Part ten in a ten-part series on the unsettled science of climate change from Grassroots Alberta
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Ivar Giaever famously said that global warming is a new religion that operates in a similar fashion to the medieval church, back when you couldn’t ask questions or discuss anything without fear of reprisal.
American author Michael Crichton takes Giaever’s observations even further. Crichton’s books (which include Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, andState of Fear) feature storylines based on meticulously researched science, and have sold hundreds of millions of copies. Crichton passed away a few years ago. Yet because of his books and speeches, he remains an important popularizer of scientific ideas, and is therefore still considered one of the world’s most influential and respected climate skeptics.
Before he studied climate change, Crichton said his ideas “were highly conventional—pretty much like everyone else’s.” He believed the often-repeated media reports about global warming. It was while preparing for a book that Crichton began researching climate issues, only to find that the things he read didn’t make sense. Assuming there must be something he didn’t understand, he dug deeper, looking for hard evidence and details.
Crichton discussed his findings with others, only to learn that his honest questions were labelled “controversial.” He said it surprised him because he’d never considered the idea of people being unable to predict the future as controversial. Climate alarmists were saying they knew what the temperature would be fifty or a hundred years from now, and the evidence simply didn’t support those claims.
Having been trained in anthropology, Crichton said he quickly recognized how major elements of modern environmentalism had become a religion. He said that religious feelings are inherent in human beings, and that whenever those feelings are not being expressed in a church, synagogue, or mosque, they can easily “float off” and attach themselves to other things—like climate change.
“A religion is a collective set of beliefs,” Crichton said. Its leaders promote the beliefs and its followers change their lifestyles to match. A person’s total idea of what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s good, and what’s bad ends up being based on their religious values. Crichton said that the religion of climate change even maps (copies) other religious ideas such as the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Fall, in which the earth used to be an Eden, but then people came along and ruined it.
Crichton regretted the fact that climate alarmists were derailing the environmental movement from what it should be focused upon. He said that alarmists turning climate change into a religion was “too bad,” because the world “really needs a good environmental movement… [but] the environmental movement is not doing what it needs to do.”
Crichton said we are now being confronted by climate change fundamentalists who, like all religious fundamentalists, “are really good at saying, ‘I know the answer and you don’t.’”
“Science offers us the only way out of politics,” Crichton said. “If we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost…. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race.”
About Grassroots Alberta
Grassroots Alberta Citizens Initiative was established to promote the responsible and efficient use of tax dollars and to carry out an educational role with respect to wealth creation and responsible public policy. Grassroots Alberta Citizens Initiative is a project of the Grassroots Alberta Landowners Association. “At the Grassroots” is a feature service of Grassroots Alberta. The author, Kevin Avram, is a director of Grassroots Alberta.