PARIS -- Whether the weather is hot or cold, global warming remains the new climate orthodoxy. Even a terrible winter last year has not shaken Europe's belief in a coming climate change apocalypse.
Winter 2011 was a pleasant no-show for most of the United States, setting hundreds of warm temperature records. The warmer temps set off the predictable warnings that it was because of global warming, and cold winters were becoming a thing of the past.
"The planet is getting warmer and it will continue to warm on average as we go into the future," climate scientist Jim Hurrell, with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said.
A Freeze on Global Warming?
Except that one year ago, the winter season set cold and snow records, and heavy snow even collapsed the roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome.
Europe has seen record-setting cold and snow for the past few years. More than 600 people died from a historic arctic cold snap across the continent this year.
Europe used to get warnings about warmer and warmer winters, too. Not so much anymore.
Still, man-made climate change remains an article of faith and law in Europe, where publicly disputing the theory could end your career.
It doesn't matter how much Europe looks like the North Pole, climate skeptics aren't just wrong, they're treated as bad people.
Denouncing 'Climate Criminals'
When French scientist and politician Claude Allegre came out with the book, The Climate Deception (L'imposture Climatique), 400 French scientists signed a petition asking the government to denounce the book.
Television features documentaries like one on Belgian TV that exposes so-called "climate criminals," including experts like Allegre who don't believe in global warming.
And if a climate expert makes it on TV in most European nations, they're likely to be attacked by their interviewer.
Some people have compared France's news media to North Korea's. That's admittedly a stretch, but there are only a few news channels and they are all spouting similar coverage. There is definitely a party line when it comes to climate change.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus wrotea book critical of climate change. Klaus was also one of the rotating presidents of the European Union. But when Nicolas Lecaussin tried to get it published in France, no major publisher would touch it.
"It's a scientific book. He says climate change, global warming, doesn't exist," Lecaussin said. "We took it to a number of editors. Nobody wanted to publish it. Nobody."
A 'Pagan Religion'
"It is very difficult in France to fight the pieties of climate change, let's put it like that," Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Paris columnist for the London Telegraph, added.
Moutet termed the belief in climate change, "a catechism:"
"Yes, it's a piety that they repeat over and over," she said.
French philosopher Pascal Bruckner called the belief in climate change "a pagan religion."
Watch more from Bruckner, who describes how this belief follows a "pagan religion" scenario where man must be punished for sinning against mother earth.
Bruckner has written the Fanaticism of the Apocalypse (Le fanatisme de l'Apocalypse). Although he supports environmentalism, he likens the climate change alarmism to a religious cult.
"Because it uses all the elements of traditional religion, especially the theme of the apocalypse," he explained. "In France and in Germany still more, you have this culture of fear: 'You have sinned, now you have to be punished.'"
"You have all sorts of snake oil doctors who now sell you carbon credits, and a whole industry has been built over this," Moutet said.
And the elites in Europe continue to move forward with an agenda to change how we all live.
They just concluded the Planet under Pressure conference in London, which is aimed at not only lowering the number of humans on the planet but restricting them to cities so they don't disrupt nature.
At the same conference, an American college professor issued a paper that said skepticism of man-made climate change is a sickness like racism that should be treated.
So, despite a second horrible winter, in which much of Europe felt more like Siberia, leaders continue to make potentially expensive policy plans and decisions based on the belief that climate change is still coming.