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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Man-Made Global Warming Faithful

“A person will worship something,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “have no doubt about that…That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.”

The most interesting question now in the anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) debate is why, as Mark Steyn recently suggested, would those who have bought into this scam (the greatest scam in history, as the founder of the Weather Channel put it) continue their faithful devotion? (Is there anything on earth with less credibility than man-made global warming?)

The answer to Steyn’s question lies with Emerson’s observation. Many, most notably Ian Plimer, recently have noted that the AGW movement has become a religion. Plimer, an atheist, stated that global warming is, “the new religion of First World urban elites.” He adds that “Environmentalism has many of the hallmarks of failed European socialism and Western (failed) Christianity. It has a holy book which few have read (IPCC reports), has prophets (Gore) who cannot be challenged, relies on dogma, ignores contrary evidence, has armies of wide-eyed missionaries...; imposes guilt, has a catastrophist view of the planet, and seeks indulgences.”

Leave it to a Transcendentalist who denied the deity of Christ (Emerson), and an atheist (Plimer), to point us to the truth in this debate!

As I noted in March of 2007, I’m afraid that many caught up in the global warming hoopla became foolish in the manner described by the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans and, “Exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” Make no mistake about it; “Mother Earth” became their idol. Lost on them was the fact that the planet and all of its resources were created for the benefit of mankind, not vice versa. In other words, they didn’t realize that human beings, not the earth, are the crown of God’s creation.

After nearly three decades of proselytizing, involving everyone from Al Gore to Hollywood to NASA to the U.N., it’s no wonder that so many were duped. Movies were made; industries were born; existing corporations created new products; commercials pleaded with us to change our energy-consuming ways—all based on AGW theory—it’s a wonder all of us didn’t buy into this boondoggle.

However, in the last 3 months the AGW movement has seen more “gates” than did all of the Nixon era: Climategate, Glaciergate, Amazongate, and so on and so on. In 2007, the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its latest and greatest (Fourth) Assessment Report (AR4). It has since been revealed that it is littered with errors. (This is the document that won Al Gore and the IPCC the Nobel Peace Prize!)

Claims in AR4 concerning everything from the Himalayan Glaciers to the Amazon Rain Forests to coral reef degradation to African crop yields to the elevation of the Netherlands to Al Gore’s hat size have proven to be false.

Investigations by the British press (the American MSM has shamefully been very quiet on this issue) “found evidence that Chinese weather station measurements not only were seriously flawed, but couldn't be located.” According to the U.K.’s Guardian, 42 weather monitoring stations in remote rural China were nowhere to be found.

The U.K. Telegraph reported that the 2006 Stern Report, an economic doomsday prediction commissioned by the British government, had some predictions which “had been watered down because the scientific evidence on which they were based could not be verified.” Also, Robert Muir-Wood, a researcher quoted in the Stern Report, now claims that the Stern Report misquoted his work to suggest a strong link between global warming and more-frequent and severe floods and hurricanes. Muir-Wood said his original research revealed no such link.

Just this week, Professor Phil Jones, former head of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, who is at the center of Climategate, admitted that there has been no “statistically significant” rise in global temperatures since 1995. He also admitted for the first time that the world may have been warmer during medieval times than now.

Yet, even with all of this mounting evidence, the faithful—“Warmers” they’re now dubbed—still cling to their fateful climate views. Tim Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation and a former U.S. Senator from Colorado, said the manipulated evidence exposed by the Climategate scandal was merely an “opening” to attack climate science and it “has to be defended just like evolution has to be defended.”

This is an all too familiar approach by liberals when it comes to any attack on their sacred-held scientific positions—they label their opponent as “anti-science.” They have done this in the stem cell debate, the evolution debate, the global warming debate, and so on.

President Obama did as much just after his inauguration last year. On March 9, 2009 Obama declared that he was issuing “a Presidential Memorandum directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making to ensure that in this new administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology.”

C.S. Lewis disputed the notion that we must rely exclusively on the counsel of scientists when it comes to today’s complicated problems. He did not dispute their knowledge but concluded that most of it was irrelevant. “I dread specialists in power,” Lewis declared, “because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value.”

