You don't have to be religious to qualify as a fundamentalist. You can be Al Gore, the messiah figure for the global warming cult, whose followers truly believe their gospel of imminent extermination in a Noah-like flood, if we don't immediately change our carbon polluting ways.
One of the traits of a cult is its refusal to consider any evidence that might disprove the faith. And so it is doubtful the global warming cultists will be moved by 400 scientists, many of whom, according to the Washington Times, "are current or former members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore for publicizing a climate crisis." In a report by Republican staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, these scientists cast doubt on a "scientific consensus" that global warming caused by humans endangers the planet.
Like most cultists, the true believers struck back, not by debating science, but by charging that a small number of the scientists mentioned in the report have taken money from the petroleum industry. A spokeswoman for Al Gore said 25 or 30 of the scientists may have received funding from Exxon Mobile Corp. Exxon Mobile spokesman Gantt H. Walton dismissed the accusation, saying, "the company is concerned about climate-change issues and does not pay scientists to bash global-warming theories."
The pro-global warming cultists enjoy a huge money advantage. Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter, who has testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, noted in an EPW report how much money has been spent researching and promoting climate fears and so-called solutions: "In one of the more expensive ironies of history, the expenditure of more than $50 billion (US) on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one," he wrote on June 18, 2007. The $19 million spent on research that debunks the global warming faith pales in comparison.
Also included in the Republican report are comments by Dutch atmospheric scientist Hendrik Tennekes: "I find the Doomsday picture Al Gore is painting - a six-meter sea level rise, 15 times the IPCC number - entirely without merit. I protest vigorously the idea that the climate reacts like a home heating system to a changed setting of the thermostat: just turn the dial, and the desired temperature will soon be reached."
Oklahoma Senator James M. Inhofe, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the report debunks Mr. Gore's claim that the "debate is over." In fact, the debate hasn't even begun because the global warming cultists won't debate. Despite numerous challenges, Al Gore has refused to debate the issue with any credible scientist who is a skeptic. Shouldn't the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize be willing to debate such an important issue? What does he have to fear? If his theory cannot stand up to scientific inquiry and skepticism, it needs to be exposed as a false religion and himself as a false prophet before he and his followers force us to change the way we live and alter the prosperous society that generations of Americans have built.
Gore and his disciples will still be living in their big houses, driving gas-guzzling cars and flying in private jets that leave carbon footprints as large as Bigfoot's, while most of us will be forced to drive tiny automobiles and live in huts resembling the Third World. But hypocrisy is just one of many traits displayed by secular fundamentalists like Gore.
Before adopting any faith, the agendas of the people attempting to impose it, along with the beliefs held by them and their disciples, should be considered. Gore and company are big government liberals who think government is the answer to all of our problems, including problems they create. In fact, as Ronald Reagan often said, in too many cases government is the problem.
The secular fundamentalists who believe in Al Gore as a prophet and global warming as a religious doctrine are being challenged by scientists and others who disbelieve and who think we ought to be spending more time on developing new technology and energy sources for the future and not preaching gloom, doom and retreat. Let them debate the issue. If they won't, we can only conclude that all they are spewing is hot air.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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