For a theologian it is hard to miss that secular religion is worse than religion.
While climate change is a historical fact, and pollution of our living environment is always bad, the role of man and our power to change the climate at all, remains open to debate. If not arguably scientifically unproven, the small percentages over many years that are claimed indicate that our influence is quite limited. What worries me as a theologian is that belief in manmade climate-change functions as a religion. It is a shibboleth, which is used to force other people into supporting one’s ideology.
Some years ago, at Copenhagen, the world very narrowly escaped the start of a form of world-government by means of the introduction of international taxes. A few decades after Al Gore’s inconvenient truth, which contained several convenient scientific lies, it has been pointed out (by the left as well as the right) that this climate religion not only has its false prophets but also its pharisees.
False prophets indeed. Those of us who care to remember the 1970’s, that era of extreme industrial pollution everywhere, would recall that the scientific establishment predicted a new ice age “coming fast”. All reputable news-outlets at the time, from the Guardian to the New York Times (still reputable then) and Time magazine told us so. And the satellites in space left no serious scholar in any doubt. Yeah. Added to this, the ozone layer’s depletion would be killing us soon. If not dead by cosmic radiation, the planet would soon die of famine, was the consensus of American climatologists in 1976. Did I mention the Club of Rome? I’d better not.
The 1980’s were not any better. Many islands like the Maldives would be completely under water in 30 years. The United Nations, that indefatigable bunch of Robin Hoods who take from the West and give to the rest, told us that many nations would be obliterated by the year 2000. Nonetheless, you can check out for yourself that, well after doomsday, some 400.000 Maldivians are still very much alive and kicking. They still have a national football team, and haven’t switched to water polo.
False prophets are not easily not put off by facts that contradict their message. They just continue. In March 2000, that wonderfully dependent organ of propaganda, The Independent, so called but actually not very different from any other globalist elitist outlet, told us that within a few years snowfall would be a rare event. Indeed? Check the facts and find out that on average the UK still gets 23 days of snowfall per year. Roughly the same as in 1980, by the way. In 2008 Al Gore told warned that the Arctic would be ice-free Arctic by 2013. A year later Prince Charles insisted that we only had 96 months to save the planet. In a democracy everyone is entitled to his opinion, but bloggers and scholars also have a right to question whether what was proclaimed, often taxpayer funded, is actually true.
Factually speaking, the consensus of the climate scientologists in the 1970’s and 80’s and the liberal politicians who used their data to promote their own agenda, has been proved incorrect. I do not say they lied to us, but they communicated false information that proved not conform to fact. Worse, they have been infamously wrong for the past fifty years. Even the weatherforecast gets it right every so often. Even a broken clock is correct once every twelve hourse. The climate change concensus even failed to make that target.
But in the political climate of the last decade it has almost become a heresy to point this out. It should not be so. Normally, if people believe wrong things, they are deluded. If they force other people to do and think likewise, then they are not only psychologically instable, but deemed dangerous. Religion, also climate change religion is fine, as long as it is backed up by facts, whether metaphysically or otherwise.
Climate change religionists do not only have their never-ending list of failed prophesies of doom. Like good old Judeo-Christianity (I dislike the word, but use it on purpose in this context) they also resemble religion in boasting many prominent Pharisees in their circles. The carbon footprint of Al Gore or Meghan Angelson (since divorced and remarried to a prominent royal) is sufficient to make any penguin or polar bear shudder. Yes, normal folk should pay in every way, but the climate Pharisee never pays. The prophets reap climate-change profits while the rest of us foots the bill for their agenda.
I like the false prophecies in the history of Christianity far better, as far as one is able to appreciate falsehoods anyway. Especially the climate change prophecies of AD1523 are worth mentioning. From June of that year many prophets and astrologers in England, often the same thing at the time, started to predict that on the first day of February next, the waters of the Thames would overflow the city of London and swipe away ten thousand houses. Keep in mind that the population of the English capital was around 70.000 at the time and households were much larger than today.
Many people believed the prophecies, particularly because so many esteemed astrologers agreed. Many inhabitants of London left their houses and moved to Kent and Essex. By the middle of January, some twenty thousand people had left the city of doom. This was a major migration with profound effect on everyone, as well as on the economy. All classes were affected. And moved. The rich mostle fled to Highgate, Hampstead and Blackheath. The abbot of St. Bartholomew’s spent lots of money on an elevated fortress which would withstand the risen tide. He also was one of the first preppers and made sure he had two months’ worth of provisions.
On the fateful day, crowds gathered to watch the eb and flow of the Thames. It was business as usual, water levels changed as normal. Just to make sure, many people stayed the night elsewhere, before London’s population started to return to the city. The first of February came and went. Just a failed prophecy. Everyone agreed that the prophets had been wrong. I like that. No pharisees who told the people to move and cheaply bought up their properties to make a lot of money for themselves. No, the Al Gores and Meghan Markles of 1523 acted as if they were believers themselves. Both rich and poor fled. They invested their own money in measures, not that of other people’s. They were sincerely wrong. And agreed that they had been afterwards.
In 1523 climate-change prophets did not have an agenda. They just misinterpreted the stars and divine signs. Now that we have lost religion, secularism takes on profoundly religious sentiments and insists on obedience while its prophets so obviously fail. For all to see: just browse your newspaper archives and read their lips. Secular religion is at least as dangerous as its ancient predecessors, perhaps worse because of its lack of accountability. We no longer produce gods, but have become gods. Our agenda should not be questioned, because the gods are in agreement. At least astrologers could be wrong.
Prof. dr. Benno Zuiddam (DTh PhD) is onder meer hoogleraar theologie in Potchefstroom (Zuid-Afrika), benevens classicus en sinds kort woonachtig in Nederland.