Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More On Global Warming As Religion.....And Why It Is Wrong

This is a very long and rambling article, written by a Professor and Scientist. Mr. Brignell obviously cares very deeply about the importance of science, its history and its future. The concept of environmentalism and its associated MYTH of man-caused global warming and climate change has been called the new religion by others. The similarities are striking. You can do a search of environmentalism and religion here on this blog and find many other references. I think there is a lot of truth here. Non-scientists must make an effort to understand what science is, how it operates, and the dangers of confusing it with blind faith.

Global Warming as Religion and not Science
By John Brignell
Professor Emeritus (ESD)
John Brignell was educated at Stationers’ Company’s School and began his career as an apprentice at STC. He studied at Northampton Engineering College (which became The City University, London) and took the degrees of BSc(Eng) and PhD of London University. He joined the staff at Northampton and was successively Research Assistant, Research Fellow and Lecturer.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” Blaise Pascal

It was Michael Crichton who first prominently identified environmentalism as a religion. That was in a speech in 2003, but the world has moved on apace since then and adherents of the creed now have a firm grip on the world at large. Global Warming has become the core belief in a new eco-theology. The term is used as shorthand for anthropogenic (or man made) global warming. It is closely related to other modern belief systems, such as political correctness, chemophobia and various other forms of scaremongering, but it represents the vanguard in the assault on scientific man.

The activists now prefer to call it “climate change”. This gives them two advantages: It allows them to seize as “evidence” the inevitable occurrences of unusually cold weather as well as warm ones. The climate is always changing, so they must be right. Only the relatively elderly can remember the cynical haste with which the scaremongers dropped the “coming ice age” and embraced exactly the opposite prediction, but aimed at the same culprit - industry. This was in Britain, which was the cradle of the new belief and was a response to the derision resulting from the searing summer of 1976. The father of the new religion was Sir Crispin Tickell, and because he had the ear of Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was engaged in a battle with the coal miners and the oil sheiks, it was introduced into international politics with the authority of the only major political leader holding a qualification in science. The introduction was timely yet ironic since, in the wake of the world�s political upheavals, a powerful new grouping of left-wing interests was coalescing around environmental issues. The result was a new form of godless religion. The global warming cult has the characteristics of religion and not science for the following reasons.

Faith is a belief held without evidence. The scientific method, a loose collection of procedures of great variety, is based on precisely the opposite concept, as famously declared by Thomas Henry Huxley: The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin. The global warmers like to use the name of science, but they do not like its methods. They promote slogans such a “The science is settled” when real scientists know that science is never settled.

They were not, however, always so wise. In 1900, for example, the great Lord Kelvin famously stated, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Within a few years classical physics was shattered by Einstein and his contemporaries. Since then, in science, the debate is never closed. Read the other reasons and much more of this essay here.


Jerry Lame said...

This is a really sorry article. The author obviously values science (as do I.) But he has taken the side of anti-science in the global warming debate. He asks at the end of his essay, "Who will speak for science?" Well how about the most senior scientists in the world? The acadamies of science of the G8 plus 5 other nations have issued a statement stressing the importance of dealing with global warming. (See the Joint Scientific Acadamies' report at www.nationalacademies.org/includes/climatechangestatement.) If faith is "a belief held without evidence", then the denial of human-caused climate change is the religious cult. The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is published in reputable scientific journals. The denials are not. Brignell says that "the father of the new religion was Sir Crispin Tickell", whoever that was. A legitimate history of the science of global warming, written by a professional historian of science, can be found in the book "The Discovery of Global Warming" by Spencer Weart, Harvard University Press. The science originated in the efforts to test the scientific hypothesis that carbon dioxide might give rise to a greenhouse effect.

For a critique of this whole approach to global warming by branding it a religion instead of arguing the facts, please take a look at my blog "Letter to a Global Warming Skeptic" at lamethinking.blogspot.com.

Jerry Lame said...

The URL included in the previous post should have ended in ".pdf".

I'll try again: