TCS Daily


Blessed Are the Greens?

By Steven Hayward - February 10, 2006 12:00 AM

This week some evangelical Christian groups issued "a call for their faithful to press the Bush administration into action on climate change," the Guardian newspaper reported. A union of evangelicals, who voted for George Bush by a four-to-one margin, and environmentalists, who voted for John Kerry by a four-to-one margin, is the perfect man-bites-dog story for the media.

Both camps are wary at their unlikely common cause. There is a fitting symmetry to the suspicions each camp holds of the other, which can be reduced to the common theme of fundamentalism. The phenomenon of fundamentalist Christianity is well-known; the phenomenon of what might be called "fundamentalist environmentalism" is equally applicable but less clearly recognized in the media and elsewhere.

Environmentalists are put off by excesses of fundamentalist Christianity's doctrines of the last things (or "end times"), which to environmentalists suggests an indifference to the fate of nature. Evangelicals recoil from fundamentalist environmentalism's exaltation of nature above man and God or the explicit substitution of nature for God.

Of course, both varieties of fundamentalism represent distinct minority positions within each creed. But as is often the case with extreme positions, these fundamentalist strains tend to attract disproportionate attention and wrongly come to define the whole of a movement in the public mind.

That said, the tentative collaboration of evangelicals and environmentalists may provide a path out of the rut of current popular environmental discourse, especially as Christian teaching about nature -- even the much derided fundamentalist variety -- offers a corrective for the errors of fundamentalist environmentalism.

It will not be a quick or easy path, as a survey of the opening positions shows. Richard Cizik, leader of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals, has embraced global warming as a cause but also told The New York Times Magazine last April: "A lot of conservative evangelicals have a problem with the environmental movement. I don't call myself an environmentalist. Some environmentalists are pantheists who believe creation itself is holy, not the Creator." Cizik is clearly on to something here. How often have we heard environmentalists and newspaper editorials refer to the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, an aesthetically barren stretch of land by human sensibilities, as a "cathedral" of nature, implying that a duty of worship should enjoin any human use of the land? Cizik and other green evangelicals prefer to call their enthusiasm "creation care."

Environmentalists and liberals are quick to reciprocate this wariness. In 1967 Lynn White argued in Science magazine that Christianity was responsible for our environmental crisis because of its anthropocentrism. While this theory has receded from view, environmentalists remain concerned by Christian eschatology. Glenn Scherer of the popular online site Grist.com wrote last fall:

"Many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed -- even hastened -- as a sign of the coming Apocalypse."

This theme was also embraced by Bill Moyers, who joined Scherer in pointing to the urban legend of James Watt, who, according to Moyers and Scherer, "told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, 'after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'" The problem with this story is that it is untrue; Watt never said this or anything like it. Both Moyers and Grist.com issued corrections and apologies to Watt.

Distortions such as those advanced by Moyers and others have yielded a persistent image of evangelical eschatological indifference to the environment. However, we should not be in the least surprised to find serious environmental concern among evangelical Christians, for the simple reason that the same quality of sin that afflicts the souls of men extends also to man's dominion over the earth. The estrangement of man from God that comes with the Fall also includes a partial estrangement from nature. The command of stewardship that comes with the grant of dominion in Genesis clearly implies responsibility toward the earth. Consider the following passage:

"The population explosion applies tremendous pressure. Along with this goes total ecological destruction. We must not kid ourselves. We are in trouble. Not only Lake Erie is dead. Lake Geneva is sick. The ocean is dying. There is ecological pressure and the thinkers of the world are frightened about what is coming next. Read the papers carefully and you will see that, in ways open or not so open, the idea is being put forward that the only way to deal with the population explosion and the ecological problem is by an important curtailing of liberty."

This passage reads as though it could have come from the pen of Paul Ehrlich or the Club of Rome, but the author was Francis Schaeffer, one of the leading evangelical social thinkers of the 1970s and a special favorite of conservative Christians. Clearly evangelicalism is no barrier to environmental consciousness. (Indeed, a survey of 125 church-related colleges taken in the 1980s found that 95 percent offered courses on environmental topics.)

