Daily Douche-Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Mars)

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Jul 102014
 
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This entry is part 9 of 26 in the series Daily Douche-Bag
Kentucky State Senator Brandon Smith

Kentucky State Senator Brandon Smith (R-Mars)

For the life of me, I can’t understand this complete aversion to science that has become de rigueur with Republicans, but they sure are riding it for all it’s worth. Most recently we have Kentucky State Senator Brandon Smith denying global warming by claiming that the Earth and Mars have the same temperature. It will be no surprise when you learn that the good Senator owns a coal company.

So, during a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment our friend Republican Senator Smith wanted to be sure and join the Obama EPA bashing (because, you know, we can’t be protecting the environment and shit like that). So the Senator made the following remarks: Continue reading »

Keep America Beautiful

 Featured, General, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Keep America Beautiful
Feb 212010
 

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?

mes obligation…noblesse oblige

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.

James Dobson Too Big a Coward to Debate Evangelical Agenda

 Gay Issues, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Science, Society  Comments Off on James Dobson Too Big a Coward to Debate Evangelical Agenda
Mar 132007
 

From LA Times

Evangelicals battle over agenda, environment

A struggle for control of the evangelical agenda intensified this week, with some leaders declaring that the focus has strayed too far from their signature battles against abortion and gay rights.

Those issues defined the evangelical movement for more than two decades — and cemented ties with the Republican Party. But in a caustic letter, leaders of the religious right warned that these “great moral issues of our time” were being displaced by a “divisive and dangerous” alignment with the left on global warming.

A new generation of pastors has expanded the definition of moral issues to include not only global warming, but an array of causes. Quoting Scripture and invoking Jesus, they’re calling for citizenship for illegal immigrants, universal healthcare and caps on carbon emissions.

The best-known champion of such causes, the Rev. Jim Wallis, this week challenged conservative crusader James C. Dobson, the chairman of Focus on the Family, to a debate on evangelical priorities.

“Are the only really ‘great moral issues’ those concerning abortion, gay marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence?” Wallis asked in his challenge. “How about the reality of 3 billion of God’s children living on less than $2 per day? … What about pandemics like HIV/AIDS … [and] disastrous wars like Iraq?”

A Focus on the Family vice president, Tom Minnery, said he would be happy to take up that debate. Dobson himself, Minnery said, is busy writing a book on child rearing.

“Without question,” Minnery said, “issues like the right to life for an unborn child concern evangelicals far more broadly.”

The public dispute began with the release of a letter signed by several men who helped transform the religious right into a political force, including Dobson, Don Wildmon of the American Family Assn. and Paul Weyrich of American Values.

The signatories — most of them activists, not theologians — expressed dismay that an evangelical emphasis on global warming was “contributing to growing confusion about the very term ‘evangelical.’ ”

In religious terms, an evangelical is a Christian who has been born again, seeks a personal relationship with Christ, and considers the Bible the word of God, to be faithfully obeyed.

But Dobson and his fellow letter-writers suggested that evangelical should also signify “conservative views on politics, economics and biblical morality.”

The letter took particular aim at the Rev. Richard Cizik, a prominent evangelical lobbyist who has promoted environmental protection as a moral imperative. Citing the creation story in the Book of Genesis, he has called the fight against global warming a directive “straight from the word of God … no doubt about it.”

The letter accused Cizik of “dividing and demoralizing” Christians by pushing this agenda and called on his employer, the National Assn. of Evangelicals, to silence him or to demand his resignation.

“This is, in some ways, a defining moment,” said Randall Balmer, a professor of religion at Columbia University in New York. “It’s the old guard trying to hold on.”

The renewed debate on moral priorities came as the National Assn. of Evangelicals – which represents 45,000 churches and 30 million Christians – gathered for a board meeting Friday in Eden Prairie, Minn.

The board declined to censure or silence Cizik. Moreover, it appeared to embrace a broad view of the evangelical agenda, endorsing a sweeping human rights declaration.

The board also reaffirmed its support for a 2004 Call to Civic Responsibility that urged evangelical engagement on seven key issues, including religious freedom, the sanctity of life, justice for the poor, and environmental protection.

Those advocating a broader agenda insist that they’re not trying to downplay – much less back away from – traditional evangelical positions on abortion and sexual morality.

White evangelicals are more united against abortion than any other religious group, including Catholics, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. A 2005 poll found 15% in support of a total ban on abortion and 53% in favor of only narrow exceptions. By contrast, global warming is deemed a “very serious” problem by less than 30% of white evangelicals, according to a 2006 Pew Forum poll. Less than 40% accept the scientific consensus that human activity, such as burning coal for energy, is responsible for the Earth’s rising temperatures.

