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Is There A Climate Change Cult?

Of all the articles I have written for Christian Today – this is the one that I am most concerned about – not just because of the inevitable reaction (which I do not seek) but because I hope, more than in any other article, that in this one I am wrong.  I see something happening which is profoundly disturbing.  It would be good if my sight was wrong.  Feel free to let me know what you think…

Is there a climate change cult?

climate change
(Photo: Unsplash/Herson Rodriguez)

Climate change is real. Human beings contribute to climate change. There are other factors involved with climate change. Human beings can do something about the human aspect but nothing about the rest. We don’t control the winds, waves, the sun or the temperature.

It seems strange that even in Christian circles there are those who consider it almost blasphemous to make this last point. Just as strange as those who think that looking after the planet is somehow anti-Christian!

The BBC and St David

I suspect that in 2020 we are going to be hearing even more about climate change than we heard about transgender issues in 2019. The BBC have announced that 2020 is going to be their year of climate change and to kick us off they started with their former director, Sir David Attenborough, headlining the news with his apocalyptic warnings that the end is nigh.

For all the heresy hunters out there I am not a ‘denier’, but I hope I am allowed to question St David. His statements at time are treated as Holy writ, even though he is not a climate scientist. His statement about Australia was for example simplistic and inaccurate. The current bushfires we are experiencing are made worse by climate change but they have not been caused solely by it. The major reason is the Indian Ocean Diploe, which may or may not have been affected by man made climate change.

Mind you, he did point out the elephant in the room – China. If Australia could miraculously become carbon neutral tomorrow, in worldwide terms China would make up for that in less than three months with it’s new coal power plants and continued industrial development.

I suspect that what we will NOT get from the BBC in 2020 is a year of balanced reporting on the climate and the different views that people hold. If you question the current climate change doctrine you will be labeled a heretic and banned. Welcome to Climate Pravda.

Cry Wolf

I am using the religious language deliberately because one of the things that greatly bothers me is the way that this whole debate has been moved away from science into the realms of philosophical and even religious belief. The extremist approach taken ironically means that the ‘cry wolf’ approach could easily result in the wolf being let in the door. We’ve been here before. I’ve lived long enough to remember that we were going to run out of food in 1975; in the 1980s, we were promised the next ice age; in the 1990s, we were told that many nations would be under water by 2010; and who can forget Al Gore solemnly telling us that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013?!

But this current climate scare is much more serious – not just because I suspect that this time there is more truth to it – but also because of the reaction, which in some quarters has become hysterical to cultish proportions. In fact, I am seriously beginning to fear that a significant number of humans (especially our young) are in danger of being sucked into what could be described as the climate change cult.

How do Cults Work?

Religious cults tend to attract the young, well-educated middle class. I’ve yet to meet a working-class Moonie! The cults use a process of indoctrination (which they, of course, call education) and coercive persuasion to reform our thinking and practice. What the education system in the West is turning into (and what the BBC is promising) is exactly this process, where no alternatives are allowed.

And children are useful frontline troops for those who seek influence and power. How can you criticize an earnest teenage autistic Swedish girl without appearing to be nasty? From the Queen to the Pope, everyone feels obliged to praise ‘the courageous, inspirational’ young people. But there is enormous danger in using children to do adults’ work. The little Green Brigades, led and fed by their teachers and the media, could end up being as harmful as Mao’s little Red Brigades.

Cults tend to be apocalyptic. They instil fear, what Jonathan Haidt calls ‘catastrophising’. The media love stories about Australia burning, koalas dying and tennis stars being choked by smoke. But today in NSW we had significant rain – I doubt that that will make the headlines unless it results in floods. All of this suits those who are bearing their 21st century equivalent of the old street doomsday preacher’s placard, ‘the end is nigh’!

If the belief on which you base your life is that the end is nigh, then when evidence suggests that might not be the case, it’s in your self-interest to ignore or dismiss that evidence. There was a small but interesting example of this kind of thinking in an article this week in the Sydney Morning Herald. Instead of rejoicing in the fact that much needed rain had arrived, the article lamented that this would lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Why? Because the grass would grow, cattle would get fed instead of being killed, and therefore there would be more greenhouse gas! To the catastrophists – we are doomed if we don’t get rain, we are doomed if we do. The only thing that can save us from doom is when we buy into their ideology and of course buy their products. There’s money in ideology.

Cults have an unshakeable faith in their own doctrines and never allow them to be questioned. Those who dare to so will soon find themselves disfellowshiped and ostracized from public society. I know that even in writing this article I will be subject to a storm of abuse and threats. Cults of course can be based on truth but they turn complex issues into simplistic memes, laced with fundamentalist certainty.

Because of this apocalyptic certainty, cults often justify and encourage extreme action. With the climate cult there is the danger that this will go mainstream. I’ve just finished watching the Netflix series, ‘Occupied’, which has as its disappointing ending (spoiler alert) the former Norwegian Prime minister urging people to, for the sake of the planet, “attack the energy companies, forget democracy, do what you have to”.

Eco terrorism will become a thing in the next few years. The New Zealand Mosque shooter, as well as being anti-Islam, also had some ‘Green’ motivations. Describing himself as an ‘eco-fascist’, he wrote in his manifesto; “Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation, save the environment”, “the natural environment is [currently] industrialized, pulverized and commoditized”, “green nationalism is the only true nationalism”. 

