Extinction Rebellion say billions of people will die in the next decade or so due to climate change, so they are blockading parts of London for a fortnight, preventing people from getting to work, the sick from getting to hospital, and omnivores from buying and selling meat. This is necessary because billions of people will die in the next decade or so due to climate change.
The problem is there is no scientific basis for their assertion. Andrew Neil tried to reason with one Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, but she wasn’t to be reasoned with.
The science doesn’t matter: what matters is that billions of people are going to die in the next decade or so due to climate change. And the hysteria of the message is more important than the truth of it. Andrew Lilico has dissected Green Millenarianism:
Such Millenarianism can take extreme forms, whereby pseudo-Christian cults go off on to mountain tops and have mass orgies (a common endgame for European Christian cults in the Middle Ages, often partnered with banditry). It is not a feature of all religions. Some forms of Hinduism, for example, regard the earth as evolving in eternally-repeating long-lasting cycles. But Christians believe and prepare themselves for The End.
In a classical Christian setting the faithful and regenerate welcome (indeed, hope for) the end – the benign moment of God’s own choosing when our Father rights all injustices, rewards everyone according to her deeds, and all death and sin end, with the swords beaten into ploughshares and the lion lying down with the lamb. The end cannot be a bad thing – we have the promise of the rainbow that God will never again send a Flood to cleanse the Earth. By contrast, in a post-Christian culture we retain, deep down, our belief in the end-times, but lose our notion that they are controlled benignly by God. Instead, we hope that Paradise could be created by Man but fear and expect that Man will fail and instead create Hell.
This seems to me really be at the root of the “billions will die” meme of climate change alarmism. Our post-Christian culture over-interprets the signs of the times, from a deep ingrained cultural expectation that the end is nigh, believing that it was (and, we hope against hope, still is) in our power to create Utopia, but we know deep down that we will fail and create our own Hell and we are shamed and hate ourselves for it. When the Green Millenarians tell us of our environmental sins, we already knew we were sinners – they merely explain for us why. And when they tell us the world is about to end, we knew that too – they merely explain for us how.
But this doesn’t matter: what matters is that billions of people are going to die in the next decade or so due to climate change. And so Parliament must be bypassed with a ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ to ensure climate and ecological justice.
The citizens on this Assembly must all be believers in Green Millenarianism, of course. Heretics aren’t allowed, because what matters is that billions of people are going to die in the next decade or so due to climate change. In the postmodern state of eschatological flux, logic doesn’t matter: science is eclipsed by civil fever and spiritual fervour. The revelation of truth is found in a feeling; reality in a concept. These drive the research questions, but the findings and results are pre-ordained because what matters is that billions of people are going to die in the next decade or so due to climate change. You can’t interrogate definitions or pin down parameters because the infallible prophets of Green Millenarianism are concerned only with the symbolic and ritualistic.
Extinction Rebellion is a secular manifestation of faith, inspiring devotion and togetherness among believers. They have their code of commandments which bind the faithful to the sacralised movement. The Extinction Elect impose loyalty and inspire thousands of pilgrims to lay down their lives. It is a religion of politics based on a myth, inculcated by a political liturgy for the adoration of creation. Those who believe are good, and those who deny are evil. Why on earth would any member of the clergy – let alone a bishop – want to be associated with this?