One reason fundamentalist environmentalists are credulous about the vivid eschatology of fundamentalist Christianity is the centrality of the apocalypse to both creeds. The crucial difference is that the Christian apocalypse, in either its vivid and imminent fundamentalist form or its more traditional Catholic and Orthodox form, includes the promise of salvation and redemption for man and nature, while the secular eco-apocalypse is barren and hopeless. One irony of this comparison is the way in which it reveals a greater anthropocentric conceit on the part of fundamentalist environmentalism than fundamentalist Christianity. The loose talk of "destroying the planet" on the part of fundamentalist environmentalism cannot be taken literally, since even the complete destruction of humanity through a catastrophe (such as nuclear war or disease) would not eradicate the ability of the planet to regenerate life, even as the asteroid that wiped out 90 percent of all species 100 million years ago did not prevent the cycles of nature from generating successor species (including humankind). For all of the nature-worship that comes along with fundamentalist environmentalism, it is surprising that it has not developed a secular doctrine of resurrection based on evolution to go along with its doctrine of the eco-apocalypse.

This contrast is only one way in which the eco-evangelical dialogue can bring clarity to several problems of environmental thought that are too often avoided. The first concerns the hierarchy of nature. The Bible teaches that humankind is an intermediate being, higher than the beasts but lower than the angels and God. This is the foundation for man's "dominion" and stewardship over nature. The recently adopted "Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility" noted:

"We affirm that God-given dominion is a sacred responsibility to steward the earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part. We are not the owners of creation, but its stewards, summoned by God to 'watch over and care for it' (Genesis 2:15). This implies the principle of sustainability: our uses of the Earth must be designed to conserve and renew the Earth rather than to deplete or destroy it."

Fundamentalist environmentalism, by contrast, sees humankind as merely another expression of the natural world, not intrinsically different or superior to any other form of nature. This often comes to sight in what might be called the environmental version of natural right, though in this case it is the denial that human individuals have any rights above or distinct from any other species. In some extreme cases environmentalists regard humankind as the enemy of nature because of humans' power to transform nature.*

This view may be fading from conventional environmental thought. The author Jared Diamond offers some encouragement, writing in his best-seller Collapse that "while I do love New Guinea birds, I love my own sons, my wife, my friends, New Guineans, and other people. I'm more interested in environmental issues because of what I see as their consequences for people than because of their consequences for birds." This is more consonant with the Christian understanding of the environment, which, while affirming the duty of humans to be good stewards of the earth, does not confuse or deny that nature exists to serve the needs of the beings that stand in an exalted place in the hierarchy of nature. To environmentalists uncomfortable with the "anthropocentrism" of Christian cosmology, some common ground might be found in that aspect of the doctrine of the Fall of Man that implies at least a partial estrangement from nature.

The second implication of the Christian teaching on the environment is its effect on the perennial debate between conservation and preservation. This debate is as old as modern environmentalism itself and in historical terms can be seen in the personal clash between Gifford Pinchot and John Muir. Once friends, they became estranged over disagreement about whether resources should be conserved for future human use or preserved in perpetuity for their own sake. The Christian teachings on dominion and stewardship would seem to tilt the debate in favor of the conservationist view, at least in practical policy terms. Yet the spiritual contemplation of natural wonders as an expression of God's power and love suggests that preservation is not disharmonious with a Christian environmentalism. It is significant that Muir chose biblical imagery -- "money changers in the temple" -- to describe his revulsion of human intrusion into the natural splendor of Yosemite. There will be no getting around the difference that for a Christian, the contemplation of the natural is important because it points to the supernatural, while for the secular environmentalist nature is contemplated for its own sake. Still, a fruitful dialogue might be had on this point.

While there is much conventional environmentalists might learn from Christian theology, evangelicals should take care not to introduce new confusions into their own ranks or to succumb to transient secular enthusiasms. Liberal denominations (i.e., the core members of the National Council of Churches) have sought to halt or reverse their steep decline in membership by joining every "progressive" secular enthusiasm to come along and offering a religious gloss.**

This process reached its nadir with the "nuclear freeze" movement in the 1980s, when the American Catholic bishops, in a stunning lapse into theological confusion, issued the statement that the existence of nuclear weapons threatened God's sovereignty over creation, which comes close to denying God's omnipotence. Evangelicals generally and laudably resisted this weak-mindedness -- remember that it was before the National Association of Evangelicals that Ronald Reagan gave his famous "evil empire" speech, where he challenged the obfuscation of moral equivalency and appeasement behind the nuclear freeze proposal.

