In her infamous speech before the U.N. Climate Action Summit (Sept. 23, 2019), 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg proclaimed to fawning world leaders:
“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.” (Emphasis added)
The so-called “Church of Sweden” (an Evangelical Lutheran denomination), in a 2018 tweet which has reemerged in light of Thunberg’s rise to fame, stated that “Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg.” Other activists have seemingly canonized her as a saint, marching with halo-clad portraits of the teenager in various “climate strike” protests.
Despite her status as a secular pseudo-saint, faithful Catholics must understand: the cult of climate change which Greta Thunberg incarnates is more than the sum of its parts. In this essay, I will argue that this ideology is indeed a proper cultus, a terra-pagan religion which stands (like all false religions) in opposition to the One True Faith of Jesus Christ; and further, how this false cultus is actually a foundational element of the ascendant “anti-church” or “counterchurch” which will eventually usher in the Antichrist, “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3), during “the last days” (2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3), as prophesied in Scripture and by countless Saints and Popes.
It is worth pondering the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen as we examine the various elements which comprise this ideology. “[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church…. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. […] The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.” (Emphasis added).
The Dubious Science
I am not myself a scientist, so I will not go into great detail about the specifics of the climate debate. However, I am confident in stating that I have come to believe that the great edifice of man-made climate alarmism stands upon a shaky foundation in regard to the data. Further, one does not need to be a scientist to observe the blatantly religious views being pushed within the climate change sphere. Setting aside the patently ludicrous statement that she can see carbon dioxide, Greta Thunberg claims that the science has been “crystal clear for 30 years”. (How convenient, when we consider that the imminent global freeze predicted in the 1960s and ‘70s by these same charlatans did not come to pass!) Such a statement is one of ideological belief, not science.
Anyone who actually cares about truth should be immediately suspicious of any “scientific” ethos which disproportionately relies upon appeal to consensus to support their claims. The distinction of “ethos” here is important. It is unnecessary to impugn the motives of all scientists across the board who publish research used in support of the man-made climate change hypothesis. Firstly, many scientists within the famed “97%” do not consequently agree with the alarmist excesses proclaimed by those who appeal to the aforementioned consensus. In fact, an examination of the famous “97%” Cook et al analysis found that only 1.6% of these scientists believe that human beings are the main cause of climate change! We must acknowledge that as with any group, the motives (and general competence) of these scientists are likely mixed, and should be assessed on a more individualized basis.
There is a game being played, and the biggest players are not the scientists themselves but rather the many-tentacled climate change apparatus – the media, the politicos, the big tech companies, the NGOs, the liberal theologians, the current Vatican hierarchs (including Pope Francis), and the popular secular figures of the movement. They smear all dissident scientists (competent or not) with various ad hominem attacks. No longer “members in good standing” of the scientific community, they are dubbed “deniers” and should therefore not be taken seriously. The majority of funding sources for scientific research in the climate field will not provide research grants to “deniers”, and if those scientists then seek grants from outside sources (obviously, those organizations with a vested interest in, for example, the petroleum and coal industry are more likely to provide funding than sufficiently “non-biased”, unrelated organizations!), it is only further “proof” that such “deniers” are in the pockets of Big Whatever. How very convenient, especially when we consider that the lords of climate change are in the very same position, funded by those governments and NGOs who would benefit from a growing state bureaucracy and higher taxes. The “Thunberg Phenomenon” itself is a prime example.
Simply finding the information needed to properly source this article was a real challenge. Even when specifically searching by name for well-known skeptical climate scientists and organizations, Google elevates the search results of those criticizing them rather than allowing them to present their own views. This, too, is part of the game plan. According to Johan Falk, Senior Innovation Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, the role of big tech in fighting climate change is not limited merely to limiting their own emissions. Instead, he recognizes their power to drive the narrative. “I think there’s an opportunity to actually encourage the solutions, which are really good for the climate and not be neutral in terms of solutions which drive toward five degrees warming versus 1.5 degrees of warming. You can do that in a lot of different ways, but today, a lot of these technologies and services work as an accelerator in the wrong direction.” says Falk.
