Brendan O’Neill writes about the current COP26 Climate conference in Glasgow as “a severe outbreak of Climate Derangement Syndrome”.
Unfortunately, he is right.
“Prime ministers, bishops, princes and noisy greens all tried to outdo each other with their apocalyptic warnings. It has been a grim competition of catastrophes, an orgy of hyperbolic prophecies that wouldn’t look out of place in the Book of Revelation.”
Do they even listen to themselves? You might think not, considering some of the utterances:
“When people like Hallam and Ford foretell slaughter and rape and the burning out of eyes in a future world ravaged to dust by carbon emissions, they’re merely putting pornographic colour to the elite consensus that climate change will be a Holocaust-level event in which millions will die. There isn’t a cigarette paper’s difference between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s prophecy of a climate calamity worse than the Holocaust and Cameron Ford’s millenarian intonements about slaughter, rape and murder.”
“we need to talk about how dangerous this way of thinking is to reason, freedom and the future prosperity of humankind. Indeed, it isn’t climate change that threatens to undo the great gains of human civilisation – it’s the hysteria about climate change.”
This kind of hysteria, O’Neill rightly points out, has nothing to do with science. In fact, if anything, it’s anti-science.
“They are the misanthropic prejudices of the depressed middle classes, not scientific projections. They emerge from the well of existential dread in which the contemporary elites wallow, not from cool, calm modelling. And the truth is that this has long been the case with climate-change alarmism. ‘Science’ is the garb thrown on what in reality is the End Times foreboding of this new millennium’s morally at-sea elites. ‘Climate change’ is the all-encompassing idea of doom through which the Western bourgeoisie expresses its sense of moral, political and economic exhaustion.”
Then he comes to the heart of the matter:
“Climate Derangement Syndrome is at root a revolt against modernity. It is a reactionary, Romantic, nostalgic cry of angst against the incredible world of production and consumption mankind has created over the past 200 years. This is why some at COP26 openly denounced the Industrial Revolution.”
He completely trounces the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saying that the steam engine was a “doomsday machine”:
“To hear the elected leader of the UK describe the UK’s extraordinary contributions to industrialisation as the first stirrings of ‘doomsday’ feels genuinely depressing. Brits should not feel ashamed of the Industrial Revolution, as Boris and Greta [Thunberg] and eco-hairshirts suggest we should. We should feel immense pride at this radical overhaul of the processes of production and transportation. The Industrial Revolution was arguably the most important event in human history. Its positive impact on life expectancy, knowledge, liberty and equality, not only in the UK but also around the world, is almost incalculable. … It is not a coincidence that life expectancy was depressingly short for all of human history until the Industrial Revolution, when it started its stunning and steady rise. Without this revolution, most of us would still be tied to the land, never venturing further than the farm fence, unable to read, dead by 35. That’s the idyll eco-regressives fantasise about? These people are as historically illiterate as they are pseudo-scientific.”
This hysteria, concludes O’Neill, is driven by “the elites’ loss of faith in modernity and in the human project more broadly.”
The deranged reaction to climate change, he says, is far more dangerous than the climate change itself:
“With its misanthropic disdain for human behaviour and aspirations, with its revisionist treatment of the birth of modernity as essentially a crime against Mother Earth, with its incessant demands for reining in economic growth, and with its censorious branding of anyone who questions any part of the regressive green agenda as a ‘climate-change denier’, climate-change alarmism is an express menace to growth, democracy, freedom of speech and the right to dream of an even more prosperous future for all.”
At least the Archbishop of Canterbury realised his own hyperbolic language around climate change was absurd. According to the BBC, “Mr Welby said that if [world leaders] failed to act future generations would speak of them in “far stronger terms than we speak today of… the politicians who ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany because this will kill people all around the world for generations”.”
Welby quickly apologised for this, but his slip-up casts another revealing light, if more were needed, on the level of hysteria permeating the middle-class. The church desperately needs leadership that believes in “progress with God”, in the ability of human beings to improve their lot if they follow Jesus. It is becoming ever more apparent that it was this belief, more than anything else, that triggered the industrial revolution in the first place, as Indian Christian philosopher Vishal Mangalwadi demonstrates his book “The Book That Made Your World.”
The current anti-science, anti-industrial revolution is therefore at heart an anti-Christian revolution.