Many liberal churches, struggling to remain "relevant," made the easy transition from nuclear pacifism to the environment when the Cold War ended. And so it is a potentially worrisome to see the NAE take steps in the direction of environmental correctness. Consider the following passage from a recent statement:

"We urge Christians to shape their personal lives in creation-friendly ways: practicing effective recycling, conserving resources, and experiencing the joy of contact with nature. We urge government to encourage fuel efficiency, reduce pollution, encourage sustainable use of natural resources, and provide for the proper care of wildlife and their natural habitats." ***

There is nothing per se wrong with this list; many items constitute obvious common sense. However, the circumstantial contingency of some items such as conservation and fuel efficiency makes it a stretch to claim a general theological mandate in their favor. Recycling in some circumstances can be wasteful of resources, and government-mandated fuel efficiency has been shown to have the unwelcome tradeoff of higher automobile fatalities. It is hard to see a clear theological or biblical sanction for one side of that tradeoff.

This kind of tradeoff is especially acute in the area of climate change. The NAE's statement on stewardship includes the call "to relieve human suffering caused by bad environmental practice," but evangelical concern for climate change would do no favors for the suffering millions in developing nations if it blindly endorsed near-term carbon suppression as its policy preference for dealing with climate change, since it would retard economic growth -- and also perpetuate current bad environmental practices -- in those nations. Ironically the NAE statement contains the general reasons for this: "Because natural systems are extremely complex, human actions can have unexpected side effects. We must therefore approach our stewardship of creation with humility and caution."

It would be useful for the NAE to consider the Cornwall Declaration, a statement of environmental principles developed by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish theologians for the Acton Institute in 1999. (Over 1,000 leading clergy, theologians, and scholars have endorsed the declaration.) The portion relevant to climate change policy reads as follows:

"Public policies to combat exaggerated risks can dangerously delay or reverse the economic development necessary to improve not only human life but also human stewardship of the environment. The poor, who are most often citizens of developing nations, are often forced to suffer longer in poverty with its attendant high rates of malnutrition, disease, and mortality; as a consequence, they are often the most injured by such misguided, though well-intended, policies."

Indeed, embracing the conventional wisdom on climate change would be to capitulate to the transient worldliness that evangelicals have always been so good at avoiding. They risk changing the climate change speck in their eye into a log.

Steven F. Hayward is the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at AEI. This article is adapted from "A Cross of Green: Reflections on Eco-Theology."

* This view has a surprisingly long pedigree. John Muir wrote: "I have precious little sympathy for the selfish propriety of civilized man, and if a war of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord Man, I should be tempted to sympathize with the bears." Muir is cited in Bob Pepperman Taylor, Our Limits Transgressed: Environmental Political Thought in America (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992).

** See, among other authors, Edward Norman, Christianity and the World Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). Norman writes: "Christianity today is . . . being reinterpreted as a scheme of social and political action, dependent, it is true, upon supernatural authority for its ultimate claims to attention, but rendered in categories that are derived from the political theories and practices of contemporary society"

*** National Association of Evangelicals, "For the Health of the Nation."

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91 Comments

Snooze Alarm
The author has transcended the Twain Criterion - it was the good and great Sam Clemens who described The Book of Mormon as 'chloroform in print', and this screed demonstrates that attempts to justify Green works to man serve as a powerful antidote to insomnia. He should confine himself to talk radio in this case, for both sides arguments make even less sense when written down, and after a few thousand words it becomes apparent that those words far outnumber any merely voluntary audience.

Thank you.
Right on with the thesis, my good man. I don't have time to critique the details if there was any problem with them. Long live Cruncy Conservatives, tho. I'm a pro life Baptist inerrantist and I stash used paper in our office to print things on the back, pick up used aluminum cans to rinse and recycle, and enjoy the herbs I grow in my little apartment. I use honey instead of refined sugar in my tea.

Creation is an icon--Father Zossima in Dostoyevsky's "Brothers K."

Stewardship; Teddy Roosevelt was right. Modern hippie enviros are confused. It doesn't have to be man vs. the environment. TCS is right; technology allows for responsible use of resources and a good economy to boot; Kyoto is a false dichotomy and a poorly implemented false dichotomy at that.

Missed the most important point
Having worked in the environmental area for 30 years as an engineer and assessing the hypothesis of global warming on numerous occasions, I noted the author did not address whether or not global warming is indeed caused by human activity. There simply is no proof of human effects, only inference based upon faulty and many times biased evidence. Also, predicting environmental events 100 years from now with climate models is absurd.

The only way this hypothesis will go away is when the government stops funding every body and his dog to continue studyiing it. I have never seen a college or university who will not accept funds to study a subject and then feed on it as long as it is available. The more cloudy the issue the better.

Global warming is a dangerous myth. Causing an undue hardship by imposing carbon restrictions on developed and undeveloped countries using a hypothesis supported by flimsy and biased evidence is simply wrongheaded.

I am a Christian who believes similiar to evangelicals, but this endorsement by them is terribly naive. I am extremely disappointed. I know they mean well, but they need to stay out of complex scientific hypotheses that they are not trained to understand.

Funny, but most experts in the field disagree
The National Academy of Science, for example, has reached quite different conclusions. Maybe they too should "stay out of complex scientific hypotheses that they are not trained to understand."

But I really don't understand this:

"The only way this hypothesis will go away is when the government stops funding every body and his dog to continue studyiing it."

so the idea is that more study won't resolve the issue one way or another, but is just pork? Should we apply this same rule to all other fields we fund research in, or do we just send a checklist to freeman1 & have him check off the fields he approves?

NAS
Is nothing more than a bunch of scientists who owe their living to a bunch of politicians who owe their living to the most vocal activist of the day.

Sure: Established by Lincoln; 200 Nobel winners, but what do they know?
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.

The NAS was signed into being by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War. As mandated in its Act of Incorporation, the NAS has, since 1863, served to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government. Scientific issues would become even more contentious and complex in the years following the war. To keep pace with the growing roles that science and technology would play in public life, the institution that was founded in 1863 eventually expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970. Collectively, the four organizations are known as the National Academies.

Since 1863, the nation's leaders have often turned to the National Academies for advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently pervade policy decisions. Most of the institution's science policy and technical work is conducted by its operating arm, the National Research Council, created expressly for this purpose. These non-profit organizations provide a public service by working outside the framework of government to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine. They enlist committees of the nation's top scientists, engineers, and other experts, all of whom volunteer their time to study specific concerns. The results of their deliberations have inspired some of America's most significant and lasting efforts to improve the health, education, and welfare of the population. The Academy's service to government has become so essential that Congress and the White House have issued legislation and executive orders over the years that reaffirm its unique role.

The Academy membership is comprised of approximately 2,000 members and 350 foreign associates, of whom more than 200 have won Nobel Prizes. Members and foreign associates of the Academy are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research; election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer.The Academy is governed by a Council comprised of twelve members (councilors) and five officers, elected from among the Academy membership. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is the president of the National Academy of Sciences.

politicians
I don't see anything in your post that contradicts, much less refutes my post.

The vast majority of people who study atmospheric physics, state, unequivocably, that the evidence that the planet is warming is weak and that the evidence that this warming, if happening is being caused by man, is even weaker.

The only people who are pushing the scare scenarios, are those who are paid to do so.

You're utterly wrong.
This is a joke.

The NAS and other scientific organization, including the speciality groups on atmospheric physics, are on the record. You blither doesn't change this. If you have any backup for your assertion, bring it. Otherwise, please stop making noise and spamming the site.

>I don't see anything in your post that contradicts, much less refutes my post.

The post is is factual: it points out accurately that the NAS includes 200 Nobel winners and election to the NAS is regarded as one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. Your allegation it is unscientific and political is your opinion, utterly wihtout support in the scientific commuity.

Yes
Of course, we should terminate all taxpayer funded research--it is unconstitutional. I've read it many times and Article 1, Section 8 does not enumerate "research spending" as one of the powers GRANTED to government.

One thing shared in common by the evangelicals and the warmers
Both evangelical and global warming dogma are unprovable and therefore rest on faith. Evangelicals worship Christ and the Enviros worship nature.

Sorry, that's not true
Climate change research does not produce "dogma." It is the same scientific process that designs antibiotics and airplanes. This isn't to say that some greens don't have feelings about nature that can be described as religious: some do. However, the NAS and other research institutions are not religious in any coherent sense of the word.

Telephone the White House
Let them know: I'm sure they'll cut it off day after tomorrow.

clarification
The herbs of which I spoke are two spearmints, one peppermint, and one oregano. (In case you were wondering.)

Kyoto is a suicide pact.
Nobody believes even full implememtation of Kyoto will noticibly affect the climate. It would, however, impoverish us all, and the poorest among us will be hurt the most. Fortunately, the 'enlightened' national posers are not coming close to implementing it, because of the above.

CO2 has increased substantially for half a century, but it has had no discernable effect on the earth's temperature. It has made the earth a greener, more habitable place for man and beast, and will continue to do so. Look it up, it's easy to do, and you don't have to be a scientist to weigh the evidence. Global warmmongering is a political hoax.

Wake Up Post
Thanks for the alarming reminder. One tends to forget that the half of the electorate with two digit IQ's includes many able to believe whatever they can read, including that you don't have to be a scientist to weigh evidence about the quality of the data literal rocket science provides.

What makes you so sure of this?
Regarding Kyoto, notwithstanding the propaganda quoted, it's not a given that cutting greenhouse gas emissions would be an economic blow rather than an economic incentive. It is also quite clear that climate change could have catastrophic economic effects.

Regarding the remarks on CO2: that is what you say, but the people who know most about it disagree.

>you don't have to be a scientist to weigh the evidence

Sure. And when you need an operation, you don't have to go to a surgeon to have it done; just have a friend take care of it.

The NAE and supporters of the left position
Nothing new about NAE and liberal positions.. They have been wrong (left) for many years.

My blog about it is located on this page:

http://expreacherman.blogspot.com/

ExP

except in their lust for taxpayer dollars
Which colors their "results". After all no "crisis", no money.

So I guess you don't trust any science
It's all funded the same way.

funny bit of scripture you're using on this preacher
I mean:

2 Cor. 6:17 " Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

So the idea is that God's creation -- the earth -- is an "unclean thing." Or is it just scientists who study the earth who are unclean?

What fun
Obviously Forunato has all the answers. I wonder if he works in science himself or just supporting his politics. As I said, I worked in science and environment for 35 years and know what academia does with funds. I also know they thrive off it. I also know that fortunato has little experience in this areas or he would not defend it as he did. He just argues. As regards NAS, I have respect for those who truly study science but stay out of politics. This idea of consensus is funny. I never knew it took consensus to know that NaCl is sodium chloride. Consensus means that a number believe and a number don't. This fortunato is a hypothesis and not a fact. Still, I wonder what your qualifications are?

The Earth is not my Mother; I am the Earth's father
As a card-carrying member of the Great Right-Wing, Bible-banging, Fundamentalist conspiracy, so worrisome to the MSM, I consider the above title to be the proper understanding of Man's mandate in the book of Genesis: You are in charge of the Earth, take care of it.
(I apologize to any who are offended by the use of the term "father" rather than "parent." Actually, no, never mind, I don't apologize.)
Other comments. The NAE is not really a monolithic entity. Though I consider myself somewhat of an environmentalism, I hope that there are not really many there in the NAE who believe that Man is the cause of global warming, nor that big government solutions are the answer.
Last comment. Aren't we glad that Fortunato always has something to say. He is so funny. Tragic, but funny!

Fortunato
You obviously do not read well. There are numerous scientists and engineers (my profession) who do not support global warming as a fact. A recent article by Dr. Roy Spencer (TCS author) about Hansen who believes in politically correct science ended as follows:

"This is not to suggest that there is a conspiracy going on. It's merely to point out that climate scientists aren't always unbiased keepers of truth. The arena of global warming overflows with more strongly held opinions than it does unbiased or scientific truths."

Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville. At one time Dr. Spencer worked for NASA while sddressing this problem.



Why not stick to the issues and the science?
Whether I work in science, or have a degree in it is really irrelevent. In most fields, if I don't know something myself, I take the advice of experts.

Academia does with funds in climate research what it does with funds in any other kind of research, with the same mix of results. Regarding NAS, its mission is to stay out of politics: to give decision makers the best known science and then let the political decision be made. People who don't like what the NAS says on this are the ones with the political agenda, not the NAS. Regarding consensus: it established the salt is NaCl, after peer review and argument.

That's the way science proceeds.
You have dissent and criticism and wait for the results to come in. And yes, not all scientists agree with all the NAS conclusions. However, it is true that Spencer and Lindheim (another skeptic) are quite isolated an unusual: the vast majority follow the consensus of the NAS majority -- Lindheim was the only dissenting vote on the panel. And maybe he's right: the science is still being done. But the idea of the NAS and science is that research decides the issue, not politics.

Better info than Noah had?
Exactly: take care of. Does making species extinct and changing climate sound like stewardship.

When Noah loaded up the ark, he didn't decide which animals were important enough to save: that wasn't his mission. Have you gotten an update from Up There on this, stuff that Noah wasn't important enough to find out about?

Dream on
You are in a dream world. Read what the NAS member on the Panel report to the Bush Admninistration said about the politics of global warming. If you need a reference, let me know. And yes, the science is still being done and most believe the results will be only probability and low at that. The cost benefit for meetin Koyoto is mind boggling wrong headed. Also read how Hanson got attention about global warming. It was not science fortunato. I truly am not sure why I am discussing this with you. It is obvious you are a novice.

Denial
You don't seem to get it. Is there politics surrounding what to do about possible human-caused climate change? Yes, obviously. But the only -- let me repeat that -- only way around this is good science. If you reject the best science, you simply have nothing at all to go on.

>And yes, the science is still being done and most believe the results will be only probability and low at that.

The probablilities are getting much bigger. Feeling lucky, or what to wait for 95 percent.

> cost benefit for meetin Koyoto is mind boggling wrong headed

why not prove this instead of saying it.

> I truly am not sure why I am discussing this with you. It is obvious you are a novice.

Why not try being specific and bringing backup instead of just asserting dubious statements as unassailably true. Or is it that you can't?

fortunato
Which expert do you accept? And, if you are not a scientist or engineer, how do you know which expert is right? Which experts do you believe? The ones you want too. Why not try Dr. Fred Singer who was in charge of placing the U. S. weather satellite system into place? Read his book "Hot Talk, Cold Science". See what he thinks about global warming as fact. I can give you a list of many scientist who do not support NAS who presently is playing politics.

Regarding funds, how do you know what NAS does? I have worked with the Department of Energy and the EPA on funds for academia and industry. I know what they expect and we found at times the work was not focussed properly or was completed with bias. I have also read proposals for funding on projects, good ones and bad ones. Do you know that academia survives off funds for their research departments? If they can convince the government to continue research until global warming is truly settled, probably 25 years or more, their research group will certainly survive. Do you think there could be some bias and baiting to keep this type work going on? Maybe you are naive or an idealist.

How do you know what NAS's mission is? You are bloviating.
You live in a dream world if you think for one minute that scientists do not get into politics for their own self interest. Give me your email address and I will send you stacks of information.

You think they had a peer review and argument on NaCl? Good grief. What is your background fortunato? I told you mine and I can back it up. Can you?

fortunato
You do not get it. What is good science when politics are involved? What is the best science?

How do you know the probabilities are doing anything? Show me some evidence from a scientists.

Obviously you do not look at the reports. I shall give you one reference (more than you give me). Read "The Skeptical Environmenalist". Dr. Lomborg in Figure 163 of his book only allowing a 2.5 degree increase and maintianing it will cost 7.803 trillion dollars ( in 2000$). This cost will now be much higher. I for one am not willing to pay for complying with a hypothesis.

Lastly, I have not seen one backup by you on anything. You only give opinion. Practice what you preach.

Fortunato, do you really believe in Noah?
No, of course you don't!!
But I do. I believe it quite literally. And I am not even offended that you don't.
But you must not have read my post. Or perhaps there is a problem with your own "father" image. My image of a father is one who takes good care of his children and his household. I do not like the idea of making species extinct. (Mosquitoes and chiggers may be exceptions. This brings up the concept of Sin and the Fall of the Creation, but no time for that now.) One of my cherished memories is seeing a red wolf in its native habitat here in Galveston County, Texas about 25 years ago. I wish they were back.
It doesn't have to be either/or. E.g., I am quite sure that oil could come from ANWR without any significant environmental problem.

Best science is what the scietntists say
That's why the NAS was set up: to insultate scientific issues from political pressures.

>ow do you know the probabilities are doing anything? Show me some evidence from a scientists.

the NAS has done so. If you think they aren't scientists, you've discredited yourself.

