The Heresy of Doubting Apocalyptic Global Warming

on November 13, 2013

Much of the worst hysteria about apocalyptic Global Warming has cooled, especially after more than 15 years of no global temperature increases, evincing at least that climate computer models are less than infallible.

But some of the most committed believers in the theory that human activity is uniquely fueling a disastrous increase in temperatures are on the Religious Left. Former Chicago Theological Seminary President Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, who’s ordained in the ultra liberal United Church of Christ, recently faulted Global Warming skeptics for the murderous typhoon in the Philippines.

“These ‘superstorms’ aren’t an ‘act of God,’ but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation, and the neglect of the human responsibility to care for the planet,” Thislethwaite darkly pronounced in her blog for The Washington Post. She pinpointed two levels of “moral evil.”

First, “there is the moral evil of continuing to pump fossil fuels into the atmosphere, producing global warming,” Thislethwaite revealed. Second, there’s the possibly even worse sin of “climate change denial, that is, those who would continue to deny, in the face of mounting evidence, that violent climate change is upon us and it is accelerating.”

Several days ago The Washington Post cited a University of Colorado and Naval Research Laboratory worldwide database for hurricanes or typhoons between 1970 and 2010 that concluded: “The analysis does not indicate significant long-period global or individual basin trends in the frequency or intensity of landfalling [tropical cyclones] of minor or major hurricane strength.”

But Thislethwaite’s unwavering faith in apocalyptic Global Warming is still strong. In the “face of planetary destruction,” she urges a “theological prescription, in a classical sense, for what we must do: confession, repentance and change.”

In this climate altar call the penitent must “admit human caused, violently destructive climate change,” confess the “harm to God’s creation is real,” and avow that “human beings bear enormous responsibility for it.” Parson Thislethwaite also demands repentance “for what we have already lost by inaction” through admitting there’s no reversing climate change’s calamitous effects. The wages of sin! But the truly penitent can atone by lobbying for “policy changes” that will at least “slow down” the judgment of Global Warming.

Such deep faith in Global Warming’s unique brand of hell fire religion is almost biblical in proportions. Thislethwaite’s strict adherence to climate fundamentalism contrasts with her far more permissive theological stance towards central Christian teachings about God and ethics.

It is remarkable for example how so often zealous commitment to the inanimate “planet” is inverse to regard for human life, especially the unborn. Climate zealots are also typically indifferent to the human costs of their theological demands for homage of Mother Earth. If climate models require shutting down global economic growth and perpetuating poverty for billions, so be it. Gaia is a jealous goddess who permits no equals.

For ostensibly inclusive theologians of the Protestant far Left, there is unacceptable heresy. But it never involves the identity of the Trinity, the salvific purposes of Christ, or any other historic doctrines of universal Christianity. For them, heresy and “moral evil” attach to any doubts about the secular and Religious Left’s drive for absolute power and centralization.

Apocalyptic Global Warming as a fear-mongering organizing tool for the Left’s quest for control will continue to sputter. Even formerly firm believers increasingly realize climate is not so predestined as computer models suggested. But zealots like Thislethwaite will not likely forsake the solace of Gaia’s temple, from which they’ll continue to issue thunderbolts against the heretics who dare to doubt.

  1. Comment by Karl Olson on November 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Fifteen years of no temperature increase applies to surface temperature only. The heat the earth traps has increased constantly. The so called “pause” in warming is largely due to the cycle which circulates ocean heat into the air.

    The climate models have actually gotten more, not less accurate with time. What they expect is what is happening.

    At this point climate scientists are roughly as certain that human emissions are causing climate change as health researchers are that cigarettes cause death.

    It would be wise to remove this post before you remove your organization’s credibility.

  2. Comment by Mudge on November 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    If there is anything that lacks credibility it is the concept of “scientific consensus.” Science is not determined by counting noses.

  3. Comment by Andrew Dowling on June 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    You accept the scientific consensus on medicine, or do you go to a witch doctor when you get sick?

  4. Comment by Neo on November 15, 2013 at 8:35 am

    1) the idea of the cycle of the ocean being the cause is relatively new. its what makes it climate change vs. global warming.
    2) Climate models have gotten more accurate that is true. But until recently they weren’t.
    3) consensus. I wouldn’t call the timeframe a consensus. Activists make it sound like tomorrow. Most scientists are saying 30-50 years. There are some that say 150 years. The only consensus is its happening. To use your cigarette analogy the problem is no one agrees on how much use is bad, just that its bad in general.

