Global Warming Theology Is the Enemy of Climate Science and Reason

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Global warming theology is now consuming every bit of air in discussions of the matter of climate and politics leaving no place for real science or reason.

Discussions of global warming have lost all touch with science and reason. They have been replaced by global warming theology that only thinly masks political and financial agendas. When the silly “how dare you” challenge of a 16-year old manipulated to serve as a mascot becomes the fulcrum of the debate, we are far beyond anything remotely scientific in nature. Rather, we’re deep into self-deceit that no reasonable person can take seriously. Call me climate denier or whatever the heck else you want but I’m not going to play that game. Global warming theology, not global warming, is the threat.

Let me, before getting into why I say this, point out absolutely nothing I’m about to say detracts from the positive role natural gas plays in reducing emissions of all sorts. And, if you believe CO2, in particular, is a problem, you can’t ignore what natural gas is doing to reduce it. It’s the only meaningful contributor to reducing CO2 emissions. Here is a chart from the Energy Information Administration that tells that story:

Global WarmingThe shale revolution is what has dramatically reduced CO2 emissions along with a tremendous amount of other non-carbon emissions. It has done so by offering natural gas as a much cleaner fuel for purposes of electricity generation.

So, natural gas ought to be the one thing we can all agree upon. But, of course, almost no one talking about the supposed “climate crisis” will acknowledge this. Rather, the headlines from those pushing the crisis and from the sycophant press both assiduously ignore the fact, which is the tipoff we’re talking global warming theology, not climate science. The science is no longer relevant, in fact. Nor is reason. Both are losing out to the emotion, the fanaticism and the zealotry of a cause defined by faith in what can only be described as a secular religion. How else can you describe a movement that insists on calling its opponents “deniers”?

Well, call me a denier, too, if you wish. I’m not about to be intimidated into adopting a position simply because I’m told “everyone knows,” which is default position of nearly every climate crisis advocate very view of whom bother to offer facts other than their supposition all scientists agree. I prefer being known as a contrarian, curmudgeon or old grouch than one who cannot think or reason for himself. And, it’s painfully clear those who push global warming theology aren’t thinking for themselves so much as parroting political correctness. What we are witnessing is the disembowelment of science and reason for the crime of being open-minded.

The fear of science, not science, is what defines global warming theology. That’s why “denier” is the label of choice among the advocates for those of us who question the articles of faith held by these secular religionists. It’s also we why we were presented with a junk science study a few years ago about 97% of scientists being in agreement on global warming and its causes. Only a fool could believe 97% of any group share the same view based on nothing more than models, but it served its purpose of providing cover for media and political types (e.g., Chuck Todd) to dismiss any objections to the creed. Cross the line to ask a question and you’re now told “get outta here.”

These features of global warming theology are enough to convince most of us there’s something other than science or reason behind this “crisis.” This is why the general public consistently treats it as one of their very least concerns. That has only made the believers ever more determined to impose the faith, of course. One of our readers, a nice fellow from a regional university who happens to be in the climate crisis camp has, for example, offered the following revealing comments on some of our earlier articles, (emphasis added):

So let’s see. We can choose to allow ourselves to be informed on the climate-change issue by scientists who do their best to conduct solid, peer-reviewed research on climate issues. Or by a bunch of folks (like you, Tom) who are financially supported by the fossil fuel industry. Hmm, decisions, decisions

No. I just listen to my colleagues in the scientific community. And read their papers. There’s a mountain of good science out there establishing that human-caused climate change is a real problem that needs to be solved. It’s accessible through Google Scholar in case you are willing to look. And because climate change is real, efforts to deny it away are ultimately fruitless. Until we drastically reduce our input of CO2 and methane derived from fossil fuels into our atmosphere, the concerns will persist…

I wish that folks would stop referring to those of us who accept the science of anthropogenic global climate change as being on the “far left.” I don’t hear any dissent from that consensus – at least in the conferences that I attend. To characterize all those scientists as being on the “far left” is totally misleading…

So let’s see. To whom should we listen with respect to the impacts of burning fossil fuels on our climate? Scientists who publish in preeminent peer reviewed journals like Science and Nature? Or some guy who runs a pro fossil fuel blog? Decisions. Decisions.

Ok, got it. I’m just “a guy who runs a pro fossil fuel bog.” Well, if you say so, but I must point out all fossil fuels aren’t equal. I advocate for natural gas, not fossil fuels per se. In fact, I have often pointed out how New York City’s switch from heavy oil to natural gas has cleaned their air and saved hundreds of lives, not to mention information from the above chart. But, let’s not nitpick. Instead, let’s carefully analyze to see if we can help with those decisions about which our reader is obsessed. He’s so worried others might not choose carefully that he has mentioned decisions four times to date.

First, let’s understand something about peer review; too often, it’s about having a member of a group who thinks like you at the outset reading and opining on your version of an opinion you already share. Consider this late 2018 Nature paper, for example, bearing in mind our reader cited Nature as a reliable source of climate science. It got a lot of attention in places such as Washington Post, which slavishly reported “the findings mean the world might have less time to curb carbon emissions.” Climate scientist Judith Curry, though, saw through it immediately:

The findings of the Resplandy et al paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media. Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results. Just a few hours of analysis and calculations, based only on published information, was  sufficient to uncover apparently serious (but surely inadvertent) errors in the underlying calculations.

