Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cimate Curse?

Two Midwestern Republicans, Michele Bachman of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois, may be right- up to a point.

In March of 2009 Representative Shimkus remarked

I believe that's the infallible word of God, and that's the way it's going to be for his creation. The Earth will end only when God declares it's time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood. I do believe that God's word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.

Shimkus was referring to Genesis 9:11 (ESV), in which God vowed "I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."

Unfortunately, Shimkus was denying the reality of climate change while criticizing pending cap-and-trade legislation. Asserting God destroyed the world by flood, the congressman clearly asserted that He wouldn't intervene to harm His own creation.

On Meet The Press Sunday, Representative Bachmann, asked by David Gregory whether God would "guide your decisions as President," stated

I'm extremely grateful to, to have a faith in God. I, I see that God has so blessed this country. His--you know, we heard that song that he's "shed his grace" on the United States. I believe it. He's been very good to our country. And I think that it's important for us to seek his guidance and to pray and to listen to his voice.

Bachmann, a cap-and-trade opponent and global warming denier, has not been listening, lest she hear "There were 42 all-time record high temperature records set in the first week of August. That is over 5 times the number of all-time low temperature records set in all 3 months of last winter." Or that in the 67,152 months (roughly 17,000 months of summer) since temperature records have been kept in the contiguous United States, the hottest month of all was July in Oklahoma. Or that July, 2011- since the advent of records in 1910- was the most extreme July "due to extreme warm minimum temperatures across the country, wet northern Plains and Great Lakes, extreme warm maximum temperatures, and the severe drought across the South and Gulf Coast."

Bachmann seems to believe God has blessed this country with unparalleled freedom, affluence, and the military power to defend it. And he did, if Scriptures are to be believed, promise no flood will ever destroy the entire earth. But if He has the power to bless the United States, he also possesses the power to judge nations, the ancient Egyptians coming to mind. And he need not do so by flood, with Bloomberg reporting Friday

Corn, soybean and spring-wheat harvests in the U.S., the world's largest exporter, will be smaller than the government forecast last month after a damaging heat wave that may signal higher costs for food and biofuel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its corn-crop estimate by 4.1 percent, reduced the soybean forecast by 5.2 percent, and said spring-wheat production will be 5.2 percent below what it predicted in July. The harvests for all three crops would be less than expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Parts of the Midwest, the main growing region, were the hottest since 1955 last month. Smaller supplies of corn may increase costs for ethanol refiners such as Poet LLC, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Valero Energy Corp. and meat producers Tyson Foods Inc. and Smithfield Foods Inc., which buy the grain for feed. The price of corn, the biggest U.S. crop, jumped 68 percent in the past year before today.

Unlike with the Great Flood that had Shimkus' attention, climate change will not destroy the world all at once and may only make life virtually unbearable for the people who escape disease and starvation. Nor is it certain that the precipitating factor will be the rise in the oceans or anything reminiscent of a flood. But the impact of global warming is coming to a town near you- and really, has affected everyone already. The likes of Shimkus and Bachmann may attribute America's greatness to the God of the Old and New Testaments. But there is a reason the Lord is referred to as the Almighty- He can choose to bless, or to go the other way.

He can have it both ways. The right cannot.

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