Friday, May 16, 2008

Evangelical leaders: global warming 'uncertain'

Oy vey. It's statements like these that convince atheists good evangelicals have no brains:
WASHINGTON – While it may seem like everyone believes in global warming and the impending catastrophe it will bring, a group of conservative Christians countered that message Thursday by launching a national campaign to gather one million signatures for a statement that says Christians must not believe in all the hype about global warming.

The “We Get It!” declaration, which currently has nearly 100 signers, is backed by prominent Christians including Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, award-winning radio host Janet Parshall, and U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

What supporters of the statement seek is to inform Christians about the biblical perspective on the environment and the poor, and to encourage them to look at the hard evidence, which they say does not support the devastating degree of climate change claimed by mainstream society.

“How can you create policies on uncertain science?” asked Dr. Barrett Duke, vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

“How can you say what it is that needs to be done when you don’t really know and you don’t really have real consensus on the state of the problem or what is causing the problem?”
I've never understood who the Tony Perkinses and James Dobsonses of the world speak for. It's certainly not me or a lot of other evangelicals like the NAE's Richard Cizik. Maybe the pope.


ExNihilo said...

I'm kinda curious exactly what you're trying to say here.

You disagree with their statement that the global warming hype is based on uncertain science? And you think that evangelical skepticism on the topic is an indication of their failure to reason?

Hmm... I suppose that makes me an unreasoning evangelical (even though I work in a university physics laboratory and base my opinions on analysis done by the top climatologists in the nation and the long-term modeling that is actually based on real statistics).

Brad A. Greenberg said...

At the risk of irritating a reader who just complimented my blog in a previous post: I am saying that, as an evangelical, I am bothered by other evangelicals (though not just evangelicals) who decry talk of climate change as just another media-inspired fad.

In fact, a close relative of mine works in the oil business, and I give them a hard time too when they say the science is uncertain.

I agree, Exhnihilo, that the longterm models leave some room open for interpretation. A snapshot of history is just that, and when you apply to all time, well, then you get the kinds of problems we have with water in the west.

At the same time, there is too much evidence regarding snow caps melting earlier in the season and glacial sheets disappearing in the north to ignore this.

And what about reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?

ExNihilo said...

Haha... you won't irritate me man. It's just sad to see people jumping on the ignorance band wagon because they know no better.

"Some room open for interpretation" doesn't begin to describe it. The point is that the immediate visual evidence of a climate change is enough to convince too many people that the world is melting.

How many of them know that the recent temperature change is on the magnitude of less than a degree centigrade, and that global temperature increases actually stopped nearly 10 years ago? How many of those cutting back on greenhouse emissions were told that the total human contribution was only 7/1000's of the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere?
How many of them were told that there were similar and sometimes more extreme warming periods interspersed at least 3 times in the last 1000 years, before carbon fuels were used?

Of course then there's the IPCC report. As I alluded to, this is probably some of the mathematically worst quality work ever sanctioned at an international level. It's been shredded by statisticians as complete nonsense (see, for example Physics Today).