The Troubling Science


Michael Hart is a Canadian academic with an impressive list of credentials. He has just put out a book – Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change.

This article covers many of the topics that have been raised here at Blackjay over the last couple of years. It is must-read for anyone with lingering doubts about the supposed urgent need for action on climate change.

For example: Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world. Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity. To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control. As philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss points out, “Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious.” It “prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

The interview concludes: it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to convince our political leaders that they have been gulled by a political movement exploiting fear of climate change to push a utopian, humanist agenda that most people would find abhorrent. As it now stands, politicians are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference. The time has come to call a halt to this nonsense and focus on real issues that pose real dangers. In a world beset by war, terrorism, and continuing third-world poverty, there are far more important things on which political leaders need to focus.

It may be nitpicking but the one thing I disagree with is his use of the term “humanist” in the final paragraph. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The utopian agenda is certainly not humanist. Any philosophy in which wilderness has greater value than community, in which humans are seen as a “scourge on the planet” a la Attenborough and which supports the dogma and pseudo-science of climate change is certainly not humanist.

But I agree with him about the rest of it.

John Reid



If the link doesn’t work, you can download a PDF from here: MichaelHartInterview.

8 thoughts on “The Troubling Science”

  1. Yes, when it comes to nature and the “natural” Man’s intelligence can be a confounding thing. Rest assured it is always being tested, the result is less than certain. Microbes have a more proven succession plan. That said, there is much good in Man; the full extent of this is yet to to be realized.

    1. Maybe we will evolve into something else. Given humanity’s enourmous geographical range it seems unlikely that we will disappear completely like the dodo. I have abandoned Determinism (see next post) as a world view. Determinists see the Universe as a clockwork mechanism which was wound up at the beginning (by God and/or the Big Bang) and has been winding down ever since (The Heat Death of the Universe). Once one puts the Deterministic Model aside, it is possible to see the Universe as in a process of continuous creation. We humans are part of that process. We have recently created a new life form: it is made out of silicon and is called the Internet.

      1. An interesting angle. Man’s sensory perception, recording and referencing of his known world has taken a mighty leap in the past generation. A dependency on the technology seems to be developing quickly.

        1. These step jumps in communications often accompany great social upheaval. The printing press gave us pamphlets, newspapers, books and the Reformation. Radio and movies gave us Hitler and Stalin. The Internet …. ?

          1. Going out on a limb:
            Single cells developed eukaryotes then went on to “sentient”beings with highly differentiated cells to sense, reconcile and impact their environment. Modern Man is developing technology to take the next step?

  2. If you read the writings of Bill McKibben (the acknowledged leader of the green movement) you’ll see that he rails against “modernity.” In other words, he is against our modern (American) way of life.

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