Posted Oct 02, 2019 by Michael L. Brown

When I came to faith as a 16-year-old, drug-using, hippie rock drummer, I was told that Jesus was returning very soon. The end of the world was near. Very near. Today, there is a new religious narrative, especially among young people, with a new “end of the world” scenario. But this one is depressing and grim, with nothing redemptive about it.

I’m talking about the new religion of manmade global warning.

It has it unique gods (like Mother Earth).

It deifies the created world (with seminarians confessing to plants in a chapel service).

It has its high priests and religious leaders (the climate change gurus and radical environmentalists).

It has its patron saints (like Sweden’s Greta Thunberg).

And it has its own doomsday scenario: The end of the world is near. Very near.

To be clear, I do not have the credentials to comment on scientific questions related to global warming.

But I do have the credentials to comment on the effect that environmental activists are having on our culture, especially the younger generation.

An Australian website offers counsel to help people (especially young people) deal with stress and anxiety related to climate change. It notes that, “There are lots of reasons why young people might feel stressed about climate change.”

These reasons include: 1) They feel like planning for the future is hopeless. 2) They are angry that the people around them aren’t doing anything to help. 3) They are frustrated that there’s nothing they can do now to change things. 4) They are worried about whether it’s responsible to have children. 5) They feel like everything is out of their control.

A May 2 headline on Science News for Students states, “Climate change poses mental health risks to children and teens.”

And a September 19 article on Conversation.com warned that, “Ignoring young people’s climate change fears is a recipe for anxiety.”

In fact, as far back as 2016, the American Psychological Association (APA) claimed that, “Climate change is threatening mental health. A federal report that tapped psychologists' expertise outlines the ways climate change affects us all.”

But herein lies the rub. It is not “climate change” that is “threatening mental health.” It is the apocalyptic way it is being reported that is threatening mental health.

After all, when I was told in 1971 that Jesus was coming back soon, it was an exciting prospect. The end of the age is fast approaching and we will be with the Lord forever! This world is falling apart, but God will come to redeem us!

But there is no such hope in today’s gloom and doom climate change reporting. Instead, it produces fear and provokes frustration, especially for young people: “Our world is being destroyed, and you’re not doing anything about it! Don’t you care?”

To quote Greta Thunberg directly, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. . . . We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth - how dare you!”

But there’s a reason for her fears.

An October, 2018 headline proclaimed: “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN.”

Six months later, in March, 2019, the UN website echoed these sentiments: “Only 11 Years Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change, Speakers Warn during General Assembly High-Level Meeting. Ambition, Urgency Needed to Address Global Emergency, Secretary-General Says.”

No wonder teenaged Greta and her generation are up in arms. No wonder they are so stressed. No wonder they are angry. “It is your policies and your greed and your selfishness that have stolen our future!”

As reported on September 26, “Around climate-change protests, tears linger. Youthful activists cite all-too depressing science and develop angst. They grieve for a future they worry they’ll never have.

“Many young climate activists say they feel hopeless and overwhelmed. . . . ‘It's really hard to grow up on a planet full of ifs,’ said This is Zero Hour co-founder Jamie Margolin, a 17-year-old from Seattle, who is finding hard to buckle down and apply to colleges. ‘There's always been a sense that everything beautiful in this world is temporary for my generation.’”

How very, very sad – but not because it’s all true.

Instead, as John Nolte pointed out, “For more than 50 years Climate Alarmists in the scientific community and environmental movement have not gotten even one prediction correct, but they do have a perfect record of getting 41 predictions wrong.

“In other words, on at least 41 occasions, these so-called experts have predicted some terrible environmental catastrophe was imminent … and it never happened.”

Consequently, he asks, “Why would we completely restructure our economy and sacrifice our personal freedom for ‘experts’ who are 0-41, who have never once gotten it right?”

So, young people are being stressed about something that may never happen. They are growing up waiting for the shoe to drop, not being able to enjoy because of fear for tomorrow.

The innocence of youth is being robbed from them, and everyone is to blame. Yet an article on the Teaching Tolerance website urges that, “Teachers’ Silence on Climate Change Violates Students’ Rights.”

I would urge instead that there needs to be a lot of soul searching and circumspection, from our children’s educators to the popular media. Are you sure the information you are sharing is accurate? Are you positive the fears you are instilling are warranted? Are you certain that you are not playing with the emotions of impressionable young people?

From my perspective (and leaning into my areas of expertise), I would rather say this: It’s true that this world will not endure forever. One day, Jesus will return and make a new heaven and earth. So, live your life here with passion, in expectation of His return, making every moment count. That way, whether you live to be 100 or if He comes back in 10 years, your life will be full and blessed.

I challenge a climate change religionist to come up with a better message than that.

