With record-setting heat, power outages, and raging wildfires in the news, it was just a matter of time before global warming reared its sweaty head as the culprit. Seth Borenstein's July 3 AP story on the possible link between the record heat and global warming was quick to note that it is too early to say for sure that the two are linked, but the story then featured a parade of "mainstream climate scientists" who warned that our current heat is just a foreshadowing of what global warming will bring.
Though Al Gore was not quoted in the story, we can expect that the political rhetoric will heat up like an asphalt street as the summer progresses. Though most scientific theories hold no interest for politicians, global warming is one of the two -- the other being Darwinism -- that have become gospel for liberals. Question superstring theory or evidence for the Higgs boson, and liberals yawn; challenge global warming or Darwinism, and they set upon you with religious zeal. Every year, Republican candidates run the media gauntlet about their position on both of these theories; skepticism in either case brings the inevitable charge of being "anti-science."
Somehow, however, the media never asks liberal politicians about the inescapable implications that Darwinism has for global warming. If Darwin was right, we do not need to impose massive taxes on carbon emissions or surrender more sovereignty to the United Nations in a desperate struggle to cool the planet. There is no need to do anything but wait and let random mutation and natural selection work their magic.
If life is the meaningless result of these blind processes, as Darwinism insists, then some species will adapt to a warmer climate and others will die off. Mammals were better-suited to a cooler climate than were the dinosaurs, and so mammals thrived and dinosaurs went extinct. The climate has long cycled between warm and cold periods, and species have adapted to each cycle. Some members of some species on earth right now will thrive if the climate warms, and that includes humans. People who are genetically predisposed to do well in the heat will have more children than those who struggle with it, and so heat-tolerant humans will thrive. From a strictly Darwinian viewpoint, there is just no need to get all hot and bothered about global warming.
But Darwinism and human-caused global warming stand side-by-side in the liberal pantheon, with no concern for the implications of one for the other. So, perhaps the left's devotion to those particular theories has more to do with their political agenda than with a love of science. When a Darwinist worldview meets politics, everything is permitted, including the tactics in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. In that worldview, rights are mere social conventions that can be bestowed or taken away by those at the top of the political food chain, and liberal policies tend to put liberal politicians at the top of the food chain. Darwinism may appeal to the left simply because it justifies a no-holds-barred quest for power and privilege. Notice that the people who gave us ObamaCare exempted themselves and their families from it.
And notice that the left's solutions for global warming never involve reducing the size and scope of government, actions which would reduce the power and privilege of liberal politicians. Homeschooling, for example, would reduce carbon emissions dramatically, but it never makes the left's list of things we must do to save the planet. The things that do make the list, such as greater regulation and higher taxes, all serve to increase the power and privilege of the liberal politicians who promote them.
Ironically, it is conservatives; that are likely to subscribe to a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview, who are required to be good stewards of Creation. We are the ones whose worldview would justify conscious efforts to protect the planet, if we were convinced that our actions were harming it. But conservative skepticism about human-caused global warming derives only in part from evidence that contradicts the theory; we are also skeptical of the real agenda of the liberal politicians who push the theory. If the left were to advocate measures that reduce carbon emissions by reducing the size and power of government, they would get no argument from the right.
It is not that conservatives are anti-science. It is just that it is hard to take seriously any scientific theory that has Al Gore as the chief spokesman.
Timothy C. Daughtry, Ph.D. is co-author of Waking The Sleeping Giant: How Mainstream Americans Can Beat Liberals At Their Own Game. This column was originally published in The American Thinker.