by James A. Wilson
It is difficult to imagine anyone paying attention to events around us who does not get it that the climate is changing; it has been changing up and down throughout recorded history. It is just as difficult to imagine a sentient being who believes – seriously – that the phenomenon is caused by the so-called scourge of human activity…not when the most cataclysmic climate events occurred during the dinosaur era…not when Greenland of a thousand years ago was really green because the pre-industrialized climate was that much warmer before the glaciers froze again. Likewise it is virtually impossible to fail to appreciate the incredible courage of sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg sailing across the Atlantic Ocean solo and facing both houses of Congress and the United Nations. It is just as unimaginable that she is not being funded and coached and manipulated by people lacking her courage and certainly her innocence cum immaturity.
This so-called teenager movement is not being funded by carwashes. Is anyone watching? Is anyone listening? Is anyone asking about the man or men behind the curtain, to remember the Wizard of Oz unveiled?
Take the hundreds of high school students – photographed marching on the Utah State Capitol – September 20. We are told they were joined by hundreds of thousands in the US and Europe – multitudes of their peers. And yet the man in the forefront of the Utah March is clearly in his thirties or even forties. Leader? Teacher? Watching? Listening?
What about Greta? She has courage beyond her years but neither the wisdom to know when she is being taken advantage of nor the maturity to go beyond primal rage at the elders she believes have failed her and her generation. This is evidenced by her petulance that quickly becomes rage. She glares at Congressional and United Nations assemblies, declaring she has no solutions to climate change while demanding these older leaders just do something. While it is reasonable to say a sixteen-year-old girl cannot be expected to solve complex scientific and social problems, it is not reasonable to commend her for an extended temper tantrum.
And what about the scientific conundrum? There is zero evidence global warming is man-caused and less that it is man-curable. Greta’s immature faith that if only the grown-ups would get off their butts and do something we could weather the crisis is matched by the equally juvenile mantra of older people who sympathize with her views. The plans so far hatched – think of the Paris Climate Accords – require nations already taking advanced leads in reducing carbon emissions to cut even deeper into their economy and wellbeing while the biggest polluters – China, India, and the Third World – go their merry way. That helps neither the polar bears nor the world’s poor people.
Speaking of polar bears, their numbers are increasing in the face of global warming; they are not likely to be Greta’s biggest fans. And the polar ice caps? Truthfully, the northern cap is reducing in size but the southern increases every year; our ice caps are showing a net gain over the past decade. The scientific conundrum is whether to believe and act on the observed phenomena – science – or make decisions based on the sermons of the followers of a religion called scientism. The latter is nothing but the feel-good – for the faithful – doctrines of political correctness. This doctrinal approach is now so pervasive in our culture that some candidates and pundits are politicizing mathematics – and proud to proclaim it.
Reality is global warming – while it poses challenges because it radically upsets the environmental status quo – if we are to believe it accounts for more numbers and more intense natural disasters, actually carries hidden blessings. (They are hidden because media declines to report them.) Greenland is finding – for example – her melting glaciers are baring more arable land than they have known for a thousand years. Beneath that arable land lie valuable and recoverable mineral deposits. Across the world we can choose between applying scientific analysis to discover and act within the new environmental parameters for the good of all, or we can push ignorant young people – ignorant only because they have not completed their education before leaping to activism – to scream that we must cut back on our lifestyles when science tells us there are much more effective solutions than groupthink.
And again let us ask, what about Greta? The fact is she did not cross the Atlantic alone. She had a crew that included her father and a state-of-the-art sixty-foot yacht that used underwater turbines to make electricity; this is not secret. Somebody with substantial resources is funding this display and it is neither Greta nor her marching peers. At the risk of repetition, she has undeniable courage for all that she has undertaken, but she is neither her own master nor her own sponsor. Who is? Who is it that hides behind Greta and the rest of the marching young people?
Yet the most important thing remains for those of us who call ourselves adults to choose between science and scientism. If we choose the former we will have to deal with all the realities of the world as it is – the good, the bad, and the ugly. If we begin with the paradigm that our world was created and is managed by a loving Creator Whose foresight is a good deal more prescient than ours, we will find our eyes open to new opportunities and our hearts closed to temperamental outbursts. There is no better way to bless each other, including the Gretas of the world.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation –
available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org