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.

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.


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

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
November 4, 2009 9:20 am

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

Wondering Aloud
November 4, 2009 9:24 am

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

November 4, 2009 9:24 am

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

November 4, 2009 9:33 am

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

Nick Luke
November 4, 2009 9:34 am

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).

November 4, 2009 9:35 am

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.
November 4, 2009 9:36 am

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

Cap'n Rusty
November 4, 2009 9:36 am

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.

November 4, 2009 9:37 am

They recognize Jedi as a religion.

Mark Fawcett
November 4, 2009 9:38 am

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”.

November 4, 2009 9:39 am

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

Bill Thomson
November 4, 2009 9:41 am

Love the picture of Saint Albert

November 4, 2009 9:44 am

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 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.

November 4, 2009 9:44 am

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.

November 4, 2009 9:46 am

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.
November 4, 2009 9:48 am

Love the Gore pic. Who made it?

ben corde
November 4, 2009 9:52 am

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.

November 4, 2009 9:54 am

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:
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.

November 4, 2009 9:55 am

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

November 4, 2009 9:57 am

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.

November 4, 2009 9:59 am

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…

November 4, 2009 10:00 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:00 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:01 am

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?

November 4, 2009 10:10 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:11 am

“In Gore We Trust”
I don’t think so!

November 4, 2009 10:13 am

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.

November 4, 2009 10:15 am

Now AGW is right up there with Scientology.

November 4, 2009 10:17 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:17 am

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
November 4, 2009 10:20 am

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 S
November 4, 2009 10:20 am

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?

November 4, 2009 10:20 am

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
November 4, 2009 10:20 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:20 am

[snip – inappropriate suggestion]

November 4, 2009 10:21 am

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.

November 4, 2009 10:22 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:24 am

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?

November 4, 2009 10:24 am

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.

November 4, 2009 10:27 am

“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”.

November 4, 2009 10:28 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:28 am

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
November 4, 2009 10:30 am

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

November 4, 2009 10:30 am

“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.

November 4, 2009 10:34 am

“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
November 4, 2009 10:37 am

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…………

November 4, 2009 10:39 am

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. 😉

November 4, 2009 10:41 am

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
November 4, 2009 10:43 am

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

JimB in Canada
November 4, 2009 10:46 am

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.

November 4, 2009 10:50 am
November 4, 2009 10:52 am

Michael Crichton made this argument very effectively in a 2003 speech. It is well worth reading.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”
As far as First Amendment issues, environmentalism has become very close to a state religion. While I don’t see them repealing the ESA, clean water, clean air acts, or shutting down the EPA on the grounds that they constitute a state mandated religion, they probably should be looked at in that context. It is certainly an act of faith that prosperity crippling proposals like cap n trade would be a good thing.

November 4, 2009 10:56 am

“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. etc etc”
Unfortunately, the consequence of this new climate change religion will not be expansive to the human spirit – quite the opposite. The whole ethos behind climate change as a belief system is to slap down the goals and visions that we have come to associate as essential to a flourishing and expanding civilisation.
Where J F Kennedy once looked to the heavens and built moon rockets, we have a president who is looking at polar bears and building windmills. Where our predecessors looked with pride at their achievements – great cities, air travel that spanned the world, industries that create everything that makes life bearable, agricultural that feeds billions of humans – the climate change religion lood upon all this as blasphemies against the nature. Pride is being replace by guilt, industry by de-industrialisation, progress by stagnation.
Climate change is not an enabling religion. It is disabling. And the art that this religion will inspire will not be the visionary, hopeful, excited art of the renaissance, but the dark, self flagellating art of the ascetic.

Jim Turner
November 4, 2009 10:57 am

I see this more in terms of the drafting of an absolutely appalling piece of legislation rather than a specifically AGW matter. What can you expect from this government? It apparently protects those who hold beliefs that are not based on observation or experiment, including the totally irrational, but not those that are! Engineers might seem especially vulnerable!

November 4, 2009 10:59 am

So can we sue Hansens publisher to demand his books be retitled the “Gospel of St. Jim” and “Climageddon”??? Then there is Michael, Arcangel and Lord of Hockey Sticks…
St. Al is of course the Prince of Lies and Monsignor High Inquisitor of the Commie Union of the Faith…

Douglas DC
November 4, 2009 11:01 am

This is what I think of Gore:
“There once was a young man named Phrost,
who had trouble with the Father,Son, and Holy Ghost,
He founded instead his own religion,-with himself as the head.
So now he numbers himself among the Heavenly Host.”
Gore being a failed Divinity Student…

Tim S.
November 4, 2009 11:02 am

How long before the Greenies start throwing Holy CO2 Hand Grenades at coal-carrying “death trains”?