However, as most anyone with a pulse knows, politicians don’t hold all of the answers to today’s complicated problems, either. Ultimately, one’s faith plays a role in every decision one makes. As the late philosopher Dr. Greg Bahnsen put it, “At the most fundamental level of everyone's thinking and beliefs there are primary convictions about reality, man, the world, knowledge, truth, behavior, and such things. Convictions about which all other experience is organized, interpreted, and applied.”

In other words, all reasoning, all problem solving, is guided by certain governing presuppositions. These presuppositions are determined by one’s worldview, and a person’s worldview is determined by his or her faith. Summarizing Emerson, we all worship something. In other words, we all have placed our faith in something.

A worldview that deifies the earth, or something very close to that, puts people in extreme positions when they see their deity as under attack. Not all AGW zealots are of this worldview; some are motivated by pure, old-fashioned greed and political power, but these are generally more easily swayed by the facts and the truth than the “faithful.”

Ultimately, as with any deceit, this is a spiritual battle. For the eyes of these to be opened it takes a change of faith, and there is only One who can make that happen.

Copyright 2010, 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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Are You a Grapefruit or Chocolate Milk Christian?

Finally the Super Bowl ad starring Tim Tebow and his mother has aired—what a controversial message! The pro-life ad caused quite a stir weeks before it even aired. Several pro-abortion groups were up in arms and called on CBS to pull it. To their credit CBS refused.

Over 30 liberal pro-abortion groups sent a letter to CBS saying that, “By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.... we urge you to immediately cancel this ad and refuse any other advertisement promoting Focus on the Family's agenda.”

Erin Matson, the Action Vice President of the National Organization for Women declared, “this ad is frankly offensive.” She foolishly added, “It is hate masquerading as love. It sends a message that abortion is always a mistake.” (Given the tame nature of the ad, she looks even more foolish!)

The Super Bowl “is not a day to discuss abortion,” said Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com. Another sports writer offered, “Don't accept medical advice, is basically what the ad says. You might lose a kid who will grow up to be a football hero.”

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year, an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of Women's Media Center. And so on and so on. You get the idea—Just shut up and play football, Tim.

You see, what many people seem to want out of Christianity and its followers are simply nice “do-gooders” who go about their business without causing any trouble. (One columnist recently complimented Tebow because, in the past, he has shown “the good manners to proclaim his faith quietly without questioning or condemning that of others.”)

What are these people so afraid of? The answer: Jesus Christ. I’m beginning to repeat myself here, but as I pointed out with Rick Warren (Nice People or New Men?) and Brit Hume (Brit Hume Was Right), many outside of Christianity, and many who feign to be a part of it, have an especially distorted view about what it means to be a follower of Christ. They seem eager to embrace His message of love and forgiveness, as well they should, but they easily forget His message of repentance and salvation. Also, they fail to notice that He was and is, of all things, a very controversial and divisive figure.

As I also recently pointed out, Jesus Christ NEVER claimed that a person’s faith was a private matter. That is frequently-uttered nonsense by many non-Christians, and even by some Christians. Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).”

My pastor (who is also my father-in-law, thank you very little) often points out, that, when Christ truly comes into someone’s life, He is not simply a section of that life, as in a grapefruit. He is not something that we devote part of one day to and are supposed to keep separate from the rest of our lives—work, family, entertainment, politics, and so on.

A person who has surrendered his or her life to Christ is more like a glass of milk that has had chocolate syrup squeezed into it. Once the chocolate and the milk are combined, it is impossible to separate one from the other.

Or, as C.S. Lewis put it, “Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent as well as the ones you think are wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself: my own will shall become yours.’”

In other words, inviting Christ into your life is inviting an invasion. He does not come simply to be a slice of your life, but to transform you into something else—into Himself (or at least a smaller version of Him).