The errors completely destroyed the paper’s conclusion that climate sensitivity to increased CO2 might be too low. It was retracted; after being peer reviewed.

And, then, there is Michael Mann, whose hockey stick graph was famous before it became infamous. Nature published that, too, and the IPCC picked it up as well, but it’s no longer in their reports because a couple of Canadian scientists demolished it. This wasn’t the last time this happened with Mann, either. A Nature‘s Scientific Reports peer-reviewed paper by him was apparently brimming with mistakes documented here. iThe critique notes “Mann’s errors [were] in no way unique or rare; indeed, they are banal and ubiquitous.”

That paper might have also mentioned ClimateGate and Mann’s work to “hide the decline.” It would have been professional discourteous, of course. But, most individuals with even a passing interest in global warming already know about the scandal. The high priests of global warming theology, though, tell us to pay no attention. That gets at the real issue here; experience in integrating information discerned from various observations in life is a far better measure of reality and the truth than experimental models. Truth, that is to say reality, is more than just counting, more than simply offering assertions based on a limited number of facts and far more than a mere idea or thesis.

A honest observer trying to decide something, for example, will consider the following:

  • The climate models have been unable to predict much of anything. They have been spectacularly wrong, in fact. The supposed experts and activists relying upon them have demonstrated this with what are now decades of failed predictions of disaster just around the corner. The cries of crisis, for this reason, no longer register except with the true believers and promoters.
  • The folks promoting global warming theology, like our academic reader, “just listen to [their] colleagues in the scientific community,” and “don’t hear any dissent from that consensus – at least in the conferences [they] attend.” They’re living in a bubble, in other words, where they only hear from those who agree. But, in the real world outside the bubble, there are a multitude of opinions and plenty of folks of high credibility who think otherwise. They include, for instance, Dr. Judith Curry, Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. Richard Lindzen, all of whom who dissent to various degrees with global warming theology.
  • Just because someone like me is a fan of natural gas or receives some modest financial support from the industry and landowners, as I do, doesn’t mean our facts aren’t correct. Moreover, our motives are just as valid as those of academics who are scarfing up huge amounts of grant money and looking to burnish reputations by publishing politically correct climate research. And, just as valid (arguably more so) than seekers of government rent in the form of green eggs and scam. Everyone has an interest and balancing them is the key. Too many global warmists have no desire to balance anything. They’re purists. The average person does get it, though.
  • Science is notoriously fickle. How many decades has our government been telling all of us to avoid eating fat as the nation has become obese doing so and overeating carbohydrates that were the real culprit? Too many. How many years did we falsely suppose, based on science, that ulcers were caused by what we eat? How many studies told us, just yesterday, that eggs, coffee and butter were bad for us, only to be told, today, they’re wonderful?
  • Science, like so much else, invites seekers of fame and those who desire fame tend to follow fashion. Being fashionable, though, does nothing for truthfulness. It frequently works against it, in fact. Fame induces pride before the fall; the fruits of a false notion that knowledge on one thing about the climate makes the learner an expert on all things climate. That it qualifies him or her to not merely instruct about what they have learned, but also to warn others about the implications they’d like to be true.
  • Too much of science is based on preconceived hypotheses that are then confirmed with circular reasoning and stringing together of theories to magnify the power of the conclusion when, in fact, it’s only as strong as the weakest theory. Those who like to constantly remind us they’re extraordinary climate scientists (as when Michael Mann bizarrely claimed to be a Nobel Prize recipient based on his connection with the IPCC) imagine it means they have special talents. They can be true, but typically isn’t, and most haven’t got the slightest appreciation of the fact their expertise, such as it is, is less talent than faith in their global warming theology.

Science is susceptible to the fatal conceit; that knowledge about one thing is knowledge about all things. But, universal knowledge is unachievable. We can only discern such knowledge as we will ever have from synthesis of science, experience and a whole lot of other things. The fatal flaw in global warming theology is that its adherents attempt to impose an ideology on all of us by calling it science. It’s not. Real science is what we need and it’s only just begun.

There, I’ve said it.

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14 thoughts on “Global Warming Theology Is the Enemy of Climate Science and Reason