November 4, 2009 11:08 am

This legal decision would be laughable if its possible economic consequences would not be so potentially devastating. Can a green-eyed Brit worker now sue his employer for any imagined non-green corporate offense, such as buying electric power from a coal-fired generating plant instead of erecting its own windmill? Can such idiocy be imported to the U.S. by the likes of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who has stated that, while reaching its decisions, our Supreme Court can consider laws that apply elsewhere in the world?

November 4, 2009 11:10 am

tenet: a belief, principle or doctrine held to be true
tenant: someone who rents a dwelling or other property from an owner

November 4, 2009 11:12 am
November 4, 2009 11:13 am

And now for something completely different.

Jim Clarke
November 4, 2009 11:15 am

ben corde (09:52:13) wrote:
“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’?”
Greek and Roman mythologies were used to explain many things that ‘science’, once understood, explained a whole lot better. Until the science really explains it, however, interpretations of reality often become religious.
Someday, the causes of climate change may be totally understood by science, but that day is not today. We are currently unable to ‘prove’ any of the causes of climate change, although the circumstantial evidence points mostly to natural variability. To date, there is not one single bit of physical evidence that humanity is having a significant and dangerous impact on global climate. The entire concept is a series of assumptions, most of which are unsupportable. Consequently, the belief that humans are having a ‘dangerous’ impact on global climate is very much a religious one, with all the metaphors of saints and sinners, tithes and offerings, hellfire and damnation, securely in place.
It seems crazy…but the Judge is absolutely correct on this one. Global warming is a religion; a religion of the most dangerous kind…a government enforced religion! The judge has done the world a huge service by putting AGW in its proper place. Forget the science. ‘Cap and Trade’ can now be recognized as a form of religious persecution and we may yet gain protection from it under the secular law! Alleluia!

November 4, 2009 11:20 am

Great post!

Robert M.
November 4, 2009 11:21 am

This might not be all bad, If AGW is a religion and not a science, then any laws using AGW as an excuse can be challenged on the basis that religion cannot be legislated, and the state may not persecute(tax) non-believers.

November 4, 2009 11:24 am

‘The parallels between environmentalism and Christianity ‘
Are BUNK. Give me a Break.
But I do wonder if the new thought-crime laws- designed to silence Christians- can be used against the algorites?

Paul Vaughan
November 4, 2009 11:31 am

I have a belief that natural climate variations are worth investigating in detail.
This belief has resulted in a lot of abrasive friction in my dealings with academic leaders, who probably see my lines of investigation as a political hot potato.
The discrimination I routinely face is iron-fisted. People have not even made an effort to camouflage it. Perhaps this media attention will result in a more subtly nuanced approach, such that negotiation can proceed in a more harmonious & civil manner …or alternately in an even more underhanded manner — it’ll be interesting to see which way group-think goes.

John Galt
November 4, 2009 11:32 am

Do you think the internationalists in our courts will cite this ruling when deciding US law?
Don’t count on it! They only cite international court rulings when it suites their agenda. In other words, they just make things up as they go along and use whatever is convenient as grounds for justification.
I think we should all recognize that any rigid belief system can take the place of religion in a secular society. That’s the reason fascists and communists make the state supreme and raise the current leader to the status of an infallible messiah.

November 4, 2009 11:38 am

Yes! If we could now get this ruling in the US. With our laws of seperation of church and state, NASA, EPA and NOAA would have cut there ties to the church of AGW.

November 4, 2009 11:39 am

I understand AGW to be a legitimate concern, but this ruling is ridiculous. At least we “warmers” and “skeptics” can agree on that much I hope. Intriguing how the skeptics like to mention Gore as many times as they can when referring to AGW. As a scientists I do not care what Gore thinks. When did Gore last write a paper on climate science? Or Inhofe for that matter? How about we stop using “poster boys” to further our agendas and focus on the science?
I would caution people about extrapolating this ruling to apply to climate science and related disciplines. Besides, the radiative forcing of GHGs is independent of a human’s alleged religious beliefs.

