Canadian Michael Hart speaks out on climatism in his new book, Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change (link to interview with Hart at Tallbloke’s Talkshop)
The wide-ranging interview contains many insights, including this one that IMO gets at a deep, underlying motive:
Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world. Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity.
To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control. As philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss points out, “Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious.” It “prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”
Hart says that unfortunately society has gone a long way down the wrong road, but the outcome can be changed.
I remain cautiously optimistic. Popular support for climate change action peaked a few years ago. In Europe, which has gone furthest in implementing climate change policies, politicians are beginning to look for ways to moderate earlier initiatives. In North America, rhetoric has far outstripped actions while the Obama administration has relied on stealth to implement its climate change agenda. At the same time, climate change has added to the momentum of the broader secularization of society and the pursuit of anti-human policies and programs. We are, sadly, farther down that road than we have ever been before.
Again, it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to convince our political leaders that they have been gulled by a political movement exploiting fear of climate change to push a utopian, humanist agenda that most people would find abhorrent. As it now stands, politicians are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference. The time has come to call a halt to this nonsense and focus on real issues that pose real dangers. In a world beset by war, terrorism, and continuing third-world poverty, there are far more important things on which political leaders need to focus.
Read the first chapter here:
From the Preface:
The world will be a better place
- when governments agree to tame this monster and refocus their energies on issues within their competence;
- when religious leaders and other elites accept that they have fallen prey to a movement whose motives are much darker and more damaging than they realize;
- and when the media adopt a more balanced approach and provide the public with the critical assessment that is often missing from their reporting.
It is time for all three to accept that the UN is pursuing a path that can only result in a less prosperous and more divided world.
I’ve just shared this excellent post on Facebook and remain optimistic that just one or two of my friends will take the time to read it and that maybe, just maybe, one or two of them might even begin to seriously question their hitherto unshakeable “faith” in AGW .
Thanks for commenting Sara. Do read the first chapter of the book. Hart knows from first-hand what has gone on.
Thank you for your thoughts about this issue, the link to the Tallbloke interview and the first chapter of Hart’s book.
I find Hart’s work disturbing on several fronts.
First, he consistently overgeneralizes to make points that are not supported by empirical evidence. To whit:
“Among scientists, the primary reasons are money, career advancement, and prestige. In order to pursue their research programs, scientists need money from governments and foundations. They have learned that satisfying the agenda of both helps funds to flow. As a result, they have learned to adapt their research to the desired outcomes.”
In my experience as a scientist engaged in research using climate data, these are absurd, self-serving and childishly uninformed claims. When I seek departmental funding for my area of research, I do not, by any means, seek to satisfy the agenda of government and/or foundation granting agencies. Nor do those agencies inform, restrict or direct the research that I do. I do not adapt my research “to the desired outcomes,” nor do I know any other scientist who does. These claims are every bit as much dogmatic propaganda as that claimed to be behind the alleged climate change conspiracy.
“The environmental movement found in the alarm about global warming – now climate change – a potent new way in which to raise funds and increase awareness of its broader concerns about the state of the environment.”
In this statement, Hart fails to distinguish between professionalized, corporate environmental fund-raising organizations, such as Greenpeace, and the much older and scientifically based conservation and environmental/ecological movement. Fund-raising organizations have adopted global warming rhetoric to increase their funding base, which bears little relationship to environmental and conservation concerns.
Secondly, Hart, like many authors, equates “global warming” with “climate change,” and implies a conspiracy in the change of terms. Global warming is the correct term for increase in global average surface temperature, which, in part, is the result of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration, both anthropogenic and naturally occurring. Climate change is the natural process of climate variation that has gone on for millennia and continues today regardless of human influence. This distinction is important in teasing out the politics of global warming from the science of climate variation.
Thirdly, and perhaps most revealing, is that Hart employs religious arguments against scientific conclusions about human population and economic growth and their combined effect on the biosphere due to human exploitation and domination of natural habitats, resulting in increased species extinctions. These findings are empirical, very real and completely separate from findings with regard to climate variation. In contrast with Hart and others, environmentalists who quote these findings in arguing for the need for reduced human population growth and consumption are not employing religious arguments but are using scientific data and conclusions.
In short, the sciences of ecology and climatology have much to say to those whose ears are unstopped by political and religious rhetoric. Hart’s book does little to clear the fog of global warming politics from the science of climate variation research; in fact, it increase the fog’s density and duration. While there is a clearing here and there, the overall result is a forecast for continued patchy fog and overcast.
Thanks for commenting Michael. I do appreciate your point of view. And I believe your description of your own research and commitments to safeguarding the environment from degradation due to human practices.
I think Hart’s writing usefully shows how your kind of authentic environmentalism has been hijacked, monetized and exploited for a political ends.
A MOST FACINATING LITTLE PIECE OF “CONJECTURE”. THIS WOULD INCLUDE, BOTH THE ARGUMENTS, PUT FORWARD BY MR. HART’S SUPPORTERS, AND THE MOST EXCELLENT RESPONSE BY MR. MICHAEL A. LEWIS. THE FACT REMAINS, REGARDLESS OF RATIONAL ARGUMENT, THAT GOV’TS WORLD WIDE, CONTINUE TO EXPLOIT THIS DIVISIVE ISSUE TO DO LITTLE MORE THAN IMPROVE, AND ENHANCE, THIER OWN POLITICAL LIVES AND BENEFITS, AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLES, WHO FOR THE MOST PART,HAVE VERY LITTLE SAY, IN ANYTHING THAT WILL EVER BRING ABOUT A CONCENSUS, OR RESOLUTION TO THIS ISSUE, ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.