Trouble in the Church (of Climate Change)
One of the clearest ways in which, for some, a belief in anthropogenic global warming has taken on the characteristics of a religion is in the way it has provided them with an organizing principle that helps ‘explain’ so much that would otherwise be random (a terrifying thought, apparently) or, in any event, beyond mankind’s control. To the ancients, the idea that terrible storms, say, or famine, was the work of the gods was not only an explanation for the previously inexplicable, but also, paradoxically, a source of hope and, for their priests, control. Could divine wrath be appeased by a sacrifice or two or, for that matter, better behavior? If it could, man was no longer powerless in the face of natural disaster. What a relief.
Time has moved on and many religions, excluding perhaps the curious faith apparently professed by Pat Robertson, are now a little more sophisticated, but the certainty with which some in the AGW crowd link catastrophe to climate change has been striking and more than a little reminiscent of more primitive belief systems.
Under the circumstances, this latest inconvenient revelation about the way in which the IPCC, the UN’s climate change body, has both been operating and been used is striking:
The United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.
Ed Miliband, the [British] energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”
<< More Mush