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Why Climate Change is Similar to Religion
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
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:
- 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"
- 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?
Looking at these attributes, the questions is which of the two communities do climate change fit best? Religion or Science? Let the reader decide.