U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

(Lucas Weeks) #1

Oh boy. I think the predictions are pretty accurate this time, guys. Seriously, what do you think we should do?


(Jesse Tiersma) #2

“To start, make modern contraception and back-up abortion available to all and give women full equal rights, pay and opportunities with men.
I hope that would lead to a low enough total fertility rate that the needed shrinkage of population would follow.”

Paul Ehrlich’s advice on how to deal with this issue in a recent interview. Because he really was spot on in his predictions in 1968’s The Population Bomb, which to this day he calls basically correct.
Amazing how people can keep peddling the same garbage, be wrong time and time again,and everyone continues to take them seriously.

(Joel Norris) #3

I think the fact that an alarmist news article from 30 years ago did not bear out in the stated time frame should not lead us to view global warming as not real or not likely to be a serious problem. In fact, sea level rise is becoming a problem for certain locations around the world, including the U.S., and drought is becoming a problem in the American West.

I could answer this, but I think you are not really serious.

(Lucas Weeks) #4

I posted the emoji to indicate that the question was in jest, so you are right about that. However, I posted the topic in the first place because I am sincerely interested in what the folks here think about how to approach this issue. So I’m glad you’ve jumped in. What do you think?

For my part, I’m skeptical about

  • power grabs by our government
  • the use of dire threats to achieve the above goal
  • the assumption that we can, if we just put enough money into it, control the weather
  • scientists who tell us how we should live

You’ll notice that I’m not addressing the question of the science of global warming. I don’t necessarily dispute it, and I’m all for us trying to plan for future contingencies.

(Joel Norris) #5

It’s not an issue of controlling the weather. The basic problem is that by burning fossil fuels we are increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This gas emits thermal infrared radiation downward towards the surface, and since there is now about 50% more of it in the atmosphere than before we started burning fossil fuels, there is now more thermal infrared radiation emitted towards the surface. It’s like adding a weak heat lamp everywhere around the world. This naturally leads to a warmer world, with a huge number secondary effects like acidification of the ocean, sea level rise, shifts in precipitation patterns, etc. that I could discuss if there is interest. Where the money comes in is trying to figure out some way to not increase and even decrease the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And here’s a key point: the nature of the climate system is such that most of the impacts of what we are doing now, good or bad, will not appear immediately but instead decades and centuries in the future.

It’s true that the climate has always been changing, but what is different now is that we are causing it to change at a much more rapid rate than before. We’ve built all of our human infrastructure and the natural ecosystem has developed with the expectation of a certain temperature and precipitation range for particular locations, and it’s going to be a problem for our infrastructure and the natural ecosystem when temperature and precipitation change, especially when we and the ecosystem will need to adjust to the new normal at a rapid rate. That’s going to cost, so it’s not an issue of whether we will need to spend money or not, but how we will spend it. This is not simple to sort out because some places will have it worse than others, and there will even be locations that become better off.

I think in a world of sinners we should not be surprised that a genuine and serious problem motivates power grabs and dire threats to achieve goals. I’ve seen environmentalists and socialists adopt worst-case scenarios because it furthers their belief that industrial society and capitalism are fundamentally bad. I’ve also seen small government conservatives deny or overly minimize climate change because there is no small-government solution to the problem. But the fact that people are grinding their political axes doesn’t make a genuine and serious problem go away.

(Valerie) #6

You say that like it’s a bad thing… :laughing:

(Joel Norris) #7

Believe it or not, small Pacific islands have some the greatest percentages of Christians anywhere in the world.

(Valerie) #8

But do they have a sense of humor? :thinking:

(Nathan Smith) #9

Seems to me that if the weather warms up there will be a lot of new habitable, fertile land in Russia and Canada. Crazy? Maybe. I’m skeptical of the whole idea of global warming, but hopeful nonetheless.

(Joel Norris) #10

Yes, as I said, there will be some places that will be better off. But more will be worse off.

