Eco-Apocalypse and the Real Climate Deniers
False prophets and false gospels have been the plague of mankind for thousands of years. So concerned were Christ and the apostolic New Testament writers over the inevitable proliferation of false prophets and their teachings once “the Truth” was established through Christ, that warning against them is central to New Testament teaching. But for all the warnings, ask a modern Christian to name today's false prophets and they will struggle.
While the NT writers were mostly concerned with the perversion of core Christian teaching, they were also concerned over the people's general gullibility on the subject. From a Christian and religious perspective one or two are easily identified. Mohammed claimed to be a prophet who received divine revelation. Inside the church many would say that many major TV evangelists are false prophets for claiming miraculous “apostolic” abilities (and the riches that go with them). But false prophets do not always come in “churchy” or religious garb, many come wearing Armani suits, substituting the language of reason or science for religious faith – though what they claim remains faith-based. But the essential claims don't change. It is: listen to me, I have special knowledge (gnosis), do what I say or we're all doomed. Many observers have recognised all of these facets in today's Environmentalism movement. As the recently deceased science writer Michael Crichton pithily described it, environmentalism is the “religion of choice for urban atheists.” Its claims are apocalyptic. Its gospel requires sacrifice. Its commandments and orthodoxy are authoritarian. But is it all based on facts and evidence, as is Christianity? Hardly. Most of the claims of the modern environmental movement have more in common with apocalyptic prophecy. Chief among them the gospel of climate change that claims it knows what the weather will do in 100 years time, when, oddly, our TV forecasters can't tell what it will do even next week.
Others simply see the Environmental movement having become more and more politicized since the 1950s. Once genuine concerns for the environment have now become a means to imposed greater centralized, social control. The new environmentalism has been likened to a “watermelon”: green on the outside, but all red inside. And it is this mostly prophetic and political nature of the modern environmental movement that should give us our deepest clue about its true nature and its “gospel” of climate change fear.
For at least a decade, intimately connected with energy use, have been claims on climate change. Professor Richard Lindzen, arguably the world's most renowned climate scientist, describes our understanding of the science of climate as “primitive.” Yet many in the media persist in treating alarmist “climate experts” as “all-knowing.” But then the same media have a long history of taking up “end is nigh” scaremongering. It's good for ratings. We have had a litany of warnings that “billions could die” when AIDS, Avian flu, SARS, Ebola, mad cow disease, the millennium bug – the list is endless – hit the headlines. When they didn't of course, media alarmists shrugged, claimed they “simply report the facts” and moved on to warn about the next looming disaster.
Since man set foot on the earth however, nothing has quite gripped the angst-ridden imagination like the weather gods visiting their fury at human behaviour and life, so much connected with the use of fossil fuel energy. Media editors know this. Where once we banished such “end is nigh” eccentrics to the limits of society, today, they are feted for spinning prediction as science and conducting publicly-funded research to “save the planet.” Their messages are aided by apocalyptic video game scenarios passing for media news reports.
Nowhere has this been thrown into more graphic relief than in two international climate conferences held in March this year. The “expert” conclusions of each could not have been more starkly divergent. But it is in the aims, nature and public pronouncements of each conference that we discern where the real science of climate understanding lies, and thus who are the real “climate deniers” today. All of which has profound implications for the future of energy, energy policy and energy investment.
The Alarmist Conference
The climate alarmist conference in Copenhagen was attended by over 2000 activists, mostly non-scientists. It was billed as an “emergency summit” ahead of next December's UN global climate summit to be held in the same city. Such is the panic among climate/political activists that world governments will use the economic crisis as an excuse to avoid committing to binding national carbon targets come December, it was felt vital to up the political ante. If you thought that would mean scientists pointing to the latest accruing scientific evidence of impending disaster, however, you would be wrong. Far from presenting any new (or old) actual evidence, the conference majored on politicians doling out the media's headlines based on the latest apocalyptic computer-modelled predictions.