F. Ross
November 4, 2009 11:41 am

The “image” of St. Gore brings out my iconoclastic tendencies …and also makes me want to puke.
I know, I know, ad hominem but sometimes …

Bill Hunter
November 4, 2009 11:43 am

I guess the anti-science label wasn’t working too well. Now you will be a racist if you criticize global warming.

David L. Hagen
November 4, 2009 11:45 am

In equating global warming alarmism to religion, the judge does serious disservice to Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Contrast the substantial objective historical evidence with the lack of evidence for anthropogenic alarmism.
e.g., See: New Evidence that Demands a Verdict and Climate Change Reconsidered

November 4, 2009 11:47 am

This judge is perhaps a bit more subtle than you think – I agree. Why,
* that puts AGW squarely in place
* it should give skeptics a chance to reclaim “science” on the strength of evidence alone, minus belief.
* no claim to act “under the influence of” any religion whatsoever legally permits harm to others.
* Now if the court has to decide which position actually causes “harm to others” then that gives room for evidence to be heard… re-running this judge’s original trial, in essence, but with amplification each time.
* And we know that the one thing AGW does not want is open debate over the basics.

D. King
November 4, 2009 11:52 am

I guess we’ve gone from deniers to demons.

November 4, 2009 11:59 am

Religion is more than belief, it also prescribes behavior.
There needs to be a bigger distinction made between faith and religion. I can accept that others believe different things than I do, but I cannot accept that they insist that I behave according to the rules of their religion. We have eco-missionaries now; expect the eco-inquisition later.

November 4, 2009 12:00 pm

One good thing about this ruling: now the government cannot force people to use compact fluorescent light bulbs, drive fuel efficient cars, or paint their roofs white. Mandating such environmental policies in private life will now violate freedom of religion! Now society cannot legally force us dissenters to obey green laws because that would take away our freedom to not believe humans are causing climate change.
If anything, this ruling helps the skeptic cause instead of hurting it.
It also highlights just how ridiculous the believers are: evidence will not alter their beliefs.

November 4, 2009 12:01 pm

Just out… we need to fix climate change, else…
IF THE world fails to act soon on climate change, “preserving security and stability even at current levels will become increasingly difficult”. That’s the blunt message of a statement released in Washington DC (PDF) last week by 10 high-ranking military officials from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the US.
This is worst than Religion… They use the climate change excuse to spend money on war and armament!

D Caldwell
November 4, 2009 12:06 pm

I am astounded with all the rest and I know it’s not really the point of this thread, but my guess is this preliminary rulling will turn out to be much ado about nothing.
Two observations:
– Sorry, but no sane employer would ever fire someone merely because of their personal position on climate change – much bigger fish to fry.
– No doubt it will be revealed that Mr. Nicholson was let go because his behavior was inappropriate and disruptive to the organization.
Mr. Nicholson will find that he cannot use his personal belief regarding climate as an excuse for unprofessional behavior.

Jeff L
November 4, 2009 12:08 pm

We need a similar ruling in the US so that both cap n trade & Coppenhagen would violate separation of church & state & effectively kill both !

Ron de Haan
November 4, 2009 12:09 pm

kim (09:44:30) :
“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”.
Kim, history tells us they start burning the books after that…..

J. Peden
November 4, 2009 12:09 pm

ScientistForTruth (09:44:04) :
I have given an introduction to some of this here 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:
Which is nothing more than a garden variety, postmodern word salad.

November 4, 2009 12:09 pm

Al Gore could become the world’s first global warming billionaire:

John Nicklin
November 4, 2009 12:10 pm

I remember reading about some hotels removing bibles and replacing them with AIT. That was back in 2007, I guess they were just ahead of their time.

November 4, 2009 12:10 pm

What’s the problem? All we’ve got to do is nail our 95 theses to the church door and there we have it – a full-scale reformation leading to a revival of religious wars. Much better to worry about that than non-existent global warming.

November 4, 2009 12:13 pm

Great picture!!!
(See… those years as a divinity student did pay off in the end.)

November 4, 2009 12:14 pm

Interesting link here. It’s an article about the Newsweek preview of Gore’s new book, in which he explores the “spiritual side” of the AGW debate, i.e. he’s setting it up as a religion, with himself as “pope”.
He also says that CO2 is only 40% to blame for “global warming” which is an amazing admission by the man. I’ve just posted it to reddit, so if there’s any redditors here, please vote it up.

