottest for maximum temperatures) wasn’t triggered by CO2, but by a significant increase in solar radiation and/or by the 2022 eruption of the Tonga-Hunga volcano having caused a 10 percent increase in water vapor in the atmosphere.
- Perhaps the greatest challenge to the climate change cultists’ belief that CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming is a study published in Nature partner journal Climate and Atmospheric Science by H. Nair and colleagues. Those scientists came to the arresting conclusion that “we would expect from a 100% switchover from fossil fuels to zero-emission renewables, the net radiative heating would increase drastically.”
- This, according to NoTricksZone.com, is due to “a dramatic reduction in climate-cooling aerosol (pollution) emissions,“ and, ”because aerosol emissions have a relatively greater climate impact by reflecting shortwave radiation, the net effect of transitioning to renewables will be to ‘drastically’ increase Earth’s temperatures over the coming decades.”
The above examples of scientific studies running counter to climate-change-cult orthodoxy indicate that the science surrounding the issue is anything but settled in the alarmists’ favor.
Let’s switch from the science to the economics of transitioning away from fossil fuel usage. If the climate change cult succeeds in radically suppressing fossil fuel usage, human societies would be much poorer. That would be a tragedy with potentially deadly consequences. While human beings can no more tame the climate than the legendary King Canute could control the tides, the fact is that it’s prosperity that best enables human beings to cope with the adverse weather events that will periodically assail us regardless of whether the world cools or warms.
Fossil fuels not only have the advantage of being much more reliable and steady than wind and solar, but they’re also more efficient and economical. The ever-astute Rupert Darwall computed, “Thanks to [Britain’s increased use of] renewables, 13.6 GW (15.6 percent) more generating capacity [in 2020 compared to 2009] produced 64.5 TWh (17.1 percent) less electricity.” This is a path to energy and therefore societal impoverishment. The economics of wind energy are brutal for taxpayers. Jonathan Lesser computed that “the average subsidy for each green job created will be over $2 million per year.”
It’s clear that there are plenty of reasons to slow down, if not halt, the frenetic drive to eliminate fossil fuels. The pell-mell charge toward renewables isn’t rational; rather, it’s the fanaticism of a quasi-religious cult.