In practice, the climate activists want tech companies to “nudge consumer behavior toward low carbon choices”, to re-engineer social media tools to “help people make sense of the world, support democratic processes and build communities around societal goals”, and to “make information more useful”. Apparently, making information more useful means that tech companies must manipulate search engine results and advertising in order to push the pre-ordained climate narrative, ensuring that we achieve “shared world views of the state of the planet based on the best science.” This may sound like a dystopian nightmare, but not to worry – “Research shows people appreciate nudges if it supports their own personal goals.”
In other words, the climate hysteriacs know what’s best for you, you have no say in the matter, and if you oppose being fed purposely manipulated information, products, and services, too bad – they don’t have to listen to “deniers”.
The Wrong, Stupid, and Downright Evil Policy Proposals
According to the Paris Climate Agreement, we must “[hold] the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and [pursue] efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” One would think that a goal being imposed upon the entire civilized world would be decided by examining water-tight scientific research, but instead, the infamous 2 degree tipping point was “decided” more or less by inertia. This number originated in a paper by a Yale economist in the 1970s and was based on nothing more than preliminary intuition rather than data, which the author himself freely admits (see section, “A first intuition”).
So how are we to achieve such a “goal”? According to a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), achieving this goal would “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. In short, we must reduce CO2 emissions and therefore lower the temperature of the earth (the presumption of CO2-as-climate-temperature dial, of course, has never actually been proven), at any cost, no matter how much tyrannical government intervention is required. Firstly, we must destroy our economies, or else! As usual, it is not the countries who contribute the majority of pollutants who are shouldered with the greatest burdens. Under the Paris Agreement, China and India are free to continue growing their economies without being expected to reduce emissions until 2030. Meanwhile, under the same accord the United States would face an estimated GDP loss of 2.5 trillion dollars by 2035. Further, these demands would not diminish so-called “environmental racism” but would in fact exacerbate the struggles of the world’s poor.
Such catastrophic economic decisions could only be sold if the public is first convinced that we are in an immediate “climate emergency” or “climate crisis”. Greta Thunberg says that she “wants to panic”, and that we are facing a “mass extinction event”.This bit of propaganda is even more insidious when we look beyond the relatively tame curtain of forcing the everyman to pay massive gas taxes or forgo plastic straws. If we are truly in a climate crisis, how far would we be willing to go to stop it? At a town hall hosted by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), an attendee asked the young Democrat representative if she would consider the promotion of eating babies to fight climate change. Of course, this was a (brilliant) hoax, but it reveals the insane lengths to which we may be expected to go in order to combat the “climate crisis”. Furthermore, the theoretical possibility of cannibalism as a solution has been brought up in a serious context in Sweden. Helpful demands that we plebs should eat bugs to ensure the sustainability of our food supply are becoming downright mainstream!
The most troubling of all proposals put forward to end the “crisis” are those which relate to our so-called problem of human overpopulation. More and more would-be parents are having less children (or having no children at all) and citing climate change as the reason. They believe that the future world will be too terrible for their offspring, and further, by having children, they themselves would be contributing to “the problem”. This fits nicely with the media’s constant pushing of the LGBT cause – logically, the climate radicals want to promote homosexuality! Such relationships are by nature sterile, and therefore do not aid in poisoning the world with the laughter (and CO2 emissions via breathing) of too many children. This unnatural hatred of children – blatantly against God’s command to “increase and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) – is of course being carried out by the promotion of contraception and abortion, not only in the West, but in the developing world as well.
Tragically, Pope Francis himself is a chief promoter of many of these dangerous policies. His 2015 encyclical Laudato Si (“On Care for Our Common Home”) has been roundly criticized by many faithful Catholics, including CFN’s late editor John Vennari (RIP), for its failure to communicate authentic Catholic teaching in regard to the stewardship of creation. Particularly troubling is that, despite a couple of brief mentions of the evils of abortion, Laudato Si makes no reference to the sin of contraception which is actively promoted as a worldwide population control solution by the United Nations and other organizations promoting the climate change ideology. Instead of concerning himself with the Four Last Things, Pope Francis has proclaimed that we as Catholics “as a part of humanity” have an obligation to obey “international institutions”, presumably including the United Nations and their frankly Freemasonic “Universal Declaration on Human Rights”.