November 4, 2009 12:17 pm
D Caldwell
November 4, 2009 12:20 pm

JimB wrote:
“…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…”
I didn’t think Anthony allowed religious debate on this site – either pro or con. For the record though, I know many, many Christians since I am one myself and every one of them (including me) are AGW skeptics.
Aside from your remarks that are offensive to people of faith, your premise is simply wrong.

November 4, 2009 12:21 pm

JimB in Canada, you may be right about the religiously disaffected (or deprived of religious training by their parents) flocking to this new secular religion, but wrong about it being Christianity in another guise. Analogous forms aren’t necessarily derived from the same source no matter how many superficial similarities may be found. Authentic (ie, essentially the original theology) Christianity finds environmentalism to be a “false god.” Syncretic (blended with other beliefs) Christianity OTOH is just glomming onto another fad as it has done many times in the past.

November 4, 2009 12:22 pm

I am not sure why he got the pony and trap. It’s not a nice thing to happen to anyone.
The uk is in the depths of a recession which is taking it’s toll and especially in construction. If the executive so firmly believes in AGW then he should be happy that CO2 emissions are being reduced due to the lack of construction activity and of course he should be all happy and clappy at getting the pony and trap, because his company ain’t developing much.
I am puzzled why anyone with such firm beliefs would work for a property developer the outcome will always be CO2 emissions.
A true story:
A Jehova witness recently joined the UK blood transfusion unit after a week in the job he said he had a firm belief that giveing blood transfusions was evil and against God’s will.
The high court agreed and have demanded that where he works no more blood is taken or distributed for blood transfusions.
Another victory for common incense.

November 4, 2009 12:24 pm

Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.
— Voltaire
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

November 4, 2009 12:30 pm

Terror and fear, the weapons of Stalin and Al Gore. I’d never believed such was possible in democratic countries.
[Dies irae, dies illa ~ E]

November 4, 2009 12:31 pm

So, does this mean no more public displays? Just curious…..
Equal protection as religion is not a advantageous status. Religion is so protected, you are supposed to keep it to yourself. Interesting can of worms here. Does the government have to stop promoting it? Do institutions that promote it have to register as churches? What other beliefs will become protected?

November 4, 2009 12:31 pm

I think we should all form the Religion Of The Eternal Carbon Flame. The liturgy of this religion is based on the fact that plants need CO2 to live and without plants the earth (of Gaia or whatever) would be devoid of life. In order to ensure that this does not happen and the end of times comes on us we will generate leptons through the use of carbon-carbon bonds in the presence of oxygen. Any restriction of this would violate the seperation of church and state.
Hey, it beats Scientology…

November 4, 2009 12:34 pm

That’s the proof of the new religion …

November 4, 2009 12:40 pm

The ruling implies that AGW is more a belief system than science. Maybe there is more to this judge than meets the eye. As we have seen, he is the same judge who ruled that Al Gore’s Hollywood movie, An Inconvenient Truth, is so riddled with scientific howlers (at least nine) that a list of them must be read out whenever it is shown in schools.
This being so, then presumably it will follow that those who do not subscribe to Man-made Climate Change can claim discrimination if they are taxed to stop something that does not exist.

Leon Brozyna
November 4, 2009 12:41 pm

As an antidote to this silliness…looks like I was the first to nominate WUWT for best science blog for the 2009 Weblog Awards…a far more stimulating breath of fresh air than the stall mustiness of St. Gore’s prophecies of gloom and doom.

Leon Brozyna
November 4, 2009 12:42 pm

That should be stale mustiness

Martin Brumby
November 4, 2009 12:51 pm

As AndrewWH points out (10:21:48) there is a good piece in the Register.
Yes, the law is silly and a silly judgement has sprung from it. I do hope (without conviction) that it might also set a helpful precedent which could assist a sceptic being fired or disciplined for being consistently off message.
But my sympathy for his employers is greatly reduced by the fact that they actually employed someone to be a “Sustainability Officer”. What did they expect?
This is perhaps the explanation why they didn’t sack him for being a gullible nutter.

November 4, 2009 12:53 pm

Since “anthropogenic” Climate Change or Global Warming is definitely a religion (meets all the criteria that you can imagine), this makes perfect sense.

November 4, 2009 1:00 pm

re people and books
They’ll burn the best
and keep the rest
and punish themselves so.

November 4, 2009 1:03 pm

Do the modellers take into account the effects of prayers?

