Friday, October 13, 2006

Hot Air

Right is better than wrong.

Humility is much better and always preferable to arrogance.

However, there is no virtue in being humbly wrong or wrong humbly.

The science and the facts of Global Warming are available to anyone who cares to spend a little time on research and a little time in thought. The factors that play a part in the periodic warming and cooling of our planet are plentiful. Some of the factors that play a part are understood by science and some are not. However, our planet seems to have a self correcting mechanism that always keeps temperatures within certain ranges.

Currently, we are at the warm end of the range, but well within historic ranges based on available temperature recordings and best guesses. However, our knowledge of historical ranges cannot be calculated with the precision necessary for complete accuracy. Also, this warm end of the range has been very beneficial to agriculture and farming in many parts of the world.

In the future, science may better understand the affects of increasing or decreasing green house gases on our planet, like it is understood in a laboratory. However, at this point in time, anyone who advocates the use of the coercive power of government to reduce green house gases, including scientists, politicians, or religious leaders, is just plain wrong. Advocating government intervention with humility doesn’t make the advocate any less wrong or more virtuous.

4 comments:

Derek Simmons said...

Hey David:
Well said and spot on. Maybe the question "What color is your God" can become as popular as "What color is your parachute?" Or even, "What's your sign?"
Yours in Him (whatever his "color")
Derek

David M. Smith said...

Hi Derek,

Thank you.

Why do you think our religious leaders are so quick to affirm questionable social movements like the ONE Campaign and debatable scientific claims like the greenhouse effect? Is it a lack of education, a lack of analytical ability, a lack of healthy skepticism, a lack of curiosity, common sense, or what?

I suspect many religious leaders are a lot like politicians. They are racing to the front of a parade in order to be affirmed by others who like to lead parades and need affirmation.

There is no doubt in my mind that God expects us to be stewards of our environment. However, I keep thinking about your prior references to the tragedy of the commons. Perhaps there are some public policies that make sense, but increasing the cost of gas in order to fund research funded by government is wasteful nonsense at this point.

I consider myself an environmentalist and a lover of animals. I think animals need to be treated in a way that eliminates or at least reduces human caused suffering. However, I would never, ever, join an organization like PETA. I fear that religions leaders who join forces with the global warming hysteria crowd will end up as discredited as PETA and reflect poorly on the rest of us.

Derek Simmons said...

David:
You asked this question(s)---"Why do you think our religious leaders are so quick to affirm questionable social movements like the ONE Campaign and debatable scientific claims like the greenhouse effect? Is it a lack of education, a lack of analytical ability, a lack of healthy skepticism, a lack of curiosity, common sense, or what? Those are each and all questions I have asked myself over the years as I have encountered bright pastors whose view of God seems as clear as His Self-Revelation allows, but whose view of the the fallen created order seems oddly dulled. I really have never found an answer that fully satisfies my curiosity about this observation, so I have had to settle for "operating hypotheses."
My guess is that time for studying lines of inquiry outside of "Bible Biz" is limited. This tends to make those in the Bible Biz more reliant than prudence might otherwise dictate on the op/ed of brothers in the Bible Biz. [I think this is the "Bandwagon" fallacy you suggested in your post.] This makes the positions of a Rev. Cizik more resonant than say the positions taken by a scientist who is not agenda-driven, or who has a different agenda.

I found it interesting--and dismaying--to watch Bill Moyer's PBS Special "IS GOD GREEN?" I was dismayed because all the activities being being touted as "green" by both the Evangelicals and the Pagans portrayed in the program were "feel good" things that are pretty common-sensical; things like reforestration, and stream and ground water clean up--in all cases in PBS Special, the result of mining practices. Yet the elephant in the room was man's capacity to cause--and therefore UN-cause--global warming.

There is very little "carbon footprint" alteration occuring in these activities. None of the Boise boys were giving up their 4X4's for Jesus. None of the miners for Jesus in West Virginia were leaving for the deserts of Arizona to lessen the nation's need for coal.
Just for the sake of argument, if you assume they are serious about the color of God and about the "terrible" things fossil fuel consumption is doing to us and HIM, then the solutions touted on that program bordered on being frivilous.

Anyway, I am sure we are not being the stewards of His Earth that He has called us His Children, to be; but I am just as sure that His Creation is more in His Control and less in ours than most "Greens" believe.
Your Brother in Christ,
Derek

David M. Smith said...

You are very wise and insightful Derek.

Thanks for answering my question. I agree with you. Pastors are much more relational than the average male Christian and therefore much more likely to participate in group think.

It’s also a bit odd that a Pastor would consider Bill Moyer a credible source after all he has done to attack and ridicule orthodox beliefs. Frivolous is an apt description.