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News/Commentary Archives (for the current year; links to previous years archives at the bottom of each page)---PLUS: Trevor's Columns Archived (page linked at the bottom of the table below):

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Global Warming Skeptics on the Increase

In 1992 Al Gore said, “Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.” Around this time last year, (3/4/2007), I wrote about a number of “significant” skeptics to the global warming phenomenon. I began with how, in about 30 years, climate hysteria has gone from the threat of a pending ice age to the belief that human beings are causing a devastating heating of the earth. Well, it seems the number of “significant” skeptics is growing significantly, and more-and-more they’re letting their voices be heard.

Perhaps the most prominent man-made global warming “denier” is John Coleman, the co-founder of The Weather Channel. Not only has he called global warming a “non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam” (he even refers to it as “the greatest scam in history”), he advocates suing Al Gore and anyone else selling carbon credits, so as to “finally put some light on the fraud of global warming.”

Coleman was a featured speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC), sponsored by the Heartland Institute, held March 2 to March 4 of this year in New York City. The conference had nearly 100 speakers and 400 participants. The theme of the conference was, “there is no scientific consensus on the causes or likely consequences of global warming.”

Joseph L. Bast, the conference host and president of The Heartland Institute, reported that present at the ICCC, along with Coleman, were “more than 200 scientists and other experts on climate change, from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and of course the United States,” coming from the “Universities of Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oregon State, and Virginia; from George Mason, Harvard, The Institute Pasteur in Paris, Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics.”

They also reportedly came from, “The University of Monash, Nottingham, Oslo, Ottawa, Rochester, Rockefeller, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. And from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Suffolk University, Westminster School of Business (in London), and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.”

Around two-and-a-half months prior to the ICCC, the U.S. Senate released a report that contained the objections of over 400 scientists to, “major aspects of the so-called ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming.” The reported noted that, “These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.”

The report also noted that, “The distinguished scientists featured in this new report are experts in diverse fields, including: climatology; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; meteorology; oceanography; economics; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; engineering; physics and paleoclimatology. Some of those profiled have won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding contribution to their field of expertise and many shared a portion of the UN IPCC Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Gore.”

Some brief highlights from the report:

Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem stated that, “First, temperature changes, as well as rates of temperature changes (both increase and decrease) of magnitudes similar to that reported by IPCC to have occurred since the Industrial revolution (about 0.8C in 150 years or even 0.4C in the last 35 years) have occurred in Earth's climatic history. There's nothing special about the recent rise!”

Russian scientist Dr. Oleg Sorochtin of the Institute of Oceanology at the Russian Academy of Sciences said, “Even if the concentration of ‘greenhouse gases’ double, man would not perceive the temperature impact.” Chief Meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart of the MetSul Meteorologia Weather Center in Sao Leopoldo – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil added, “The media is promoting an unprecedented hyping related to global warming. The media and many scientists are ignoring very important facts that point to a natural variation in the climate system as the cause of the recent global warming.”

Lastly, French Climatologist Dr. Marcel Leroux, former professor at Universit√© Jean Moulin and director of the Laboratory of Climatology, Risks, and Environment in Lyon, stated, “Day after day, the same mantra - that ‘the Earth is warming up’ - is churned out in all its forms. As ‘the ice melts’ and ‘sea level rises,’ the Apocalypse looms ever nearer! Without realizing it, or perhaps without wishing to, the average citizen is bamboozled, lobotomized, lulled into mindless ac­ceptance. ... Non-believers in the greenhouse scenario are in the position of those long ago who doubted the existence of God ... fortunately for them, the Inquisition is no longer with us!” (A link to the Senate report, as well as other global warming information, is on my homepage.)

In spite of the man-made global warming doomsayers’ statements to the contrary, it seems that this debate is far from over. Exclaiming last year that, “Global warming is not a crisis,” Lord Christopher Monckton, a former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, challenged Al Gore to a public debate on the matter. He ended his challenge with, “May the truth win!” That would be “convenient.”