November 4, 2009 1:07 pm

[snip ~ change your tone or post elsewhere ~ charles the moderator]

Zeke the Sneak
November 4, 2009 1:18 pm

“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.”
The judge has said something that we all know, intuitively, to be true, and that is that environmentalism is a religious faith for most people who hold that world view.
However, if this man was fired unfairly, I find it hard to believe that some new type of religious faith has to be used in the judgment. That is whole cloth legislation from the bench. Whatever the particulars of the case are, I suspect existing law and precedent would have addressed any injustice he suffered.

November 4, 2009 1:20 pm

Well, no wonder since Gore was a divinity major, that this has turned into a religion.
However, I know for a fact it is a false religion, with a false prophet interested only in Profits! I know because it’s contrary to the holy writ of my faith, as spoken by the Great Bob Dobson, and passed down by me in my sect of the Church of the Subgenius, Philosophers Stoned and Rosicrucians for Change. Praise Bob!
It appears this whole AGW agenda jumped the shark a long time ago but refused to accept it’s 15 min are up and just die with a quiet dignity.

November 4, 2009 1:20 pm

Three quotes from Arthur C. Clarke:
A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.
It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God – but to create him.
Our lifetime may be the last that will be lived out in a technological society.
[Arthur C. Clarke]

November 4, 2009 1:26 pm

It’s not possible to be an environmentalist AND an atheist anymore?! Oh Hell!

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 1:29 pm

He went to Washington, the media, movies, schools, conference halls. And now Al Gore is going in to religions with his ‘moral’ message, even using the Bible :
…he has been adapting his fact-based message – now put out by hundreds of volunteers – to appeal to those who believe there is a moral or religious duty to protect the planet. “I’ve done a Christian [-based] training program; I have a Muslim training program and a Jewish training program coming up, also a Hindu program coming up. I trained 200 Christian ministers and lay leaders here in Nashville in a version of the slide show that is filled with scriptural references….
from 11/2/09 internet article

November 4, 2009 1:30 pm

Brian Johnson uk (10:37:30) :
Just off to sharpen Occam’s Razor

Mind you don’t cut yourself.
And don’t let the door bang your arse on the way out.

November 4, 2009 1:31 pm

I’m with Lucy Skywalker on this one; I am not sure the ruling is such a bad one. However — big however — I don’t have time to research and I have more important work to do at present, so I can’t be more sure about this perspective. It seems true that “AGW” is a philosophical/religious view, screwy as it may be in its radical cloth. It is not science, or at least cannot be proven empirically or with valid computer models.
At the same time, it seems that employers should not be able to dismiss employees for philosophical/religious differences unless those differences interfere in the workplace and the problems with the employee’s efforts are documented.
The only actual quote attributed to Justice Burton that I saw is: “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”.
I think this judge understood just what he was viewing in algore’s Inconvenient Truth; no science there.

George S.
November 4, 2009 1:32 pm

…then, is disbelief in CC/AGW protected as a philosophy?

Rick K
November 4, 2009 1:32 pm

“Righto! Yes, Sir, you heard correctly. I will go on that business trip to the ‘States but it violates my religious beliefs to travel by aeroplane or any device using petrol. I wish to travel by boat, a sailboat actually… and eat gruel and get scurvy.
Once in New York, I wish to stay in a cave or a teepee of some sort and catch wild game and live off the land. Perhaps I shall plant beets to sustain myself.
I will give you my report when I return. In late 2012 I suppose…”

Mr. Alex
November 4, 2009 1:34 pm

“While I’ve been avoiding posting on this topic for quite some time”
Excellent choice, continue this way. Religion shouldn’t be compared with science. This blog is of high quality because of its decency and strict adherence to objective science only.
This lawsuit is about making a quick buck not protecting “religion”.
OT but relevant:
With October closing at 4.6 for sunspots;
We now see 19 months straight with the monthly sunspot number below 5.
Ap is still at very low values…
Solar Wind Velocity continues to weaken…
Unadjusted solar flux has dipped back to lower 70s for the first few days of November. It seems as though the sun could continue to surprise us.

November 4, 2009 1:36 pm

What I find humorous is that the “Sustainability Officer” is the one employee who actually had no real work to do, so he could be asked to fetch the Blackberry.