(Tim Bayly) #11

Sorry, but I don’t believe it’s a real deal. Spent my lifetime listening to Calamity Janes on environmental issues and it’s so very clear to me that there’s an absolutely clear trajectory of wrongness. Now all the scholars are demanding money to solve this latest crisis and we should listen? No. Just no. Juergen points out that global warning is the perfect way to milk the Academy of endless research dollars because it’s unfalsifiable, and he was in charge of research grants at his U of 40,000.

What the scholars and policymakers and chattering classes never ever take into consideration is that the greatest resource God gave this world is man. He’s brilliant and he comes up with solution after solution, none of which are ever produced by money thrown at Calamity Janes’ latest calamity. There are many examples, but the Green Revolution is my favorite. The population bomb dimwits wanted birth control and abortion while the real solution was produced by scientists who thought the genetics of rice could be improved. Bingo!

I used to be an environmentalist. High dudgeon. Stupid me listening to idiots who made such convincing arguments about the exponential growth in consumption of fossil fuels, and therefore their depletion. Equally convincing arguments as idiots today make about global warming. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I’m incapable of learning. I’m a dopehead. I’m more afraid of my carbon footprint than of God.

If you really think global warming is a thang, the best way to address it is to get our SCOTUS to repeal Obergefell. Our future wellbeing is determined by our nation’s morality as God warned the Israelites when they entered Canaan.

But hey, do what you gotta do and think what you gotta think and read what you gotta read. Takes all kinds.

But I do love everybody.

(Paul Ojanen) #12

Joel, you mention money as a solution. But self-discipline fixes the root cause of my own belly better than all sorts of ways I could spend money on my problem. Regardless, electric cars and solar are coming like crazy. It’ll still take longer than my friends think (it gives us a chance to laugh at each other, my turn this time). So jumping on the money bandwagon is a concern. I’m all for dialing down the air conditioning and walking more, and more.

I’m an environmentalist (not an Environmentalist), but I’m concerned that you mentioned decreasing the concentration in the atmosphere. Isn’t that going too far? Human industry is belching more than the dinosaurs farted (I did a quick “fact” check), but there’s a lot of area under the curve to make up still, isn’t there?

I do know one thing for certain, the ride off those little islands will be a lot more comfortable than the ride in their ancestors took.

(Paul Ojanen) #13

I suppose we can chalk your Prius up to penny-pinching?

But I’ll out you. I’ve seen you pick up trash.

(Joel Norris) #14

It turns out that I am one of those scholars – google my name. I do research and teach Ph.D. students on this topic. Global warming is unfalsifiable? How so? I can provide a detailed and comprehensive explanation of the physical processes and evidence if anyone desires. Milking endless research dollars? No, not more than any other area of science or medicine.

Take “God” out, and it sounds exactly like a Libertarian talking point. I didn’t realize that @tbbayly was a partaker of the Enlightenment faith. I think a sober reading of history demonstrates that man is prone to folly and fails to solve problems time after time and his greatest accomplishments eventually end in disaster. I have no blind faith that we will somehow develop a brilliant solution to our current problems. Sure, disaster hasn’t overtaken us yet, but I bet it seemed that “Peace, peace” worked great for Jerusalem until the day came when it didn’t.

Since the amount of fossil fuels is finite, they cannot be consumed forever, right? With better technology, we are now able to extract previously inaccessible deposits, but each is harder to get than the one before. Technology is not a magic wand, and eventually we will come to the point where fossil fuel extraction will no longer be economically profitable even if we have the technological means. Will we find a new cheap energy source? Maybe, maybe not. But I have no blind faith that man’s brilliance will never be thwarted by insurmountable physical limits. And how many Jews thought that because the prophesied judgement on Jerusalem had not yet come that it would never come?

This is like the philandering gambler expecting that God will solve his financial problems once he repents of his adultery.

I think we can firmly place @tbbayly in the small-government global warming denialist camp that I described in my previous comment.

Yup, we have our lovable eccentrics in our church, too. One is a great deacon.

I agree. I mentioned money because that was mentioned in the comment to which I was replying.

Not sure what you mean. In terms of decreasing concentration, the idea is that if you make a right turn and want to get back to your original direction, you’ll need to make a left turn.

True, but how would you feel about losing your home in which your ancestors had lived for many generations?