If you think this is a joke, consider this message posted today:

” I honestly and truly believe that if all humans were removed from the planet it would look after its self very well thank you. Let Mother Nature do her thing.” It’s not a large leap to go from ‘human beings are the problem’ to ‘let’s get rid of “excess” human beings’!

Cults are, of course, anti-democratic and anti–freedom. A letter in the Sydney Morning Herald this week, headlined ‘The Revolution Begins Here’, argued that now was the time for a benevolent dictatorship in order to deal with climate change. In the years to come, I suspect democracy will be disabled and authoritarianism enabled in the name of ‘saving the planet’.

Cults tend to benefit the rich and powerful – those who do the controlling, rather than the controlled. Rebecca Long- Bailey in her message seeking support for her bid to become leader of the Labour party stated that she wanted to take power from the rich and powerful. One of my greatest fears is that the climate change debate will result in precisely the opposite. It is the poor who will bear the brunt of carbon taxes and lost jobs the most – not the rich. It is the corporations who will make themselves richer and more powerful. As with all cults, follow the money and you will get to the heart of the matter.

The Whole Truth

Not all those who believe that climate change is affected by human behaviour, and that we should do something about it, belong to the climate change cult – but many do. We should no more allow our belief in climate change to cause us to accept the apolcalyptic climate change cult than we would allow our belief in Christianity to accept any of the various cult spin-offs from Christianity.

A little truth is a dangerous thing. We need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Which is why I look to the One who is The Truth – and not to any current zeitgeist ideology. Sometimes those who say they trust in God are mocked. The mockers think that such faith leads to inaction and fatalism. It is precisely the opposite. It is because we trust in God and believe his promises that we do what we can to look after His creation. That’s why Christians of all people should take climate change, with all its complexities, seriously. Far better the life of faith and hope, than the life of fear, misery and anger that the catastrophists seek to impose upon us.

David Robertson is director of Third Space in Sydney and blogs at www.theweeflea.com

PS. The catastrophists and cultists who delight in disaster are themselves causing harm.  Today we learned that because of the continual negative publicity the tourist industry on which many of the affected communities is being badly hit.  Australia is NOT burning.  It is safe to come here – and the whole place is still open for business and as beautiful as ever.   But that does not suit the ‘our planet is burning’ narrative….and so the ordinary people suffer…

As the bushfires continue to rage, what might God be saying?

Quantum 77 – The One with Taiwan, North Korea, Sheffield Students, Scruton, Neil Peart, Carla Lockhart, Sinclair Ferguson, Doug Murray, and The Kings Singers

70 comments

  1. I was on a date with a girl not long ago. We didn’t get past our first drink. All I said was that I believe it is more than likely the ash clouds that grounded planes around 2012/13 are responsible for all the soot on the ice caps. To even suggest it is not all human caused is anathema to these otherwise relatively sane folk. It’s a strange form of anthropomorphism cast onto ‘mother earth’. I believe, and have blogged a little on this, that it is projected existential angst.

    If you don’t know it already, the Global Warming Policy Foundation on YouTube is worth checking out. They have actually had a couple of speakers from Australia.

    1. Erm, it’s just that there are a number of flaws in your thinking.

      Firstly, you’re mostly thinking about the fact that Greenland is getting sooty aren’t you? Because you can’t possibly mean the south pole (since the ash clouds came from Iceland). Most of the reports I’ve heard focus on that. But the winds don’t blow in that direction (well, hardly). The ash clouds headed south and east, because that’s the general direction of the jet stream. Greenland is to the west, so it wasn’t really affected by them.

      Secondly, the ash clouds were possibly made more likely by global heating. Iceland has retreating glaciers which means that there’s less weight on its volcanoes and it’s the weight of the volcanoes that keeps the magma in place. So, with less weight, the magma rises, so we’re more likely to see an eruption. So, climate change would have affected the likelihood of the eruptions.

      Thirdly, the soot on Greenland (which is real), tends to come from the west, i.e. Canada. And yes, there’s been increasing amounts of forest fires in Canada too – thanks to global heating making them more likely. I think the time frame – 2012/2013 may be correct for the Canadian fires (the volcanic ash clouds were in 2010).

      Lastly the Global Warming Policy foundation is an arch Climate Science Denialist website and full of misdirection and lies. You would be wise to avoid it. Instead, go for http://www.skepticalscience.com

      This was set up by the evangelical Christian John Cook.

      1. Hi Julian,
        Thanks for your response. It was the volcanic ash clouds I was meaning, so it would seem from your comment I had my dates wrong.
        Are you saying it is the fault of man when a volcano erupts?

  2. I think this is the main reason I reject Global Warming Alarmism (GWA) and possibly other Christians do too (along with many others of no faith). Undoubtedly humans affect climate to some indeterminable degree. But it is the distinctly religious aspects I find troubling. Apocalyptic, emotive preaching, saints (Greta) & visionaries, new code of ethical behaviour – a new ‘whole’iness, the denouncing of increasing no’s of climate sins, sage climate priests alone able to handle the complex scientifc mysteries, dogma, heresy (deniers), inquisitorial crack downs, evangelism to spread the message and save the world, hallowing of the Earth as Mother, veganism (next push), asceticism (for others usually), a rejection of the current world order, milleniarial panic, laying your life down to save the planet (nb it doesn’t care).
    It is a new religion, with most of the worst points of organised religion, that supplants the Creator with the created.
    Cynically manipulated by those who wish to see revolution no doubt. Fear is the preeminent tool of control.

