2011-05-08 06:13:04Washington Times: global warming is a religion
John Cook


Brace yourself:

Though cloaked in scientific terms, the tenets of global warming are essentially pagan. This belief system, which cannot be questioned, holds that material sacrifice - turn down your thermostat and trade in your light bulbs - will result in a change in the weather. It is the modern equivalent of a rain dance.

Boggles the mind, the Orwellian thinking that accuses peer-reviewed, evidence-based science of religion while engaging in anti-science ideologically driven denial. Maybe we need to do a rebuttal of "AGW is religion" argument - essentially rehashing our discussion of the evidence for AGW.

2011-05-08 06:27:32


JC: Some perspective: The Washington Times is well-known to be the mouthpiece of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

They just don't like the competition.

2011-05-08 07:28:30


John: I am currently researching the i.d. and creationist inputs to the "scientific debate".


A surprising number of prominent deniers are young-earthers.  I have no problem with people's religious beliefs, but when a young-earther writes what purports to be a scientific paper on climate change, fossil fuels or any area of science which has foundations in millions of years of geological / climatic / biological evolution then imo they should declare an interest.

Here's just one of my recent discoveries:


the link to anthropogenic (man-made) goes off-site to



There are many other ways in which those two sites are linked, as e.g. by common funding sources and by 'experts' in common.


Now read what one of their 'climate experts' has to say here:


"Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant, as some members of our government claim. It is aerial fertilizer for plants. CO2 is presently about 385 ppm, but it was up to 450 ppm in the 1940s and the early 1800s. If CO2 drops to 200 ppm, plants get sick, and if it drops to 160 ppm, the plants die."

and it gets even more hilarious in the pdf - do not miss!


Ever hear of Marxist green Nazi religion?  Now you know where all the wingnuts and denierbots get it from.  A dyed-in-the-wool young-earther!


Now, would any respectable science source have published such drivel?  Sometimes, guilt by association is a logically valid tool to counteract propaganda. SPPI and ICECAP cannot claim to have any scientific standing after publishing such wacko wingnut wierdness.

2011-05-08 15:20:16
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Tell that to the Vatican...

(more on this Chat Thread here)

2011-05-08 19:42:41


Daniel: As a deeply spiritual person, brought up in the Christian way, I am very happy that the Vatican, various Christian organisations and spokespersons for other religions have shown that we have a duty in ethics to address the problems of climate change as part of our duty of care for the planet and its people.


What I am researching, and intend to address in very loud terms, is the group of extremist cherry-pickers of biblical phrases who insist that climate science is an evil pagan earth-science religion.  Many politicians and their appointee scientists are young-earthers.  While majority Christians support action on climate change, the young-earthers, many funded by the fossil fuels industry, are a major source of climate disinformation.


Here is an article on global warming that presents rational skeptical scientific arguments, but concludes:

"the current warming trend may be returning our global climate closer to that prevalent in the Garden of Eden.


Earth has a stable environmental system with many built-in feedback systems to maintain a uniform climate. It was designed by God and has only been dramatically upset by catastrophic events like the Genesis Flood."



This 'peer-reviewed scientific paper' uses many of the core denier memes:

"Global warming is an arena where the battle between biblical truth and evolutionary untruths is currently raging, and it will affect everyone in very practical ways. Contrary to what advocates say, a consensus does not exist on global warming, the debate is not over, and a biblical (young-earth creationist) perspective has not yet been widely discussed."

"It must be kept in mind that global warming advocates are predominantly evolutionists. Al Gore readily admits that he is an evolutionist (Gore 2006, p. 160)."

"At Creation and immediately after the Flood, plants were just beginning to cover the earth yet there was no shortage of oxygen in the atmosphere. God established enough oxygen in the original atmosphere to sustain life throughout the duration of the earth. This highlights the fact that plants are not necessary for generating oxygen."

"Bible-science provides the only viable explanation for an ice age: warm polar seas following Noah’s Flood. It also provides a reasonable explanation for the end of the ice age and the subsequently experienced large-scale glacial melt: cooling seas. Contrary to what global warming advocates are saying, the glaciers melted because the seas cooled, not because they warmed."

