There is a new dogmatism sweeping the world. It is the dogmatism of “climate change.” I am not convinced that it is anything other than the normal ebb and flow of the earth. However, whether it is real or not is quite irrelevant to its disciples. As is, for that matter, whether humans are causing it. The devotees of gaia are certainly convinced that the earth will be destroyed by humans if nothing is done to change our current habits.
There is a reason why great fervor overtakes Al Gore and his sycophants: they have found their god and they will protect its reputation at all costs. In the current use of the term, they are fundamentalists for their cause, as much as any backwoods, s’uth’n Bible-thumper. This means that there is no room for any actual discourse on the merits of their case. Witness the heretic-burnings that take place in the newspapers and talk shows when anyone dares to question the reigning orthodoxy. The response is either rage or bemusement, as if viewing a strange, long-lost specimen.
It is not, you see, so important that climate change is real, as it is that humans wish to be in control. Because if it is humans that cause the problems, humans can fix them, right? If only we can just reduce our carbon emissions, or purchase “carbon offsets,” or “go green,” or recycle more, or kill all the cows, or….or….or…. THEN everything will be alright, and we will preserve the earth (whether the human race survives is not all that important to the cause’s more radical martyrs). Because we are in control.
And if we are not, what then? What of all our striving? What will happen…after?
That is the question. If there is no end beyond these means, then the preservation of the earth is the end. It is the goal. And it is idolatry. Christians preserve the earth because it is God’s, not ours. We do what we can and we leave the results to God. We are stewards, not owners. But that would push us humans out from in front of the control panel–and that the climate-change apostles cannot abide. Because, as the well-known psalm has it: “The fool says in his/her/its heart, ‘There is no global warming.'”