  3. You have noticed how climate cultists want fewer humans. It is a religion of death that masks its intentions under pious environmental platitudes.

    Part of our Christian apologetic should be to emphasise how Jesus is the God of life. He likes people. So should we. How wonderful that technological developments mean that there are more people, with ever lengthening life expectancies. What a multitude will be in the New Jerusalem!

  4. I too have seen a cult like push from many people over the past couple years. I serve on a local commission that is connected to “experts” in Germany and here in the USA who believe that the only chance for survival is moving to 100% renewal energy from wind and solar. Last year I attended a meeting at the University of Minnesota where grad students who returned from a 10 day trip to Germany to see how that country is moving to solve the Climate Crisis were doing. One young lady was in tears as she said at the end of her time, “we only have 12 years to solve this and if we don’t, it’s all over.” That was a sad thing to hear.

    1. The 12 years refers to reducing our emissions by 50% to stand a reasonable probability of keeping temperatures to within +1.5ºC of pre-industrial temperatures by the middle (and consequently the end) of the century. We’re at 1.1ºC now. If she thinks it’s “all over” if we don’t achieve that, I believe that’s incorrect – it simply gets worse: +2ºC, +2.5ºC etc.

  5. David, to clarify what you mean, what aspects of climate change do humans contribute to and what steps can we take to deal with those aspects?

      1. The cult gets its imprimatur from ‘the science’ or rather the consensus. Is that where the battle lies then? So what do you make of apparently suitably qualified nay-sayers like ex Greenpeace Dr Patrick Moore and Dyson Freeman? They claim it’s a good thing we’re releasing prev trapped C into the cycle. CO2 isn’t a poison. Plants are apparently growing better as a result. The levels whilst rising are geologically speaking low. Is the science really that settled? The 97% consensus is spurious, the hockey stick a mismatch of data types according to some. I know we don’t wish to be labeled ignorant but isn’t it all about the interpretation of the data? Is it not reasonable to reject the dogmatic assertions based on the data without being anti-science? There are similarities between this cult and the claiming that science supports transgenderism.

  6. St David (and the BBC) have made truly magnificent documentaries on the beauty of our world and its natural wonders but they disagree with St Paul in Romans 1:20 “Ever since God made the world, he has been showing people clearly about himself. We cannot see God. But the things that he has made show us clearly what he is like.”
    As a result they became fools: “Their minds became confused and they did not understand God’s message. They said that they were wise, but really they became fools.” Romans 1:21-22.
    We should not be surprised then that in his confusion St David is far wide of the mark.

  7. Points all well made.
    I think what you’re stating has been obvious for quite some time. Seems that in a western world devoid of any strong underpinning people are looking to give their lives purpose. Once they lock into the climate change crusade way of thinking they seem totally unable to objectively evaluate any information on the subject. Their minds close. Just as in any cult, they show all the worst aspects of unthinking religious fervour & intolerance. So many people I meet are like that but when questioned nearly all really haven’t researched the subject in any depth at all. They just drink in a diet of sensationalized msm reporting. It makes people very easy to herd.
    Just another very worrying trend in a rather empty western culture I think.
    Not sure how you can combat this when it gets hold of people. They’ll just dismiss anything you say that doesn’t agree with the ‘popular’ narrative.
    This is nothing new in human behaviour, a new twist on a very old problem in societies where reasonable ideas have been pushed to damaging extremes.
    I feel very sorry for the people who believe the very theoretical worst case scenarios that are painted.

  8. I am amazed by the success of the climate change agenda with a lack of any credible data to back the agenda.
    A couple of months ago I would have agreed that man was contributing to climate change in some way. Then I started researching it. Now I’m not sure there is any truth Th the climate change claims.
    I would be interested in any data that supports the claim that CO2 produced by humans is the cause of climate change.
    When media and governments support this climate change agenda it is hard to see how the truth will ever be made known. It is a bit unsettling to see the ability of these institutions to mold public opinion in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

  9. Ha, your a brave man to tackle climate. Mr Fish got it wrong in 87. Its a cloaked subject – the science of it is obscured by the orchestrated antics of last year and the media. In sunny Scotland we’ve just been informed (with extraordinary BBC coverage for a Scottish-based event) of an International Climate conference in Weegie-land with the Scot Gov lashing out millions on Police cover alone of the event. Apparently, the 4 main parameters of earth’s long-term climate point to us heading for the next ice age. The big, background questions are – a) What has globalism to gain from this area of united global action… on top of the already consolidated global, financial institutions? b) Are we experiencing the predicted increase in shaking of the nations as a result of God removing restraints he previously had in place (by invitation). The latter being due to i) previously Christian nations now rejecting Him, and ii) many other nations allowing or even instigating persecution of His people.

    1. If you’re looking for conspiracy, the best place to start is with the fossil fuel industry, which collectively is the richest and which controls 90% of energy production on earth. As the WeaFlea says: “Follow the money”.

  10. Yes, there are definitely cultish elements to some of the climate change movement. It’s not surprising because fear drives people to behaviour and attitudes outside the norm. What is surprising is the number of Christians (especially some who comment here) who have decided after a bit of ‘research’ on the internet that climate change isn’t happening or is actually a good thing! Since when has actions without consequences been a legitimate Christian concept? A misguided faith that thinks it doesn’t matter what we do to the earth because God will make it right, is just as dangerous as cultish behaviour. The stakes are high – just as they were during the Cold War and prayer, true faith in God and human action are required.

  11. Would it not be great if christians were known for their passionate defence of the natural world , its creatures, its habitats and the people most affected by climate change. Will we be judges as having been good or bad stewards on the return of the master?

  12. Great point John. The climate debate must include more on the effects of temperature and rainfall changes on biodiversity and species across the globe. We need to stand up as Christians to be stewards of the natural environment.

  13. I spent 23 years teaching Science. In the early 90s we would rip apart Global Warming USING THEIR OWN DATA. The people pushing warming in the 80 s are the EXACT SAME FACES who were telling us we would die in an Ice Age any minute in the 70s. They were about to lose their research grants….
    I suggest any who try to maintain “climate change is real” go watch The Greenhouse Conspiracy on YouTube – a Ch4 UK Doco we used to use in classes. Another is The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007) which has interview after interview with scientists, even IPCC members, challenging the media lies.

    1. I’m afraid this is literally untrue. You can go to the back issues of New Scientist via Google books and read what they were saying in the 70s and the 80s. In the 70s climate science was just getting off the ground with the first conferences. So, if you pick, say New Scientist 1975 you find that they spend a lot of time modelling (largely without computers) natural climate shifts using ice cores. From this they deduced we were overdue for an ice age (that’s true, we are).

      In addition in the 1970s temperatures were going down. However, scientists were not concluding that were entering an ice age on account of this. Instead they had started to notice the effect of aerosols: CFCs in the atmosphere and the effect they have on solar insolation (how much solar energy hits earth), which was to reduce it; and they were noticing a thinning of the Ozone layer around the South pole.

      That’s the focus for 1975. But they weren’t predicting an ice age, that’s largely an extrapolation from a Newsweek article. If you read NS that year you find a consensus emerging on the role of CFCs and what we should do about them (ban them). It took about 15 years to do that.

      The magazine occasionally reported on the role of growing CO2 on earth and whether this was causing any warming. From the articles at this point there’s a roughly 50:50 pro or against balance of reports.

      However, if we jump to 1985 and do the same thing, then we find that climate science has moved on a great deal. CFCs are no longer an area of research, because the answer was clear; computers are being used to model climate in greater detail against a backdrop of longer term climatic processes. Here, the role of CO2 is the focus and around 90% of the articles or reports agree that CO2 is or will cause global warming.

  14. Oh dear, what a sad and tedious little article. Climate change is indeed real, and humans are indeed causing it. Back in 2008 the Garnaut climate review said, among other things, that Australia would start to experience more intense fire seasons from around 2020 (based on information from the IPCC). Lo and behold, here we are in 2020, we have already had the worst fire season on record, the fires are still burning despite the rain and we are only half way through summer. Reading articles like this, it is little wonder that activists, especially young ones, get frustrated and shout at old people like us who are playing dice with their futures.

    1. Jon – OLd? speak for yourself! I like people commenting on these articles, especially when they disagree…but not when their disagreement is so irrational and lacking in substance. The article (in case you missed it) does say that climate change is real and that humans are at least part of the cause. I would hope that our young people, if they are permitted to read articles like this, would show a greater degree of comprehension and would engage with what the article actually says…

      1. I am speaking for myself! On reading the article, you have a section in it called ‘Cry Wolf’ in which you point to various predictions which have not come true. I was pointing you to one which is particularly relevant to our current situation which in fact has come disturbingly true. Here’s another one, also presented by the IPCC. If we want to have a 67% chance of keeping global warming to 2 degrees Celsius we need emit no more than 95 billion tonnes of CO2 in the rest of human history. We are currently emitting at a rate of about 10b per year, so if we keep going at the current rate we will pass that total at around 2030. Among other unpleasant consequences 99% of coral reefs would be wiped out at 2 degrees. The reason we need such drastic action now is because global governments, including ours, have delayed and obfuscated for 20 years in the face of clear warnings which are now coming to pass. The thing is, none of this is religious, never mind cultish, it is cold hard science. Sure, the numbers and dates might not be precise (the IPCC doesn’t claim they are) but the processes are well documented. People are not angry – I am not angry – because we have been sucked in by a cult. I am a mainstream Christian of 40+ years standing. People are angry because they are frustrated by continued excuses for not dealing with a pressing problem.

      2. Yes – I am aware of the IPCC and largely trust them. But some of the figures are just guesswork. A 67% chance of keeping to 2 degrees? Only 95 billion in the rest of human history….so we only have en years latter. But again you miss the point….I was no disputing that climate change is real. I was talking about some of the extreme reactions..

    2. David, those numbers are the best science available. Perhaps they are wrong and it is 150 so we have 15 years. Perhaps it is 50, so we only have five. But the process is not disputed beyond a few cranks.

      But your ‘extremists’? You have built a straw man/woman/child, and the whisps of straw are very then indeed. David Attenborough, an extremist? Greta Thunberg (not named but clearly referenced) whose every speech has the one message – ‘listen to the scientists’? There is nothing extreme about either of these influencers, sitting at opposite ends of the age spectrum but delivering the same message – we have a,serious problem. Yet you put them into bag with the Christchurch shooter because his long incoherent rant included a reference to the environment, and some random SMH correspondent advocating benign dictatorship. Where does this lead you? You say you believe the science but belittle the value of the actual things the scientists say. You label moderate voices as extremists and followers of a cult. Where does this take you? Should we heed the scientists’ warnings and take action? Or should we go on emitting just in case they are wrong and only stop when we are already past 2 degrees of warming and still heading up?

      1. Its easy to dismiss your opponents arguments by calling them cranks…its better to deal with the arguments. I have read plenty scientists who dispute that the world is about to end or enter an irreversible decline in 10-15 years times. Yes – It think that poor Greta is an extremist (or at least the people for whom she is a mouthpiece). I have a lot more respect for David Attenborough – although his colleague David Bellamy does not agree with him. Don’t simplify my arguments or misrepresent them. Life is more complex than your simplistic black and white doctrines..!

      1. If only it was that simple! I don’t know. We must certainly do what we can to reduce carbon emissions, protect the poor and enable us to live with climate change.

      2. Well that would be good news! Could you let me know where Greta and David have spoken about helping the poor and making sure they don’t bear the brunt of carbon taxes? And where they have said that we ought to mitigate the effects of climate change as well as seek to limit it?

      3. You seem to have made a large logical leap in assuming that carbon taxes are the biggest climate-change related hazard the poor face. But on concern for the poor, here is Greta.

        ‘I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.’
        https://www.lifegate.com/people/news/greta-thunberg-speech-cop24

        And here is Sir David, albeit in a documentary about plastic since I don’t have all day to look for quotes.

        “Humankind’s ability to produce this material on an industrial scale far outstrips our ability to manage it, and as a consequence plastic is choking our rivers and seas. This is particularly true in poorer countries, where the ability to manage waste is inevitably overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of plastic being used. In turn, this is causing serious illness and even death for countless people and wild species, as this report outlines.”
        https://www.eternitynews.com.au/world/how-rubbish-is-killing-the-worlds-poor/

      4. That shows both Greta’s ignorance of economics and politics – and to some extent her hypocrisy. If the world adopted the policies she says she wants – it is the rich who will continue to be rich and the poor will suffer more. The rich can afford the carbon taxes – the corporations are all incredibly woke because they see a way to make money out of it. Government will tax the middle class and the poor in order to deal with climate change and the money will be handed over to the wealthy. So there are people in Scotland today who will die because they can’t afford to properly heat their homes – part of the reason for that is the green tax on energy – which is then used to subsidise wealthy landowners as they put up wind turbines on their land – to the tune of £20,000 per year per turbine. Meanwhile the poor will be discouraged from flying on holiday and the rich will continue to fly first class to their conferences where they protest that people fly! Itt’s the poor who will lose their jobs – not the wealthy. She is right though – I suspect that our civilisation could be sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of rich people – but that sacrifice will come through the madness of the extremist extinction rebellion ideology – not because I eat a beef burger!

        Sir David’s quote says nothing about the poor.

        One of the best ways to improve the environment would be to lift people out of poverty – not everyone has the luxury of having billionaire friends who can loan you their yacht so you can virtue signal about not flying (although you caused a whole crew to fly!) or the largesse of the BBC who will fly you all over the world in order to make programmes telling us how flying is destroying the world – and us ordinary plebes should not be permitted to do it.!

        Neither Greta or David have given any consideration as to how the implementation of their policies will affect the poor. Unless you have something else?

      5. Hmm, there is a lot in your comment. You seem to have immersed yourself in climate denial literature and so the talking points flow fairly freely, from the dismissive cracks (‘cult’, people flying, ‘woke capitalists’ and so forth) to the more considered points about the costs of action and who will bear them. And lest you say ‘but I accept the science’, this has also become a denier tactic in recent years – since the science is now pretty obvious (we can see it with our naked eyes now) people like Lomborg et al have given up denying that and progressed to denying we can do anything about it or suggesting it won’t be that bad. Both are wrong.

        Without writing a tome in your comments section, a couple of brief reasons.

        1. The argument ignores the costs of climate change itself. These costs are not just a figment of the left-wing imagination – even conservative bodies like Australia’s financial regulators are highlighting climate risks. This article appeared in my in-box this morning. https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/articles/business-thinking-has-changed-as-temperature-rises-on-climate-change-related-risk/. These costs fall much more on the poor than on the rich. Consider some of the impacts here in Australia. In the last two years agricultural production has been down by about 20% owing to drought – this is part of the long-term trend to decreased rainfall in the southern part of the continent. This immediately affects rural communities, which are already poorer than major cities, and flows through in higher food prices which have a disproportionate impact on poor people. Another example is tourism – for instance the tourism industry based around the Great Barrier Reef employs about 60,000 people in north and central Qld (more than the coal industry in the whole country). How many of these jobs will be lost as more frequent bleaching events – already happening – kill off parts of the reef? Once again, low-wage casual jobs lost, in economically struggling communities.

        If you lift your eyes wider the impacts are much worse in places like sub-Saharan Africa where extreme weather events cause massive dislocation and hunger, or in the delta communities of Bangladesh where millions are being displaced by more frequent inundation, Indian rural communities who see their crop production (much of it subsistence) impacted by the more frequent failure of the monsoon, various Pacific islands where sea level rise threatens whole communities and even nations. Countries like Australia have the resources to adapt, if we would only use them, but these poor countries are struggling to cope already.

        2. The second tendency is to overstate both the costs of mitigation, and their impact on the poor. I am aware that you are only new to Australia, but you may have noted that power prices continued to rise at much the same rate after the Abbott government abolished the carbon tax. The tax was essentially a scapegoat for wider policy failure. You may also note that the big campaigners against the carbon tax were not the advocates of the poor, like trade unions or welfare bodies, but business organisations and big power companies. Why were they so opposed, if it was going to make them rich?

        I’m not familiar with the economics of power generation in the UK which you reference. Here in Australia the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO – the body that runs the national power grid) has developed a 20 year Integrated System Plan. This plan is focused on replacing the two-thirds of Australia’s coal generation capacity that will reach the end of its economic life in the next 20 years, and envisages it being replaced entirely with renewables backed by dispatchable storage. This would take the power grid to between 70 and 80% renewables by 2040. They don’t propose this because of ideology but because of economics – renewables plus storage is now the most economically viable option and is completely technically feasible. The analyses that project huge costs – such as the one promoted in the News Corp papers before the last election – are generally based on hugely inflated costs for renewables.

      6. Don’t be so quick to judge….I have not immersed myself in climate denial literature.

        Yes – climate change will affect the poor. Thats not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how the methods to impact climate change will disproportionately affect the poor. A flat carbon tax on travel, holidays and energy affects the poor more. I see no interest in the poor from Greta or David. You have yet to show me any evidence that they are concerned about it…that’s all I asked.

        And yes – here we go again – as with Brexit – we have middle class yuppies speaking on behalf of ‘the poor’ – telling them they are too stupid to make up their own minds and care for themselves. The people of West Sydney need the progressives of Newtown and the Eastern Suburbs (who all care for the poor – it’s justt they don’t like living with them!). When the Middle classes are prepared to take a bigger hit than the poor then I’ll believe they are serious. Until then I largely regard them as virtue signalling hypocrites.

        One example of this hypocrisy – is the SMH – who use the same arguments as you – but this week wrapped them in a supplement encouraging flights to Japan!

      7. I have still to hear what course of action you think we should take, while you tear down your caricature of the courses of action that are actually on the table. Was someone proposing a flat carbon tax? Have you examined the structure of the carbon tax that was implemented here in Australia, along with the various compensation measures to cushion those on low incomes from the impact? How about other policy options – for instance, regulation, direct subsidy, carbon trading? Withdrawing existing government subsidies for fossil fuels – currently $5.2t per year globally and $29b here in Australia according to the IMF? https://reneweconomy.com.au/global-fossil-fuel-subsidies-reach-5-2-trillion-and-29-billion-in-australia-91592/

        Also, hilarious belly laugh at the criticism from middle class people of other middle class people advocating for the poor. Or are you an unemployed sole parent masquerading online as a Bible teacher or whatever? Me – totally middle class, but I have spent my entire adult life working to alleviate poverty, particularly in homelessness and affordable housing. I find it amusing when people (hopefully not you, I don’t know your history with this) who have never shown any concern for the poor in their lives suddenly get all worried about poverty when someone wants to stop really rich people from emitting greenhouse gases.

      8. When you place a renewables element on energy charges – that is a flat carbon tax. As are airport carbon charges etc. If you were advocating that the rich should pay more for flying, fuel, energy etc then I would agree.

        You have a somewhat bizzare view of green campaigning – its all about stopping really rich people from emitting greenhouse gases?! So the Greens are happy for poor, middle class, and mildly rich people to emit greenhouse gases – 99% of the world’s population! What green campaigners are you reading? It would be fascinating to see how they only want to stop the really rich from carbon emissions!

        I’m still waiting for your info from Greta and David how they are going to help the poor when Green austerity imposed by the wealthy kicks in…

        This article may help you understand my perspective – https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/01/22/why-the-capitalist-class-has-gone-green/

      9. The assumption behind your question makes it impossible to answer. Since they are not advocating things you think they are, I can’t show you where they say they are not advocating it. And it’s ironic that after telling me that you have not immersed yourself in denialist literature, the first thing you refer me to is an article on Spiked, denier central, which is full of just the kind of denier talking points you use. Plus another list of things you don’t think should happen. So I am going to assume you think we should do nothing about emissions and let the planet warm.

      10. Jon – it was YOU who told me they were advocating for the poor…all I asked was some evidence for that. You were not able to offer any. Little wonder it’s impossible to answer! And yes I read a wide variety of sources – you should try it. Apparently you think that you can’ read anyone who you predetermine as a ‘denier’. Given that I already wrote that we should do something about emissions I assume that as well as prejudice you add dishonesty to your armoury of weapons…

      11. I’ve been aware for a while that you’re not actually reading my replies, since I provided you with quotes from both and also an example of an action by Greta. Now I realise you’re not even reading your own replies. Here is your question.

        ‘I’m still waiting for your info from Greta and David how they are going to help the poor when Green austerity imposed by the wealthy kicks in…’

        Which assumes they advocate ‘Green austerity’ and a flat tax on carbon, which I have never heard either of them advocate. Show me the quote where they advocate these things. Have you checked out the design of the Australian carbon tax and associated policies yet?

        I read lots of denier literature, I even read your article and the article from Spiked that you linked to. That is how I recognise the rhetoric. Since I’m pretty sure you haven’t read the previous articles I have provided a link to, I wouldn’t bother finding the link to this one but google ‘stages of climate denial’. You are currently at Stage 4, with a side of obfuscation. Hence you say ‘Given that I already wrote that we should do something about emissions…’ but you oppose any of the options suggested for how to ‘do something’ and have none of your own. Put up or shut up.

      12. Jon,

        I read your replies….please don’t be so rude and aggressive. Your replies are not so brilliant that anyone who is not automatically convinced is an idiot!

