Global Warming: The End of Civilization?
An old adage states that everyone talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it. The subject of a heated national debate has been not the weather but the alleged dangers associated with global warming or climate change. And unlike the daily weather, there are many environmentalist zealots who do want to do something about it.
In 1951 Rachel Carson wrote about global warming for Popular Science magazine. Yet it did not make the headlines until the June 1988 Senate appearance of climatologist James Hansen. He was convinced that the warmer weather of the 1980s was due to a greenhouse effect, which is the theory that the apparent increase in earth temperature was caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO-2) in the atmosphere because of industrial pollution. While the earth is warming, the conclusion that its slight temperature rise caused by human interaction with the planet is supported by little more than computer projections. Most recent studies conclude that the one-degree of temperature increase in the 20th century was recorded before 1937 preceding the era of rapid industrial growth.
Prior to the late 20th century, most climatologists held that historically the earth had experienced a wide range of natural variation that included several periods of mild to severe fluctuation in temperature.
Attempts to institutionalize industrial restrictions with regard to carbon gases, such as the infamous anti-capitalism Kyoto Treaty of 1995, will only insure that politics and grant money have trumped truth and honest research. To its credit, the U. S. Senate voted 95-0 in 1997 for the Byrd-Hagel Resolutions, which assailed the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. In 1998 17,000 scientists signed a petition urging the government to continue to reject the Kyoto Treaty. However in 2005 Senator John McCain introduced a bill that would resurrect a mini-version of the moribund treaty, by imposing stricter regulations of fossil fuels in deference to the global warming myth. President Bush has been under great pressure to join the other G-8 world leaders in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.
The 1500 Year Cycle
The definitive book on the inherent fallacies of manufactured global warming is Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 years. Written by research fellows S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, the book accepts the fact that the earth is warming but presents a variety of empirical evidence from sun rays, solar cycles, seabed sediment, and cave stalagmites which demonstrate that human-generated CO-2 has played only a minor role.
The 1,500-year cycle was first discovered by Danish scientist Willi Dansgaard and Hans Oeschger of Switzerland. The earth has its own natural climate control system that continually warms and cools itself. The current warming trend appears to be part of a natural 1,500-year climate cycle that dates back at least a million years. The changes are always moderate from about 2 degrees Celsius above its mean temperature in warm periods and about the same in its cooler periods.
Singer and Avery warn that cold periods kill more humans than warm periods. Archeologists have discovered that in both Europe and Latin America prehistoric humans migrated up mountainsides during the warming centuries and back down during the cold one. During these periods, such as recorded in Greenland, the human and animal populations usually moved away during the ice ages and then return as vegetation increased during the warming periods. Historians have recorded known warming and cooling periods, such the Roman Warming, which lasted until it cooled during the Dark Ages. Medieval Warming (950-1300) was a period of abundant crops and stable weather and the Little Ice Age (1300-1850) was a relatively cold period.
The Dark Edge
The New York Times is a leading advocate in getting all Americans to turn green. In article after article The Times has repeatedly warned of water shortages and rampant disease. According to the Times, millions will be flooded out of their homes because of melting ice caps, rising temperatures and higher sea levels; death rates for the world's poor will rise exponentially due to malnutrition, dehydration, and disease; the hardest hit areas will be Africa and Asia and the ecosystems near the poles.
In April of 2007 The Times published a piece on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of the world's leading scientists, who met in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the climatological fate of the world. The panel envisioned a calamitous future for the American Southwest, Mexico, and sub-Saharan Africa. It forecast severe droughts in all these areas. Their computer models boldly predicted that the earth's temperature will rise from 3-7 degrees Fahrenheit this century. They predicted the Amazon rainforests will disappear, malaria outbreaks will kill hundreds of millions of people, the Indian Ocean coral reefs will become extinct, and all Arctic ice will disappear. One hysteria peddler called the global situation the dark edge of the bell curve. USA Today proclaimed the earth is spinning toward a point of no return. In support of the panel's findings, the United States joined 119 countries in endorsing the 1,572-page report.
