By now, only those living under rocks and those who have ideologically blinded themselves have missed the Climategate scandal. Even as world leaders gather in Coperhagen and pledge large amounts of taxpayers' money for plans they will never actually execute in the name of saving the world, more and more people are becoming aware of the leaked British e-mails that have finally shown what a hoax climate-change science has been.
In short, there is an endless stream of e-mails that say the following:
1) There is no real data that shows that climate change is occuring or has occured over the past decade.
2) Therefore data will be invented that shows climate change is occuring since, because we know it is, since the real data doesn't reflect this, we will have to create data that does.
3) Anyone who disagrees with us must be silenced. It doesn't matter if they raise legitimate questions or have papers that prove we're wrong. We must surpress them so we can continue to claim all "real" scientists agree that climate change is occuring and that there is no credible evidence to the contrary.
The damage this has done to the Climate Change religion - because really, that's what it has become - is incalculable. Anyone who continues to insist that the science supports their point of view is making a fool out of himself, even if he refuses to admit it. As the inimitable Mark Steyn notes:
Hence, the famous "hockey stick" graph purporting to show climate over the past 1000 years, as a continuous, flat, millennium-long bungalow with a skyscraper tacked on for the 20th century. This graph was almost laughably fraudulent, not least because it used a formula that would generate a hockey stick shape no matter what data you input, even completely random, trendless, arbitrary computer-generated data. Yet such is the power of the eco-lobby that this fraud became the centrepiece of UN reports on global warming. If it's happening, why is it necessary to lie about it?
Well, the problem for the Kyoto cultists is that the end of the world's nighness is never quite as nigh as you'd like. Thirty years ago, Lowell Ponte had a huge bestseller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?
Answer: No, it hasn't. Yes, we can. So, when the new ice age predicted in the '70s failed to emerge, the eco-crowd moved on in the '80s to global warming, and then more recently to claiming as evidence of global warming every conceivable meteorological phenomenon: lack of global warmth is evidence of global warming; frost, ice, snow, glaciers, they're all signs of global warming, too. If you live in England, where it's 12C and partly cloudy all summer and 11.5C and overcast all winter, that dramatic climate change is also evidence of global warming.
There are no lines left. "Well the e-mails are certainly a concern but we know climate change is occuring because the science..." No, that won't work. We know the science was faked and altered to reach a predetermined conclusion. "Well, peer-reviewed evidence..." No, that won't help either. We now know that the reason no major studies contradicting climate change were published is because they were ignored or destroyed. This emperor truly has no clothes.
So what does this have to do with Torah observant Judaism? Quite a bit, if one thinks about it. First, Judaism shares one important characteristic with Climate Changism - both are religions (Judaism is also a nationality but let's leave that aside for now). Anything that torpedoes one religion must act as a warning for others.
And what is the message? Put simply, it's a warning against arrogance, against smug self-righteousness that announces: "I'm right and because I'm right, the end justifies the means."
Too often in the news recently we have seen that philosophy applied by many of the most devout members of our community. Whether it's mistreating illegal workers, stealing money in Ponzi schemes, or trading in human body parts, the common factor has been people who believe they are doing the will of Heaven, so much so that their flagrant violation of norms and laws, both Jewish and secular, is merely incidental. The ends justify the means.
No, they don't and real Torah Judaism does not countenance such an attitude, no matter how "frum" the current proponents might style themselves as.
Whenever one of our number gets caught committing and crime and appears in the national news, kippah.black hat and all, that is our Climategate e-mail.
Whenever news breaks about another financial scheme gone wrong, or public disturbances by portions of our community that resemble the tantrums of spoiled children, that is our Climategate e-mail.
Whenever another person leaves the fold because some idiot rabbi turns him off with simplistic answers or a racist attitude, that is our Climategate e-mail.
We, as yirei shomayim, have an obligation to be a moral beacon to the rest of the world. The Torah is not about circling the wagons or protecting our own no matter what but about justice and truth, God's seal. If we turn Judaism into a self-centred parochial religion, we have failed God and Torah as much as if we were to go out on a Saturday afternoon drive to the local McDonald's.
Climate Change will stumble on. Too much money, too many careers have been invested to allow the truth about the weather to bring it down. But those with intelligence will see its proponents for the fraudsters they are.
And if we are not careful, if we continue to forget what our real priorities are, we will follow that same path.