Global warming is a religion, not science. That's why acolytes in the media attack global-warming critics not with scientific arguments, but for their apostasy. Then they laud global-warming believers not for reducing greenhouse gases, but simply for believing global warming is a coming catastrophe caused by man. The important thing is to have faith in those who warn: The end is near.
So a New York Times editorial Thursday took after Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., not for being a Doubting Thomas, but as the headline read, a "Doubting Inhofe." The brunt of the editorial was not a scientific refutation of Inhofe's arguments against the global-warming craze -- other than to cite a National Academy of Sciences report that warned that the Earth is approaching the warmest temperatures in 12,000 years -- a short blip in time to your average geologist.
The Times' focus was on Inhofe's refusal to bow to "the consensus among mainstream scientists and the governments of nearly every industrialized nation concerning manmade climate change." That is, Inhofe has had the effrontery to challenge elite orthodoxy. Or, as the editorial put it, Inhofe "has really buttressed himself with the will to disbelieve."
Get thee away, Satan.
"I see a sense of desperation that I haven't seen before," Inhofe told me by phone Thursday, "and frankly I'm enjoying it." CNN's Miles O'Brien also challenged Inhofe in a similar vein. O'Brien cited the NAS study, then assailed Inhofe with quotes from notable Republicans -- President Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut -- who recognize global warming. Note that Schwarzenegger gets into global-warming heaven just for believing, despite his four Hummers and use of a private jet.
Global warming even has a martyr, NASA scientist James Hansen, who told O'Brien in January that under the Bushies, "you're not free to speak your own mind." It's amazing that a scientist can complain that he is being muzzled -- while appearing on CNN and "60 Minutes."
Be it noted that Hansen endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president in 2004 and received a $250,000 award from a foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry in 2001. At the time, Hansen told The New York Times, the award had "no impact on my evaluation of the climate problem or on my political leanings." I believe that.
I also believe we should all be so muzzled.