It's official – climate change beliefs now have religious equality status

While I’ve been avoiding posting on this topic for quite some time, when a UK court makes a ruling like this, and the UK Telegraph makes a headline like the one below, it becomes hard to ignore. We live in interesting times.

Saint_Gore

Image: National Post

From the UK Telegraph:

Climate change belief given same legal status as religion

An executive has won the right to sue his employer on the basis that he was unfairly dismissed for his green views after a judge ruled that environmentalism had the same weight in law as religious and philosophical beliefs.

excerpts:

In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that “a belief in man-made climate change … is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations”.

The ruling could open the door for employees to sue their companies for failing to account for their green lifestyles, such as providing recycling facilities or offering low-carbon travel.

John Bowers QC, representing Grainger, had argued that adherence to climate change theory was “a scientific view rather than a philosophical one”, because “philosophy deals with matters that are not capable of scientific proof.”

That argument has now been dismissed by Mr Justice Burton, who last year ruled that the environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore was political and partisan.

The decision allows the tribunal to go ahead, but more importantly sets a precedent for how environmental beliefs are regarded in English law.

Read the complete article here:

Climate change belief given same legal status as religion

Note: keep the comments clean, moderators will snip off color comments with abandon. -A

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Curiousgeorge

Doesn’t count unless you tithe. 😉 Oh, wait……….isn’t Rev. Gore in charge of passing the plate?

Wondering Aloud

Well maybe he is right? It clearly is a religious rather than a scientific belief. Of course maybe the law is dumb…

Didn’t Obama say about global warming “putting science in it’s proper place”.

Sunfighter

It is depressing watching western civilization commit suicide. Why can one judge cause so much economic damage? They are pocket dictators.

Nick Luke

I, too, choked on my toast and marmalade over this. But on consideration, I began to formulate an idea:
“Climate Change” is now a religion.
We live in a secular society.
Governments have to govern without religious bias.
The government cannot, now, legislate for or against Climate Change in any way, as this would be predjudicial to the other religions making up our “multi-cultural” society.
I think the Court may have done us a favour…
Imagine the yelling and stamping if the powers that be deemed it necessary to make a swingeing national tax take available to the Church of England because the clergy had failing pension expectations (Recent story).

ralph

Well, we have all the tennets of a relıgıon.
A creatıon epıc, of how we created thıs ‘mess’. A god(ess)-fıgure, ın Gaıa. A son of god, Gore. An ımpendıng apocalypse.
All they need now ıs a temple and a date for the second commıng.
.

Thomas J. Arnold.

Lord – give me strength.
Or is it April fools day? ……..er no……….just British PC madness.
Can one now be excommunicated for adoption of AGW scepticism?
Next, trial by fire!
Its cool.

Cap'n Rusty

If AGW is a “religion,” it would seem that the 1st Amendment — “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” — would render unconstitutional the passage of legislation based upon the tennets of that particular theology.

aelhues

They recognize Jedi as a religion.

Mark Fawcett

My initial reaction to this was “you must be kidding” – however one should never underestimate the cunning nature of some senior judges.
By giving “belief in climate change” to be akin to a religious conviction the ruling may well have a desirable effect – the UK is, essentially, a secular society; as a generalisation we tend to pay lip service to religion (yes there are many faiths in the UK and yes, some of their followers are quite devout).
By stating that climate change is effectively a belief system the judge is providing two unspoken messages, the first is “from a rational perspective, the jury is still out on climate change” and secondly “climate change is in the same camp as belief in a supreme being (choose one), ghosts, lay-lines, spirit guides, horoscopes et al”.
Cheers
Mark

Pyrrhic victory.
And there it should stay; A RELIGIOUS BELIEF NOT A SCIENCE.

Bill Thomson

Love the picture of Saint Albert

ScientistForTruth

Yes, we all thought this was about science, but it isn’t. While we’ve been arguing for scientific evidence and proof, politicians have latched on the the concept of ‘post-normal’ science, which has eco-values that can be described as religious. I have given an introduction to some of this here http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/ and here are a few extracts about what Mike Hulme, the founding director of this Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has to say:
Philosophers and practitioners of science have identified this particular mode of scientific activity as one that occurs…where values are embedded in the way science is done and spoken.
It has been labelled “post-normal” science. Climate change seems to fall in this category. Disputes in post-normal science focus…on the process of science – who gets funded, who evaluates quality, who has the ear of policy…The IPCC is a classic example of a post-normal scientific activity.
The danger of a “normal” reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow…exchanges often reduce to ones about scientific truth rather than about values, perspectives and political preferences.
…‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade (normal) truth for influence. What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy.
Climate change is telling the story of an idea and how that idea is changing the way in which our societies think, feel, interpret and act. And therefore climate change is extending itself well beyond simply the description of change in physical properties in our world…
The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.
There is something about this idea that makes it very powerful for lots of different interest groups to latch on to, whether for political reasons, for commercial interests, social interests in the case of NGOs, and a whole lot of new social movements looking for counter culture trends.
Climate change has moved from being a predominantly physical phenomenon to being a social one…It is circulating anxiously in the worlds of domestic politics and international diplomacy, and with mobilising force in business, law, academia, development, welfare, religion, ethics, art and celebrity.
Climate change also teaches us to rethink what we really want for ourselves…mythical ways of thinking about climate change reflect back to us truths about the human condition…
The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us…Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.
…climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences…climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes…climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics – from global to local – is now framed…Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations…?”
We need to reveal the creative psychological, spiritual and ethical work that climate change can do and is doing for us…we open up a way of resituating culture and the human spirit…As a resource of the imagination, the idea of climate change can be deployed around our geographical, social and virtual worlds in creative ways…it can inspire new artistic creations in visual, written and dramatised media. The idea of climate change can provoke new ethical and theological thinking about our relationship with the future….We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence.