  1. How I learned to love Global Warming and Climate Change.

    1. Due to a phenomenon called Isostatic rebound (or glacial rebound), northern Canada is rising faster than the sea level of the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay. As a consequence the Hudson Bay coast line (think gulf of Mexico in size) will not have any effective sea level increase even after the poles melt. The same can be said of Scandinavia and Northern Russia and Northern Alaska. How is this a bad thing?
    2. All the major rivers in Siberia except the Amur (which runs into an arm of the Pacific Ocean) flow into the Arctic Ocean. The biggest are similar to our Mississippi River. (The Ob, the Yenisey and the Lena) How is this a bad thing?
    3. These areas will be temperate zones and will be undeveloped. The northern hemisphere will rebuild itself around the Arctic Ocean. How is this a bad thing?
    4. Humans will simply migrate north as they do now from Mexico. How is this a bad thing?
    5. Northeast USA will have a climate like today’s North Carolina. How is this a bad thing?
    6. Where I live in Elmira, New York, we are 800 feet above sea level. Sea level rise of 200 to 400 feet is nothing for us. Property values will climb and farming will be at a premium again. How is this a bad thing?
    7. We will take over or pull down the Wind Turbines because New York City will be under water except for the Palisades and Washington Heights. We will drill our own Natural Gas and grow our own food. How is this a bad thing?
    8. The construction industry in upstate will be booming for centuries as the rich move north and businesses move to upland areas. How is this a bad thing?
    9. The Catskill Park, the Adirondack Park and the Palisades Park will become playgrounds for the remaining people in New York State. The tourist industry will flourish. How is this a bad thing?
    10. NYC’s Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs will no longer be sucking the life out of the Delaware River or Delaware County, and the area will flourish once again as New York City no longer needs water for the newly proclaimed Manhattan/Long Island Marine Sanctuary. How is this a bad thing?
    11. Animals will move north also. And what about extinctions? Right now humans regardless of Global Warming are killing off many species by their building and development habits in sensitive habitats. Wind Turbines and Industrial Solar facilities are especially good at this (bats, birds, eagles, insects, mountain top habitats, clear cutting forests, etc. Upstate can restore these areas and species once the Wind Turbines are removed and the habitat reconstructed. And many species will flourish in the old coastal areas newly reclaimed by nature and the sea. How is this a bad thing?

    Admittedly, most climatologists believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) but your organization overlooks (intentionally?) the fact that most astrophysicists insist that our Sun is the main driver of any warming and these solar scientists have asserted that the Earth will be cooling over the coming years due to a Grand Solar Minimum which begins this year. The last IPPC report asserts that CO2 is the cause of over 50% of the warming since 1850 but Prof. Judith Curry contends that CO2 is the cause of less than 50% of the historic warming.
    Recently, Prof. Nir Shaviv has contended that our Sun has driven about 67% of our planet’s recent warming while AGW has accounted for at most 33% of the recent increase in the average worldwide temperature. Subsequently, a Finnish paper (that has yet to be accepted for publication) asserted that humans accounted for at most 10% of any warming. In July 2019 Prof. Hyodo of Kyoto University and his team of investigators reported in a top scholarly peer-reviewed scientific journal (Nature) that AGW accounted for very little of any recent warming. They instead suggested that the “cloud umbrella effect” was the major contributor to an increase in temperature. Next, in August of 2019, a paper by Prof. Wu of China’s National Academy of Science and her team was accepted for publication in an important peer-reviewed journal and this research found no evidence of any human-induced warming. Their research confirmed the findings of an earlier 2014 scholarly paper. Then in September of 2019, a letter signed by over 700 climate experts was delivered to the UN Secretary-General insisting that “NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY EXISTS” (emphasis in the original). Interestingly, this letter came to life in Italy and most of the signatories are from Europe. Couple this with the 145 US “deniers” and the size of the entire group becomes very compelling. In an October paper published in the scientific journal, “Geology”, it was reported that climate change and ocean acidification has occurred before the appearance of hominoids on our planet.
    It is quite revealing that the climate alarmists readily depict (in graphic form) the correlation of the “temperature anomaly” with the concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere but they never produce a graph of the worldwide average temperature itself over the past 150 years. They avoid this compelling display because this graph (which they never show) would demonstrate a virtual flatline revealing almost no increase and thereby severely undermining their strident claims of a “climate emergency”. Please see my next to last link and look at minutes 6:00 to 8:00.
    Lastly, in November, five papers from the Federal University of Sao Paolo came to light which confirmed the veracity of this other research. In Oct. 2019 David Attenbougher stated publically that the BBC has lost its reputation for reporting the scientific facts accurately. Thus, it is longer possible to rely on the mainstream media regarding the truth about climate change. The following Table and Graph show the facts:

    Based upon these very latest scientific findings the case for the claim of AGW is starting to crumble before your eyes.
    For those who require links here are several:
    “Calcium isotope evidence for environmental variability before and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction” by Benjamin J. Linzmeier, et. al. 28 October 2019, Geology.

  3. Tom, Great reply to the ardent young climate crusader. He / she is obviously a committed true believer, and while you made several excellent points in your rebuttal, unfortunately I doubt that they will have much impact on the closed mind of this individual. As a retired atmospheric scientist I can state with some authority that your remarks regarding peer review and vulnerability of scientists to “group think” are spot on.

    • And what substance is there in this presumptuous name calling?

      As a retired scientist, also, I can state with deep and long experience that “peer review” is the absolute worst part of science except any other review method.

      Scientists are mainly cutthroat and attempt, just as opposing attorneys do in lawsuits, to find holes in analyses and chop down their peers. This is a well tested and respected method of getting at the truth.

      My background is as a tenured professor, department chair, research administrator, associate graduate dean, widely published scientist, and peer reviewer.

      And BTW, everyone is subject to “groupthink” That is the reason for the essentially competitive process of peer review. Not the opposite as is implied above.

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