A few weeks ago I was talking with someone about some of the fads that are sweeping the church. I then began thinking about cultural fads. Some of you will remember some of the fads of the 1970s. In the 1970s, David Bowie became a pop star. The wildly popular film “Love Story,” with the lead character “Jennifer” inspired countless parents to make Jennifer the most popular name for girls in the decade. Remember the line from that film, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry?” A catchy phrase, to be sure, but false to the core.
The Godfather 1 & 2, Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever were released to great applause. Disco music and disco dance became the rage. Mood rings were in, as were “leisure suits.” (yuck). Afros were the popular hair style, even among Caucasian men, who got themselves tightly permed right and left, even if they may have felt a bit silly sitting around with little pink curlers in their hair. And among intellectuals, it was common knowledge and fear that the next ice age was coming fast, and was surely going to destroy civilization. The only people who doubted the global cooling “scarytale” were uneducated conservative dolts. According to the prophets of the intellectual elite, anyone with half a scientific brain knew that the cooler summers and colder winters proved that man made emissions were causing this earth destroying catastrophe. In order to at least give the impression of being well-informed, the government kicked in with legislation to clean up fuel emissions. Manufacturers worked hard at eliminating or at least curtailing the use of aerosol sprays in order to prevent or at least to forestall the impending global disaster. The online periodical “All that Matters” picked up on the unpardonable sin of the 1970s:
A recent Washington Post article gave this scientist’s quote from 1972. “We simply cannot afford to gamble. We cannot risk inaction. The scientists who disagree are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored.” The warning was not about global warming (which was not happening): it was about global cooling!
The October 23, 2006 “Newsweek Technology & Science” ran the web article “Remember Global Cooling?” which began with:
In April, 1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster. Citing “ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,” the magazine warned of an impending “drastic decline in food production.” Political disruptions stemming from food shortages could affect “just about every nation on earth.” Scientists urged governments to consider emergency action to head off the terrible threat of . . . well, if you had been following the climate-change debates at the time, you’d have known that the threat was: global cooling.
But something happened on the way to that particular global disaster, and the new Ice Age never arrived! So naturally, all those kooks that got everyone all excited over nothing apologized profusely and went home with their tail between the legs. Nah. As is so often the case, false prophets simply get New Light. Rather than acknowledging that they were wrong and the Neanderthal conservative dolts were correct, the prophets of this new doom and gloom ecological religion simply changed the furniture around a bit. Yes, there is still a great calamitous global destruction coming, but now, instead of the bogeyman being global cooling, its global warming that has their undies in a twist. It is enough to give you whiplash trying to keep in step with “eco-heresy hunters” as Suzanne Fields has dubbed them. And so, these days, it is manmade global warming that is the bogeyman du jour! If these eco-soothsayers would retreat to a cave and entertain each other with their fearful fantasies, that might be OK, but no, we must all assent to the madness. And sadly, in order to avoid committing the “unpardonable sin” of doubting the new prophets of doom and bringing ridicule down on their heads, some Evangelical leaders have caved to the pressure and jumped on the band wagon. The February 2006 article “Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative” declares:
Despite opposition from some of their colleagues, 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying “millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.”
Oh boy, here we go; If anyone does not agree with this coming manmade calamity, they will be personally responsible for the death of millions. We wouldn’t really want to let a little thing like actual facts get in the way of a really good story, however. So just forget about all that earlier global cooling drivel and get with the new program. And by the way, hold onto your wallets, friends, because when blind ideologues climb into bed with politicians, can new confiscatory taxes be far behind?
