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Why Climate Change is Similar to Religion

Updated on June 10, 2017

Introduction

Science and religion occupy different realms. Science is dealing with our physical natural world and religion has primarily dealt with spiritual and super natural realm. A new phenomenon is some in the climate change community behaving as if it is a religion.

- June 2017

Background

A former EPA executive commented that climate change has become a religion for some. I thought I should explore this in more detail. The more I thought about it, the more similarities jumped out.

Some properties of certain religion:

  • organization
  • hierarchy
  • set of beliefs
  • evangilists that preaches and teaches
  • followers or believers
  • closed to other orthodoxy
  • defends the faith
  • protect their own (priest sexual abuse scandal)
  • willing to be martyrs
  • uses fear and emotions to warn against non compliance
  • A belief in prophecies to come
  • group think mentality
  • indulgences to absolve sin

What about science?

  • "Scientific method"
  • measurements
  • repeatable and reproducible results
  • predictive nature based on theory
  • verified by equations and math
  • best fit to explain our observations
  • open to new theory or revision upon new evidence

What Do We See with the Climate Science Community?

  • A proposed theory of man caused global warming - AGW
  • A consensus of a large majority of members
  • A common belief in the greenhouse effect by CO2
  • An international organization sanctioned by the UN - IPCC
  • Some popular spokesperson such as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio...
  • Very dire projections of bad future effects on our planet
  • Closed to any other ideas - "science is settled."
  • Internal doubts are kept quiet - "climategate email scandal"
  • organized campaign to discredit skeptics or deniers
  • thought police against people who may question the theory
  • Bias of peer review of published papers
  • Inconsistencies are glossed over
  • tie climate change to environmental protection
  • issuance of carbon credits

Some Details...and Important Differences

Given these attributes, let us examine some important difference between science and religion. Religion is a belief system that is propegated voluntarily. That is to say, it is a personal choice for an individual to decide to belief in God or not. It is not coerced. It is based on faith in a super natural being who is outside of our natural sphere. The concept of miracles is well accepted and in fact part of the religious experience. The fundamental religious world view is that God created the heavens and the earth and gave man dominion over it. We are not the master but the servant.

Climate change has evolved into a religion of sorts. No one is allowed to question it. There is only one path to salvation and that is reducing our fossil fuel usage. The secular world view is that we are the only people in control of our destiny. We have the power to destroy or save our planet. We are in complete control. Is that true? What about earthquakes and volcanos and sunspot cycles or asteroids... do we really have control?

Summary

Looking at these attributes, the questions is which of the two communities do climate change fit best? Religion or Science? Let the reader decide.

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      My recent actions going green -

      https://toughnickel.com/frugal-living/How-I-am-Goi

      Which proofs one can be a skeptic on climate change and still help reduce electricity usage...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, your comments did not address the basic premise of my article. Some in the climate change community accept the theory of AGW as a given and therefore will not even consider alternative theories... They are convinced that humans are the main cause of environmental destruction and animal extinction even though it is clear by historical evidence that the earth is changing and have been changing for the longest time even before the arrival of humans. That is why it is a theory more based on faith than reality. Time will tell if this theory has legs.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      13 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, I disagree very much.

      Most particularly:

      "No one is allowed to question it."

      Untrue. However, those who rehash and relitigate debunked notions may not receive uniformly patient responses.

      " There is only one path to salvation and that is reducing our fossil fuel usage."

      "Salvation" is a specifically religious term, and has nothing to do with climate change. That the author applies it here says nothing about the reality of the science.

      However, it does appear that at present by far the most rational course of action based on human self-interest, would be to reduce our fossil fuel usage--dramatically.

      " The secular world view is that we are the only people in control of our destiny. We have the power to destroy or save our planet. We are in complete control. Is that true? What about earthquakes and volcanos and sunspot cycles or asteroids... do we really have control?"

      Again, this is the author's view, and has nothing to do with the mainstream science. I'd only add that it is a very bizarre notion that because we don't control some dangers, it would be misguided to take action on one that we manifestly *can* control.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Yes, I am not the only one making this observation. The scientists who continue to defend this and making excuses are not looking good... where are the real scientists? Science shoud stand on its own merits. I don't expect them to get it right all the time, but I do expect them to be honest about what is known and what is unknown...

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      13 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      In fact, I think in Germany, climate change IS a religion. See how they reacted when the USA pulled out of the Paris agreement. It was as if we had become Satan incarnate.

      Also, true believers in climate change are unwilling or unable to accept any evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

      You definitely are on to something here.

      Here is an excellent resource - showing both sides of the question:

      http://climatechange.procon.org/

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