The conference duly warned of even higher sea levels and even higher global temperatures all presaging even greater catastrophes. Apparently warnings of temperature rises of 2 to 3 °C clearly were not shocking us enough. Now they could be as high as 4 or 5 °C. The London Times reported the conference as claiming the “ice sheets are melting” and that increased global warming would lead to other “impacts”, including more “hurricane activity.” And just to show how previous prevarication by world leaders has already cost us, we learned that “two years ago it was widely thought that holding temperature increases to a maximum of 2 °C was achievable if governments made the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050. It is now recognised that an 80 percent cut is needed.”
To sum up, the alarmist conference in Copenhagen was not about science, it was about politics and prophecy. For the actual science, including the latest scientific evidence and trends, observers in Copenhagen would have had to travel to New York.
The Non-Alarmist Conference
700 climate “sceptics”, many of them scientists, including Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, attended the “Second International Conference on Climate Change, Global Warming: Was It Ever Really a Crisis?” The conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute, was held in New York on 8-10 March. This was a wholly different kind of affair. It focused on the empirical science of climate, the latest scientific data and climate trends. As such, in dealing with the gritty reality of climate science, it duly got almost zero mass media coverage. Most journalists, it seems, do not like dealing with real science and allaying public scares is just bad for business.
In complete contrast to Copenhagen, the New York conference was addressed by a who's who of distinguished climate scientists. As well as hearing from Professor Lindzen, the conference was addressed by Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former director of the International Arctic Research Center, Professor Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute and Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to name but a few. These eminent scientists are the very ones the media likes to smear as “crackpots” and “climate deniers.” What the conference received was the fruit of real research and study that showed sea levels, far from experiencing dramatic rise, are seeing the same level of rise they have been seeing for over 200 years. Professor S. Fred Singer, highlighting the claim of one alarmist who warned a rise of even 18 cm over a century would be “catastrophic”, pointed out that the gentleman concerned is, “apparently unaware that 18 cm a century is the ongoing rate of rise – which implies no additional rise in sea levels. In other words, the human influence is zero.”
Alarmist claims over the “melting of the Western Antarctic ice sheet” also got short shrift as it was revealed the long-term melting of the Western ice sheet has been known about for decades. Far more significant was the data that confirmed how the Antarctic is not melting at all except for one tiny corner, the Antarctic Peninsula. The lack of scientific evidence that global ice was in meltdown was tied in with the fact that key computer modelled temperature predictions – upon which the whole alai mist edifice stands – assume a linear rise in temperatures as carbon emissions rise. But such computer predictions were shown to have proven consistently and hopelessly inept. Far from following the linear rise anticipated by the alarmists, the actual satellite-measured global temperature data reveals that global temperatures have flattened out in recent years and, more recently, dropped. On the plain scientific data, if the present trend continues, the world will in fact be 1.1°C cooler by 2100. In short, the world's ice is not in meltdown. Similarly, claims that hurricane activity was rising was refuted by the scientific data showing hurricane activity, currently, is at a 30-year low.
Much more could be said, but reading the New York presentations (linked below) one can only be impressed by the standard of empirical scientific study and debate and, in Copenhagen, the distinct lack of it. The juxtaposition of these two conferences is thus iconic of the entire climate debate – or rather the mass media's collusive and shameful closing down of it. Unfortunately, many political leaders have simply bought the media-dominating alarmist line.
Vaclav Klaus, keynote speaker at the New York conference and current president of the European Union, lamented that, “the minds of world leaders are firmly shut to anything but the fantasies of the scaremongers.” Yet it's those same leaders who are about to consider diverting vast economic and energy resources at December's “Kyoto II.” Frightening, when you consider they will do so based on an agenda propagated by a highly anti-intellectual, exclusively prophetic, anti-science “faith” movement – the real climate deniers.
You would think that church leaders, churches and Christians, having been pre-warned, would know a false, different, highly prophetic, competing movement and gospel when they saw it. All the evidence, however, suggests too many church leaders and churches have swallowed the environmental green agenda wholesale taking no notice that almost all its major claims are based, not on fact and genuine evidence at all, but on apocalyptic, fear-inducing, prophecies that presage the “end is nigh.” The fact is, we may come to Christ “green” in our spiritual understanding, but green soon becomes a deeply unbecoming colour once we mature in our great faith.