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Skeptic posted a comment · Oct 09, 2019
Hi Dean, just take me as an example of someone from the left-side of the spectrum who is considering many of the ideas scientists put forward. I’m not sure from where you get the idea that the “left” would dismiss potential solutions because they are cheap. If a “cheap” solution is also effective, it should make it to the top of the list. I’m be no means an expert on the underlying principles/drivers of climate change nor am I in a position to judge the merit of the proposals on how to deal with it. There are two things I believe which are crucial: 1. There won’t be one solution, but rather various approaches to combat global warming. And this might be a combination of reducing CO2 emissions and some of the proposed geoengineering options on whatever scale. 2. The problem can only be addressed on a global level. In this context, pulling out of the Paris agreement does not help. This also implies that all countries, not only the US and EU, have to contribute, China and other developing nations need to be required to cut back on their end as well. Reading more about geoengineering, I came across a guy named David Keith. He is at Harvard and looks into whether and how to deploy these options. Very interesting. He also talks about other cheap options ;-).
Deancooper posted a comment · Oct 08, 2019
Hi Skeptic, you said that the ideas I had mentioned, “might be worth looking into”. Try talking to the people pushing the Green New Deal (or similar) to see if they think they are worth looking into. I rather suspect they will be against a cheaper an easier solution. I agree with you, it would be great "to discuss the proposals based upon their merit". But I sincerely don't think the Left wants to do that. Or they have been led to believe ideas like I mentioned are "unfounded and scary", i.e., they have been manipulated. My point is not any particular idea to solve this issue, but rather why not explore every possibility to solve this problem, including solutions that may be quite cheap? Interestingly, the Green New Deal doesn't solve Climate Change at all, since it only changes the carbon output of the U.S. Something like spraying Sulfuric Dioxide into the atmosphere would potentially be a global solution. Sounds like that idea has significantly more merit given that alone. But add in the cost savings, and why are we talking about such a massive restructuring of our economy -- except that the Left generally wants such a restructuring for other reasons. And that's fine as long as people know the reasons why they are pushing that solution and not others.
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Skeptic posted a comment · Oct 07, 2019
Science is not always wrong? You do realize the fact that science is “sometimes” right, simply because you can use a computer and the internet… Nice! That’s a start! You know what drives “science”? Curiosity and to proof others wrong and this is the mechanism to get our understanding of the world right… figure out which scientific results should be considered (temporarily at least) to be true vs the ones which are “agenda driven”. Why don’t you simply agree to discuss the proposals based upon their merit and not based upon whether someone on the left or right proposed them? And the cost/benefit ratio is certainly a significant factor. Your rant about the “left” doesn’t get us anywhere.. It’s just bla, bla, bla… Attack their ideas, policies etc. rather than pushing stupid stereotypes. By the way, reading through some articles about geoengineering changed my perception about the ideas you mentioned from being rather unfounded and scary to “it might be worth looking into them”…
Deancooper posted a comment · Oct 05, 2019
Science is not always wrong. Science discovered the hole in the Ozone layer, what was causing it, and what harm it would do. Science, along with politicians, put an end to the damage mainly by moving away from Freon. The problem was fixed. Other problems can't be fixed. Take some old-growth forests on the Hawaiian islands that were chopped down to sell to the Europeans back in the 1800's. The forests are not only gone now, but you can't get them back -- because they required an ice-age to get started. Human caused global warming is quite real. Green house gasses really do heat up the planet and we've been releasing them at an ever increasing rate. While we may not be warming up the planet as fast as the alarmists believe, no one can really say when we will hit a tipping point where dramatic changes will occur in the climate. There is reason to believe that previous ice ages were triggered when the planet became warm enough to melt the North Pole sufficiently to cause substantial changes to the ocean currents. Which is simply to say that this is a serious issue and we shouldn't dismiss it lightly. On the other hand, in the same way we found a solution to the Ozone hole, we likely can find solutions to the warming we are causing. One is to simply pump Sulfuric Dioxide in the atmosphere. It's what volcanoes do when they cool the planet. I've heard the cost of doing this is around $100 billion a year, which is way cheaper than the countless trillions the current Democratic presidential contenders' proposals would cost us. Another potential solution is to dump iron fillings, a fertilizer, into the oceans which would spawn massive growth in the ocean ecosystem which, like plating trees, removes carbon from the atmosphere. So is there cause for concern? Yes. But are there potential solutions that won't cost us a fortune? There seems to be. So why doesn't anybody talk about the cheap alternative solutions? The answer can be seen in the Green New Deal. The Left doesn't just want a solution, they want a radical solution that will enable them to change our system from top to bottom. In other words, climate change has been co-opted by the Left to enable them to push the things they really want. And for me, that is far worse of a threat to our future than climate change.
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Jay R posted a comment · Oct 04, 2019
First there was an impending Ice Age, then there was global warming, and now there is climate change. The thrust of all of these is the same. It is all about power and control. LOOK! We will soon die a horrible death. There is sewage slow down coming. OH, NO! The sewage treatment plants are malfunctioning. We will die excrutiatingly. And soon. Don't you care? There is a comet approaching the earth and it is affecting our ability to dispose of sewage. YOU MUST DO WHAT WE SAY OR WE WILL ALL DIE!!!!!!!! Do you want that on your conscience? --------Perhaps mankind has some part in the natural climatic changes that occur naturally, but I find it hard to accept that I must change my behavior based on a hypothesized catastrophe, especially when the reasons changes, but the end result is the same, "Do as I say".
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Skeptic posted a comment · Oct 04, 2019
Neptune, do you imply that Religion has no scientific basis, is men-made (up) and generally harmful – as the climate advocacy movement? At least I appreciate the notion, but would argue, that the latter does not rely on any spirits to exist. Also, I suggest you choose a few more sources to educate yourself on the matter, not only from a website someone runs out of his basement (although he does have credentials and seems to be very much supportive of protecting the environment, but most of the articles are pure propaganda…).
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Keith Heimann posted a comment · Oct 03, 2019
Total nonsense. This entire discussion is only designed to further the myth that science is somehow the enemy of faith. The far-right political Christians have been busy with this goal since the Scopes trial.
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neptune posted a comment · Oct 02, 2019
Yes, the idea of man-made climate change is basically a religion. Of course, our climate has been changing in various ways, but numerous intelligent scientists believe that it's simply part of a natural cycle, and that man has very little to do with it. In fact, there's evidence that the earth was much warmer during the Middle Ages than it is now. There's a good Web site called wattsupwiththat.com that debunks a lot of the myths about man-made climate change.
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Skeptic posted a comment · Oct 02, 2019
To me it is very clear that you have no credentials is this field. In contrast to your believes, climate change is real and based on scientific facts. To ridicule efforts to address this issue and at the same time writing books about how Jezebel attacks America is just insane!