During a recent discussion regarding climate change and hurricanes on Fox News, Tucker Carlson and John Stossel had the following exchange:
CARLSON: Why is it that debate about science has so many moral overtones?
STOSSEL: It’s the new religion of the Left. Man pollutes, man’s carbon, greedy industries … we have to fight this. This is their religion.
One could certainly debate Stossel on the use of the word “new.” Aside from that, his assessment is correct.
The progressive movement has made the environment into a sort of deity. If the earth is god, then anthropogenic climate change is the sin of man. However, environmentalism inverts the traditional Judeo-Christian narrative by having man work out his own salvation, not with fear and trembling, but by placing himself in the role of savior. Due to our own vanity, we have sculpted a deity that, rather than ruling over us, requires our protection. In short, we are the real god.
The innate human desire to believe in a life greater than ourselves has been sustained for millennia by faith in a higher being. As traditional faith has become watered down and abandoned altogether, a vacuum has been created. Man has attempted to fill this vacuum with drugs, sex, alcohol, material wealth, and many other temporary things, but the closest facsimile to religion is environmentalism. It is a cause greater than oneself; it requires cooperation with a kind of brotherhood; its effects will last long after death; and it provides a sense of purpose, which feeds the soul. Best of all, as previously stated, environmentalism also feeds the ego.
This is why scientists are no longer allowed to question anthropogenic climate change. Science is viewed through a dispassionate lens, but environmental issues have moved far beyond the realm of science. Dispassion has been killed by fanaticism.
One can have a clinical debate about the way in which doctors treat a particular disease, but to argue that climate change is anything less than catastrophic, or that it might be mitigated without extreme measures, is the same as heresy because the panic induced by catastrophe is the underpinning of the entire environmentalist dogma.
If we don't believe or if we refuse to comply with the rules of the fanatical faith, we are not simply labeled skeptics, but "deniers" — and deniers don't deserve to be heard.