Gaia Worship: Like the Enlightenment Never Happened

 

Yesterday I debated the Conservative-led Coalition’s disastrous climate policy with junior environment minister Lord Marland. The audience was divided roughly 50/50 between people like me who believed that Britain’s energy and environment policy should be based on facts and empirical observations rather than junk science; and those who believed from the bottom of their hearts that as much taxpayers’ money as possible should be sacrificed on the altar of Mother Gaia. This is where the climate debate is these days: rationalism v superstition. If so much money weren’t depending on it it would be almost funny.

One thing struck me about the questions I had to field afterwards from the True Believers. Every one of them prefaced his or her question with the words: “I don’t know much about science/sea levels/geology/economics…” Almost as if their ignorance of the subject they felt so very, very strongly about was a virtue.

I asked one of my questioners who was concerned about rising sea levels: “Do you actually KNOW how much sea levels are rising by on average, per year?” Of course he didn’t. So I told him: no more than 1.8 mm per year – as has been the case for several hundred years.

This fact didn’t faze him one bit. Facts never do with these people. Environmentalism has long since abandoned all links with evidence or reality. It’s about religious faith, pure and simple.

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Members have made 32 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of James Delingpole Contributor
    James Delingpole Post author
    Antipodius: Mr. Delingpole… did anyone by some chance happen to record or video the debate? If not, have you considered doing so yourself?….. assuming that there’s not some kind of privacy law or something it would violate. · 9 hours ago

    I did try to get it filmed. Tragically, Lord Marland’s office said they wanted the whole thing off the record. Can’t think why.

    • #1
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:03 am
  2. Profile photo of Ignatius J. Reilly Inactive

    Question by question, James!

    • #3
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:21 am
  3. Profile photo of C. U. Douglas Thatcher

    In a similar situation, I was listening to the radio a little over eleven years ago while I was driving to my office in Minneapolis. The morning show was interviewing a representative from PETA about some environmental-related issue. At one point, one of the frustrated hosts asked her where she got her scientific data from. Her response:

    “I don’t have a science background, but I’ve been to the forest and I have very strong feelings …”

    They laughed her off the radio show. A few minutes later, another member called to inform them that they could expect a lawsuit. They laughed him off the show as well.

    Seems things haven’t changed much in the last eleven years.

    • #4
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:24 am
  4. Profile photo of David Williamson Member

    It says a lot about the present “Conservative” government in the UK that:

    1. Mr Cameron gets on so well with Mr Obama, and calls himself a “liberal conservative”

    2. Lord Monckton is not advising ’em (he was, of course, an adviser to Mrs Thatcher).

    • #5
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:37 am
  5. Profile photo of No Caesar Thatcher

    James, please do a Radio Delingpole interview with Lord Monckton.

    • #6
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:45 am
  6. Profile photo of James Delingpole Contributor
    James Delingpole Post author

    @No Caesar. Your wish is my command! (Though I quite fancy doing another Toby Young one soon, too)

    • #7
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:49 am
  7. Profile photo of doc molloy Inactive

    Global warming- it’s just another joke 

    As Steyn calls it ‘The First church of the Science is in.’ 

    Even way out philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend of the nasty old Frankfurt school would find some this climate stuff way out there, even for him.. ‘Far round the bend’ as he used to be called.. and so is Climate science. In science nothing is ever really settled.

    • #8
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:53 am
  8. Profile photo of Give Me Liberty Inactive

    Wait you’re telling me that Al Gore, Hollywood, and a horde of public school teachers are wrong, that their is no science behind the man-made global warming/climate change charge, and no scientific consensus. Weird?

    • #9
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:54 am
  9. Profile photo of Redomondo Inactive

    got that right James.

    A Misanthropic, Malthusian Religion

    a death cult.

    • #10
    • March 15, 2012 at 2:59 am
  10. Profile photo of Redomondo Inactive

    From one of my personal blog posts…

    The Green movement has been attempting to create a new religion based on worship of the earth, and a hatred of humanity.

    It truly is a secular cult it has the worst aspects of a religion, but none of the life affirming qualities of traditional religions.

    Unfortunately some traditional religions have decided to ally themselves with the green movement, and this is a very grave mistake. The Environmental movement wants only the death of the Human race.

    • #11
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:04 am
  11. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    James, it will always be as if the Enlightenment has not happened. Romanticism (which is to say, Christianity without a god) is the doppelgaenger of the Enlightenment. You cannot embrace the latter without begetting the former.

