Climate Change Theology: Hunting Heretics To Blame For Typhoon Haiyan

This year has given us some of the mildest weather we have had in a long time—“one of the least extreme US weather years ever.”

Whether you”re talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the US are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.

Tornadoes: “lowest total in several decades”

Number of wildfires: “On pace to be the lowest it has been in the past ten years”

Extreme Heat: The number of 100 degree days may “turn out to be the lowest in about 100 years of records”

Hurricanes: “We are currently in the longest period (8 years) since the Civil War Era without a major hurricane strike in the US (i.e., category 3, 4 or 5)” ( last major hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma in 2005)

Also, back in 2012, when the media decided to dub Sandy a “superstorm,” it was also all hype. 2012 was not some kind of “new normal” of “extreme weather.”

I mention all this because I’m running into pagan oracles posing as Christian theologians. Naturally, media sites like the Washington Post gives them a platform. For example, consider court prophet, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, and her column, “‘Super’ Typhoon Haiyan: Suffering and the sin of climate change denial.”

Thistlethwaite starts of lecturing about “moral evil” (bad stuff people do) and “natural evil” (stuff that happens to cause pain, damage, and loss of life).

These “superstorms” aren’t an “act of God,” but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation, and the neglect of the human responsibility to care for the planet.

There is moral evil to be seen in these “superstorms, I believe, on two levels. First, there is the moral evil of continuing to pump fossil fuels into the atmosphere, producing global warming. Second, however, is the moral evil of climate change denial, that is, those who would continue to deny, in the face of mounting evidence, that violent climate change is upon us and it is accelerating.  A recent Pew poll  shows political conservatives deeply divided over the validity of climate science…

There is a stronger and stronger case to be made that these “superstorms” and “supertyphoon” phenomena are product of abrupt climate changes due to global warming produced by the continued (and increasing) burning fossil fuels.

So, if you thought that the new, “enlightened” view of Christianity was going to get rid of witchhunts and blaming people for calling down bad weather, think again. It is all still here.

It is true that, when one has the technology to hurt people, that one is responsible for that damage. But, in the Bible, “acts of God” are typically in response to societal moral evils—like, say the acceptance of homosexual acts, or slaughtering babies. Thistelwaite’s idea of moral evil is from some other religion.

And it all hangs together on some kind of new revelation. Rather than tell skeptics to look more closely at the scientific data, she shows no knowledge or interest in it. Somehow, it is a matter of intuitive moral sense that burning fossil fuels is a sin. And then, if you’re a “denier,” a few (media-reported) anecdotes and the Papal authority of the EPA prove that you are a guilty unbeliever.

Her piece ends with an evangelistic call to repent and submit one’s mind to the gods of Environmental superstition. Liberalism can’t be parodied; it already is a parody.