For details on the NAS position, go to their website.

Freedom From Facts
Alas for Freeman1, Spencer demonstarted is scientific bona fides by joining the consensus as to the reality of global warming in a TCS column a few months ago. The facts that compelled him to change his mind were set forth in _ Science _ last summer-- there were systemic pointing errors in the reduction of the satellite radiometer data for the kast several decades, an error which gave rise to the underreporting of global average noontime temperatures. Rectifying the correlation algorithms to put the temperatures and times back where they belonged on the maps raised the temperature estimates , and the result- as Spencer reported is better agreement between the GCM predictions for CO2 forcing and the objective temperature record.

So, freeman, please be a good engineer and consult the primary literature before responding- in case you too are amenable tho changing your mind when the data changes.

That's what Mike , "It's just a movie"script , Crichton would want you to do instead of embarassing him futher by sticking to the text of his rapidly decaying techno-thriller-

fortunato
A circular nothing.

jokes
Not a single one of the nobel winners has any experience in atmospheric sciences.

science
Scientists give credence to those who have expertise in the subject at hand.
Politicians give credence to those who pay theier salaries and those who say what they want to hear.
That's why NAS is a bunch of politicians, not scientists.

but you know better?
why?

If you believe it, act on it
What the science says is that human activity is changing the climate of the planet in an accelerating pattern. Lots of species are already endangered by this, more will be. For example: onne discussed in the papers this morning is the polar bear.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2642773.stm

Is there some reason you aren't acting on your beliefs instead of looking for reasons to ignore the science?

This really isn't complicated
I accept the expertise that has the widest acceptance unless I see a clear reason why it's mistaken.

In this, I see the NAS plus the national academies from nine other developed nations on one side, and a few outlier on the oher. This doesn't seem a hard call.

>I know what they expect and we found at times the work was not focussed properly or was completed with bias.

which is a reason for stopping the funding. Which is done regularly. Hasn't been in this case.

>\How do you know what NAS's mission is? You are bloviating.

I was quoting, verbatim, from NAS website. Go there if you don't believe me. I think you can find it.

>You think they had a peer review and argument on NaCl?

It's a long time ago, but the process has been working well for at least 300 years. People publicly publish their results and experiments, which can be duplicated and criticized. If you don't think this is the pattern, please say what you imagine it to be.

Regarding my email: if you have impressive evidence, post it here.

Who do we believe?
who do we believe?

1. The most distinguished scientists in the country -- and that is who the NAS is -- with a mission to give the best scientific advice.

2. MarkTheGreat

tough call?

you an expert, Mark?
I didn't thin so.

this is remarkably lame
The chair of the NAS, Ralph Cicereone, specializes in the subject. What experience do you have?

Warmest recorded century was about 1300s
That is what I read in some respectable journal somewhere (some astronomy thing, I think). Actually, I can't remember the exact century, but it was obviously significantly after the old savages burned Rome, and before the new savages burned petroleum products.

I am a 53 y. o. medical doctor. I do understand the concept of science. "SCIENCE" does not say that human activity is changing the climate. Some folks who are scientists say that, and other folks who are scientists disagree.

fortunato
certainly better than you.

No experience
It is easy to see through you as you are a redundacy. My last message as I have much better things to do.

Why not check what you say before you say it?
You have a vague recollection, you post it. It's wrong, as a moment's search on the Internet would have told you.
for example:
http://www.wmo.ch/web/Press/Press644.html
the studies so far have all come to the conclusion that this century is the warmest in "at least" x years - that is, as far back as reliable reconstruction is possible.

>SCIENCE" does not say that human activity is changing the climate. Some folks who are scientists say that, and other folks who are scientists disagree.

This mistates it. The swamping majority of scientists who are specialists in the field say this. A small minority disagrees.

No backup
Gosh! How sad! But among the "better things to do" I suggest reading up on the subject.

Wrong subject
My knowledge isn't the issue: it's your knowledge v. the National Academy of Sciences. Call me credulous, but this isn't a hard call for a non-expert like me to make.

can't trust a ***** to the state...
Anyone whoring for taxpayer money is to be regarded with scepticism--especially when thier prescriptions call for a further suffocation of property rights.

forunato
Yep, you are a non-expert who cannot understand. You just believe what you want.

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