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Climate Science Makes a Bad Religion


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Jewish World Review

 Dan McCarthy

March 28, 2023

What does it take to avert the end of the world?

For most of human history this has been a question for religion. And the answer has usually been that human beings must repent of their sins. They must surrender some comfort and luxury to appease angry gods. In primitive times worshippers might sacrifice a bull -- or even a human being.

Today climate science provides an end-times prophecy that works in much the same way as the religious apocalypticism of old. Religion enchants the world, lending spiritual significance to every part of life. Climate change makes everything from charging your iPhone to skipping beef for dinner a potentially salvific act.


 Well-educated liberals laugh when a televangelist claims a hurricane is God's punishment for America's acceptance of homosexuality.

Yet liberals also believe that weather is a moral force, punishing Americans for the sins of capitalism. When the remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded the New York subway, liberals assigned the deluge a cosmic meaning as a manifestation of climate change.


 The fact that the politics of climate science so closely mirrors religious apocalypticism ought to prompt some reflection.

End-times prophecy and the role of human guilt in the fate of the cosmos are not scientific concerns at all. From a purely scientific perspective, the world will keep spinning no matter how wicked or angelic humanity might be.

Climate ideology derives its power from its resemblance to religion. But it's a poor substitute for a real faith, offering no hope of redemption by a benevolent G od, but only punishment for our irredeemable sins; our lives will always have to get worse until the weather improves.

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