Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More reasons to be skeptical of Global Warming

One of the reasons I've been skeptical of the idea that man-made global warming was leading the earth toward an ecological amageddon is that I remember reading books from the 70s and 80s that also predicted the coming ecological collapse for different reasons. We were going to run out oil, we were going to pollute ourselves into extinction, we were going to run out resources, etc., etc. Those dire predictions of catastophe did not come to pass. However, some of the groups that promoted those ideas with particular vigor (like the Club of Rome) also had a strongly humanistic agenda and an interest in things like one world government and a new world order. All of this was in our best interests, of course. Without the help of these super-smart people (so we are told), we would end up destroying ourselves. They would graciously offer to rule over us in order to prevent this unspeakable harm from befalling us. How generous of them.

The global warming hysteria appears to me to be the same sort of thing with the same sort of questionable premises. Recently data has been coming out that seriously calls into question the idea that the earth really is warming, let alone whether that warming is caused by human activity and the production of too much carbon dioxide. As this article in the Telegraph shows, a report issued last week by NASA which claimed that this October was the hottest October on record was completely wrong. Two skeptical bloggers discovered that they had used the data from September for two months in a row. Rather than the hottest October on record, October 2008 was actually the 70th warmest out of 114 years - putting it in the bottom half of warmest Octobers on record. Other mistakes by global warming proponents include reports that the 90s was the hottest decade of the 20th century when in fact the 30s were hotter. Other studies have shown that temperatures are not rising as predicted, and in fact have been dropping. Also, sea-ice in the Arctic has recovered from the widely-reported melting in the summer and the ice cover is now 30% more than this time last year. But you won't hear that in most of the media which only publishes pro-global warming pieces. Other recent reports have indicated that rather than warming, the earth is actually cooling, possibly due to solar activity including a sudden decrease in sunspots. Apparently sudden decreases in sunspots (which is a cyclical phenomenon) in the past have resulted in sudden cooling on the earth, including one "mini ice-age".

It's always amazing to me when Christians jump on the bandwangon of the latest over-hyped claims. I can understand why a secular person who doesn't actually believe in God's sovereignty might be concerned and think that it's up to us to save the planet. But I've heard Christians, when confronted with the fact that the science behind global warming is not conclusive, say things like "yeah, but by the time it IS conclusive it'll be too late." I still have a hard time believing that a Christian would say or think such a thing. If it were limited to ivory-tower seminary professors it wouldn't concern me so much. But such thinking tends to filter down to the average church-goers when it's parroted by respected Christian leaders. It then becomes accepted wisdom in some circles, without ever being challenged.

No comments:

About me

My photo
My ministry in Hungary involved teaching theology and training Hungarian church planters. I have a great interest in apologetics as well as missions.