Monday, July 03, 2006

Telling Churches How to Worship

Seminar speaker Jerold Willmore lectures the LDS Church on how to practice religion in this SLTrib op-ed piece. Willmore, who has a deep history in environmental activism and says he is a “behavioral scientist,” goes on an environmentalist tirade, the likes of which would make worshippers of Gaia proud. Willmore suggests that since the LDS Church isn’t publicly instructing its members to reduce CO2 emissions, it is complicit in the immoral destruction of our earth’s environmental life support system.

Like many in the environmentalist religion, Willmore bases his faith in ‘science.’ He claims, “More than 95 percent of the world scientific community agrees.” He isn’t precisely clear about what this broad community supposedly agrees upon, but he seems to put a lot of words in their mouths about global warming being “the compelling moral imperative of our time,” and the earth being “under assault” by the “predatory species” of humans.

While the religion of environmentalism claims its basis in science, it is largely based in very selective handling and manipulation of a few scientific observations and the willful ignorance of other observations that prove less convenient to the faith. Willmore correctly says, “Religions are faith-based belief systems. When confronted by cognitive dissonance between the evidence and their beliefs, true believers follow their dogma and deny the evidence.” Strangely, Willmore seems hypocritically unable to see his own reflection in this statement.

In contrast, Richard S. Lindzen, a bona fide Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, says in this WSJ op-ed piece that “There's no "consensus" on global warming.” Lindzen dismantles the human-caused global warming propaganda. He notes that even those qualified scientists that support this theory do so largely out of lassitude, saying that they can’t think of anything else that might be causing warming.

Lindzen discusses the incredible complexity of factors that determine the earth’s atmospheric conditions. He suggests that we are mere rubes in our understanding of what all of the factors are and how they actually work together. Yet we have people, including scientists, that want to base public policy on a few cherry-picked concepts of this dismal understanding. That’s called dogmatic extremism.

Lindzen argues that the debate constantly referred to by dogmatic environmentalists has never even been properly framed. He suggests three points for the debate.
“First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.

“Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky.”
Gayle Trotter is one of WSJ Editor James Taranto’s readers. She takes exception here (scroll to “Hot Enough for You?”) with a global warming article in Parade Magazine that suggests that ancients thought climate issues were beyond their control:
“These ancient civilizations did not assume good weather would continue. In fact, they had elaborate religious rituals (sometimes involving human sacrifice and infanticide) to attempt to influence the weather. I would argue that our current environmental policy is about as effective at influencing the weather as their ancient religious ceremonies, and indeed, environmentalism has become a new religion in our age.”
Taranto notes that the article in Parade invites readers to engage in environmental rituals to “stop global warming.” You can “buy a fuel-efficient car; take mass transit; and, when you can, bicycle or walk to work.” Given what we actually know (not just believe), there is no rational reason to believe that these rites will reduce global warming any more than throwing a virgin into a volcano will keep it from erupting. I’m not saying that Parade's suggested activities won’t help the environment (although that is certainly debatable), but we cannot know that even if all humans followed them any appreciable impact on the global climate would result.

I’m always amazed that the members of the environmentalism religion that most vociferously and evangelistically moralize about various selected behaviors are reluctant to actually demonstrate their faith to the most logical conclusion of their beliefs. If the human race is as immorally toxic to our globe as they claim, since they are among this toxic race, why don’t they remove themselves from this immoral existence? Ah, I thought so. They are pure. It’s only the rest of us that are the infidels. And how is this not a religion?

My church believes in allowing all to worship “how, where, or what they may” (see here), but we also “claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience.” Willmore is free to worship as he wishes. He is free to express his ideas of how he thinks my church ought to worship, but it takes an awful lot of cheek to do so. Fortunately, I am free to ignore his silly suggestions.

1 comment:

Green Piece said...

Another great post - it is amazing that they were saying the same things in 1975!!