One pernicious development of these parlous times has been the rise of various cults that ape the trappings of Christianity while being fundamentally and unalterably opposed to its moral tenets. Case in point, the Marxist Suicide Cult masquerading as heroic do-gooderism that goes by the name of "climate change," by which these solipsistic lunatics mean "man-made climate change."
The argument that the climate is changing is prima facie false, because there is no argument. The climate is always changing. An hour in any major art gallery immediately illustrates that. Start with the Dutch paintings from the Little Ice Age, such as Brueghel's Hunters in the Snow from 1565 if you doubt me. Note also that the old city of Alexandria, in Egypt, which was founded by the Macedonian Greek Alexander the Great c. 331 B.C., and once ruled over by Cleopatra, is now under water. Man had nothing to do with either.
All gone now.
In fact, to say that puny human beings can affect the climate is arrogance of the highest order when one considers the size of the Sun and the vastness of even our little solar system at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. "An ant in the afterbirth," as Mr. Dolarhyde famously put it.
In the roughly five thousand years of recorded human history, there has been one period in which we have had a real taste of our climate’s potential for moodiness, beginning around the start of the fourteenth century and lasting for hundreds of years. During this epoch, often known as the Little Ice Age, temperatures dropped by as much as two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.... This was also the period between the end of the Middle Ages and the birth of the modern world.
The effects of the Little Ice Age were global in scale. In China, then as now the most populous country in the world, the Ming dynasty fell in 1644, undermined by, among other things, erratic harvests. In Europe, rivers and lakes and harbors froze, leading to phenomena such as the “frost fairs” on the River Thames—fairgrounds that spread across the river’s London tideway, which went from being a freakish rarity to a semi-regular event. (Virginia Woolf set a scene in “Orlando” at one.) Birds iced up and fell from the sky; men and women died of hypothermia; the King of France’s beard froze solid while he slept... in 1588, the Spanish Armada was destroyed by an unprecedented Arctic hurricane, and a factor in the Great Fire of London, in 1666, was the ultra-dry summer that succeeded the previous, bitter winter.
And then a warming trend began, continuing into our day: high culture flourished, science advanced along with the arts, and a longer growing season helped fuel a rise in population. This, of course, is not good enough for the ninnies, hysterics and bed-wetters who are convinced We're All Going to Die if we don't immediately reverse these civilizational advances (which, remarkably, seemed to have passed the entire southern hemisphere by), tear down our offending infrastructure, cease having babies (but import other people's babies), reduce our mobility, and ban everything that "pollutes" our precious air and water, even at the cost of a grotesque and unnecessary reduction in living standards: 1565, here we come again!
How times change.
Hence my use of the word "cult," which should not always be interpreted as a pejorative. In Roman times, the Latin word cultus went beyond simple reverence to include the ritual of the act itself. There were cults of every description, most of them benign. The emperor Severus, for example, was involved with a cult devoted to the Egyptian goddess Isis and the god Osiris, renamed Serapis. This in addition to the official pantheon of Roman gods, including the deified emperors, among whom would soon enough be Severus himself. To this day, Catholic Christians have the devotional cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which at its most extreme exhibits itself in various Marian apparitions, such as at Lourdes, Fatima, and most recently at Medjugorje in Bosnia. The earliest adherents of Jesus belonged to various Jewish sects or cults; the Ebionites, for example.
We may therefore define a "cult" as a group of adherents that regards a certain person or object (whether real or mythical) with intense devotion and is not interested in hearing any evidence to the contrary: you either believe in the Virgin Birth, or Isis, or you don't. Since modern Leftists have forsaken traditional religion, one cult they have invented and embraced is the Climate Cult, which in the U.S. began around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, established by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Democrat (of course) from Wisconsin. Here's how its demon, immortal bureaucratic offspring, the EPA, tells its origin story:
It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic smoke into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it. How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.
In spring 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force this issue onto the national agenda. Twenty million Americans demonstrated in different U.S. cities, and it worked! In December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Love that exclamation point! Here's how Nelson, who died in 2005, describes his great accomplishment, which began as a Children's Crusade and morphed into a straitjacket of punitive legislation:
My primary objective in planning Earth Day was to show the political leadership of the Nation that there was broad and deep support for the environmental movement. While I was confident that a nationwide peaceful demonstration of concern would be impressive, I was not quite prepared for the overwhelming response that occurred on that day. Two thousand colleges and universities, ten thousand high schools and grade schools, and several thousand communities in all, more than twenty million Americans participated in one of the most exciting and significant grassroots efforts in the history of this country.
Earth Day 1970 made it clear that we could summon the public support, the energy, and commitment to save our environment. And while the struggle is far from over, we have made substantial progress. In the ten years since 1970 much of the basic legislation needed to protect the environment has been enacted into law:
- the Clean Air Act,
- the Water Quality Improvement Act,
- the Water Pollution and Control Act Amendments,
- the Resource Recovery Act,
- the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,
- the Toxic Substances Control Act,
- the Occupational Safety and Health Act,
- the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act,
- the Endangered Species Act,
- the Safe Drinking Water Act,
- the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and
- the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
And, the most important piece of environmental legislation in our history, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA came about in response to the same public pressure which later produced Earth Day.
The false premise here is that some of us wanted to destroy the planet; it never seems to occur to the Left that there might have been, and still be, better ways to improve everybody's quality of life besides using the full force of government (which is to say, gunpoint) to mandate it. And so here we are, prisoners of our own device, our jailers in the thrall of childish fears that, despite the accomplishments of the late Sen. Nelson, the world is still coming to an end and, worse, it's all our fault. They have driven themselves so mad that the sight of a puff of smoke coming from a chimney or the sight of a cow's ass throws them into paroxysms of panic. And to accommodate their madness, we have to stop driving, stop heating our homes, stop cooking our food, stop traveling, stop. We've even got our military believing that "fighting 'climate change'" is its top priority instead of killing our enemies.
Praise Gaia! Praise him/her/it!
Which is why they are, at root, a Suicide Cult. Again, hardly unusual. Cults often kills themselves en masse. In 1997, the lunatics of the Heaven's Gate cult killed themselves en masse in order to leave their bodies and be transported to an alien space ship hiding behind the Hall-Bopp comet. Most spectacularly, the 900 apocalyptic nutbags of the Peoples Temple in Jonestown willingly drank the deathly Kool-Aid at the behest of their guru, Jim Jones, in Guyana in 1978. David Koresh's Branch Davidians were spared the time and expense courtesy of the FBI, which slaughtered 76 of them in Waco in 1993, for no good reason. Desperate times demand desperate measures.
Today's Climate Cultists, led by a foolish, troubled child who's but a plaything in the hands of another cult, resemble the loner in the New Yorker cartoons wearing a sign that proclaims the End is Near. Which is something they're looking forward to, with the profound joy of an early Christian martyr heading into the arena. These people are carbon-based life forms who, after all, believe that the carbon dioxide they exhale as part of the necessary breathing process—and the very thing that gives life to the trees they're always hugging so protectively—is a poison that threatens all forms of life on Earth. They've taken the tiniest slice of planetary history that they could (their own short, pampered, transient lifetimes) and extrapolated doom. They call for "climate resilience" based on one hot summer in a place where hot summers are rare. They regard human beings as an excrescence. They could not possibly hate themselves more.
We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.
Thus spake professional hooky player and "climate activist" Greta Thunberg at the Youth4Climate summit in 2021. Accordingly, their mission here on earth is to make life as difficult and uncomfortable for the rest of us as they can. To that end, disguised as "Green" political parties, they have declared war on the human race; no amount of their own suffering, it seems, can rob them of the joy of seeing the rest of us suffer, too. The early Christian martyrs gave up their own lives joyously in order to show the pagan world the righteousness of their cause. The "environmentalists" want you to give up yours for the same reason—and because they can.