Thursday, August 15, 2013

Warming Up Their Ignorance

Speaking a week ago at an event celebrating the creation of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, Secretary of State John Kerry stated

I'm convinced that all of you will agree that one of the toughest challenges that we face in terms of global diplomacy and relationships around the world between peoples nowadays, from sectarian strife to the challenges of many intractable, frozen conflicts, to the challenges of simply understanding people--one people to another--or even monumental challenges like the sectarian strife that we see tearing countries and regions apart, as well as the enormous challenges of things like global climate change, which really is a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians--safe guarders of God’s creation."

There were several notable responses which reflected favorite conservative myths.  Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) told constituents“It wasn’t just a few years ago, what was the problem that existed? It wasn’t global warming, we were gonna all be an ice cube. We’re not ice cubes. Our climate will continue to change because of the way God formed the earth.”

But throughout the period which the right claims featured predictions of cooling, most climatologists were betting on warming.  Iin a paper published in the journal of the American Meteorological Society in 2008, Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck reported that their review of peer-reviewed papers from 1965 through 1979 revealed seven which projected global cooling, forty-four which expected warming, and twenty which projected little if no change.

Texas Republican Joe Barton maintained "Man-made CO2 [carbon dioxide] does not contribute to climate change” and North Carolina colleague Virginia Foxx argued some environmentalists ““think that we, human beings, have more impact on the climate and the world than God does."   Foxx conveniently neglected to cite the chapter and verse in which we are told how God will control the climate, and will do so forever and ever. But she does believe God is controlling the climate and neglects to explain why He/She currently is punishing much of the world with floods or drought.  Graham Wayne explains

Like a detective story, first you need a victim, in this case the planet Earth: more energy is remaining in the atmosphere.

Then you need a method, and ask how the energy could be made to remain. For that, you need a provable mechanism by which energy can be trapped in the atmosphere, and greenhouse gases provide that mechanism.

Next, you need a ‘motive’. Why has this happened? Because CO2 has increased by nearly 50% in the last 150 years.

And finally, the smoking gun, the evidence that proves ‘whodunit’: energy being trapped in the atmosphere corresponds exactly to the wavelengths of energy captured by CO2

The last point is what places CO2 at the scene of the crime. The investigation by science builds up empirical evidence that proves, step by step, that man-made carbon dioxide is causing the Earth to warm up.

Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) told a congressional hearing: “The earth will end only when God declares it is time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

The ninth chapter of Genesis, however, finds God promising merely not to destroy the earth by flood, as Moses writes

11 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.” 12 And God said,“This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Shimkus, wisely choosing not to cite Scripture, puts words into God's mouth when he implies that God would not let man to destroy the earth. There is nothing in Genesis, nor anywhere else precluding drought.  Nor has God precluded the  possibility of bringing the world nearly to extinction, by flood or otherwise which, hopefully, would be sufficient to focus attention.

And then there was Rush Limbaugh who, according to, a few days after Kerry's remarks responded

What about God’s creation called a fetus? See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming “You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create,” he continued. “The vanity! These people — on the one hand, ‘We’re no different than a mouse or a rat.’ If you listen to the animal rights activists, we are the pollutants of this planet. If it weren’t for humanity — the military environmentalist wackos — the Earth would be pristine and wonderful and beautiful, and nobody would see it. According to them we are not as entitled to life on this planet as other creatures because we destroy it. But how can we destroy it when we’re no different from the lowest life forms?

And then on the other end, ‘We are so powerful. And we are so impotent — omnipotent that we can destroy — we can’t even stop a rain shower, but we can destroy the climate.’ And how? With barbecue pits and automobiles, particularly SUVs. It’s absurd.

Apparently, if no person "controls something that he can't create," there are a lot of landscapers, construction officials, cemetery workers, and farmers who are toiling in futility.  None of them created the land but somehow are able to fashion their small portion of it into something socially useful and (usually) personally profitable. That, we are assured, certifies them as atheists.

Correlation is not causation.  But the graph (from Wayne) below charts a remarkable relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and total CO2 emissions over time.  On the other hand, Barack Obama believes there is serious global warming caused primarily by man, so most Repubs still will deny the obvious.

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