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Saturday, May 21, 2011

End of the World

The media has been having a prolonged belly laugh at a group that had the temerity to suggest that the world would end today. Of course it's ridiculous when Harold Camping predicted that the world will be over today, but not when Al Gore predicted that the North Pole would melt in five years. True believers in Gore would say that's the difference between science and eschatology. But when bogus science warns us of an apocalypse if we don't follow the tenets of their ideology, then how much difference is there anyway?

Of course no one expects MSNBC to do sneering reports of global warming activists freezing at a protest or Al Gore being forced to watch a count down of a solidly frozen North Pole. Such mockery is only directed at people who believe in more unpopular forms of apocalypses. At least unpopular at the broadcasting studios of Manhattan. Camping is ridiculous, but Al Gore is right on the money.

The only real difference between Harold Camping and Al Gore, is that Harold Camping believes what he's saying, while Al Gore preaches one thing to his followers, but lives a lifestyle in direct contraction of it. The Vice President turned Prophet of Gaia lectures on watching our carbon footprint and then flies on jet fueled carbon wings to another concert on behalf of the planet. Other aspiring prophets like Prince Charles, who admires poverty, but lives in privilege, are no better.

Of course prophets are immune from hypocrisy. Doubly so if they're false prophets. If the invariably prosperous believers in Death by Global Warming really believed in the creed, wouldn't they be selling their homes and cars, and going off to live a simpler life in the Himalayan mountains. But it's easier to believe in something than to practice it. Like all liberal social engineering projects, environmentalism is meant to change everyone's life. And there's no point in its proponents doing more than paying lip service to it, as they make it the law of the land. If Osama bin Laden could preach Islamic morality while stocking up on X rated tapes, surely Al Gore can foretell the doom of the North Pole and still take a private jet around the world.

If liberals have turned to doomsday predictions, it's because they have discovered that religion and the apocalypse can be a marvelously effective way of controlling human behavior. But their religion is materialistic, concerned with the human presence in the natural world. Even its materialism is consumeristic. The Reds had no truck with environmentalism. To a Communist, the natural world was a mass of raw resources to be used to build socialism. But to the children of the capitalists, concerned more with what they buy, than with what they do, environmentalism restraints and directs their buying habits. As religions goes, environmentalism is the Consumer Reports of theologies.

For all the talk of apocalypse and melting poles, the environmentalists really only care about what your economic activity. Buy or don't buy. But preferably buy, so long as you're buying green, or buying carbon credits along with whatever you're buying. The sinner fills up on paper towels, but the righteous man buys paper towels with a green stamp on the box. The man of little faith may drive an SUV, and the faithful may also drive an SUV, but the faithful man's SUV has a bumper sticker warning everyone to conserve something or other. Such hypocrisies are constant, pervasive and little commented on.

When exactly did environmentalism turn into a fanatical religion, complete with its own televangelists, revival concerts and scripture? Arguably that's what it always was. But what began as a movement for the responsible stewardship of the earth has been corrupted from the ethical to the fanatical. Conservationism kept humanity in the picture. Environmentalism rages at humanity. Behind its colorful drawings and its dolphin key chains is the vision of a world in which humanity and its fire sticks are the original sin.

But that primal rage has been channeled and diluted into a million businesses, into countless regulations and profitable ventures. The new environmentalists are regulatory robber barons like Al Gore, green rent seeking tycoons looking to use cap and trade, and a thousand mandatory revenue streams to fleece both the faithful and the unfaithful. There is no further way to corrupt environmentalism, its existence is already an abiding corruption. For the false prophets, the lab coated peddlers of junk science and the writers dreaming up ever more fanciful depictions of the day when the oceans rise and man finds himself paddling for safety besides the polar bear, there is nothing left but the lie.

The religious apocalypse is the break between a fallen world and a better world. But in the environmental apocalypse, it is only the end. Materialistic eschatology cannot see any way past the end or any purpose for it. Only a Waterworld in which some of us develop gills and others have to learn to kayak. The threat of their end of days is meant to badger us into bowing our heads. Buy Green or the North Pole will end in 5 years. Bicycle to work or a polar bear will chew your ear off. Their end of days lacks imagination and proof. It is constantly imminent, yet never arrives. It is held to be proven so thoroughly that it can never be disproven. And who would want to disprove it, except someone who doesn't already have a grant to prove it.

