I know what you’re saying – “What a preposterous question!” But really, it’s not. While it may indeed not be likely or probable, it is indeed a very real possibility. Even if it is a very remote possibility, considering that we are talking about the extinction of the human race, the possibility needs to be explored.
A recent poll highlighting the scientific ignorance of the US population vis-a-vis religiosity found a direct corelation between the two. This was reported all over the place, from Fox News and NBC News to a Post-Gazette editorial, to the blogs Why Evolution Is True and Friendly Atheist, to the International Business Times.
Now in fairness, the poll didn’t specifically single out Christianity as the culprit or Christians as being especially ignorant. But as we are in the US and Christianity is by far the dominant religion, then it logically follows that for all practical purposes, we really are talking specifically about Christianity.
Most of the nonsense that the delusionals believe is relatively benign – Adam & Eve and creationism as opposed to evolution, creation of the universe by the Great Sky Fairy as opposed to the Big Bang, Intelligent Falling -oops, sorry – not too many are quite that stupid, Noah and the flood, and a few other primitive myths. But as far as our everyday lives or our future, these things do not have any direct bearing on us. But rejection of anthropogenic global climate change – that’s another story entirely.
Climate scientists have known of and warned about the dangers of rapid climate change due to our unrelenting polluting of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases while at the same time destroying vast tracts of old growth deciduous and tropical rain forests. One of the early effects that were foretold would be a decrease in the seasonal numbers of storms but an increase in the intensity of the storms. And the last few years have borne that out. Not only that, but we are starting to see a change in rainfall patterns, with several years of drought over some of the most productive farmland in our food production pipeline.
And among climate scientists, the science is completely settled. Our global climate is changing at an accelerated rate and human activity is the major cause of that acceleration. What is not settled is how much time we have before we reach a tipping point beyond which the world will eventually become uninhabitable and we will not be able to do anything to stop it. But we do know that such a point exists.
As I said, climate scientists have been aware of and warning of the problem for thirty years. For almost twenty years, there have been international conferences and attempts to come to a consensus of how to address the problem. And the leading saboteur of these conferences has always been the US. Why? Because there is no political will in this country to take the sort of action that is needed to address the problem. Why? Because the majority of ignorant Americans who don’t understand the first thing about science are easy suckers for the vested interests that are fighting tooth and nail to prevent any change to the status quo; mainly through a war on science and scientists and very effective disinformation campaigns – kind of like the tobacco industry whose playbook they have co-opted.
And the religious are easy pickings for these people. They already are afflicted with magical thinking from the fairy tales that they believe. And all religions, but especially Christianity, teach that faith – belief in spite of the evidence is a virtue, so if they are being told an untruth that happens to jibe with their belief, they will embrace it wholeheartedly.
So if these delusionals continue to hold sway in the American halls of power, and because of American hegemony, nothing gets done to halt the acceleration of climate change and we actually reach the tipping point, the human species faces permanent extinction.
I know you’re saying – well we just have to explain to them the dire consequences of continuing down our current path. But that would be of no use. Remember, we are essentially dealing with a “death cult” – they view the “end times” as a GOOD thing – that the destruction of the human race is the end game that they are hoping for.
Of course, another possibility, perhaps a little more likely, is that their commitment to ignorance will hasten the decline of the US and result in a significant reduction of American hegemony. That would set the stage for other countries to take the lead and get something done on the issue of climate change. One can only hope.