    With global warming, you are not up against science. You are up against a secular religion.

    • #12
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:06 am
  12. Profile photo of James Delingpole Contributor
    James Delingpole Post author

    @paul a Rahe Yep: I know had I met them in real life I would have LOATHED those liberal poseurs French revolutionary apologists Wordsworth and Coleridge….

    • #13
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:15 am
  13. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator
    Paul A. Rahe: James, it will always be as if the Enlightenment has not happened. Romanticism (which is to say, Christianity without a god) is the doppelgaenger of the Enlightenment. You cannot embrace the latter without begetting the former.

    Is it possible that the Enlightenment and Romanticism are even closer than twins or mother and daughter? The French Revolution believed its Cult of Reason (then Supreme Being) to be pure Enlightenment when it was really just the silliest form of Romanticism. Oddly enough, that makes Gaia worship just like the Enlightenment happened.

    Perhaps it’s impossible for human nature to avoid romanticizing something, even a supposedly Enlightenment mindset.

    • #14
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:34 am
  14. Profile photo of Madcap Inactive

    It’s the trend among lefties now: having discarded God, religion and tradition, they’ve also discarded most of the standards for what used to make one a good person.

    And people can’t really function without some kind of moral standard and way to grow into a better person. It’s part of our nature.

    So now, instead of being a good person because you are caring for your aging mother in law who isn’t a very nice person or because you have taken on the task of turning tiny human infants into decent members of society, you’re a good person because you lobby for legislation and buy green products. And shopping and petitioning your way to morality is a lot easier than being a good wife, mother and daughter day after day.

    • #15
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:43 am
  15. Profile photo of Hang On Member

    “So I told him: no more than 1.8 mm per year – as has been the case for several hundred years.”

    “This fact didn’t faze him one bit. ”

    Unlikely to have any conception of what 1.8 mm per year means. A half meter in three centuries is still quite a lot though not something we will have to deal with.

    • #16
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:57 am
  16. Profile photo of Jim Klazinga Inactive
    Environmentalism has long since abandoned all links with evidence or reality. It’s about religious faith, pure and simple.

    I quite agree with your assessment of environmentalism. However, contrasting “evidence or reality” with “religious faith, pure and simple” seems to reflect the common misconception that religious faith is about believing in something apart from or even in spite of evidence to the contrary. 

    I would maintain that the Christian religious faith is the worldview that best fits the evidence and reflects reality. I would reject the contemporary environmentalist movement not because it is, as you correctly point out, religious, but because it is idolatry, a foolish and irrational worship of the creature rather than the Creator.

    But aside from that little quibble, I greatly appreciated your post. Thanks, James, for continuing to hold the line against the false prophets of global warming!

    • #17
    • March 15, 2012 at 3:59 am
  17. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Paul A. Rahe: James, it will always be as if the Enlightenment has not happened. Romanticism (which is to say, Christianity without a god) is the doppelgaenger of the Enlightenment. You cannot embrace the latter without begetting the former.

    Is it possible that the Enlightenment and Romanticism are even closer than twins or mother and daughter? The French Revolution believed its Cult of Reason (then Supreme Being) to be pure Enlightenment when it was really just the silliest form of Romanticism. Oddly enough, that makes Gaia worshipjust likethe Enlightenment happened.

    Perhaps it’s impossible for human nature to avoid romanticizing something, even a supposedly Enlightenment mindset. · 33 minutes ago

    Edited 29 minutes ago

    Is it Chesterton who said, “If you do not believe in God, you will believe in anything.”

    • #18
    • March 15, 2012 at 4:08 am
  18. Profile photo of David Foster Member

    Gaia-worship is not the only mystical aspect of the “progressive” worldview. Many of them also believe in magical crystals, and, of course, astrology.

    In The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis’s devil hoped for the coming of “the materialist magician.” I think he’s here.

    • #19
    • March 15, 2012 at 4:10 am
  19. Profile photo of Antipodius Member

    Mr. Delingpole… did anyone by some chance happen to record or video the debate? If not, have you considered doing so yourself?….. assuming that there’s not some kind of privacy law or something it would violate.

    • #20
    • March 15, 2012 at 4:40 am
  20. Profile photo of reidspoorhouse Inactive

    If you’re a good environmentalist, believe in Mother Earth, it’s not required to meet old fashioned concepts of good; you can abandon five children to orphanages, leave someone underwater while you go home and sleep it off, you can call people vile evil things, it doesn’t matter.