There's hardly a problem in the world that the media doesn't blame on Global Warming. When it's hot, they point to Global Warming. When it's cold, they also point to Global Warming. Earthquakes,civil wars and the end of WiFi are all laid at the door of one single phenomenon. The difference between religion and science is that one is revealed truth and the other is theory. But when men and women in lab coats start predicting the end of days if the heretics don't repent and cast out their incandescent light bulbs and SUV's, then what you have is theory as revealed truth. An experiment in eschatology.

Science requires objectivity. Combine science with ideology and you get a mandatory belief in absurdity. Everyone who self-righteously insists that global warming is science misses the point. The scientific orthodoxy of every generation has embraced ridiculous and wrongheaded theories. Science is not a pure form of revealed truth, it is the trial and error process by which we crawl toward a better understanding. A less flawed picture of the universe. Turn the scientific orthodoxy of any era into a mandatory ideology and you have killed the science and left only another belief system.

Environmentalists parade around the corpse of science on their shoulders, mount it on their walls and proclaim that science is on their side. Once you completely murder a system of using trial and error experimentation to confirm a theory, then you might as well use it as a banner on a flagpole or a trophy in your living room. But the environmentalist' science has as much relation to a living field, as the head of a dead moose mounted over a bed and breakfast's fireplace does to a living creature.

Ideology has killed science and now claims its intellectual credibility for its own. But purging dissenting scientists, burning books and silencing all critics with jeers is not science, no more than what passed for it in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany was science. It is the fanaticism of an ideology, the championing of backwardness, the exploitation of titles and terminology to silence debate and betray the ethical trust of inquiry.

The end of the world? The same people who ridicule Christians waiting for the end, are waiting for their own end. Without any real faith in it. That's the difference between Camping's followers and Gore's followers. No one will hang around with a count down clock in 2014 and wait for the North Pole to end. Not even if Gore's prediction was better known. Those who believe in Global Warming, paradoxically don't really believe that the world could actually end. They may eat up the cinematic spectacle of oceans rising, cities sinking underwater and whales doing belly flops over the Grand Canyon, but it never really touches them.

To understand why is to understand the purpose of environmentalism. Its harsh criticism of consumerism turns it into a moral activity. The Whole Foods shopper is elevated above the Wal-Mart shopper. The woman who buys sneakers made of recycled tires isn't shopping, she's engaged in an ethical communion with the earth. Environmentalism is the theology of consumerism, uplifting it rather than proscribing it, taking a cut of ordinary economic activities in exchange for its blessing.

Environmentalism is the religion of the comfortable, and the theology of the convenient. It injects a false spirituality into the materialism of the faithless. There is nothing to it but greed. From the false prophets spinning tales of the end, to scientists doing a more elevated version of the same for grant money to scribes envisioning the end for a lucrative book or movie deal. It's not the end of the world they're waiting for, but a commercial break.

18 comments:

Elizabeth said...

My daughter just graduated from college today and I waited (not very long!) to see how long it took the key note speaker to infuse global warming into the message of 'it's your responsability' to make this a better world followed with "The plastic bottle you drink water from and the car you choose to drive - I wished I'd brought a pea shooter.

Jesterhead45 said...

It makes you wonder why the Gaians haven't yet dipicted the titan Prometheus as a Devil-like figure for giving Fire to Humanity or as the Gaians would interpret the myth, the spirit of innovation itself.

HermitLion said...

Sultan,

I believe some links to your earlier posts on the matter could be useful. Since I've read them already, the words here made perfect sense, but for someone who isn't sufficiently unfamiliar with the subject (and there are many, thanks to the propaganda machine), this article might seem like an unsubstantiated rant.

As someone who is still furious about being lied to by the global warming 'pushers', I think it is prudent to help as many as possible see the truth.

Ashan said...

Daniel, once again you have written a clear, cogent appraisal of yet another folly of our time. You would do well to gather your best essays (and they are many) into a book. If you ever decide to do so, I would be honored to edit it for you.

mindRider said...