(Tim Bayly) #15

Dear brother,

So do I.

Global warming is not science. It’s a religion.


There’s no more reason for the UN to subsidize people who live in the thousand-year flood plain than federal and local governments to subsidize people living in the hundred-year flood plain. Water levels rise and fall and Miami should have taken note of this.

Yes you do: global warming.

Yes, it has. The UN has gotten you to spend your time and our money feeding the media a bunch of Calamity Jane data and a cosmic (earth, sky, wind, and fire) hypothesis that, together, are used to demand we throw more money at you and your colleagues.

What people who don’t keep track of scientists and their data don’t realize is the endless parade of papers whose data can’t be used by the next generation of PhD candidates to reproduce their conclusions. Juergen (whose vita is ten miles long and who served, as I said, in the top position deciding who got money for their research at his University of 40,000) puts the proportion at around forty percent.

But hey, you’re the one who’s actually right. You and your whole discipline.

Bunk. Thankfully, I don’t get paid to confess global warming, so I can be objective.

Looking forward to our next paradigm shift and hoping it will come to global warming hawkers very soon. Of course, they won’t admit they were falsified; only that their hypotheses are being refined.

For myself, I teach my flock to trust Scripture because it is the only Voice that is unfalsifiable, and not because scientists design it that way, but because the Holy Spirit inspired it.


(Tim Bayly) #16

Settled science is the equilibrium between punctures; the momentary pause between paradigm shifts. So say real scholars.

(Joel Norris) #17

The reason I began commenting on this post was because the topic of global warming is one of the areas of my professional expertise (google my name), and I expect that most if not all on this forum have no acquaintance with a climate scientist, let alone one who is a Christian. I thought that perhaps people might have questions or items for discussion. I certainly acknowledge that people across the political spectrum are using global warming to drive their own agendas, and that can be discussed, too. I don’t mind skeptics who are seeking more information, either, and there are indeed some things to be skeptical about. But I am opposed to ignorant rants, and seeing that there is no way to have any back-and-forth with Pastor Tim, I won’t be interacting with him any more. However, since Pastor Tim has attempted to completely discredit me and my work, I will now provide to others following this thread several reasons for why you should credit me and my work.

  1. I’ve made many comments on many other posts on this forum, and you can judge for yourself whether they are consistent with the caricature of a global warming scientist portrayed by Pastor Tim. If not, you can ask whether it is fair or charitable to dismiss me and my work without asking first questions and hearing my response.

  2. I’ve worked on many other topics besides global warming, and some of them may lead to improved weather forecasts. If you think global warming is religion and not science, you’ll need to decide whether my research on weather is also religion, and if so, why. If you think my weather research is science, then you’ll need to figure out how I can work as a scientist before lunch and as a religious adherent after lunch even though the methods I use are the same.

  3. When I mentioned that I teach Ph.D. students, it was not to wow anyone with credentials. Rather, I was pointing to the depth of knowledge that I have of climate and weather since such is needed to teach the depth to which Ph.D. students will dig. I have also worked as a scientist for 30 years, and both knowledge and experience grant me authority to speak on these topics, and I won’t shy away from claiming it. You’ll need to consider whether it is humility or hubris for someone who lacks such knowledge and experience to presume to correct a scientist on what science is. If you think that is fine, would you also think it fine if an ignorant outsider tried to do the same to a doctor, auto mechanic, farmer, or pastor regarding their respective callings?

  4. If you read through the thread, you’ll notice that Pastor Tim barely engages with the arguments I put to him. Instead it’s a storm of obfuscation, diatribe, and insult (such as implying that I hold the views I do because of money). You can think about whether this is characteristic of sober and careful reasoning.

If after considering my reasons you think it is worthwhile to discuss with me issues related to global warming, I would be happy to.

Note that I am not angry with Pastor Tim but just disappointed that this hot-button issue has caused him to take leave of his senses.

(Daniel Meyer) #18

Dear Joel,

I’m sorry to see you double down on your pride as a scientist and judge yourself beyond the bounds of pastoral care. Pastor Tim’s warnings are so very mild compared to any of the apostles or prophets or past fathers of the church. What then is to be said about your foundation of rock-solid, unchangeable science? Shall we go with you and give it first place? God forbid.

