Earth Day

Caring for the environment is important, but I’ve never celebrated Earth Day. This is because it is largely a propaganda tool for the left, used to define what caring for the environment means on their terms. It’s worth looking at the history of how Earth Day came to be. The first Earth Day was in 1970, and was purposely tied to the anti-Vietnam student protest movement of the time period, as is openly admitted by this friendly, brief account of Earth Day. According to the cite, “On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” But who in their right mind would be against a healthy, sustainable environment? No one. That’s not what they were demonstrating for. They were demonstrating for federal action regarding the environment.

Today, Earth Day has transformed into a tool for pushing what I’ll call Climatology, which holds to the following propositions: 1) The average temperature of the Earth is warming significantly, 2) It is caused by mankind, 3) It’s effects will be catastrophic, and 4) signficant government regulation is needed to curb it’s effects. Those who demur at any of (1)-(4) are labeled “climate change deniers”, which eliminates room for the more subtle view of the climate change skeptic. The climate change skeptic, which I would bet makes up the majority of those who do not ascribe to climatology, does not deny climatology, but is skeptical of the truth of at least one of 1-4. I’m one of those people.

I doubt that a truly informed person could justifiably believe (1)-(4). Let’s say, in order to be justified in believing all four propositions at the same time, you must have good reason to be more confident than not in all four. There is some moving evidence in favor of (1) and (2), though skepticism about these two is probably justified, given the politicization of the research, infusing it with an alarming amount of bias. The support for (3) and (4) is weaker still, however. Rarely do proponents of Climatology go into detail about why we should think the effects will be catastrophic. They’ll talk about rising see levels covering coastal cities, or changing weather patterns that render certain agricultural areas barren. However, these changes aren’t going to happen overnight, and some parts of the globe are likely to benefit from an improved climate. If populations have time to adapt and adjust to slowly changing conditions, how exactly will the results be catastrophic? And even if they will be catastrophic, the case for (4) is incredibly weak. (4) assumes that government regulations are effective in curbing the effects of climate change. This is far from certain. So, I just don’t see how a highly informed person could be justifiably more confident in (1)-(4) than not.

In a related post, Bill Valicella expresses some well-put thoughts here.

Walter Montgomery

Walter is a philosophy graduate student in New Hampshire. He sometimes wishes he was a lawyer, and other times wishes he was a basketball coach. Some of his favorite childhood memories involve traveling with his immediate family, grandparents, and cousins’ family in big gas-guzzling vans towing campers. He sees philosophy as a tool for getting at Truth, and thinks too many contemporary philosophers see it as a tool for advancing their ideological preferences.

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9 Comments

  1. Earth Day is just another variant of pagan Gaia worship, earth goddess religion replete with end times eschatology judgment upon the unbelievers and apostates who fail to do homage to the deity. It’s Romans chapter 1 playing out in real time, nothing more and nothing less.

    This also serves to explain the otherwise inexplicable fevered, high noon fantasies of the true believers who are in the thrall of this madness, and their fundamentalist tirades against all dissenters.

    You kick over their idol, and they lose their minds. It’s funny, the One True and living God created people to be worshippers, and of course He did a great job and people are fantastic at it, the problem is in our fallen state we pick really bad gods to worship, giving honor to created things instead of the Creator Who is alone worthy of all praise, glory, honor and blessing forever and ever, anen.

  2. Hi Sean K., the manmade climate change alarmists would have people think the polar ice caps will melt and large areas will be inundated, but a Biblical eschatology sets forth a different outcome altogether:

    3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Pet. 3:3-7

    But there’s no government funding or academic or political favor to be had for telling the truth, quite the opposite in fact.

  3. I’m a graduate student in an East coast philosophy dept. This post reminds me of an anecdote from a luncheon I attended this spring with my department chair. He was telling the other attendees that he could actually tell what the local effects of “climate change” were on our region! It was an amazing display of confirmation bias, taking this year’s winter, and perhaps a few other recent ones, as evidence for his belief in climate change. Here, an otherwise accomplished, intelligent guy, thought he could explain our weather patterns since the 80s from the armchair. I went back and tried to see if I could detect any kind of changes. It was hard to find temperature averages for my area, but I did find snowfall record, and I certainly couldn’t decipher any pattern changes in our area’s annual snowfall amount since the 80s. This sort of reasoning is almost as sloppy as old people reporting that we just don’t seem to get the amount of blizzards they remember getting as children (when they were highly aware of annual snowfall, to be sure, lol).

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