Friday, September 09, 2011

Are all climate skeptics theocratic?

Newsbusters discuss comments by former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman who says that the climate skeptics must be religious, so the climate wars represent a conflict between the "nice atheist alarmists" and "evil religious skeptics".

This is, of course, just a heavily oversimplified label, much like other propagandistic labels whose goal is to demonize various groups of people and replace them by silly caricatures. Your humble correspondent is de facto as big an atheist as you can get – although I have called myself a Christian atheist because of certain values I cherish – and he is (I am) a non-smoker and evolutionist, too. ;-)

Not to mention that my only link to oil and energy companies is that I must pay my monthly electricity and natural gas bills for their important services. :-)

There is surely a positive correlation in the U.S. between being a climate skeptic and being religious. But this correlation is an indirect one because there is a correlation in the U.S. between being a proponent of a strong government and being an atheist. But this correlation is specific for America. In Europe, you don't find too strong a correlation between being a Christian and being anti-government. You find lots of atheist defenders of the free markets – just visit Czechia – and many Christian socialists, too.

However, what you find in the whole world is a correlation between being an alarmist and being a pro-big-government (and similarly, being a skeptic and being anti-big-government). This is understandable because climate alarmism, much like any other hysterical scream about the whole nations or the world, is primarily another tool to increase the power of the government relatively to the individuals – to create institutions such as gas chambers or carbon tax or anything of the sort that wants a government to control (and be able to suppress) the very life of the citizens.

If you combine the correlations that exist in America, you get a correlation between being an atheist and being an alarmist – and, analogously, between being a Christian and being a skeptic. But this correlation doesn't generalize outside the U.S. culture.

In fact, it's not quite flawless a correlation even in America. Take, for example, Piers Morgan of CNN – who is known to the international audience as a jury member of an American Idol-like contest. Yesterday, he approvingly interviewed Tom Friedmann of NYT, a hopelessly hardcore and fat alarmist. Listen to the interview to see that Friedmann is even crazier a nutcase than previously thought. Morgan wouldn't ask any inconvenient questions and he didn't express any disagreement with the insane rants by Friedmann about the ongoing doom in Texas.

Is Morgan an atheist? Well, look at his equally new interview with Penn Jillette. Penn – known from Penn & Teller shows that I started to love after my friend Olda K. showed me some of them (check e.g. Bullshit on Bottled Water and recycling today!) – is an atheist and wrote a book about these issues. Morgan passionately and illogically explains the story of Creation and even claims that Penn doesn't have the right to tell billions of people that God doesn't exist without replacing God by another God!

Fortunately, it's not quite legal these days for Morgan to make a citizen's arrest and citizen's burning at stake of another citizen (even though James Hansen may have a different opinion on this judicial technicality) so Jillette is doing fine. ;-) But you may surely find religious fanatics who are not skeptics much like you may find atheists such as myself who are climate skeptics. Just to be sure, check Penn & Teller on global warming if you have doubt that Jillette is a climate skeptic.

Christianity and global warming alarmism are two different religions. Some people think that these two religions are "similar" which may be good for some of them and bad for others; other people think that these two religions are "negatively correlated" and they prefer to like one of them or the other. To summarize, all four combinations exist (atheist or believing × skeptics or alarmists) and none of them is negligible.

Last public execution: Pilsen

The last execution by hanging in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy took place exactly 140 years ago, on September 9th, 1871, in my hometown of Pilsen.

Murderer and the CEO of a gang of robbers Mr Jan Janeček spent the last night by playing cards with his guard. Then he was tightened so that he couldn't move too much in the case that he would be nervous because of this painful surgery. Right before the last moments which only took one minute, he was moving his lips as if he were talking but you could hear nothing.

Thousands of curious Pilsen dwellers were waiting from the morning. They were given copies of Mr Janeček's CV.


  1. I am an atheist libertatian skeptic American. Does that make me unique?

  2. Let's just make that 'alleged religious convictions' just in the same way that there are 'alleged connections to the energy industries'.

    Denierism should have been thrown back at the proponents that theirs is such, as they are providing false scenarios so as to use pre-chosen memes to 'debunk' those who they would have 'prove the science false'...seeing that it is apparently too high a bar to 'prove the science': so that Strawman Argumentation and Poisoning the Well slurs attack the messenger rather than the message.
    Prechosen memes are usually called 'Talking Points' and are a staple of propaganda.

  3. Harlow,

    Not all. In fact, a lot of libertarians are agnostic at the least. I am. There are also more than a few atheists that are "big government" and have bought into the idea of anthropogenic global warming.