Copyright 2008, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Resurrection

At this time of year Christians celebrate Easter, or as I prefer, Resurrection Sunday. As one scans history, no other date put such a mark in time as when Jesus Christ shed His grave-clothes and departed the tomb.

Of all the religions of the world, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder. The physical resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. British theologian Michael Green said it well when he noted, “Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all.” Noted biblical scholar, professor, and author Wilbur M. Smith said that, “The resurrection of Christ is the very citadel of the Christian faith. This is the doctrine that turned the world upside down…” Indeed it did.

According to C.S. Lewis, “In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection,” or more accurately, a witness of the resurrected Christ. He adds that, “to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection.” And preach they did.

The transformation of the disciples of Jesus is one of the greatest evidences of His resurrection. For decades following Jesus’ death and resurrection they preached His “good news.” Biblical references and strong extra-biblical sources have almost all of the disciples dying martyrs’ deaths. James, the son of Zebedee, according to Scripture was, “put to death by the sword (probably beheaded).” According to early church historians Peter was crucified in Rome, and Paul (of course not one of the original 12, but an apostle nonetheless) was beheaded there. Strong church tradition has Thomas, the “doubting” disciple, being run through with a spear.

The manner of martyrdom of the other disciples is less clear, but strong evidence suggests all, save John, died horrific deaths because of their faith. Their unwavering efforts spread the gospel to many regions of the world, including Rome, Greece, Armenia, Persia, Syria, India, Egypt, Libya, Arabia, and North Africa.

The faith of Jesus’ Apostles spread to thousands upon thousands in a relatively short period of time. Many of the early believers suffered intense persecution as well. Fulton Oursler, in The Greatest Faith Ever Known, notes that “Thousands of these men and women would die themselves in the arena, burning on pitch-soaked pyres, crucified, they would die for Jesus Christ, and for the Faith, the Church that Christ founded.”

The persecution of the church continued for centuries. After Constantine’s conversion in the year 312 the church passed from persecution to privilege. Councils were called, the Scriptures were translated into various languages, and missionaries carried the gospel to ever farther reaches of the world.

The impact that Christianity has had on the world can be measured in practically every facet of life. Everything from the family, to science, government, medicine, art, literature, business, and so on, has felt the impact of the message of the Resurrection of Christ.

The world’s first university, birthed in 1088, was The University of Bologna in Italy. It was founded to teach canon law. The second oldest university, The University of Paris, grew out of the cathedral schools of Notre-Dame and soon became a great center for Christian orthodox studies. Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, in his book Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, points out that every college established in colonial America, except the University of Pennsylvania, was founded by some denomination of Christianity. He adds that, preceding the Civil War, 92 percent of the 182 colleges and universities in the U.S. were established by some branch of the church.

Many of the greatest artists in history: Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci, and Salvador Dali were Christians. This is evident in that many of the great works they produced were scenes or characters from Scripture. Beethoven, considered by many to be the world’s greatest composer, composed some of the most profound Christian masterpieces of history. Johann Sebastian Bach was, as one scholar put it, indeed “a Christian who lived with the Bible.”

Take note of the number of influential charities inspired by Christianity. Among them are The Salvation Army, Campus Crusade, Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, and the YMCA. Also, about 25% of U.S. hospitals are Christian.

The great nation that we inhabit was founded almost exclusively by Christians and upon Christian principles. The United States has become perhaps the most influential nation in world history. Standing for freedom and justice and operating out of love, this nation, whether through its government or private citizens, has come to the aid and rescue of billions of people around the world.

The current year is 2008. This is not 2008 years from Caesar, Buddha, or Mohammed, but from the birth of Jesus Christ. Dan Flynn notes that, “The attempt to replace Anno Domini (AD) and BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) is yet another exercise in futility. Doesn't this Common Era, after all, begin with the life of Christ?”

The impact of Christ’s resurrection can be seen in institutions and nations, in virtually every facet of life, as I said earlier, but I think it is most noticeable in the lives of individuals. We may measure our years from His birth, but our hope is in His resurrection.

Copyright 2008, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World