On the heels of this post, I figured it was time to dust the mothballs off this one that I'd started working on several months ago but never quite finished. Here goes. I've left the rough edges in hopes of sparking a discussion.
A friend asked, in response to two June posts why I get so worked up about global warming (or, rather, the mania around the theory of global warming) when there's so much else going on in the world that's of vastly greater import and immediacy. Good question! Perhaps those asking would like to answer it themselves!
It's a question that partly answers itself. I.e., I get worked up about global warming's true believers because it's difficult to understand their point of view without first being converted. It's a disconnect that many of those believers may well identify with in their frustration and even disgust at organized religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Why are people so despereately concerned with a diffuse phenomenon that--even if true--will have no significant impact for generations? (No, Hurricane Katrina, bad as it's impacts were, doesn't count--for a whole host of reasons I'm not going to rehash here. Nor does a mild winter.)
Around the same time, someone else remarked that my more intimate posts and reflections on personal religious experiences were far better, or at least more captivating, even if they draw fewer comments--or at least no comment battles. (The 'silence' dilemma should be familiar to even the most casual writers and speakers: Did I wow them with such insight that no additional comment is possible? Or did I just bore them and embarass myself so badly that no comment is warranted? Traffic statistics seldom shed any light on the matter.)
Which got me thinking, during some time in intellectual 'neutral' recently as I did repetitive outdoor manual labor: how might my enthusiasm for religious-experience posts and my (darker) enthusiasm for fisking global warming nonsense be linked?
This source lists the characteristics of religion. I'm not offering this as definitive, but its at least thought-provoking. Their punch list reads as follows::
- Belief in Supernatural Beings (global warming acolytes seldom talk explicitly about it, but many implicitly worship a kind of mother-earth concept)
- Sacred vs Profane Objects, Places, Times (profanity seems to relate to the weather--if it's severe in any direction, it is often taken as evidence of our being bad; sacredness seems to be found in remote places, particularly the arctic and antarctic. like heaven, they are places most of us have not visited personally. we must rely on the testimony of others about how sacred they are)
- Ritual Acts Focused on Sacred Objects, Places, Times (it's not clear how this relates to global warming as a religion except to the extent that some think of the Toyota Prius as being more sacred than other cars despite its much higher price and safety issues)
- Moral Code With Supernatural Origins (the moral code of global warming is all about C02 emmissions; like real sin, nobody living actually meets the demand of zero infringement (in this case, carbon emmissions)... an interesting parallel)
- Characteristically Religious Feelings, [e.g.,] awe, a sense of mystery, a sense of guilt, and adoration are “religious feelings” which tend to be aroused in religious believers when they come in the presence of sacred objects, in sacred places, and during the practice of sacred rituals. See #3. As I noted in recent posts, negative religious feelings are easily stirred up in true global warming believers)
- Prayer and Other Forms of Communication (not sure how this applies to global warming)
- A World View & Organization of One’s Life Based on the World View (global warming religion fits this one reasonably well... people are certainly thinking about it a lot)
- A Social Group Bound Together by the Above (total fit; see previous posts)
Then there are those who don't disguise their efforts to create new religions.