“It’s a mistake to think that we’re all becoming liberal Democrats. That’s not true,” Wallis said.

But he asserted that his followers – especially young people – no longer want the old guard of evangelicals to define their priorities.

When he preached recently at a conservative evangelical college, Wallis said, he was besieged by students furious at the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who recently described global warming as a satanic plot to divert Christians from more pressing moral issues, such as spreading the Gospel.

“James Dobson and the religious right are outside the evangelical mainstream. That’s just a fact,” Wallis said. “That doesn’t mean they have no power…. But their monologue is over. Their control of the agenda is over.”

He and others have sought to re-brand traditional slogans of the religious right, such as “pro-life,” to encompass a range of programs, from working with AIDS victims in Africa to helping illegal immigrants achieve legal status so they can continue to live with their U.S.-born children.

The Rev. Jim Ball, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, has worked global warming into his definition of pro-life; he argues reducing carbon emissions will cut back on air and water pollution and that in turn will improve the health of pregnant women and unborn generations.

“We’re saying we can be pro-life and take care of global warming,” Bal said. “There’s a strong connection there.”

Friday’s board meeting advanced that view, but the debate is not over.

“The NAE is at a crossroads,” board member Jerald Walz said.

“You won’t find an evangelical who will say ‘I’m for poverty.’ Of course not,” Walz said.

But when it comes to helping the poor, ideas vary; some prefer to work through private charity, while others want government intervention.

Since there’s no consensus, Walz argued, “we ought to be reticent about speaking with force and clarity” on such issues.

Instead, he will keep pressing to focus the agenda on issues he considers “home runs” – namely, restrictions on abortion and bans on same-sex marriage.

Some on the board who share those views are already working on a second letter criticizing Cizik for his environmental activism.

Balmer, the religion professor, says he senses an unstoppable momentum for the new generation of social-justice evangelicals. But though he criticizes the traditionalists for “moral myopia,” he’s not willing to write them off yet.

Dobson and his allies still wield considerable clout; their radio shows, newsletters and e-mail alerts reach millions of conservative Christians.

“They’re still very powerful,” Balmer said. “And they’re not giving up.”

We can only hope these goobers break apart and wind up devouring themselves.

The Environment…Not So Good

 General, Science, Weather  Comments Off on The Environment…Not So Good
Aug 102006
 

You think the Middle East is a bummer. Consider this report on the Amazon rain forest:

The vast Amazon rain forest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year.

Studies by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre, carried out in Amazonia, have concluded that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down.

Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable.

The Amazon Rain "Desert"?

 General, Science, Weather  Comments Off on The Amazon Rain "Desert"?
Aug 102006
 

You think the Middle East is a bummer. Consider this report on the Amazon rain forest:

The vast Amazon rain forest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year.

Studies by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre, carried out in Amazonia, have concluded that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down.

Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable.

An Inconvenient Truth

 Culture, Movies, Science  Comments Off on An Inconvenient Truth
Jun 252006
 

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

Directed by
Davis Guggenheim

Genres
Documentary

Cast
Al Gore

Lay and I went to see this film Saturday night. Whether you’re a fan of Al Gore or not, he isn’t really the issue here. He does a great job presenting the various forms of overwhelming evidence for global warming and mankind’s link to it, but he doesn’t do it in a political or spiteful way. He shows global temperature and atmospheric carbon patterns, and he shows that our last 20 years have been the highest by a longshot over the previous 600,000 years. Frankly, before seeing the film, I’d heard a lot of information about global warming being a myth, but this film dispels that notion with many independent pieces of evidence.

Even more importantly, it goes to show why we should care that global warming is occurring. As you may have seen in the trailer, if global warming continues at its current rate, the earth’s coastlines will be flooded displacing tens of millions of people, it will increase the strength and frequency of hurricanes and tornadoes, it will irrevocably kill off many of the worlds glaciers, it will dry up lands interior to the coastline (like our heartland), and it will disrupt/kill species after species from polar bears to birds. These changes could occur in as short a time as ten to fifty years from NOW.

Lastly, he finishes with ways in which we can affect a change. It would be easy to see this film, get depressed about all the state of affairs, and throw up one’s hands in despair, but the film offers us ways, big and small, to help reverse global warming’s effects right now.

I urge you to see this film, you will not regret it.

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