A Sinister Conspiracy
Other Scientists caution against blindly jumping to these apocalyptic conclusions. The earth's ecological web of life is no apparent danger. According to the columnist Thomas Sowell, the media and the politicians have been manipulated and stampeded like a herd of independent minds. He admonishes academics that have jumped on the global warming bandwagon because of large research grants.
While Michael Crichton's 2004 novel, State of Fear is just a work of fiction, it completely captures the evil intent of environmentalists who use global warming to create a climate of fear in order to effect their socialistic designs on the world's population. His plot revolves around a sinister conspiracy of government manipulation that plays on the fear of ordinary citizens to control their lives. He details a nefarious amalgamation of politicians, lawyers, and media a political-legal-media complex that is more sinister than President's Eisenhower's 1961 military-industrial complex. Crichton's PLM rules society today through fear and intimidation under the guise of national security with a tenacity that seems to parallel the global warming debate in today's world. The PLM complex constantly produces a steady stream of fears, anxieties, dangers, and social terrors that can be used by politicians, lawyers, and reporters to advance their agendas. The use of fear as a weapon of mass control is a common thread that runs through the book's text of environmentalist ploys. Crichton demonstrates his plot's certain application to current events with his view that the current discussion on global warming is simply the latest in a chain of unscientifically verified threats including diseases caused by silicone breast implants and the threat of cancer from power lines. To him Global Warning is just the latest and potentially most dangerous weapon in the arsenal.
A Green Oscar
This debate on global warming has not only swollen its scientific and political banks but has also flooded the entertainment landscape. Al Gore and his entertainment allies, Katie Couric, Oprah Winfrey, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, and Julia Lewis-Dreyfus are 21st century Jeremiahs who wail about the coming apocalypse. Theirs is a fantasy based on an inherent fear that earthly life is all there is. Their fantasy is also a subversive plan to reduce the world population to a more sustainable number. According to columnist Ann Coulter, global warming is the left's pagan rage against mankind. It is the most insane psychotic idea liberals have ever concocted to kill off 'useless eaters.'
When Al Gore accepted an Oscar for his film An Inconvenient Truth at the Academy Award ceremonies in March of 2007, the event was called Hollywood's first Green Oscars. Gore's provocative "documentary" relied on his false belief that the earth is resilient but the atmosphere is thin and fragile. The film highlights the build-up of heat-trapping pollution that he blames for the rise in the earth's temperatures, melting polar ice caps and radically changing weather patterns. The film plays like a nostalgic journey through Gore Past, sounding more like a campaign film than a serious documentary. Perhaps Gore plans to ride global warming into the White House.
During his appearances before the House and the Senate on March 21, 2007, Gore challenged Congress to take dramatic steps to curb changes in the earth's climate. He compared global warming to the devastation after World War II and likened his opponents to fascists. He testified that Mother Nature is a powerful witness, who has been sending some pretty powerful messages. He proposed a 10-point plan that called for a tax on carbon emissions, a ban on incandescent light bulbs and a freeze on the US's yearly emissions of gases linked to global warming. With the passion of a preacher, Gore urged the passage of economic incentives for a nationwide, if not global, market system for trading pollution credits to drive down emissions.
The irony of global warming's religious underpinning has not been lost on its critics. Former University College London professor, David Orrell's new book, The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction, shows how the thinking of global warming advocates has a neo-animist aura under the dogmatic appearance of a religious cult. The author demonstrates the similarities between these advocates and the inherent prophetic nature of the religious instinct.
Al Gore is their chief prophet. He is an environmentalist evangelist whose writings and film serve as Delphian Goracles for his verdant flock. The green left has forecast an apocalypse, rivaling the Book of Revelation. They are global citizens who cannot hide their Socialist pedigree. They wear green caps instead of the ubiquitous red caps of their 18th century Jacobin counterparts. Their recent celebration of the 37th annual Earth Day had all the liturgical trimmings of a religious feast.