"The mere presence of climate change is not evidence of man-made global warming. Climate change is normal, and was initiated by the Flood."

"Neither melting glaciers, increasing CO2, changing climates, nor earth’s surface temperature history are proof of global warming."



"Since evolution has never been proved scientifically, it must be believed by faith. Hence it is a religion."



I'll hold off at this point - I need some fresh air.

2011-05-08 20:59:29
Paul D


These sort of comparisons are really stupid and are intended to grab attention.

To say that science is a religion that can't be questioned and then that implies we have to save energy etc. Can be said about any policy or human activity.

Consumerism - It's a religion, it can't be questioned and one is required to buy more things so that the religion can be spread across the world.

It's allegedly the opposite to being green, but you can apply the same distorted views to it.

BTW a rain dance is not a physical change that can be measured, changing energy use is something that can be measured.
They are not direct equivalents.

2011-05-09 02:01:22
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

@ Logicman

I should clarify my remark & link: the young-earther movement is the one who needs to read the Vatican report.  As an evangelical Christian myself, I run into this all the time.  Their attitude is:

"If you're not with me in believing that every word in the Bible is the literal word of God and that the world is only some 6,000 years old, then you're against me".

Thus in their eyes I am worse than an unbeliever.  Almost a cult-like mindset.

2011-05-09 03:19:17


Daniel: thanks for the clarification.  More power to your elbow, friend!

"Thus in their eyes I am worse than an unbeliever."

By the time I'm done with them for daring to cherry-pick the Bible in support of their planet-wrecking capitalist ethos, they will be calling me a lot worse than that! :-)

2011-05-09 08:17:38This not a "new" mime
John Hartz
John Hartz

This mime has been kicking around for quite a few years. Here's a link to an escellent rebuttal posted onthe Daily Kos on Feb 7, 2001:

Debunking Krauthammer's Slander; Climate Change is Not a Religion



2011-05-09 09:01:51Linking climate deniers to young-earthers
John Cook

I don't recommend that as a public approach - linking climate deniers to young earthers. It's somewhat of an ad hominem approach but my main concern is you risk alienating entire swathes of the public with that approach. We don't NEED to convince people that the Earth is greater than 6000 years old for climate action. And there are enough ideological and cognitive roadblocks to get past climate denial - adding old-Earth denial to the set of barriers makes it near impenetrable. I had a friend from church ask me recently, almost in a hushed tone, "John, you're 'sciencey', what do you think of this old earth thing?". I tried to explain that there are many lines of evidence for an old earth and crucially for a Christian, an old earth doesn't conflict with the values of Christianity. It was a hard sell. Old views die hard.

I think there is a big opportunity for climate outreach to the church. Many Christians have been sold on the idea that climate action is in conflict with Christian values. On the contrary, Christian values MANDATE climate action. My Christian values of justice and mercy are what give me the fire in the belly to spend all my energy and time on this issue. I asked my church if I could talk to the church about 'A Christian view on climate change' and last weekend, they finally got back to me with the green light. I'm hoping that will be the first step in talking to a lot of Christians about the topic.

2011-05-09 10:44:53


I agree with John: Although it is true that we are "science people", and therefore want to promote scientific views rather than inappropriately religious views (in pragmatic domains), that doesn't mean we have to go out on a campaign or crusade to wipe out every not-completely-scientific perspective.

If we do that, we risk unifying our "natural enemies": "Give up your ignorant religious superstition and accept our scientific view on climate change!" The answer is likely to be, "Heck, no!"

The whole goal of this game is to "divide and conquer":  Separate and isolate the AGW-deniers from everybody else in the world, including the religious, even including the creationists and young-earthers. We are not fighting a battle for atheism, evolution, or planetary science: We are fighting a battle against AGW-denialism, a battle that can modestly be described as an attempt to save the world. We do not, in this attempt, need to convert the world to any other point of view; and trying to do so will not help us. It will hurt us.

2011-05-10 03:26:03


John and nealjking - points taken.  I'll focus on science and religion as natural allies in humanitarian causes such as dealing with anthropogenic climate change and its impacts on humanity at large.


I'll start a new blog posts thread on this soon.