Now, virtually all Christians struggle with “letting their light shine;” that is, letting the light of Christ shine through us. It is a constant, every day battle. As the book of John tells us, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

This is why Brit Hume, Tim Tebow, and anyone else who dares to take a bold stand for Christ experiences a backlash. In fact, if you’re a Christian and your life is rather cushy and you seem to be getting your way a lot, you might want to take stock of your walk with Christ. To use a football analogy (we are talking about Tim Tebow), if your jersey is clean, then you must not be getting much playing time.

We are, after all, in a war—albeit a spiritual one. Paul admonishes us to put on the whole armor of God “so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Just remember, before you go out to battle, have chocolate milk instead of grapefruit.

Copyright 2010, 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

Monday, February 1, 2010

Predicting the Global Weather

Recently, a strong winter storm struck the U.S. Midwest and South. It was one of the strongest winter storms in recent memory to strike the American South. Parts of Tennessee and North Carolina saw nearly a foot of snow. Here in Northeast Georgia, winter storm watches and warnings were issued. Forecasters predicted several inches of snow and a significant amount of ice. However, the predictions fell far short of what actually occurred.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Friday evening (1/29/2010) and well into Saturday. “Freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to hit North Georgia tonight and continue into Saturday. A line north from Ellijay to Helen could see seven to nine inches of snow. Ice accumulations there could reach three-quarters of an inch,” was the forecast as late as 11 p.m. Friday evening.

By Saturday evening, there was very little snow on the ground in the whole state of Georgia. In North Hall County where I live (within the warning area), there was no snow and hardly any ice. Even the temperature forecast I saw Saturday morning for the rest of the day was very inaccurate. According to the weather report, the temperatures were supposed to be well below freezing by sundown. As of 10 p.m., according to the Weather Channel’s website, our temperature was 34 degrees.

Now, I don’t mind an inaccurate forecast. I’m very used to them, especially in the winter in this area. I’m sure it happens all over the U.S. and the world everyday. Even with all of our advanced technology, weather forecasting is a very tricky business.

However, the missed forecast with this recent weather event highlights the kind of folly that is behind all of the doom and gloom predictions coming from Al Gore’s disciples. Even people who know what they are talking about have a difficult time predicting accurately the local weather just days, and sometimes even hours, in advance—yet the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) community would have us drastically change our energy policy and enact crippling emission controls based on their dire predictions about the global climate that are decades and sometimes centuries in advance.

To be accurate in weather forecasting, it helps when one’s forecasts are based on sound science. Recent events are shining more light into the shady “science” that is behind AGW and its ominous future climate predictions. Building on the Climategate scandal, it turns out that the world has been mislead about multiple matters concerning the future global climate.

In 2007 the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), which supposedly incorporated the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. (This is the report which led to the IPCC winning the Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Al Gore.) One of the central claims of the report was that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could disappear by 2035.

It has been revealed in the last couple of weeks that this conclusion was based on a short telephone interview given by a little known Indian scientist, Syed Hasnain, 8 years prior to the IPCC report. Hasnain recently stated that his comments in the interview were nothing more than mere speculation, unsupported by any research. Also, the IPCC’s climate chief, Rajendra Pachauri, was made aware of the faulty glacier information prior to the Copenhagen conference, yet said nothing while the world had gathered to discuss radical change in global energy policy. (The push for such change was and is greatly rooted in the IPCC’s report.)

Pachauri has since admitted that the report may also contain other glaring errors. According to Fox News, “In AR4 scientists wrote that 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest in South America was endangered by global warming. But that assertion was discredited this week when it emerged that the findings were based on numbers from a study by the World Wildlife Federation that had nothing to do with the issue of global warming—and that was written by a freelance journalist and green activist.”

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that the ongoing Public Priorities poll by Pew had the issue of global warming ranked dead last, even coming in two points lower than last year. The January 25 poll had global warming 21st out of 21, just below trade policy and lobbyists, in its list of policy priority issues as ranked by the U.S. public. (At the top of the poll were the economy, jobs, terrorism, and social security.)

It is becoming increasingly clear that AGW is nothing more than, as Australia’s Ian Plimer put it, “the new religion of First World urban elites.” With the mounting evidence against it, and the continued crumbling of its “holy” documents, it’s developing into a rather poor religion, at that.

Copyright 2010, 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