Mike Core
November 4, 2009 1:37 pm

IMO, this absolutely fantastic news. The reality is, that AGW peddling is effectively defined as a belief system.
The Guardian website is currently running a blog by Leo Hickman agonising about their new found status as a religion.
Combine this with Al Gore’s new book emphasising the ‘spiritual dimension’ and it all looks as if rational thinking is finally discarded.
Gore was on News Night (UK BBC) Last night. He said: Just as in the middle ages, great cathederals were built intergenerationally, I want a green cathederal started by this generation and followed by successive generations’.
Apart from the cod-religiosity of this statement, I suppose the irony of his statement is completely lost on him:
We were able to build the great cathederals of Europe because of major crop surpluses.
We got the crop surpluses because of the medieval warm period!
They are in a pickle, and no mistake.

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 1:39 pm

It would be interesting to see if Al Gore’s Global Warming would be tantamount to religion in the USA. If so his movie would not be allowed to be shown in public schools under separation of church and state.
(p.s. not that I’m a proponent of separation of church and state the way it is applied now. The way Thomas Jefferson intended it is fine)

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 1:41 pm

116 responses in 4 hours. Somebody touched a nerve.

Jimmy Haigh
November 4, 2009 1:46 pm

This must put the rabid warmistas in a quandary surely?

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 1:48 pm

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.

This part is actually good news for England. It sets more legal precedence that Al Gore’s Global Warming is not science.

UK John
November 4, 2009 1:54 pm

AGW Alarmists, Green Politicians and the Environmental Lobby are aligning themselves with those who believe in the Supernatural.
I actually find this comforting!

Frederick Michael
November 4, 2009 1:55 pm

Soon the new church will launch its first inquisition — which nobody expects.

November 4, 2009 1:57 pm

I sense hypocrisy and censorship here moderator, have you read the other comments posted thus far? Ad hom attacks on Gore and vitriol too. Or do you only censor stuff which does not fit the WUWT principles?
Inhofe frequently touts a bible when talking/”debating” about climate change and he is a renowned “skeptic” (that is a generous term), so extreme elements on both sides of the debate claim to have religion on their side. Nothing new there.
Anyhow, a bizarre ruling, in Britain I might add, but that does not stop people here from make huge generalizations and irrational deductions.
I’ll ask all those folks who are so excited about this ruling– what has religion (of any kind) to do with the radiative forcing of GHGs? Anyone?
Reply: Better tone, and those that post here regularly including many AGW proponents know that we don’t censor opposing points of view, just poorly worded vitriol directed against people who post here no matter what their point of view. That exclusion does not extend to people in the news. ~ charles the moderator

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 2:00 pm

Environmentalists already have too much power.They shouldn’t be given more.
In my home town there was a large mink farm. Environmentalists went in at night and opened all of the cages letting the mink loose into the wilds. People encouraged the farmer to sue. But he declined saying, in essence, they have a lot of money and good lawyers and he didn’t have a chance.
Funny thing is those environmentalists didn’t stop to think that the mink weren’t accustomed to living in the wild—not very animal friendly of them. The mink probably became weak from starvation and became an expensive dinner for bobcats.

Adam from Kansas
November 4, 2009 2:03 pm

Just to note there is a difference between the Christian church and the church of AGW, AGW’s doesn’t neccesarily believe in a higher power outside of this Earth that sent his son to Earth to offer eternal life to everyone. Many warmists are not Christians, many Christians believe the current warming is natural. Jesus never told people to hurt or burn other people, but offer them love and the gospel instead.
I personally believe Christianity is the true faith, but the AGW religion may be approaching the realm of Scientology and the new Jedi religion also seen in the UK.

November 4, 2009 2:08 pm

Like any religion, people will move away from this one once they realize the abuses and the lies they promote. Also, like any religion, the goals are always unattainable.

November 4, 2009 2:08 pm

Also form the UK, The Telegraph:
“There is no point in denying it: we’re losing. Climate change denial is spreading like a contagious disease. It exists in a sphere that cannot be reached by evidence or reasoned argument; any attempt to draw attention to scientific findings is greeted with furious invective. This sphere is expanding with astonishing speed.”
The comments posted here on WUWT regarding the religious ruling in the UK support this statement to the T.

November 4, 2009 2:13 pm

RockyMtn (13:57:00) :
If God exists, then he created the radiative forcing of GHG for many reasons that made life possible on this planet and a hospitable environment to sustain life. Without the greenhouse effect, life would simply not exists here on Earth. Who are we to go against the Work of God? … if he exists!