Christopher C. Horner’s new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) demonstrates that what we are seeing is actually a normal temperature fluctuation which has occured throughout history. Compared to the 1970s, it is now warmer. Compared to the 1930s, it is cooler. In other words, our conclusions are dependent upon the time periods we choose to examine and compare with. At one time, the planet was so warm that Greenland was actually green and being farmed by the Vikings (about 1000 AD). The planet then cooled, and Greenland isn’t green anymore, but looks like it should have been named Iceland. But such information must be stricken from the public record. It is an blasphemy to believe such things. Heretic! Burn the nay sayers at the stake! Ellen Goodman from the Boston Globe made this abundantly clear in her February 9, 2007 article “No change in political climate” :
I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
Of course, she might like to say it is impossible to deny but since she can’t an equally effective tactic is to paint those who disagree as evil. Folks, this isn’t science we are dealing with here but a religion. A sad, frightening religion with its own creeds and its own moral tenets, and its very own devil standing behind anyone who would dare question its “truth.” Meteorologists can barely predict the weather for tomorrow, much less for a decade or a century in the future, yet their prognostications are to be taken as gospel truth. That is why Ellen Goodman can claim that to doubt their doom and gloom predictions of the future is equivalent to being a Holocaust denier.
The Question of Origins
This same elitist attitude is evidenced concerning the question of origins. Are we products of Darwinian Evolution? Are we simply accidents of nature in a mindless “time plus chance” universe? Or, is there an intelligent designer, an uncaused cause, Who brought everything into existence? Some scientists and mainstream media view the intelligent design position as backward and unscientific; yet another unpardonable sin against the god of liberal thought. In order to prevent actual questioning of their religion, they now classify creationist claims as being on a par with belief in “visits of space aliens, lucky numbers and horoscopes.” In the AOL News article “U.S. Beliefs in Pseudoscience Worry Experts” Randolph E. Schmid writes:
A panel of researchers expressed concern that people are giving increasing credence to pseudoscience such as the visits of space aliens, lucky numbers and horoscopes.
In addition, these researchers noted an increase in college students who report they are “unsure” about creationism as compared with evolution.
We have come a long way since the 1925 Scopes Trial. In Dr. Norman Geisler’s talk “How Secular Humanism Took Over America” he points out that Clarence Darrow (the lawyer for the evolutionist position) argued that presenting only one view of origins was sheer bigotry. Geisler asks, if only allowing one view of origins to be presented in 1925 was sheer bigotry, and we are now only allowed to present one view of origins (Darwinian Evolution), (as well as only one view of global warming, one view of homosexuality, and one view of abortion, and in fact one view of every liberal position) wouldn’t that mean that bigotry hasn’t changed; only the bigots have?
Hey Don, looks like you had that “Greg Brady” look back in the 70’s. Remember back in the 1950-60’s when our city skies were full of smoke and smog, when you couldn’t drive past Gary IN without keeping the car windows closed ‘cause of the awful sulfur smell and the yellow smoke in the sky, and everyone drove gas guzzling V8’s with leaded gasoline? Even history tells us that during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800’s, progress was measured by smokestacks, and all that coal & oil burning that went on for over a hundred years.
Today, all cars use unleaded gas, much of it with alcohol blends, and have catalytic converters. Factories can’t spew smoke into the sky anymore, and the smog has dramatically been reduced in places like Gary IN and Pittsburg PA. Aerosol sprays are a thing of the past, as is Freon and other gases that supposedly harm the ozone. Yet in spite of our efforts here and elsewhere over 40 years, the so-called experts tell us that our CO2 emissions are still causing global warming, apparently worse now than ever before. Even Evangelical leaders like Rick Warren are jumping on the Global Warming bandwagon when the evidence isn’t really conclusive. Don’t get me wrong, as Christians we should be good stewards of what God has given us and we should all try to limit things like pollution and the destruction of our open lands. But before we turn off the electricity and become an Amish-like tree hugging pastoral society that goes back to using candles, outhouses, and horse & buggies, maybe we should start asking hard questions like: Why is the earth cooling when we have reduced our pollution for the past 40 years? Or, why have glaciers like the ones in British Columbia, receded faster in past times than in the present? (By the way, the National Parks there take measurements)
You are correct; the global warming crowd is asking us to accept their views by faith without empirical supporting evidence and anyone who doesn’t are modern day Hussites.
Don, I love your picture!
Thank you for this excellent article. I posted the link to your blog at the yahoo TL group. We’ve been discussing this subject for the last few days.
I think that your article is helpful.