Even though most of what you state makes perfect sense not all green talk is complete nonsense as was proven by abolishing the use of CFK's that provably had an effect on the thickness of the Ozone layer. Moreover it should be clear that if we as humans continue to breed and feed (consume) in ever increasing numbers we shall eventually bring an end to the world if only the world with us as the dominant species. Nothing wrong with that, the system shall or shall not create an inheritor. At that point no longer our concern.

City Slicker said...

In religion as in most other matters, I try to follow Itzhak Rabin's "live and let live" philosophy.

Camping is a sincere and harmless fundamentalist preacher, but one thing in his belief system bothers me. His eschatological scheme includes the idea that Jerusalem will be destroyed because we Jews continue to reject JC. He isn't happy about the destruction, but, you know, bad things sometimes happen to good people. It's not a central part of his scheme, nor does he emphasise it, but it's there.

Would I be happy if Obama rejected Jeremiah Wright's liberation theology and accepted Camping-ism instead? Not sure.

Lemon said...

Politics is a religion I think.The faith and fervor of the followers of political parties often seems idolatrous.
Environmentalism is a sect within and has it's own devotees.
All of it bad.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Elizabeth, yes it's everywhere now.

Jesterhead, they'll get around to it.

HermitLion, that's a good idea. I should have done that.

Ashan, thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Keli Ata said...

Take away the suit, put Al Gore on a NYC subway talking about the end of the world he'd most likely be dismissed or hospitalized as mentally ill.

As for Environmentalism being a religion you hit the nail on the head once again. It's disturbing that even a civil rights organization describes religion as any sincerely held belief. religion and the conditions considered religious harassed.

Environmentalism (just as Atheism) would/are considered a religion. It's easy to see why colleges would revoke the tenures of professors--religious harassment. University politics are of course a major factor but I can imgine prof speaking out against Environmentalizm could e be fired for religious harrassment.
EEOC:

1. Religion Title VII defines “religion” to include “all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief19]

Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others.[20]

Further, a person’s religious beliefs “need not be confined in either source or content to traditional or parochial concepts of religion.”[21] A belief is “religious” for Title VII purposes if it is “‘religious’ in the person’s own scheme of things,”[22] i.e., it is “a sincere and meaningful belief that occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by … God.”[23] An employee’s belief or practice can be “religious” under Title VII even if the employee is affiliated with a religious group that does not espouse or recognize that individual’s belief or practice, or if few – or no – other people adhere to it.[24]

Religious beliefs include theistic beliefs as well as non-theistic “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”[25] Although courts generally resolve doubts about particular beliefs in favor of finding that they are religious,[26] beliefs are not protected merely because they are strongly held. Rather, religion typically concerns “ultimate ideas” about “life, purpose, and death.”[27] Social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not “religious” beliefs protected by Title VII.[28]"

Isn't that downright scary? Key to their definition is that it is a sincerely held belief.

The EEOC and its concepts on religion are worth reading:

http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/religion.html#_Toc203359487

Daniel, you shoud write an article on this one. Your analysis would be a great read.

Keli Ata said...

Side note: Even though Atheism is considered a religion by the EEOC, the American Atheist made some very alarming demands that the EEOC expand its definition

http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/aa007.htm

Keli Ata said...

Oh, and EEOC clause about sincerely held beliefs involving G-d can define god in very loose terms. I'd imagine an Environmentalist describing their god as a higher power or mother nature. Or who knows. They might consider a person as a god or something along those lines.

Oprah Winfrey once described Al Gore as the Noah of our day.

revereridesagain said...

Keli Ata: Atheism is not a religion. An atheist may hold to one of any number of philosophies, such as Objectivism (as do I), but our a-theism simply means that we do not believe in the imaginary supernatural beings known as "gods". (If the AA is trying to get the EEOC to designate atheism a religion, they needs to get their heads out of their rears and start behaving like grown-ups again.) The only reason for theists to designate a-theism as a "religion" is to taunt. Many theists are made uncomfortable by the sight of so many atheists walking around enjoying thier lives, un-struck by the holy lightning bolt of some enraged god or another.

