The religion of climate change threatens to undermine the personal and economic freedoms of mankind. The movement’s clergy and prophets, with the aid of true believers in the academia and the media, foretell a planetary Armagedom if warnings go unheeded. In his commentaries on mass movements Eric Hoffer warned of the “religiofication” of practical purposes into holy causes. He noted, “Blind devotion and religiosity leads to belief that the movement is virtuous and a source of strength. The adherent identifies as a supporter and defender of a holy cause.”
What Qualifies as a Religion?
The Supreme Court has not established a formal definition of religion, and standards differentiating religious and similar non religious beliefs remain elusive. The Second Circuit Court noted for the First Amendment that beliefs that constitute a religion are evaluated on whether the beliefs are sincerely held and from the believer’s perspective, religious. The 10th Circuit Court in The United States vs. Meyers quoted philosopher William James describing religion as, “…the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they consider the divine.”
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, which administers Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a belief is considered to be religious if it is “sincere and meaningful” and “occupies a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God.” These religious beliefs include “non-theistic moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious laws.”
Barbara Burnett attempted to define religion from a twentieth century perspective drawing on the work of E.S. Ames, who remarked that the genus of religion is “consciousness of social values,” and “this consciousness is coupled with a desire and awareness that certain things ought to be pursued and others avoided.” Burnett explored Clifford Geertz’s thesis applying five tests to define religion based on symbolic anthropology.
The U.S. Third Circuit in the case of Malnak vs. Yogi, honored Supreme Court precedent and the practical needs of the courts by stipulating three points that define religion:
- Religions are concerned with ultimate subject matter that seek to address fundamental questions.
- They are comprehensive in scope.
- They exhibit surface characteristics similar to recognizedreligions, including trained teachers, institutions responsible for inculcating beliefs, means for disseminating beliefs and practices, and performance of ceremonies and rites.
Climate Czar John Kerry
Climate Czar John Kerry’s personal wealth is estimated to be $194 million, most of which was inherited from the Forbes family fortune. His wife Teresa Heinz inherited $700 million from her late husband and now is worth $1 billion. During their marriage they have owned a private jet, beach front properties, and a yacht. Their carbon footprint is enormous, and at odds with Greta Thunberg’s admonition, “We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint-the bigger your moral duty.” When asked in 2020 about the state of the planet Mr. Kerry replied, “The scientists gave us 12 years three years ago. We’ve squandered those three years. …If we don’t take those warnings, we’re doomed.”
Like many religious figures who are prone to prophecy, Mr. Kerry’s percipient abilities were evident even as a young child, “I have been passionate about the oceans since I dipped my toes in the water at the first age of three.” This is a remarkable insight given one’s first, rudimentary childhood memory usually occurs at age three to three and a half, and more complex adult-like memories do not appear until age five to six.
He describes climate change in military terms, “Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Yet when Russia invaded Ukraine and placed the lives and welfare of millions at risk, the Climate Czar appeared more concerned about its effect on climate change than the cost of human life. This remark was not a flippant misstep, but consistent with his statement at a climate conference in 2009, “There are issues of war and peace. And then, there are issues of life and death like this one that are not less morally compelling than war itself.”
With regard to the environment, Mr. Kerry detests hypocrisy, “When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto…we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy.” However, in regard to his personal behavior when criticized for using a jet to receive a climate award in Iceland, he offered a more flexible response, “If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.”
Climate Change Policy Lowers the Standard of Living
Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center studies the most efficient options to achieve prosperity in concert with the environment, arguing that wealthy societies are better stewards of their surroundings. He points out that net zero carbon emissions, the hallmark of climate change policy, is expensive and will cast millions into poverty. A Bank of America study shows that the program will cost $150 trillion over 30 years – twice the GDP of all the countries of the world combined. A McKinsey study found that this will cost every family in the United States $20,000 per year. Lomborg points out that electric cars are not cost effective and will not save the planet.
Currently, the United States is experiencing the highest rate of inflation in 40 years. Gasoline prices have more than doubled since January 2020, yet the Administration and climate change activists continue to thwart efforts to increase domestic petroleum production. In a Harris Poll 69% of Americans disagree and feel the Biden administration should reduce the focus on climate change and allow for more oil and gas exploration in the United States.
Inflation harms most Americans but especially the lower and middle economic classes. Purposely placing the most vulnerable in jeopardy and refusing to adopt humanitarian solutions violates at least three of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom from want, fear, and speech. Government policy driven by religious ideology is not a government responsive to the immediate needs of its citizens.
Climate Change is a Religion
In 2015 Pope Francis published a document, Laudato Si’, which was the first papal encyclical devoted solely to environmental issues. The Pope avers that the environmental crisis is not only
an economic, scientific, and political problem but also a moral and spiritual challenge. A year ago Climate Czar Kerry met with the Pope, calling for climate action and naming Francis as one of the greatest voices in the climate crisis.
Climate change fulfills both Geertz’s anthropological and Judge Adams’ legal tests to qualify as a religion. The movement deals with fundamental questions dealing with the sacred planet. The believer’s passions are deeply held, comprehensive, and nurtured and promulgated by an array of organizations representing all aspects of world-wide society. The true believer views climate change as a good vs evil phenomena. The threats to the planet are not theoretical, but realistic and personal. The liturgy of the religion is promoted by a network of teachers who disseminate its beliefs, practices, ceremony, and rites.
An Angry Religion
The 9 x 18 meter mural of Greta Thunberg painted on a building facade in San Francisco looks down in judgment of the city’s inhabitants. Her unhappy visage reminds one of her oft quoted indictment of humanity, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words… We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth – how dare you!”
Ms. Thunberg lives in Sweden, one of the happiest countries on the planet, but why is she so unhappy? Sectarian arguments alone cannot force non-believers to blindly accept proof by authority, when it translates to fewer personal freedoms and a reduction in the standard of living. The climate change mass movement advocates against capitalism, and its scripture inhibits rather than promotes freedom. Skeptics suspect that special interests manipulate moral redistribution schemes to enrich themselves. Hoffer noted the true believer’s disdain for those who do not accept their truth, “What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinions of others, and the single handed defiance of the world.”
Climate Change: The State Religion
In violation of the established clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, climate change has been installed as the official religion of the United States. The 2022 federal budget proposes $36 billion to support the religion’s efforts. To suggest prudence or raise the alarm to the detrimental effects of these policies brands one as a heretic, but in a free society it is one’s duty to rely on quantifiable information that stands in stark contrast to climate change dogma:
- Climate Czar Kerry admits that net zero emissions in the U.S. will not affect climate change.
- Crop production and global plant growth has surged with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.
- No credible scientific body has stated climate change threatens the collapse of civilization or human extinction.
- Cold temperatures kill far more people than hot temperatures.
- Over the past 80 years climate alarmists have failed to make correct predictions.
- Over the past 600 million years atmospheric CO2 and temperature levels have fluctuated widely and often without correlation.
Lomborg’s rational approach to climate change serves as the model for analyzing problems and implementing practical solutions. It relies on uncensored, free exchange of ideas and the economic well being of people affected by policy decisions, while avoiding religious fervor that clouds judgment and encourages divisive behavior.