Climate Change More Religion Than Science?

DISCLAIMER: The author and publishers of the information presented in this article do not deny climate change. We pride ourselves on skeptical analysis of any argument that comes to the table.

“Global warming has become the new religion.”

This according to US-based Norwegian physicist Professor Ivar Giaever who shared the 1973 Nobel physics prize. In 2011, at age 82, Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society (APS), one of the world’s leading organizations for scientists. He left his 48,000 member peers to protest the society’s policy statement that the evidence of damaging global warming is “incontrovertible:”

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate…The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring.”

Giaever rebutted:

“Incontrovertible is not a scientific word. Nothing is incontrovertible in science.”

Giaever had backed Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election but reversed his position, joining other scientists who said, “the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated.”

For decades now, climate change alarmists have been stating as fact that excessive carbon emissions from human petroleum-burning activities are creating an “unsustainable” situation here on Earth that must be addressed immediately.

But is this true? Has climate change crossed over from fact-based science to faith-driven religion? Are those who prophesy doom by petroleum pollution bishops in a new religious order that expects its followers to believe what they are told without questioning authority?

Consider these dire predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970:

  1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
  2. Paul Ehrlich, a Nobel prize-winning American biologist, confidently stated in the April 1970 Mademoiselle, “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
  3. In 1970, Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975, widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China, and the Near East, Africa…By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

None of these climate change alarmists’ claims came true, of course – and thank goodness for that.

When a scientific guess (hypothesis) doesn’t pan out, “good” scientists revise their thinking accordingly and often pursue a different course of inquiry. “Bad” scientists, including those paid to turn their backs on the facts, are known to simply ignore (remove) data points on a chart that doesn’t fit the linear distribution needed to prove the hypothesis.

Historically, climate change has been the subject of “heated” speculation. Four years after the first Earth Day, a 1974 Time magazine article titled Another Ice Age? speculated that farming and burning fuel might be creating sun-blocking dust responsible for a cooling trend noted at the time. The researchers came up with this guess:

“As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval…[M]eteorologists…find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing…[T]he weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age…”

Fast forward 20 years. On May 9, 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty, was adopted and went into force on March 21, 1994, after enough countries ratified it.

The purpose of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-based interference with the climate system. The framework sets non-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries with no enforcement mechanisms.

The UN has been pushing the idea that there is too much atmospheric carbon to support animal life on our fragile globe. People forced by the automotive industry to burn fossil were shamed as the “planetary cost” of their individual “global carbon footprint” was calculated meticulously.

Presently, farmers around the world are protesting UN-promoted tax increases for carrying on with business as usual, using lower-cost “dirty energy” sources rather than pricier “green” solutions such as wind or solar power.

Many people who aren’t scientists suspect that “global sustainability” as defined by the United Nations various agendas for population control is much more a belief system than the subject of rigorous scientific study.

Author Michael Crichton was the first famous person to call environmentalism a religion in a 2003 speech. There is a paradoxical saying in science that “Change is the only constant.” Any climate change alarmist who promotes slogans such as “The science is settled,” is acting more like a priest than an empirical researcher out for the truth.

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