Why did climate scientists get so attached to AGW that, like IDers’ God, it decreed what they must find? I’m too close to the political fulcrum to buy into black-helicopter theories of a conspiracy to impose a socialist world government (although I’ll bet academic and government scientists do have a disdain for the “drill, baby, drill” school of American entrepreneurship; I used to share it. Still do, a bit). If I had to make a one-word guess at the prime motive, it would be “grants.” But the zeal and solemnity with which the peril to the planet is insisted upon suggests something more.
We need to make sense of the world, scientists no less than the rest of us. A coherent cosmology seems to be, not an option, but the foundation we stand on — “turtles all the way down.” In the absence of religion, human-caused climate change provides a grand narrative that stealthily smuggles back in many of the satisfying, mortifying archetypes of religious narratives: sin (extractive industries and carbon emissions), hell (an overcrowded, overheated planet), apocalypse, sacrifice, redemption and restoration.