(AndreasM) #19

Dear @Joel,

from the tone of your post, it sounds that you made already the decision that for any layman it is of course hubris. The sad thing is that you seem to believe that the scientist needs no such humilty because he has the knowledge and experience. 1 Cor 8:1 comes to my mind. Your argument is basically from authority: “Look how much I did here, you don’t know as much as I do, so you better believe me.” I find that unconvincing, usually counted as logical fallacy. It’s not confined to climate research, it is alive and well in many areas, even in religion/theology. So many want to tell me that because they spent their lives at the university I should change my convictions to theirs.

See what “scientists” like Kepler, Copernicus or Isaac Newton believed: They did hold wrong views from todays perspective.

I hold more or less the same view as @tbbayly and I don’t think it is very fruitful to discuss it. I do read about climate science, first in the normal news (they tell me the world ends soon) and second on sites like https://wattsupwiththat.com.

My father was a farmer, and everybody in this business knows, yes, the weather is different from 40 years ago, it is warmer (where I am in Europe). But to me it doesn’t mean it’s all man made.

I respect your life’s work, but I also know that God has ways to humble the proud. I am extremely careful to take pride in my work.

I disagree. “Science” will not be that appropriate word anymore, it will have the same ring as “alchemy” today. It is my opinion that it will not take too long until it is clear that the scientific method has run its course. It will still be useful, like Newton’s mechanics, but replaced with something better.

(Tim Bayly) #20

Dear Joel,

My senses are perfectly engaged.

I have pointed out the countless arguments about approaching environmental catastrophes that used to be settled science which settled science now contradicts. Population explosion. Fossil fuel scarcity. Mass starvation due to limits of agriculture. Do you have to be walked through these, and many more, to remind you how wrong your colleagues were? Still, you just keep talking about global warming while refusing to admit how wrong you have been in the past, and at this precise point of environmental catastrophes your predecessors said were, but weren’t. But now we’re supposed to trust you despite your refusal to acknowledge how very often your predecessors were woefully wrong about environmental threats and approaching disaster?

I have pointed out the massive number of papers in refereed journals whose data cannot be used to reproduce the original author’s conclusions; and again, you have no response. Don’t you realize people always are inclined to trust men who admit their errors? You may respond, “those aren’t my errors,” but how do we know your papers in refereed journals are the 60% with good data and good conclusions?

You view me as an ignorant pipsqueak who should stick to the Bible. Sorry, brother, but I’ve spent my life reading voraciously and can’t stop thinking about things. Took an upper-level philosophy course in environmental ethics at UW(Madison) back in ‘78 from the chairman of the department. Lived in Boulder and served on the pastoral staff of a congregation with people who worked there at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Was on a plane recently exchanging texts with a man who got his PhD in meteorology while in our congregation. We were talking about his research on using the accelerometers of pilots’ iPads to do a better job mapping and predicting turbulence because they’re better than the accelerometers installed on the planes themselves. So sir, you’re wrong: I know scientists and it’s from them that I have learned how little to trust settled science. But they can’t say it publically, so I do.

You say I’m ranting, but don’t you realize that’s how Christians hear you when you react to their scepticism by tossing the epithet at them, “climate change” or “global warming” (or whatever your latest term is) “denier.” You know we are all sick of this pathetic attempt to shame the masses, right?

Finally, mentioning your money is important for this argument. You get paid to argue for global warming/climate change/whatever the latest moniker is. I don’t. It doesn’t mean you lie any more than my not getting paid means I’m telling the truth. But readers should always know and consider financial motivations that are so obvious as they listen to a man’s argument.

I’m happy you are here defending your discipline and its conclusions. You ought to. But a little more acknowledgement of your discipline’s high-handedness deeply amplified by the mainstream media as well as admissions of the long train of errors promulgated by your scientific predecessors’ warnings of impending environmental catastrophes would go some way to getting me to listen. As long as you have been working in your field, I have been a pastor to scholars, and so I’m not easily browbeaten by them, sir.

With affection,