Climate Change Advocacy: Science Or Religious Cult?

Written by Francis Menton

climate protest march aussie

Each day you listen to unceasing climate change advocacy, always claiming the mantle of “science.” But you can’t help noticing the steady drumbeat of the standard narratives used by religious cults.

The end of days is nigh. You have grievously sinned. Your sin is taking you down the road to damnation. Yet salvation is at hand.

But only if you and all humanity immediately repent and follow the gospel of your new climate change priests. If not, the apocalypse of judgment day shall soon be upon you.

Of course, these narratives pervade the rhetoric of the fanatics seeking to be messianic leaders of the climate movement, from the Greta Thunbergs to the Al Gores.

But over in the more sober organs of elite thought leadership, surely the climate advocacy must be based on actual science. Right?

If you are struggling with that question, perhaps you should take a look at some of the recent coverage of the wildfires in Australia that has appeared in our elite media.

Today I will pick on a couple of my usual suspects, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Both of those have featured multiple pieces over the past several days the gist of which is that Australia’s wildfires are the punishment for its grievous sins of failure to follow the true climate change gospel.

In the New York Times on January 3, it was a piece by Richard Flanagan. The headline and sub-headline were: “Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide. As record fires rage, the country’s leaders seem intent on sending it to its doom.”

The article begins by drawing a picture of the current wildfire situation as truly the beginning of climate change judgment day, complete with the hellfire and damnation:

Australia today is ground zero for the climate catastrophe. Its glorious Great Barrier Reef is dying, its world-heritage rain forests are burning, its giant kelp forests have largely vanished, numerous towns have run out of water or are about to, and now the vast continent is burning on a scale never before seen.

The images of the fires are a cross between “Mad Max” and “On the Beach”: thousands driven onto beaches in a dull orange haze, crowded tableaux of people and animals almost medieval in their strange muteness — half-Bruegel, half-Bosch, ringed by fire, survivors’ faces hidden behind masks and swimming goggles.

Day turns to night as smoke extinguishes all light in the horrifying minutes before the red glow announces the imminence of the inferno. Flames leaping 200 feet into the air. Fire tornadoes. Terrified children at the helm of dinghies, piloting away from the flames, refugees in their own country.

Wow, that sounds terrible. But what about the behavior of Australia’s “leaders” is somehow the cause of this sending of the country “to its doom”?

[I]ncredibly, the response of Australia’s leaders to this unprecedented national crisis has been not to defend their country but to defend the fossil fuel industry, a big donor to both major parties — as if they were willing the country to its doom…

Since 1996 successive conservative Australian governments have successfully fought to subvert international agreements on climate change in defense of the country’s fossil fuel industries.

Today, Australia is the world’s largest exporter of both coal and gas. It recently was ranked 57th out of 57 countries on climate-change action.

But wait — what is the scientific causal mechanism that links “defen[ding] . . . the country’s fossil fuel industry” to wildfires and destruction of coral reefs?

Even if you completely accept the causal relationship between world greenhouse gas emissions and global warming — a huge if — and even if you further completely accept the causal relationship between global warming and wildfires and coral reef deterioration — another even huger if — you are still left with the fact that, no matter how you look at it, Australia’s contribution to world greenhouse gas emissions — and therefore to wildfires or corral reef deterioration — is insignificant.

With only about 25 million people, Australia is about 0.33% of the world’s population. Per data from the European Commission database reported at Wikipedia here, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2017 were 402 MtCO2e, barely over 1% of total world emissions.

By contrast, China’s emissions in the same year were 10,877 MtCO2e, and total world emissions were 37,077 MtCO2e.

According to Climate Action Tracker, China’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.3% in 2018, and another 4% in the first half of 2019.

That means that China’s emissions increased by as much or more each year as Australia’s total emissions. Wipe Australia completely off the map, and its greenhouse gas emissions will be fully replaced in one year by China alone.

In short, there is no way to use science or scientific reasoning to pin the cause of Australia’s wildfires or corral reef deterioration on anything that that country is doing in the way of greenhouse gas emissions.

No, we are talking here about punishment for sin. Australia’s leaders have committed the ultimate climate sin of defending the fossil fuel industry. Therefore, we are told, hellfire and damnation shall rain down upon them.

And it’s not just in the New York Times. Over in the Washington Post, they have a January 5 piece by one Jennifer Mills, who among other things is a volunteer firefighter in Australia.

The piece has the headline “We’ve moved past climate denial in Australia. It’s now about blame.” And the blame, of course, falls upon the sinners:

At December’s climate talks in Madrid, we came under fire for attempting to fiddle with the books to hide increased emissions. Australia is not just dragging its feet on climate change; it is actively making things worse. Internationally, there is a sense that we are getting what we deserve.

Yea, the sinners shall be punished.

Meanwhile, does China bear any piece of the blame for these wildfires, perhaps because it has greenhouse gas emissions some, say, 25 times those of Australia, and is increasing those emissions each year by the full amount of Australia’s annual emissions?

Don’t be silly. China, after all, pays full lip service to the climate religion, even as it proceeds to do exactly as it pleases.

Do you recall the big New York Times piece of March 29, 2017, that awarded the mantle of official “climate leadership” to China for its pledges to increase the use of wind and solar energy?

Close to three years and vastly increased greenhouse gas emissions later, have you seen the “climate leadership” award withdrawn from China? I’m still looking for that.

Read more at Manhattan Contrarian

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Comments (2)

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    There is a way for a nation to reach zero carbon emissions, the removal of all organic material from the land and water. But this would only be temporary.


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    Larry Mounser


    Good piece. Eighteen months ago I predicted these fires as, near my property, which was almost destroyed, there was a excessive build up of fuel (dead sticks) on the ground in the nearby national park. However green policy has contributed to a reduction of winter burnoffs and directly caused a “no collection of firewood” ($30,000 fines) in national parks. All that stuff went up in smoke. THIS failure to reduce fuel is what made these fires so bad. Green policy. Black results. See my Facebook page for the photos.


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