Some commenters wonder why I allow the word cultist, but sometimes there is no better term. Remember, apocalyptic storms are coming, and we’re all going to die, unless we heed the prophesies of the new Gods of Science.
What’s the difference between a real disaster foretold by scientists, or a cult? Evidence, for starters, and we’re still waiting for observations that support the idea that a catastrophe is coming, but there are more clues.
In normal conversations people can be, you know, wrong, but in a cult, wrongness is not a comment on a scientific point, it’s a statement of identity and a judgment of moral fitness. Those who speak against the (insert doctrine) are not just wrong, they are evil, immoral, and not “worthy” of polite conversation. Believers who become skeptics, are exiled (think “apostate”) and let’s not forget the sacrifices for penance (anyone want to buy a carbon credit for their sins?).
Then there’s the machinations to avoid dealing with reality. No matter what evidence skeptics point to, the answer is effectively always the same: the weather-balloons, satellites, ocean buoys and temperature proxies are all flawed but the models are not. When you really get right down to it, it’s right because “the government climate scientists say so” (aka “The Gods must be right”). An eight year old can tell that the whole corrupt thermometer thing is obviously not science, but believers willingly accept that distant all knowing computers can adjust for each individual siting problem en masse and without any information on the siting problem. Likewise, computers on the ground can estimate the temperature of the air 10 km above the tropics better than a radiosonde that passes right through that air. Who would have thought?
Jim Guirard pointed out the similarities between a cult and the belief in catastrophic man-made global warming back in 2009 (excerpt below). Bear in mind that the cult similarities don’t apply to all people (or even most people) who think we need a carbon tax or have Green sympathies, but sometimes it’s exactly the right term (witness the awful murder-suicide in Argentina; what else could you call that?) — Jo
CLARIFICATION: If “cultist” is ok, what’s wrong with “denier”?
Bulldust raises a fair point, “what’s the difference”?” When is an insult OK, and when is it mindless namecalling? Answer: When it can be substantiated. I ask those who use “denier” to point to any scientific evidence we deny (which is exactly what “denier” implies). Since we deny nothing — the descriptor is 100% wrong. It’s a misuse of the English language, it’s Orwellian, and designed to denigrate, to dismiss, and to dehumanize. There is no point talking to a “denier” and no point listening to them.
That said, I did point out that the term only applies to some people. It treads a fine line, and skeptics should be wary of misusing it. But when a dogma is unhealthy, obsessive, condones bullying, and encourages violence (think 10:10 and the gruesome joke of blowing up children) the term “cultist” is accurate, and we should not silence accurate writing, especially while our opponents destroy English. Denier is applied to all and sundry — including people who merely question the evidence. It’s a mindless group-label. You’ll note that I have no single one descriptor for unskeptical commentators, I change it to suit the context. ( eg. Warmer, warmenist, alarmist, pro-carbon-crisis, believer in man-made global warming, supporter of a carbon-tax, government funded climate scientist, Establishment scientist, fans of the Big-Scare-Campaign, unskeptical scientist, activist, and Team Carbonista). Group stereotypes can be dangerous memes. Please use the term “cultist” with care.
It’s good to see this post and the issue of namecalling being debated in the thread. That is exactly as it should be for a skeptical community . — JN
The Branch Carbonian Cult
The Anthropogenic Global Warming Movement (AGW) has taken on worrisome attributes of a pseudo-religious cult, which operates far more on the basis of an apocalyptic ”belief” system than on objective climate science.
Kingdom of the Cults
Here are ten of this AGW ideology’s very specific characteristics, many of whose roots and lock-step influences can be found in Walter Martin’s and Ravi Zacharias’ definitive, award-winning 2003 book, “Kingdom of the Cults:”
- Leadership by a self-glorifying, manipulative New Age Prophet — in this case, former Vice-President Al Gore, though he is possibly being supplanted by President Barack Obama.
- Assertion of an apocalyptic threat to all mankind.
- An absolutist definition of both the threat and the proposed solution(s).
- Promise of a salvation from this pending apocalypse.
- Devotion to an inspired text which (arguendo) embodies all the answers — in this case, Prophet Gore’s pseudo-scientific book “Earth in the Balance” and his more recent ”An Inconvenient Truth” documentary.
- A specific list of “truths” (see the Ten Commandments listed below) which must be embraced and proselytized by all Cult members..
- An absolute intolerance of any deviation from any of these truths by any Cult member.
- A strident intolerance of any outside criticism of the Cult’s definition of the problem or of its proposed solutions.
- A “Heaven-on-Earth” vision of the results of the mission’s success and/or a “Hell-on-Earth” result if the cultic mission should fail.
- An inordinate fear (and an outright rejection of the possibility) of being proven wrong in either the apocalyptic vision or the proposed salvation.
Prophet Gore’s (and now Prophet Obama’s) Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments of “Thou-Shalt” and “Thou-Shalt-Not” absolutes — designed for keeping its devoted cultists in lockstep support and its intimidated detractors in retreat:
- Thou shalt have but one Mother Earth (Gaia) Goddess before you
- Thou shalt not worship false Prophets — especially sun cycles, ocean cycles, volcanic influences and “Objective Science” in general
- Thou shalt never doubt catastrophic depletion of the so-called “Ozone Layer”
- Thou shalt not doubt man-made “Greenhouse Gasses” as the primary cause of GW
- Thou shalt condemn such doubters as “Extremists” and “Criminals Against Humanity”
- Thou shalt minimize, ignore and deny any and all environmental good news
- Thou shalt avoid benefit-cost evaluations of AGW solutions and never admit error or falsehood about anything
- Thou shalt continue opposing all Nuclear and new Hydro power, despite their non-GW attributes
- Thou shalt promote “zero-carbon-footprint” policies of Less Energy at Higher Prices, except for heavily subsidized ethanol
- Thou shalt engage forever in “Eeeekology” and “Eeeekonomics” (scare-tactics ecology and economics) and never, ever vote Republican
Conclusion: Since every such Prophet-led, scare-mongering, pseudo-religious conspiracy needs a properly descriptive name, and since this one’s primary concerns over alleged depletion of the so-called “ozone layer” over Antarctica have shifted to a panic over CO2, instead, a fitting new name for this cultic gaggle would be the “Branch Carbonian Cult“ –
- “Branch” because it is a radical offshoot from the main body of science-based environmentalism;
- “Carbonian” because of its professed fear of carbon dioxide as a primary cause of AGW; and
- “Cult” because of its self-evident structure and practices — which are in full accord with most elements of the typical religious cult, Branch Davidian or Jim Jonesian or otherwise.
American Thinker (2009)
A DC-area attorney and national security strategist, Jim Guirard was longtime Chief of Staff to former U.S. Senators Allen Ellender and Russell Long. His TrueSpeak.org web site focuses on truth-in-language and truth-in-history in public discourse