Having spent over 15 years investigating all kinds of cults (back in the 1980s-90s) it is preaching to the choir to point out to me that any sort of gonzo supernaturalist fantasy with a ranting leader and a set of esoteric rules and regulations can get itself designated a "religion". However, I fail to see how this can be applied to extreme environmentalism unless it is practiced by delusionary fools who actually worship the goddess Gaia (as well as wood nymphs, satyrs, Diana the Huntress, and any other nonsense that floats their boat). It is true that environmentalists wave the flag of "science", but then so do Christian "Scientists" who don't want you to give your 6-year-old lifesaving medication because god will be angry at them for not praying instead, and fundamentalist "scientists" who need to believe that humans and dinosaurs existed simultaneously lest they be barred from the blis off heaven and cast into pain, fire and darkness by our Loving Heavenly Father. We've got degrees and shades of idiocy here.

I see extreme environmentalists as closer in attitude to die-hard supporters of Barry Soetoro Barack Hussein Obama, the sort who will not tolerate any criticism of their charismatic leader. (I just ordered the best anti-Obama bumper sticker I've yet seen: It simply reads ZOMBIES with the "O" an Obama symbol.) A religion, whatever its specific makeup, should have an element of "otherworldliness" and transcendentalism to it; a concept of moving on from what they consider this "plain of sorrows" to heaven, nirvana (the state, not the band), one-ness with the universe, whatever. "Green" cultists are merely fantasizers yearning after perfect earthly realm of green grass and trees and polar bears (quick-dyed for St. Patty's Day, perhaps?) in which they will hold the authority to mete out punishment to "unbelievers".

British writer Terry Pratchet has had a great deal of fun with variations on the theme of gods large and small (i.e., "Anoia", goddess of things that stick in kitchen drawers) as well a dingy belief systems of all kinds. I heartily recommend his "Discworld" book series to anyone seeking some relief from the insanity we encounter in the media every day. Pratchet's insanity is much more fun.

Keli Ata said...

I was commenting on this thread in general not questioning anyone in particular, so I don't understand your hostility towards me and my comments.

******

I do know people who consider environmentalism a nature religion. Nature is their god.

A god can be just about anything someone decides it to be--higher power, person, belief system. Delusional or not even a relatively new religion such as Wicca (various forms of Wicca including fairy Wicca) are regarded as a religion.

Their magick (yes with a k used in the word) can be considered a form of prayer. In fact I know Wiccans who believe this.

I still believe in this day and age anything can be considered a religion. Let's not forget that there are kooks that regard Obama as a messiah.

I don't wish to argue, certainly not point for point. But I do believe extreme environmentalists will eventually seek religious status and all of the benefits and protection that comes along with it.

Given enough pressure the EEOC could remove the god clause. Same too with environmentalists.

Same too with atheists.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

I usually add a lot more, but I'll keep this one short: Bravo.

Yes, many have honed in on the "environmentalist" movement's religiously-based claims, all under the radar of critique from most of the MSM, and with the intaglio design of "science" and "rationality" as the backing, all the while mocking the rubes who believe in the old-timey stuff like God. Ironic, really. I think it was Richard Sanford who wrote an article years ago talking about the ironic real "toxicity" of the Green Faith that mocks modern capitalism as sinful and evil, and shows the real dangers to modern society of such thinking and (what's really at stake in the end) the totalitarian impulse to tell people how to flush the jon and screw in light bulbs. Moreover, the movement is at core ideological, not scientific, and seeks like all ideologies and faiths a large measure of control over all of society. It is a notion that subsumes all of culture, and none are to escape except the elite practitioners. It even has a way to pay penance for sins in the form of Carbon Offsets, much like the Church's old indulgences to sin at the expense of mere token money. Thus for example a rich, hip, liberal couple can jet to Europe in high style and be bereft of Carbon Guilt by buying an offset--in many cases a program paid with said money that tells Third World kids to read a pamphlet on how to pump water by hand than by the more modern but carbon demon method of diesel engines, et al. It's all such rot and slop and slush. Hope the world wakes up to it.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

See also:

http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2008/03/i-was-wondering-when-id-hear-about-or.html

For the cleansing of Enviro-Sin!

Joel said...

Very disturbing information and images now floating through my mind. I guess we have no way to survive in this life!

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Joel I'm really not sure how you there from my article

Joel said...

I just feel that something is still in the works behind all the hype. I look at the different predictions as being related and even if its a money making opportunity for the scam artists, i feel that the topic is still something to be concerned with to an extent. How can we just expect our little pebble called earth in the middle of an enormous galaxy just exist forever? maybe im just crazy

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