kim

Gore is now getting explicit with the religiosity. He’s creating seminars in his climate training that are specific for religions, such as Hindu and Islam.
They’ll be burning books next. Or people.
==========================

Given the number of times I’ve been called names, yelled at, dismissed as a “lunatic,” and merely told “it’s SCIENCE!” by global warming nut jobs (you know, instead of answering my queries with actual facts), I’ve long been aware of the AGW Religion.
At least they aren’t going door-to-door with pamphlets and name badgets. Yet.

Ryan M.

Love the Gore pic. Who made it?

ben corde

Surely religious and philosophical beliefs qualify on the grounds of not being provable by science. Climate change CAN be monitored and causes proved by science so how can it be a ‘belief’? Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all the science is correct or being presented impartially. It is clearly in the interests of a whole spectrum of organisations from anti- capitalists through to ultra capitalist corporations and governments to give us excuses to buy products we don’t necessarily need which cause more harm than good in their manufature and maintenance to the environment or to tax us until we’re dry. (Britain is one of the worst offenders) This ruling is ridiculous by yet another judge who either doesn’t live in the real world (do any) opening the door for yet more mad litigation and of course more money for lawyers and judges.

Rossa

Tim Nicholson, the man at the heart of this case, was on BBC Radio 2 at lunchtime trying to justify his “belief”. He actually said it was a philosophical belief underpinned by science!! So clearly his faith has been proven by the overwhelming scientific evidence that AGW is a fact. And I guess that means An Inconvenient Truth is now on a par with the Bible and the Koran.
He doesn’t give a lot of details as it is effectively Sub Judice. However, if anyone wants to hear his story it is available at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nm9pp
The interview with Jeremy Vine starts about 35 mins 25 secs in. It may only be available to people in the UK. Don’t know if anyone else can get access to it.

Rossa

Sorry, forgot to say that when you go to the page, click on Listen Again.

hunter

Fact is stranger than fiction. Especially climate fiction.
gore, instead of being the rock the new religion is foinded on, is instead the clod of mud that grows to drag us all down – except the selected AGW promoters and profiteers , who humbly enrich themselves off of the payments they apply for our carbon sins.

Ashtoreth

This judge is perhaps a bit more subtle than you think – he’s the one who stated that Al Gores movie had so many errors a list of them had to be read out when it was shown in schools.
While we dont have the constitutional separation of state and religion in the UK, there are things that would be affected by declaring AGW a religion. And interestingly, it would make Denialism a religion too – so anyone sacked for refusing to toe the AGW line can then sue for loads of money on the basis of religious discrimination…

Robinson

I’m pretty sure this ruling will be overturned, because it is obviously idiotic. However, we live in idiotic times.

oh oh – can skeptics now be burnt at the stake?

Rossa

Another thought. In the UK we now have a law to prevent “incitement of hatred” towards any person or persons of a religious belief. Does this now mean that any sceptic can be arrested for expressing their opinion that AGW does not exist?

Gary

What’s the difference between Scientology and Climatology?
.
.
.
uh, now that you mention it…

Mac

“In Gore We Trust”
I don’t think so!

An employer should neither inhibit the practice of religion, nor should it support it. In other words, it should remain neutral.
If environmentalism has equal status with religion, it seems that employers should refrain from supporting environmental causes. It is not the responsibility of an employer to facilitate a green lifestyle.

Toto

Now AGW is right up there with Scientology.

Russ

This is great! Let’s set the same precedent in US courts and then it will be precluded from being taught in schools.

sylvain

I’m not sure that this will be well received for the alarmist. For years that they been telling how it is science that back up their claim, now they got stab by one of their own who proves that it is backed up by a belief system.
Sometimes you have to be careful for what you wish for.

JimB in Canada

You all missed one of my favorite religious tenants.
The first thing every human born does once expelled from our mother (Gaia) is we inhale oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide, there by committing “Original Sin”.
The parallels between environmentalism and Christianity are beyond mere coincidence.

