Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Cornwall Alliance - Evangelical Science Denier and the Alarmist Fundamentalist Religious Cult

Here is an article written by Sou from - idea's worth sharing.  Food for thought.
What can be said of people who believe they actually understand God's mind?  It's one thing to personally believe and hold such meta-physical faith within one's heart - but expecting the rest of the world to fall in-line and to reject rational knowledge and observation based learning and trusting qualified experts who have spent entire lives committed to understanding their specialities.  No thanks.
Sad thing is, these sorts of faith-based dogmatists are one of the core reasons climate science, Earth observations and attempts at Earth stewardship have been so successfully rejected these past decades.  
How does one learn or change when disbelieve in observation based science is an article of Faith?
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The Evangelical Science Denier and the Alarmist Fundamentalist Religious Cult: The Cornwall Alliance

wrote an article on David Legates' denial of science a few hours ago.  I've been told that David rejects science on quasi-religious grounds.  He is a member of a cult called the Cornwall Alliance.

David Legates apparently rejects even more aspects of climate science than does Roy Spencer.  Based on his article from yesterday, David rejects the greenhouse effect.  The things they have in common are that they are both employed as climate scientists and are both members of an evangelical quasi-religious cult in the USA called the Cornwall Alliance.  Based on their published material, this cult is a mixture of fundamentalist christianity, alarmist economics, pseudo-science, opposition to mainstream climate science and more than a hint of sexism (and suggestive of more deviant thinking).  It assumes male supremacy and that men were put on earth to plunder as they please.  Only in the USA, home of the weird and wacky.

A Mission to Reject Science

These chaps on their evangelical mission are not shy about using their "god" to distort and misrepresent the science.  It appears to be the very reason they formed their cult.  To promote disinformation about climate science and oppose any attempts to mitigate global warming. They are up front in their rejection of climate science.  They have an Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming which states in part:
We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. 

Now I've got no beef with anyone who wants to go to their temple or church or mosque or synagogue or wherever on whatever day of the week.  I do have a beef with people who create a false god so they can hide behind "him" (their image of god has to be male) and use that false image of a god to spread lies about important matters of science and  economics.  I also have a real beef with people who fake concern for "poor" people in less developed countries as an excuse for their evangelism.

The "holier than thou" attitude expressed in the cult's writings comes across to me as a sickening perversion.  Their quasi-religion smacks of "world view" and christian fundamentalism of the worst kind.  It's not about charity or hope.  It's about preserving their own personal status quo.  It is raw hypocrisy.

Alarmists of the Cornwall Alliance

Here are some examples of the alarmist ideas that these guys (and they are all men) promote.  They "believe" that progressively shifting to a clean energy economy over the next few decades will:

  • destroy millions of jobs.
  • cost trillions of dollars in lost economic production.
  • slow, stop, or reverse economic growth.
  • reduce the standard of living for all but the elite few who are well positioned to benefit from laws that unfairly advantage them at the expense of most businesses and all consumers.
  • endanger liberty by putting vast new powers over private, social, and market life in the hands of national and international governments.
  • condemn the world’s poor to generations of continued misery characterized by rampant disease and premature death.

How's that for alarmism.  Not only do they provide no evidence but they hold on fast to these convictions in the face of evidence to the contrary. 

World view drives their rejection of science and alarmist economics

These evangelists are up front that they reject science and promote alarmist economics because of their world view and religion.  It's got nothing to do with scientific facts or real world economics.  They state quite openly that:
Our examination of theology, worldview, and ethics (Chapter One) finds that global warming alarmism wrongly views the Earth and its ecosystems as the fragile product of chance, not the robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting product of God’s wise design and powerful sustaining. 

They reckon they can do whatever they like and their god will save them.  Fundamentalism in its pure form.

The fact that they refer to mainstream science, such as the greenhouse effect, as "global warming alarmism" puts them in the 8% Dismissives category of the Yale Project.  On the other hand, the fact that some of this motley lot of evangelicals have managed to wangle their way into positions where they have some influence, where they can chew the ear of politicians of dubious character, makes them not far removed from the description of "scumbucket" authority figures of Robert Altemeyer's Right Wing Authoritarians. ("Scumbuckets" take on the role of authority figures that Right Wing Authoritarians follow for support against their perceived persecution by formal authority, such as government.)

Anthony Watts is one of the people who promotes disinformation from these evangelical religious science deniers.  The Auditor, Steve McIntyre, who obsesses about things of which he has little understanding and no experience, has partnered with Ross McKitrick, a member of the Cornwall Alliance.  (One of Anthony Watts' attack dogs, Rev Richard S Courtney aka richardscourtney, is also a member of the Cornwall Alliance.)

The type of evangelism practiced by this crowd is typical US-style christian fundamentalism.  It places man (not woman) as second only to their god in the order of things and talks of subduing everything to "man's" desires.  It is sybaritic in nature.  The world is there for "man" to plunder.  In case any one of them feels a twinge of remorse for their greed and selfishness, they hide behind their god, telling themselves that's why their god created them.  They wrote their own rules to justify their crusade of disinformation.  The words peppered throughout their quasi-religious texts are highly suggestive, like "subdue" and "rule".  For example:
Human beings have the divine mandate to multiply and to fill, subdue, and rule the Earth, transforming it from wilderness into garden. They act as stewards under God to cultivate and guard what they subdue and rule
Yes, it's hard to believe this is the twenty first century.  It sounds like something from one of the less enlightened ages in the distant past.  One can imagine them burning witches and riding off to the crusades.  Actually, while I can imagine them burning witches I think they'd be the ones sending foot soldiers to battle rather than going off to fight in the trenches themselves.  Their writing smacks of elitism and a sense of righteous authority.  It's right up there with the McCarthyism of the 1950s and more recently, Inhofe and Cuccinelli wanting to prosecute scientists, viewing them as criminals.

I'm tolerant of people having their own religious beliefs and practicing whatever rituals makes them feel good.  I prefer they do it privately but I'm not intolerant of public displays or missions, provided they stick to their god thing and spirituality or peering into crystals or tarot cards or whatever.

What I'm much less tolerant of is people using their religion to mess with politics, education and science.

What I have no tolerance for is people who make up a false image of a god as an excuse for their crusade to spread disinformation.  Who hide behind their made-up god and make emotive appeals to the worst side of human nature (greed, selfishness, envy) or prey on the innate good in people (think of the starving millions) to promote their lies about straightforward mainstream science and economics.

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