November 4, 2009 2:14 pm

Moderator, thanks. But explain then how the following inflammatory comment is considered to be OK?
I think nearly everyone here needs to tone down the rhetoric and stop with the immature quips.
REPLY: its gone now, – A

November 4, 2009 2:20 pm

RockyMtn (14:08:31) :
Why do you think people react more against the idea of a warming planet than that of a cooling planet? Simply because we all know that we prefer summer than winter. We are all deeply afraid of cold and starvation, it’s in our collective conscience. A few degrees higher is certainly more comfortable than a permanent -15 C.

Jacob T
November 4, 2009 2:22 pm

Is it dumb to take a building of some sort, seal it off, inject CO2 by some method, and see if it gets warmer over a period of time — and compare the temps with another similar building without CO2 injection ? Has this been done ?

November 4, 2009 2:28 pm

This is a great victory !
(until the warmists wake up and get this over turned on appeal- what is Monbiot saying ?)
Yes in UK law dis-belief in something is as protected as belief – in other words (as has been seen recently in the UK where a nurse was suspended for OFFERING to pray for a patient) no warmist can now force his agenda on an employer either.
Very very subtle; and the judges ruling on AIT was far more strict than implied above; AIT may NOT be shown in schools UNLESS a balanced opposing view is ALSO presented; as a result it is NOT shown in British schools at all. This ruling may have a similar effect in the ‘real’ world of commerce & may allow us to prevent councils and other qungocrats from forcing this poisonous religion down our throats

Gene Nemetz
November 4, 2009 2:30 pm


November 4, 2009 2:31 pm

Adam “Just to note there is a difference between the Christian church and the church of AGW”
There is no such thing as the “church of AGW”? We are talking about one (troubled?) person here. Your statement suggests that because I am concerned about AGW and have a good handle on the science behind the theory, you and others are going to try and claim that I belong to “the church of AGW”? Please clarify.
PS: And the quote that I posted earlier appeared in the Guardian, not the Telegraph, my mistake.

Zeke the Sneak
November 4, 2009 2:32 pm

Note: keep the comments clean, moderators will snip off color comments with abandon. -A
Mick (14:19:46) :
REPLY: Gone, thread closed

November 4, 2009 2:38 pm

dedicated to RockyMtn
Earth in the Balance,
that make me smile;
on one side the Earth
on the other side Al.
Earth in the Balance,
that make me laugh;
if he wants to cap something
how bout his gas?

Politicians are fair (and in Al’s case, fat) game.

November 4, 2009 2:39 pm

Moderator, why are you are allowing blatant vitriol like this?
But you decided to take issue with “the tone” my earlier post and snip it?

November 4, 2009 2:51 pm

Ray, we are not changing the physics or changing the radiative forcing of GHGs, we are simply talking about reducing emissions of GHGs and you call that “Who are we to go against the Work of God? … if he exists!”?
Interesting that you accept the Greenhouse effect, but fail to recognize that we can change the energy balance of the planet by changing the very composition of the atmosphere by introducing more and more GHGs?
What are your feelings about us reducing CFCs then to “heal” the ozone layer? By your logic it was OK for us to cause it, but not OK to make amends? Were we going against the “work of God” when we created it or when we are trying to return it to its original state before we messed with it?
Also, think about this–CFCs measured p.p.t.v; CO2 measured p.p.m.v.

November 4, 2009 2:56 pm

Goreacle’s Head & Phrenological Report.
“Promises, Promises
Ill-judged predictions and projections can be embarrassing at best and, at worst, damaging to the authority of science and science policy.
A South Korean postage stamp issued in 2005 depicts a scene that is reminiscent of the iconic human evolution cartoon in which a stooping ape evolves, in six or so steps, into an upright, bipedal Homo sapiens. It shows a paraplegic man climbing slowly out of his wheelchair, standing up straight, and then performing a giant leap of celebration. Placed next to an image of an ovum undergoing the technique of nuclear transfer, the message was clear: Thanks to the groundbreaking publications of Hwang Woo-Suk, therapeutic cloning was a medical miracle that had as good as happened. The trouble is, it hadn’t happened. And nearly 4 years on, it still hasn’t.
South Korea was understandably proud of Hwang’s achievements and, like the rest of the world, excited by his claims and those of researchers worldwide that his human embryonic stem cell (hESC) techniques were set to provide therapies for not only spinal injuries, but Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and a host of other degenerative diseases. The rest is history.” (More)
(See the palmistry hand lines …. it’s a hoot.)

%d bloggers like this: