Conservative Environmentalism

Conservatives often affirm that creating alarm over alleged global warming is meant to lead to another attempt at collectivist control of our lives. They say that radical environmentalism is the new communism. This makes sense but I think it misses two marks. First, it makes it sound as if the attempt would be innocent enough if only it failed. Second, it implies a certain conscious cynicism on the part of proponents of the climate change view of the world. I think both assumptions are wrong and that it matters that they are wrong.

The religious cult of climate change generates fervent belief in its followers and it will have done our society much damage even if they fail utterly to impose on us the massive socio-economic transformations toward global poverty they pursue. Its applications are ridden with large, crude errors: Today’s Wall Street Journal (10/29/09) mentions an article in the current issue of Science . The article explains how tax-subsidized ethanol turns out more carbon than gasoline.

My judgment that the climate change movement is a religious cult is based on common, ordinary observations: The forceful denial of contrary evidence, the demonization of non-believers, the attempt to shut up effective contradictors by having them fired, the apocalyptic beliefs, are all religious hallmarks of fanatical religiosity. Accordingly, most of the believers are completely sincere, I think, and all the more dangerous for that reason. It’s a strategic mistake to think they are corrupt. It’s easier to change the minds of the corrupt than of the religiously stupefied.  Continue reading

From the Comments: Climate Change Advocates and Religion

Jacques Delacroix has a thoughtful response to an equally thoughtful comment by a climate scientist (full disclosure: the climate scientist is also a childhood friend of mine and a fairly decent man; I say “fairly decent” because he sometimes associated with people like me!) in his post on the peer review process. I thought I’d reproduce the whole thing here: Continue reading