    • #21
    • March 15, 2012 at 5:01 am
  21. Profile photo of Last Outpost on the Right Thatcher

    1.8mm per year for several hundred years is evidence that the change in sea levels is not the result of industrialization. It may amount to a lot over 3 centuries, but mankind is unable to alter that trajectory. We can neither speed it up nor slow it down.We can, howver, adapt if we use all of our resources wisely.

    • #22
    • March 15, 2012 at 5:10 am
  22. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher
    Paul A. Rahe

    Is it Chesterton who said, “If you do not believe in God, you will believe in anything.” · 55 minutes ago

    Professor, I once read an article that concluded that the actual phrase was in a review of one of Chesterton’s Father Brown books. The words Father Brown actually said were every bit as good: “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense.

    EDIT: Still can’t find it. I’m pretty sure it was somewhere on the American Chesterton Society website, but the link I had is dead.

    • #23
    • March 15, 2012 at 5:19 am
  23. Profile photo of Songwriter Member
    James Delingpole: This fact didn’t faze him one bit. Facts never do with these people. Environmentalism has long since abandoned all links with evidence or reality. It’s about religious faith, pure and simple. · · 15 hours ago

    And it’s not just facts about the environment that the Left willingly ignores. Economic facts and historical facts are also of little importance to those who would rule us all with their feelings.

    • #24
    • March 15, 2012 at 5:30 am
  24. Profile photo of Flapjack Member

    Potential Ricochet thread? – Building a taxonomy of Leftist denominations.

    Global Warmist is certainly one sect.

    • #25
    • March 15, 2012 at 5:53 am
  25. Profile photo of doc molloy Inactive

    Flapjack- The Church of the Rising Sea Levels. What a Burdon to bear that would be. Especially down New Orleans way.

    • #26
    • March 15, 2012 at 6:01 am
  26. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    There is not much debate here, and that bothers me. I feel like I need to try to burst or challenge this bubble of self congratulation about the metaphysical nature of the environmentalist movement. Alas though I can’t really think of away to defend them. They are pretty much a religion, their actions motivated by faith in the revealed truth of people like Al Gore. 

    If they were to be intellectually honest and claim their Gaian religion as such, would their arguments not have more validity? If one accepts that man’s spiritual well being is dictated by the levels of CO2 in the air, their demand to reduce our emissions would be equivalent to demand from Christian leaders that people refrain from sinning.

    Every time we drive our cars, throw out plastic or aluminium we drive ourselves further from our ideal state of Eco Grace, and closer to our own made perdition. Government actions that sanction or encourage such sinning are leading man astray, and are thus immoral. The history of religious convictions shaping the laws and practices of nations are long and universal, and many Christians think such influences to be legitimate.

    • #27
    • March 15, 2012 at 7:10 am
  27. Profile photo of James Gawron Thatcher

    James,

    We need to get our definitions straight. I define Religious Faith as open honest A Priori Transcendental Thought. No pretense is made of Empirical Proofs as none are necessary.

    The Environmentalism of which you speak is a set of purely Empirical Claims. Of course, no Empirical Evidence is presented to back up the Theory. Thus Empirical Claims less Empirical Evidence is just False Theory.

    The obsessive belief of the environmentalists is usually termed a Dogmatic Ideology. However, if you are speaking about their deep psychology then you can make the case for transference. Since, the average environmental fanatic, if not a full blown atheist, is at least is an agnostic, they lack spiritual outlets. Their dogmatic obsession fills the void that Religious Faith would have filled.

    Remember, Religious Faith makes no Empirical Claims. That’s why they call it Faith.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
    • March 15, 2012 at 8:01 am
  28. Profile photo of Margaret Ball Inactive

    Today’s paper contained a scare story about the terrible, awful, no good, very bad impact of the seas rising by 1 foot a century. I would much rather adapt to a 1.8mm/year rise in sea level than to another Little Ice Age.

    (And yes, I realize 1.8mm works out to something more like 7 inches, not 12. I assume the story was written by male reporters who are used to claiming that a little bitty four inch thing is actually eight inches.)

    • #29
    • March 15, 2012 at 10:29 am
  29. Profile photo of Randy Weivoda Thatcher

    I see a correlation between those who believe in original sin and the extreme environmentalists who believe the world would be better off without humans. Both believe that we were fine as long as we were little more than ignorant animals, but having sought out knowledge and lifting ourselves above the level of cave man, we are now damned. One group says we can be saved if we follow Jesus, the other requires allegiance to Saint Algore.

    • #30
    • March 15, 2012 at 11:23 am
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