Over at One News Now (an ultra-conservative non-news outlet), they published another story this week trying to refute the idea of Global Warming, with what may be the most absurd argument yet.
They cite the work for Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama. Christy claims that the data coming from the earth-based thermometers used by other researchers is inaccurate because they register higher temperatures related to our development. His claim is that parking lots, buildings and other development result in the absorbtion and release of more heat, thus artificially inflating temperatures. Christy uses satellite data. The problem is, even his data shows a warming trend, but he speculates that since it’s a slower trend that every other climate scientist finds, it means it can’t be caused by humans. He even admits the warming trend could be the result of greenhouse gases, so even the scientist the global-warming denier’s want to cite wind up admitting that green house gases may be warming the atmosphere.
We have other religious-based organizations, Pat Robertson, American Family Association, and Focus on the Family, to name just a few are also on the bandwagon of denying (not global warming per sei, but) that global warming is not being caused by humans. For the life of me, I can’t figure out this insistence on them sticking their noses into this discussion.
As a non-scientist, I can’t see how this is not the result of human activity, as that is the dominant activity taking place on earth. We are cutting down our forests, paving over our grass, and pumping millions of pounds of green house gases into the atmosphere monthly. How is it possible this is NOT having a deleterious impact on our environment.
Christians are called to believe that the earth is the creation of God and is a gift given to humans for our care and nurturing. I believe that responsible Christians are especially called on to protect the environment and all in it. In Genesis Chapter 1 (KJV) the Lord gives man “dominion” over his creation. What does that mean. It certainly means to have control over, as a ruler. This then infers the concept of noblesse oblige…With privilege comes obligation…
The literal translation from French of “Noblesse oblige” is “nobility obliges.” ((The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus: 1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly. 2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms to one’s position, and with the reputation that one has earned. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term “suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility”. Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one’s time in idle pursuits.)) To me, this implies an obligation to take care of the things over which one has control, not to destroy or abuse them. There can be no argument that we humans have and are abusing the environment bequeathed to us by God. Who can forget the famous face of the crying Native American from the old public service ads. Not much has changed.
The very word “dominion” derives from the Latin dominium, property, and dominus, lord; or property of the Lord.
This begs the question, “What difference does the specific cause of global warming matter?” We know it is happening, we know we are abusing our environment, and we know that human activity is the most prevalent thing on earth. Those who are truly Christian should be crying out for renewable energy sources (which would help not only the environment, but especially the poor of the world), demanding that the worlds leaders work to clean up our environment, yet they seem to be hell-bent on quibbling over the nuances of data collection to the end of protecting the coal and petroleum interests.
Transitively, this then begs the question, in whose interests and on whose behalf are these so called Christian organizations working?