Environmentalists pressing for regulations based on “global warming” are now pushing for the same regulations in the name of “climate change.”
Michael Jarraund, the head of the U.N. weather agency, recently announced that 2013 was the sixth globally warmest year in recorded history. But to Jarraund and other environmentalist activists, fluctuations in global warming aren’t a problem. The impending climate Armageddon for precious planet earth still looms via droughts, heat waves, famines, floods, tropical cyclones, and other extreme weather disasters.
The warnings of proponents of a climate Armageddon remind me of the time a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on the door of our home in Galveston. He was thoughtful and informed. He also hoped that he would convince me to join the true faith of his group. His primary appeal rested on the accuracy of warnings and predictions in the Bible.
The Witness knew his Bible from the standpoint of his church’s convictions about an pending
Armageddon. He correctly pointed out that Catholics and mainline Protestant denominations were not accenting dire predictions in scripture. Numerous websites about signs of the end of time still advance his message.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses and climate change advocates differ radically about the nature and timing of their Armageddons. Witnesses proclaim that the cataclysmic destruction of the earth as we know it, accompanied by the return of the Messiah, will occur at any moment. Climate change alarmists proclaim that human-caused devastation of Mother Earth is becoming more and more alarming.
Yet both groups display similarities. Parallel to rifts between Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religious groups, the seam between environmental scientists is torn between those who view climate change as catastrophic and those who view it either as unproven or even as beneficial to plants, animals, and human health.
Both groups base their warnings on the same evidence which, they say, attests to frightening increases of earthquakes, droughts, famines, floods, tropical hurricanes, tsunamis, rising oceans, melting polar ice, and the terrible, ever-increasing costs of these natural disasters.
To this list Jehovah’s Witnesses add ever-increasing wars, violence, and sexual immorality. Witnesses point to Jesus’ alarming predictions about the end of the present age in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: famines, earthquakes, wickedness, roars and waves of the sea, and wars and rumors of wars. Very recently, a panel of environmental experts also announced that hotter global temperatures will increase wars and strife within and between nations.
Versus the view that those warning about climate change and those predicting the cataclysmic end of present-day civilization are totally at odds with one another, the new movie Noah puts them in the same boat. In the movie (not the Bible) Noah says, “Men are going to be punished for what they’ve done to the earth.” The earth’s Creator rains down his wrath of floodwaters to punish both humankind’s moral evil and civilization’s overtaxing the earth’s resources.
Both positions also advance an ideological perspective. The Witnesses rely on the findings of environmentalists to prove the correctness of their religious convictions.
The emotional and ideological dynamics of many climate change proponents also manifest an ideology of biblical proportions: the uprightness of ardent environmentalism, zealous efforts to convince disbelievers to join their ranks, the evils of those corrupting the earth with hydrocarbons, expensive cars, deforestation, and a host of chemical pollutants. They, too, are seeking to save the damned from future destruction.
Harold Y. Vanderpool is a professor emeritus at UTMB and was a longtime resident of Galveston.