Cult of Global Warming Is Losing Influence

October 24, 2011 07:35

Media, university, and corporate elites still profess belief in global-warming alarmism, but moves toward policies limiting carbon emissions have fizzled out, here and abroad.

By Michael Barone at NRO


A similar but more peaceable fate is befalling believers in what I think can be called the religion of the global-warming alarmists.

They have an unshakeable faith that man-made carbon emissions will produce a hotter climate, causing multiple natural disasters. Their insistence that we can be absolutely certain this will come to pass is based not on science — which is never fully settled, witness the recent experiments that may undermine Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity — but on something very much like religious faith.

All the trappings of religion are there.

Original sin: Mankind is responsible for these prophesied disasters, especially those slobs who live on suburban cul-de-sacs and drive their SUVs to strip malls and tacky chain restaurants.

The need for atonement and repentance: We must impose a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system, which will increase the cost of everything and stunt economic growth.

Ritual: from the annual Earth Day to weekly recycling.

Indulgences, like those Martin Luther railed against: private jet-fliers like Al Gore and sitcom heiress Laurie David can buy carbon offsets to compensate for their carbon-emitting sins.

But like the Millerites, the global-warming clergy has preached apocalyptic doom — and is now facing an increasingly skeptical public. The idea that we can be so completely certain of climate change 70 to 90 years hence that we must inflict serious economic damage on ourselves in the meantime seems increasingly absurd.

If carbon emissions were the only thing affecting climate, the global-warming alarmists would be right. But it’s obvious that climate is affected by many things, many not yet fully understood, and it is implausible that SUVs will affect it more than variations in the enormous energy produced by the sun.


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