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.