Posts Tagged global warming

Improper use of Scripture by Senator James Inhofe

Senator James Inhofe (Republican, Oklahoma) says that the Bible refutes climate change. From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, March 9, 2012:

On a radio show yesterday, Inhofe explained: “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

Senator Inhofe’s comments were in reference to his recently published book: The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.

What we have here is a politician using the Bible to make a political point. Unfortunately, Senator Inhofe is wrong. He claims that since God controls the earth’s climate, we human beings cannot possibly change the climate, and it’s arrogance to think that we can. But Genesis 8:22 does not say that.

This verse occurs at the end of the Flood story. Here is Genesis 8:20-22 in the English Standard Version:

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

God’s covenant here refers to what God has promised to do, not what mankind can do. God will not send another Flood that destroys civilization. Verse 22 is not a guarantee that God will preserve the earth from the consequences of man’s poor stewardship.

Suppose we were to take this covenant as some kind of “assurance of stability” as James Inhofe wants us to do. What exactly does verse 22 say? And what does it mean? Here are the points God makes about the earth’s climate and weather system:

  • seedtime and harvest: There will always be seasons.
  • cold and heat: There will always be variation in temperature.
  • summer and winter: There will always be seasons.
  • day and night: The earth will continue to rotate.

No climate scientist anywhere is suggesting that seasons will cease. This is a straw-man argument by Senator Inhofe. No climate scientist anywhere is suggesting that temperature variation will cease. Scientists are suggesting that there will be more heat and less cold. Genesis 8:22 does not contradict that.

Is there any indication in the Bible that humans can drastically affect the earth? Yes, there is. Consider Genesis 1:28:

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God’s command in Genesis 1:28 to “subdue the earth” is meaningless if mankind cannot possibly accomplish this. But God does not give meaningless commands. According to the Bible, we are capable of changing what’s going on here. Our actions have effects and consequences.

Stewardship of the earth

We are stewards of the earth. We are supposed to take care of this planet. But that relationship as stewards is not for our benefit, contrary to what Rick Santorum has suggested. Consider the Parable of the Wicked Vineyard Tenants in Luke 20:

13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

The tenants don’t own the vineyard. The vineyard is not for their benefit! The Master owns the vineyard. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,” (Psalm 24:1, ESV) We really can mess up the earth through poor and sinful stewardship, and if we do, we really won’t like what happens when the Master returns.

Christology, not climatology

Senator James Inhofe would do much better to read the Bible not from a climatological viewpoint, but from a Christological viewpoint. All Scripture points to Jesus Christ. The Flood was an early attempt by God to rid the earth of sin. The human race was re-started with a righteous man (Noah), but fell back into sin again. The Law was given at Mt. Sinai, but that too failed to make mankind righteous (Romans 3:19-20). But Jesus Christ came, and Christ succeeded in making mankind righteous. (Romans 10:4)

Genesis 8:22 does not point to climate science. Genesis 8:22 points to Jesus Christ.

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Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

As I’m sure you already know, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. This is greated as big news in some quarters, or as an affirmation of the correctness of his global warming scare job. Look, if Al Gore really believed in what he’s peddling, namely we all have to make significant lifestyle changes to reduce our carbon emissions or we going to face deathly consequences, he’d change his own behavior. But he doesn’t – he burns through carbon based energy at a rate far beyond the average American. Maybe Al Gore is entirely correct in his predictions – but I’m not going to believe a man who doesn’t practice in the slightest what he preaches.

So what does his victory really represent? Coupled with other recent Nobel Peace prize picks, it is clear that the European leftist elite, not content with rendering their own countries impotent, are trying to influence American politics to their liking. If the Nobel Peace Prize committee wants to reduce the presitge of their own award, have at it boys. If they think that a bunch of Norwegian elists sway my thinking, they are sadly mistaken.

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Expanding The Carbon Offset Business

While waiting for the Libby Trial jury to come back with a verdict (my mind’s made up, what’s taking them so long?), Tom Maguire has been forced to write, ever so briefly, about other things, like cigarette offsets. Not being a smoker, I don’t think he’s on to anything there.

However, he has the kernal of a good idea, and so I’m willing to partner with anyone who wants to form a fat offset firm. Yep, we sell people weight offsets – whether you want to lose weight but stay at your current weight, or pork up while being able to claim you haven’t gained a pound. So if somebody mentioned Al Gore’s weight gain, he’d be able to retort that in fact he’d lost weight when you factored in his fat offsets. I’m sure we could really clean up in Hollywood.

Oh, for any prospective partners, I consider access to anorexics a clear plus.

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Did the Rise of Mountains Cause the Lowering of Temperatures?

I’m a global warming skeptic – and by that I mean I’m skeptical that human actions are the driving factor behind current climate change. Now, that doesn’t mean we aren’t, that just means I’m not convinced that we are. So I read this article on a connection between the Appalachian Mountains and global cooling with interest — not because it supports my skepticism, but because it doesn’t.

One such debate is whether atmospheric carbon dioxide truly drives Earth’s climate. The planet has shifted between greenhouse conditions and icehouse conditions throughout its history, and research from Saltzman’s team strongly suggests that carbon dioxide levels are a key cause.”In this study, we’re seeing remarkable evidence that suggests atmospheric CO2 levels were in fact dropping at the same time that the planet was getting colder. So this significantly reinforces the idea that CO2 is a major driver of climate,” Saltzman said.

“We observed a major shift in the geochemical record, which tells us something must have changed in the oceans,” Young said.

The timing of the strontium ratio decline matches the rise of the Appalachian Mountains . The crustal plate underneath what is now the Atlantic Ocean pushed against the eastern side of North America, lifting ancient volcanic rock up from the seafloor and onto the continent.

This kind of silicate rock weathers quickly, Young explained. It reacts with CO2 and water, and the rock disintegrates. Carbon from the CO2 is trapped in the resulting sediment.

The chemical reaction that weathered away part of the Appalachians would have consumed large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere — right around the time that the Ordovician ice age began.

When I read the first part, I immediately thought to myself does it tell us that CO2 drives temperature, or temperature drives CO2. And that’s always the hard question – which change came first – CO2 or temperature. But part 2 contains an explanation that we would expect the CO2 to drop for a reason other than temperature, which surely strenghthens the case for CO2 to drive temperature, and not the other way around.

So we have one case, and the article goes on to say that the rise of the Himalayas may have caused our current ice age (we’re in an interglacial period at the moment). So now we have two possibles, and wikipedia claims there have been 4 major ice ages.

That leaves us with some unanswered questions, like what about the other two ice ages, and how did CO2 get back into the atomosphere to end an ice age, and what is driving our current cycle of glacials/interglacials? I’m still stuck with suggestive, but not conclusive.


Huge Explosion Caused Global Warming?

Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences claims that our current global warming is due to changes in the level of atmospheric water amounts caused by the Tunguska Event in Siberia in 1908. Hmmm.