The Theological Implications
These horrific policies are not aberrations cast upon a fundamentally good ideology any more than pro-abortion lobbying by feminists is a mere excess of a movement that is fundamentally compatible with Christianity. It is astounding to see how many pro-life Christians are able to reject the anti-life policies pushed by the terra-pagan lobby while still conceding that their basic premises are self-evident truths! We would do well to remember the words of Our Blessed Lord in the Gospel of Matthew: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. 7:18).
As stated at the beginning of this article, I do not have the competence to proclaim definitively that human beings have no significant impact on the climate from a scientific standpoint. However, as a Catholic, my first concern is not the accuracy of speculative statistical models but the salvation of my soul and the souls of those around me. Even if all of the supposed “settled science” was entirely accurate when looked at as a matter of pure data, the systematic climate change ideology presents real theological problems for a Christian.
Apparently, our world is so fragile that human beings are able to entirely transform the earth from an inhabitable planet into one which is hostile to human life. Further, we are able to cause this level of change within only a few hundred years, in the post-Industrial Revolution period. This change is caused not by willful attempts to go past the bounds of ethical science and the natural law (i.e., developing certain types of devastating weapons which could purposely decimate large portions of the surface of the earth, cloning human beings, etc.), or by wilful dereliction of our duty to be stewards of creation, but simply by using the natural resources present on the earth to live longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives.
From these core points alone, we find several concerning implications in light of Catholic faith and morals. If God created the world, and He created us, how is it that He created a world which could not sustain human existence once we became able to use fossil fuels and industrialized our agriculture? If we are created as superior beings over the non-human inhabitants of the earth, how is it that all animals and plants are able to pursue their own survival freely, while we cannot pursue our own survival without risking the destruction of God’s earth? If God told us to be fruitful and multiply, why is it that our population must be drastically reduced in order for us to survive? Are we made in God’s image (cf. Gen. 1:26-27), or are we a poison upon God’s would-be Eden?
If we are to stop this calamity from destroying us, we must find a new way of understanding sin and the moral law. Oh, and we must admit that the Church has been negligent for her entire history in failing to ensure we understand “ecological sins” (an incessant theme throughout the Pan-Amazon Synod). You see, if the earth and everything on it is good, complete, and sustainable without the presence of human beings, creation itself can reasonably be viewed as “higher” than us destructive humans. If “Mother Earth” is superior to humanity, then, it must follow that our potential for sin in regard to our role as stewards extends to offenses against creation itself. Nolonger is charity and justice a matter between God and men, but something to due to the earth, the wind, the sea, and so forth. Likewise, if we render unto “Mother Earth” what is hers, we will be rewarded in kind: the earth won’t turn into a giant fireball and destroy us all! (Ironically for the climate hysteriacs, this is actually what awaits the earth at the Second Coming of Christ! See 2 Peter 3:7, 12.)
The Satanic Eco-Counterchurch
Back in 2003, the late secular author Michael Crichton (d. 2008) gave an exceptional speech on climate change. This quote bears mentioning:
“Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.”
Though Crichton was not a believer in Jesus Christ, he recognized something that far too many Christians do not: we are not simply talking about a popular scientific theory or political movement. Climate change alarmism is a coherent set of religious beliefs which stand in opposition to our own. In fact, they are a satanic ape of our own beliefs, and by this fact they are made all the more dangerous in their seeming plausibility.
It has been said that in secular society, everything is permitted, and nothing is forgiven. Greta Thunberg has made it clear that the same rings true for the climate change movement. We are either for them or against them – true believers or “deniers”, climate activists or destroyers of the earth – and there will be no forgiveness for the latter if their dark future comes to pass. More dangerous even than a religion of Christ without the Cross is a religion of Christ without the words He spoke while being nailed to it. Let us share them now, for the sake of those who have made creation their false god and their fellow man their enemy: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Editor’s Note: For those interested in learning more about this topic from a traditional Catholic perspective, CFN highly recommends the following lecture presented earlier this year (June 2019) by Christopher Ferrara, a longtime friend and contributor to CFN, at Our Lady’s Army of Advocates Conference hosted by The Fatima Center: