Climate change is settled? Really?
Have you noticed how many things are “settled” today?
- The discussion on so-called same-sex marriage: “settled”
- Darwinism as science: “settled”
- Abortion as social policy: “settled”
- Global warming (or is it global climate change) as science: “settled”
When something is “settled” it means that “everyone agrees” or “the experts agree” or “there’s nothing to discuss.”
But these matters are “settled” only in the minds of fundamentalist atheists. That is, atheists who no longer want a level playing field for discussion. Atheists who want to dominate the discourse and leave no room for debate, intellectual inquiry, or free thinking.
“Global warming” became “climate change”
The “settled” global warming discussion is a good case study of this phenomenon. In the 1970s we were hearing predictions of global cooling and the coming of a new Ice Age. Time Magazine ran a number of cover stories on this coming Ice Age. Then at the turn of the century, scientists abandoned the global ice age for global warming. And again Time magazine did a number of cover stories on global warming. Confusion reigned. The Time cover in 2010 shows the coming confusion that a blizzard is a sign of global warming. Got it!
These three Time magazine covers tell it all. The latest scientific prediction of the New Ice Age came in 1977. In 2001, scientists changed their minds and predicted Global Warming instead. The good news? No need to worry about too cold. The bad news? Now we needed to fret about too hot. (Go here to see this confusion displayed in other TIME covers.)
Then in 2010, in the midst of the onslaught of “settled” science, cold spells somehow became signs of global warming. Needing to dig out of their rhetorical holes, scientists shifted from the language of “global warming” to “global climate change.” I guess that covers all the bases.
If you consider yourself a free thinker … if you refuse to accept “it’s settled” simply because a politician or expert says so … please read on. Let’s hear from thinking people who want to speak on the subject and may have a different opinion.
Global warming is certainly not settled science.
The language shift to “global climate change” was not without intention. Of course the climate changes. That fact is obvious. Thus this terminology becomes a cover for a fundamentalist scientific community that wants to control the debate by pretending, and stating, that the debate is over. Medical science has a term for this: denial. To pretend the debate is over is to be in denial. Why? Because plenty of credentialed and published scientists continue to dissent.
Moving from the science debate, let’s consider another dimension of this discussion. In 2000 a group of over 1500 clergy and theologians from Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Evangelical traditions came together to sign the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship. They were concerned for the environment and wanted to bring a faith conscience to the discussion of creation stewardship. This document sets forth a biblically grounded set of principles. It calls human beings to “care wisely and humbly for all creatures, first and foremost for their fellow human beings, recognizing their proper place in the created order.” It aspires to “widespread economic freedom … [which] makes sound ecological stewardship available to ever greater numbers.”
Signers of the declaration include Charles Colson, James Dobson, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, R. C. Sproul, Richard John Neuhaus, and D. James Kennedy. Go here to see the other signers. The gateway to the Cornwall Alliance can be found here.
On December 2, 2009, the Cornwall Alliance issued a statement called “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming.” Signers included “climate scientist Roy Spencer, former climatologist David Legates, economist Ross McKitrick, meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, television meteorologist James Spann, and Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center.”
In 2014 the Cornwall Alliance developed a declaration on the relationship between stewardship of creation and help for the poor titled “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Policies Gets Stronger.”
One of the scientists engaged with Cornwall Alliance is James Wanliss. Dr. Wanliss earned his PhD in Space Physics at the University of Alberta. Wanliss describes the scope of his work as “my activities encompass the physics of solar wind turbulence and propagation and the interaction of the solar wind with the non-magnetized bodies.” In addition to his scientific research, Dr. Wanliss is a professor, author and speaker. His contributions include a recent lecture on environmental science, A Brief History of Global Warming: The Science, and the Myth.
To those who think that the debate is “settled”, we need to remember the colloquialism: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings!
– Darrow Miller
Check on this post on a related topic: Even Darwin Had His Doubts
camNovember 3, 2014 - 8:44 am
“In the 1970s we were hearing predictions of global cooling and the coming of a new Ice Age. Time Magazine ran a number of cover stories on this coming Ice Age.”
Well, there are at least two of us that remember this……….
adminNovember 3, 2014 - 9:05 am
So Cam, you are dated too!
Thanks for the note.