        And yes I am still waiting for your evidence that Greta and David are concerned for the poor who will be affected by their policies. I admit that I was unaware that they advocated a progressive graduated carbon tax – whereby the rich pay more. Could you point us to the source of this information?

        I am however grateful to you for providing evidence that the Green movement is like a religious cult. You even have steps to show where someone is backsliding from your doctrine. Any one who disagrees with you (no matter the science, logic or facts) is of course a heretic and blasphemer and must be dealt with accordingly.

        You argue that I should ‘put up or shut up’. The rudeness and arrogance! Thankfully this is my blog and I have standards (and also a limited amount of time). I moderate comments here because I want people of various persuasions to feel that they can have a discussion without the usual internet ranters taking over. Unless you are able to actually come up with some evidence for David and Greta advocating for a progressive carbon tax, and moderate your language a wee bit – I’m afraid I will leave you to your own blog, or whatever means, to rant to your hearts content.

        (by the way did you see that Greta in her latest diatribe – although I suspect it is not hers – is now arguing for zero carbon – not even zero net carbon….it would be interesting to see how she, and you….will achieve that without wiping out the human race!)….

  15. If you want some scientific analysis of climate alarmism a good place to go to is the website ‘WattsUpWithThat’. They have had some really good responses to the alarmists’ claims concerning the bushfires in Australia. And recently there was much panicking about a supposedly record-breaking amount of warming of the world’s oceans. This claim is examined at great length here:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/14/the-ocean-warms-by-a-whole-little/
    Part of the problem is that most of the predictions are based on computer models and, so far, computer models have not shown themselves terribly successful when it comes to predicting the future. For example:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/12/paper-praising-models-predictions-proves-they-greatly-exaggerate/
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/17/were-ipccs-1990-medium-term-warming-predictions-accurate-no/
    A further point of importance concerns climate sensitivity. It is generally agreed that doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could raise global temperatures by 1 degree Celsius. Climate sensitivity then causes an increase in that one degree. But scientists are in considerable disagreement when it comes to measuring climate sensitivity.
    This link will take you to a whole bunch of articles on climate sensitivity.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/category/climate-sensitivity/

  16. Fires ‘worst on record’? Well nowhere near as yet but praps ‘thus far in the season’ was meant. This article re the bush fires from informed sceptic Dr Roy Spencer is illuminating. https://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/01/are-australia-bushfires-worsening-from-human-caused-climate-change/
    So this season 10-18M Ha have burned so far https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-50951043
    (Nb the real map there as opposed to the scary ones).
    Huge. Terrible. But in 1974-75 117M Ha burned in central Oz. 45 yrs ago… https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia
    Not predicted, not due to CO2 and 10X greater, but no one lived there. 1968-9 40M Ha. 69-70 45M. 2002 38M Ha burned. The stuck record of Alarmist propaganda every time there’s a natural disaster is a symptom of its religiosity as every event is filtered through that world view.
    Of course CC is real – Ice Ages, volcanic winters, the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, desertification of Sahara, Mayan collapse, El Nino and a multitude of other lesser but important fluctuations. Most largely unpredictable. It appears to be slightly warming now again after a plateauing for 16 yrs. Computer modelling is so dependent on so many variables. Of course 7B people will affect climate, like billions of trees affect it. But majorly? Catastrophically? Coral reefs just migrate, fewer people die of hypothermia, crop yields increase, low lying atolls get built up again (the Obamas bought a mansion in Martha’s Vineyard just a few Ms above sea level – what does he really believe?!).
    It’s the Alarmism and Eco moral panic that’s the problem leading to rushed political, moral and social change where, eg, eating meat and having babies will soon be ‘ethically wrong’. Weaponised predictions used to create fear.
    The moral high ground? Scepticism based on Big Oil’s interests and dark dealings? Greens just altruistic? Links with the Renewables industry, cultural Marxism – the most ardent are anti-capitalist, research and Gov funding, misanthropic animal rightists who just wish we’d all die, exist. Also unforeseen consequences of past Green meddling – increase of nasty diesel engines, move away from clean nuclear power and now contribution to the fire fuel levels by misplaced conservation. I’m not for pollution, greed and unbridled exploitation but I recognise a new religion. That makes me look sceptically at its supposed scientific truth claims. There’s hard, repeatable science then there’s interpretative and historic science – not the same.

    1. David, I know we’re talking about climate change but the way you attack Greta T is surely unnecessary. She is a young girl doing amazing work to educate, inspire and challenge. She has access to the same information we do and she has chosen to act.

      You clearly didn’t read the articles that Jon sent through. You may owe him an apology!

      1. No – I read the articles – so no apology necessary. And I made no attack against Greta Thunberg but those who are manipulating and using her. She is an autistic teenager who finds herself in a horrendous spotlight . What I object to is using children in this way.

        I don’t think she is educating or inspiring or even challenging. She projects doom, gloom and fear. She may actually be doing a great deal of harm.

  17. David, from your PS:
    ‘Today we learned that because of the continual negative publicity the tourist industry on which many of the affected communities is being badly hit. Australia is NOT burning. It is safe to come here – and the whole place is still open for business and as beautiful as ever.’

    Your optimism is probably commendable but ‘the whole place is still open for business’?? Seems a bit forgetful of the people whose businesses/livelihoods were destroyed in the fires so far. And Australia is still burning.

    1. Not at all….I’ve been told by people in the affected areas that the nightmare is the tourists now staying away. Australia is not burning (at least any more than usual – there are always bushfires – earlier this month was exceptional in terms of their extent).