Kevin Schurig

Al, baby, looking good in those robes. They really helps hide those cheeseburgers from PeTA. So, when the believers go to make their version of the sign of the cross, will it be Gore, Hansen, Cap and Trade?

Neo

Al Gore now joins that elite club that includes L Ron Hubbard .. those who went from writing science fiction to starting a religion.
And to think that Al Gore funked out of divinity school.

J. Peden

Coming soon to the UK, Companies are sued for not cutting off the heads of enough Infidels.

sleepless

[snip – inappropriate suggestion]

AndrewWH

As The Register points out, this is a two edged sword that could prevent someone who is not a true believer being hounded out of a job.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/04/green_philosophy_ok/

crosspatch

[snip – sorry I have my limits, been hit with that link several times, won’t go there, – Anthony]

David

A financial dealer must disclose whether he owns any stocks he is recommending, since it might influence his analysis. A political commentator is usually labelled as democrate or republican, since it will colour his comments. Maybe climate scientist should now disclose their “philosophical beliefs”, since clearly, it could inflence their work. Wouldn’t that be great?

kim

ScientistforTruth @ 9:40:44
Thought provoking. We’ve always talked about the weather and we even used to sacrifice to the Gods of it. But don’t sacrifice my virgins for your superstitions.
Now, sans doute, discussion of energy footprint is worth doing. We need to lose the concept of carbon footprint, because it is a simulacrum of the paradigm in which you are interested, and not an authentic one. CO2 is a trace gas with trace climatic effect. Your need for a new encompassing spirituality will not be satisfied by carbon demonization. It is a false god.
============================================

crosspatch

“this is a two edged sword that could prevent someone who is not a true believer being hounded out of a job.”
Which is a great source of anxiety for people who might work in a place like the San Francisco area whose corporate management are all ardent “believers”.

kim

er, that’s SfT @ 9:44:04. That’s a doG of a theology you have there.
=================================

Tenuc

Good news I think. Now that the CAGW hypothesis has been falsified, all that the green’s have got is faith that the climate apocalypse will happen and we’ll all fry in the pits of hell if we fail to stop using our SUV’s.
This will be a short lived religion, as the god of cold spreads misery and famine across the globe, then they will return to belief in the oldest god – Sol.

Robert Wood

This makes the similarity of Al Gore with Elmer Gantry even more accurate.

crosspatch

“sorry I have my limits, been hit with that link several times, won’t go there”
Yeah, it is “out there”. I happened to see it linked from someone’s twitter post today and it gave me a chuckle. Had it been from “Weekly World News” or something, I would have ignored it.

Vincent

“This judge is perhaps a bit more subtle than you think – he’s the one who stated that Al Gores movie had so many errors a list of them had to be read out when it was shown in schools.”
That explains everything. If the judge had not presided over AIT, he would have believed that AGW was a scientific fact and therefore would have ruled that believe in AGW was not a religion. But now he knows otherwise.

Brian Johnson uk

Surely this is genetic, this obsession with religion and climate change?
Either you have the ‘stupid’ gene and prefer fiction to fact [Isn’t that what religion is based on?] or you have the ‘Copernicus’ gene and prefer accurate scientific data on which to base a philosophy.
Only in an English Court ruled by a ‘stupid’ Judge could AGW be construed as a religion.
Just off to sharpen Occam’s Razor…………

barackalypse

Russ,
I was thinking the same thing. But even beyond that, would they be able to pass any climate change legislation afterwards? Wouldn’t that be supporting one religious belief?
Currently, there is no way that they could enact any christian or islamic legislation which would punish (read tax) any non-compliance. (I hope my saying this doesn’t give our leaders any more bad ideas.)
On the other hand, the AGW supporters might be able to fight to get “In Climate Change We Trust” printed on all our money. 😉

helvio

But isn’t the change to a religious status a good step? If the Government of a given country is supposed to secular, doesn’t this mean that they can’t have positions regarding religious beliefs, in this case environmentalism? Wouldn’t this mean that they couldn’t sign treaties like Copenhagen’s, to the danger of the country becoming a religious state (just like the Islamic states in the Middle East, or the Christian state of Vatican)?

Phillip Bratby

Perhaps the Club of Rome was set up there as a rival to the Roman Catholic religion. See an analysis of the history of the global warming religion at http://www.green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html

JimB in Canada

One more thing,
Can you guys stop equating scientology with environmentalism, it’s not at all the same, although it would be an interesting debate.
Scientology is a business model masquerading as a religion, while environmentalism is Christianity masquerading as science.
That’s what makes it so popular, millions of disaffected Christians can keep the affectations of religion they grew up with without the original mythology and patriarchy they feel is no longer relevant in their lives.
Actually it’s funny how humans need some kind of structured faith system in their lives. It would make for a interesting Anthropology or Sociology paper.