    This is why you loose credibility if you don’t acknowledge these. Then to top it off if you don’t acknowledge how bad the climate models were or how they didn’t predict the massive hail problems we have now your not going to be heard.

  5. Comment by Karl Olson on November 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I wanted to say that I’m beginning to feel a bit like a troll. Perhaps I shouldn’t have included the last sentence of the above post. I admit I did get a little riled when Mr. Tooley cited the erroneous “15 years of no global temperature increases”, but I could have been a bit more delicate and less demanding. I will try to be so in the future.

  6. Comment by Andy Katona on November 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Karl, maybe you haven’t been around as long as I have. I was reading Newsweek w/the “experts” were sounding the alarm of global “COOLING”. This article also blamed weather events on the cooling, just as they do on “warming” now. Don’t put such faith in those who just exist to deceive to line their own pockets and/or elevate their status. We have enough real problems to work on, lets not waste time on figments of man’s imagination.

  7. Comment by Karl Olson on November 14, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I neglected to acknowledge the University of Colorado and Naval Research Laboratory study you cited. It makes the uncomfortable point that a definite increase in storm intensity or frequency hasn’t been proven. Still, the oceans are warming significantly, ( and on the whole this is expected to increase storm intensity, if not necessarily frequency.

    So climate change cannot be held solely responsible for the most powerful storm ever to hit land. Still, while it doesn’t explain everything, it can’t be ruled out as a factor. Our weather systems are basically on steroids.

    One final point is important. Since we’re 95% sure that global warming is caused by people, and many see that as inadequate confidence, then what else is causing the seemingly inexorable accumulation of heat in our atmosphere and oceans? If you’re going to say it’s not us, then you definitely need an alternative explanation.

  8. Comment by Objectivist on November 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm


    There is no doubt that increasing atmospheric CO2 is causing a warming effect to some extent. Where there is considerable doubt is in regards to whether or not said warming will be sufficient to be of concern.

    I’m sure you’d be interested to read this article by Dr. Roy Spencer regarding a recently published paper:

    It shows, very believably, that the total increase in temperature from each doubling of CO2 concentration is probably around 1.3 degrees C. If correct, that means that the likely peak of atmospheric CO2 concentration is not concerning.

    CO2 hysteria also ignores some positive externalities of higher concentrations such as improved agricultural output.

    If in fact we’ve also warded off the next completely disastrous Ice Age, so much the better.

  9. Comment by klem on November 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

    “Such deep faith in Global Warming’s unique brand of hell fire religion is almost biblical in proportions.’

    Exactly, that’s part of the irony of climate alarmism. Many ardent climate alarmists and environmentalists are also atheist. Yet they have no idea that environmentalism in general is a form of secular religion. They now worship a replacement god named Mother Earth Gaia, they have an invisible devil named CO2, they have a sacred book called the AR5, they have a high level organization called the IPCC, they prophesy fear of apocalyptic retribution from the sins of a carbon lifestyle, and every country has their proselytisers like Gore and Thislethwaite. The list is endless.

    Climate skeptics are often called climate heretics, for good reason.

  10. Comment by Karl Olson on November 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I’m glad you brought up the article. It’s legitimate. Dr. Roy Spencer is an actual climate scientist, and the article is published in an scientific journal that specializes in climate science. I’m sure he knows a lot more about the climate than I do.

    While any criticism of this paper has yet to appear since it was published a week ago, I still feel ok taking it with more than a grain of salt. While Dr. Roy Spencer has produced good work and even worked on the third report by the IPCC in 2001, his recent track record is not so good. Ten years later he published a paper in a geographical journal that was criticized for completely ignoring the warming and cooling cycles of the Pacific Ocean, among other rather embarrassing mistakes. I suppose he could have become an expert on them since then, but I have my doubts.

    He’s also claimed repeatedly the clouds are a cause of warming, and this is not generally accepted. He’s been caught manipulating data in very creative ways to make it look as if this is the case.

    We’ll have to see how this latest paper of his stands up. Perhaps he’s returned to form, but I have my doubts.

  11. Comment by P. C. M. Finnegan on May 9, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Science is not consensus. Consensus is not science. Correlation does not automatically confirm causation. Scientific hypotheses are not theories. Hypotheses must be testable and falsifiable before they can be considered as potential explanations of patterns witnessed by humans. Finally, science is a human endeavor.

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