I’m not exactly sure how to take this: as a victory for those of us who have been saying that “climate changism” has certain earmarks of a religion rather than science, or as a step in the direction of making some political views more equal than others. In any case, it’s now official: in Great Britain, belief in climate change is now a protected species of religion/philosophy, according to the Daily Telegraph:
In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that “a belief in man-made climate change … is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations”.
The ruling could open the door for employees to sue their companies for failing to account for their green lifestyles, such as providing recycling facilities or offering low-carbon travel.
The decision regards Tim Nicholson, former head of sustainability at property firm Grainger plc, who claims he was made redundant in July 2008 due to his “philosophical belief about climate change and the environment”.
In March, employment judge David Heath gave Mr Nicholson permission to take the firm to tribunal over his treatment.
But Grainger challenged the ruling on the grounds that green views were political and based on science, as opposed to religious or philosophical in nature.
John Bowers QC, representing Grainger, had argued that adherence to climate change theory was “a scientific view rather than a philosophical one”, because “philosophy deals with matters that are not capable of scientific proof.”
That argument has now been dismissed by Mr Justice Burton, who last year ruled that the environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore was political and partisan.
British law is obviously different from American law–I can’t even imagine legislation being passed here entitled “Religion and Belief Regulations,” though the IRS has rules that come close–so I’m not sure what this means in the British context. The truth is that the article isn’t even clear about what Justice Burton dismissed. Did he reject the claim that climate change ideology is science-based? Did he reject the claim that philosophical matters are incapable of scientific proof? I don’t know. But I like the idea that a self-styled “green” has now had his faith put into the “religion and philosophy” category, regardless of the practical implications.
(Via Mark Shea.)