Kerri Houston and Ann Fava recognized the messianic intent of Gore's environmentalism in their 2000 booklet, Al Gore: America in the Balance. He is soothsayer in an earth cult that makes the salvation of nature, not man, the controlling principle of theirs lives. Gore's 1992 book Earth in the Balance, was his manifesto that declared his oneness with Mother Earth and his fervent desire to save Her from those who would ravish Her with industrial pollution and over-population.
Global Warming is a Gore faith-based initiative. According to Thomas Sowell, it is the new religion of planetary salvation that filled the void left when original sin and the Christian eschatology were cast aside. According to Michael Crichton, modern environmentalism is the religion of choice for urban atheists, a perfect 21st Century re-mapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
Gore's credentials are not impeccable. He owns a large estate in Nashville that uses an inordinate amount of energy. As a defense he offers the bromide that he has purchased carbon offset credits which is used by the wealthy so they don't have to change their lifestyles. According to columnist Tony Blankley, in the animist church of earth worship to pollute or burn carbons is a grievous sin against the living, sacred, holistic world. Gore atoned for his sins by buying these carbon offsets like a medieval sale of indulgences.
Order in the Court
The Supreme Court joined the global warming debate with its April 2007 decision, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency. The state sued because it feared its coast faced an imminent threat from a rising sea level. The court ruled 5-4 to diminish the rules of judicial standing, effectively rewriting the definition of pollutant, under the Clean Air Act from the Johnson administration. The potential effects of global warming now officially became pollutants.
Their ruling dramatically curtailed the authority of the executive branch and the Environmental Protection Agency. In his dissenting opinion justice Antonin Scalia declared that the court's alarm over global warming has led it to substitute its own desired outcome for the EPA's judgment. The majority had bought the left's green orthodoxy with its fear of rising seas levels, disappearing ecosystems, and pandemics.
Massachusetts effectively amended the Clean Air Act to include a broad congressional mandate to protect the environment. The court ruled that the EPA could not sidestep its responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming or climate change. It was the Clinton White House that determined in the late 1990s that carbon dioxide fell under the EPA's authority. The Bush administration reversed that break with judicial precedent, correctly stating that that the link between carbon dioxide and global warming cannot be unequivocally established. Global warming now came under the same judicial protection as slavery and abortion.
A Ladder to Heaven
The Catholic Church does not have a doctrine on global warming. It does teach a deep respect for nature and affirms man's stewardship over the earth. According to Psalms 24:1 the earth is the Lord's. Genesis 1:31 states that God looked at everything he made and found it very good. The New Testament proclaims in Revelation 11:18 that the time will come for the dead to be judged and for God to destroy those who destroy the earth. St. Francis of Assisi viewed creation as a ladder a soul uses to ascend to God in heaven. No. 339 of the Catholic Catechism teaches that man must . . . avoid any disordered use of things that would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.
In the Wanderer James Fitzpatrick reminded Catholics they are caretakers of Gods creation. To renew all things in Christ involves treating nature in a manner consistent with God's plan for the world. Storms, forest fires, and volcanoes naturally pollute the earth in a constant cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Man is no different. His creative energies are as much a part of nature as a mountain stream or a tree swaying in the wind. They are a part of the Biblical statement that man was made in the image and likeness of his Creator.
Nothing in Church teaching serves as a mandate to follow dictates of Al Gore and his fellow zealots. Catholics do not have to join Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. They can respect the earth without making it a pantheistic deity. Like other Americans, they will adapt to the positive realities of natural global warming. Like good stewards, many Catholics will adopt environmental safeguards that use paper instead of plastic, re-cycle trash, turn off their computers at night and plant gardens, in the belief that they are doing something to save the planet and mankind in the balance. Above all Catholics should employ a reality-based common sense by becoming informed that will militate against the charlatans and hucksters who wrap themselves in flags of revolutionary green.
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies
because they become fashions"
William A. Borst, Ph.D., is the author of Liberalism: Fatal Consequences and The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy which are available from the author at P.O. Box 16271, St. Louis, MO 63105.
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