      1. Exceptions make bad news…Mallacoota (pop. 1000) was largely destroyed but even there as the local news report there are signs of life returning and “Tourism operators hope that the same volume of people who fled during the fires will come back to stay in the region eventually.”

  18. I listened to a clip from Greta recently declaring we need 0 emissions now! Not net 0, 0. This is millenarial panic. The whole world economy brought to a grinding halt causing the deaths of millions due to cold, starvation etc etc. (Like every Marxist revolution!). This is ridiculous, childish misanthropy brought about by a warped world view undergirded by a terrible, deliberately induced fear. She is a victim of psychological abuse. The infantilisation of society that world leaders listening to her represents is a product of moral authority now deriving from how really, really angry, scared and offended you are!
    Science, as a discipline, is facing a ‘Reproducibility crisis’ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis where a large proportion of research has been found to be unreproducible. This has been known for years in Medicine. Science is done by people subject to bias. It is not a bastion of truth. Only if repeatable and controlled for. It should never be gospel till then and should be challenged continuously. Climate science is in the business of prediction, dodgy at best. It behoves us to be sceptical and not see it as dogma to be defended.

  19. No David, exceptions show us that the statement ‘the whole place is still open for business’ wasn’t actually true.

    1. You are being somewhat pedantic. When the Bible says that ‘all Jerusalem’ went to see John the Baptist – that statement is not proved false by your finding one person who didn’t. Yes – the whole place is open for business – obviously if your shop has burned down it isn’t – but even in the most severe cases such as Mallacoota they are relying on the tourists returning….

      1. No David, not being pedantic. Simply encouraging you to give accurate information about the bushfires so that those who rely on you for that can pray for the people STILL cut off in places like Mallacoota and the people working to get the Princes Highway open again. Is that too much to ask?

      2. I like to think my readers have some degree of intelligence and that when I say Australia is open for business – they are not dumb enough to think that includes the business that has burnt down. I have given my readers accurate information. If you choose to play word games and be pedantic – that’s fine. But we’re done….

  20. Sounds like David is confused about the difference between climate and pollution. Climate is cyclical. The unmanipulated data proves that. For example, I have a chart from NOAA on the history of temperatures in Texas from 1902 to 1914 that shows a clear cycle of about 50 years of low-to-high-to-low-to-high temps. The CC cultists are now using a 30-year cycle, because 50 years destroys their claims. And I’ve never heard a Christian say we shouldn’t be good stewards of the earth.

  21. Those who are in favor of living a life threatened by OTHER people who still drive cars are ahistorical and probably have never heard of some of the things that took place just a few lifetimes ago. Maybe some have heard of Al Gore, but he, too, has limited time before he is forgotten.

    Botanist John James Audubon toured the American continent painting birds and in one of his paintings he portrayed a bird sitting in an orange tree. Todays plant specialists have noted that the Orange Tree was a type that today can only grow in south Florida because even north Florida is too hot for it to grow in. Audubon died in 1851.

    Those who think cattle are flagellating so much that they are destroying the planet probably don’t realize that in the early 1800s up until the early 1860s had a population estimated to being in the many millions and they roamed over all of North America. There is even a trail back behind my house which started out as a buffalo trail. Its the Natchez Trace.

    And little Greta has become the Baby Jesus of the climate movement, but fact checkers are finding out that unlike Jesus, she has a sinful, lying streak to cover up what her guru told her to say, a man who has worked with Al Gore who was, buy the way, trying to start an electric car company and needed a reason to say we were all going to die before 2020. His previous trial balloon for electric car sales was telling everyone that the internal combustion engine was more deadly than the Atomic Bombs we dropped on Japan. Yawn.

    Am I am denier? Well, that’s like saying someone is an atheist who spends his time trying to prove what is not scientifically provable. And it was a genuine genuis of the type found in Germany known as the Little Dwarf, when Global Warming was changed to climate change. Heck, how can one deny that this earth is a dynamic force that is in constant change. I can only say that I am glad the dinosaurs were already gone when I was born.

  22. In Greta T. I see a passionate young women who cares enough about what she believes in to try to do something about it. Whether she is right or wrong, I don’t know. What I do know, because God’s Word assures me, is that there is a graver danger than climate change, and that without Jesus Christ we are all eternally undone. Greta’s activism is a challenge to me – do I have the like passion about what I believe, that I do something about it?

  23. Greta Thurnberg’s “doom , gloom and fear” are, thankfully, a million miles away from the erstwhile message of the “wee free and unco guid.”

  24. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”
    Isaiah 51:6

    1. Hi Josh, I love the verse you have quoted because I am daily reminded of the loss of my wife in April. This is really a great hope.

  25. Hmm. I just checked the Wikipedia page about Aust Bush fires I linked to in my post way above. The entire piece has been re-written. The table showing the historic areas burned has gone. Just a few lesser fires are referenced. It’s now all about Climate Change and that 2019-29 is the ‘worst on record’ mantra. So, according to BBC 11M ha have burned by end of Jan this season, terrible, but in ’74 117Mha burned in central Oz. where few lived the page used to say. As I ref above several fires consumed more land than this one but it doesn’t fit the message. Was the prev piece mistaken or an inconvenient truth? Overused, but Orwellian in it’s disregard for truth. I am shocked. And it’s apparently unchallenged or unchallengeable. It’s a cult all right.

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