U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

(Joel Norris) #21

Dear Daniel,

Let me walk you through through the reasoning you are adopting.

At bottom are the fundamental questions of whether burning of fossil fuels increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, whether increased carbon dioxide causes global warming, and if so what effects global warming will have on rain patterns, etc. These are questions for science to answer, and the Bible does not speak to them, right? Thus, the issue here is not whether science has first place or the Bible has first place but what science says about some specific questions of nature that the Bible does not address.

My dispute with Pastor Tim is not over whether science is unchangeable, etc., but rather whether he has the competence to judge whether my research on global warming is science or religion and whether he has the expertise to instruct me on the practice of science. I would say that Pastor Tim clearly does not, and if so, who then has the pride? If Pastor Tim told an auto mechanic that he was doing car repair wrong and the mechanic disputed that assertion, would you say the mechanic was proud and judging himself beyond the bounds of pastoral care?

(Tim Bayly) #22

In seminary, we had a friend who was a single woman and told us she’s just spent many hundreds of dollars on a belt repair. I asked to see the bill and it showed item after item replaced, many of which had nothing to do with her serpentine belt. So I asked them to show me the parts they’d replaced. It was within a few hours of her picking her car up, but they refused. Like scientists writing proposals and living off grants, mechanics have a financial incentive to pad their results. Surely you see we should all question one another, particularly when money is involved.

BTW, you would do well to admit you were wrong, here.

(Tim Bayly) #23

Joel’s specialty is clouds and here is the abstract for his most cited paper (co-authored):

Feedbacks involving low-level clouds remain a primary cause of uncertainty in global climate model projections. This issue was addressed by examining changes in low-level clouds over the Northeast Pacific in observations and climate models. Decadal fluctuations were identified in multiple, independent cloud data sets, and changes in cloud cover appeared to be linked to changes in both local temperature structure and large-scale circulation. This observational analysis further indicated that clouds act as a positive feedback in this region on decadal time scales. The observed relationships between cloud cover and regional meteorological conditions provide a more complete way of testing the realism of the cloud simulation in current-generation climate models. The only model that passed this test simulated a reduction in cloud cover over much of the Pacific when greenhouse gases were increased, providing …

For years I’ve known Joel’s position at Scripps and the research he does, but in case others aren’t aware, I thought this would be interesting. Here’s his Google Scholars page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=RNYlEAMAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

(Joel Norris) #24

Dear @andrm

All I am asking is to be afforded respect for my knowledge as much as any other person is afforded respect for his knowledge. If your doctor tells you, “do such and such for your health,” do you ignore him because he is arguing from authority?

That is not the right way to put it. Rather, it is considered that they had incomplete views. Newtonian mechanics is still taught in first year physics, after all, and no one thinks planetary orbits are different from the original model of Copernicus.

(Joel Norris) #25

Pastor Tim,

Since you’ve at least become reasonable to acknowledge I am right to defend myself and my work, I will respond to you.

I general, I avoid online debates on creationism and global warming because there is invariably much more heat than light, but on this thread and the other I commented when invited to share my perspective as a scientist. But I am uninterested in becoming the foil for your venting at the real and perceived shortcomings of climate science. Are failed predictions and money legitimate questions to raise? Yes, and if it they were put to me in a reasonable manner and with a genuine interest to hear my answer, I would comment on them. But I see no value in responding to someone who asserts that my work is not science.

Do I view you as an ignorant pipsqueak who should stick to the Bible? No, I wouldn’t put it that way. Rather, I would say one should know one’s limits and speak with boldness as commensurate with one’s knowledge and expertise, and for you, that is not science. Isn’t it one of your principles that men best learn how to be a pastor by doing the work of pastoral ministry under the guidance of an experienced man? The same is true for science. Therefore, it counts for little in my eyes that you took a course and have talked with scientists. What would you think if someone told you that what you were doing wasn’t pastoral ministry and presumed to correct you on the basis that he knew what pastoral ministry was because he had taken a course and had talked with some pastors?

But if you do know some scientists who are knowledgeable about climate, then invite them to the forum, and perhaps we can have a discussion edifying to all.

(Tim Bayly) #26

Dear Joel,

Delete “because he had taken a course and had talked with some pastors” and you have described my entire life. If I reacted to criticisms of my authority and doctrine and pastoral care the way you have responded to criticisms of your cloud scholarship, there would never have been any Baylyblog nor would there be any Warhorn Media. What you have described is a good portion of my life, and you ask what would I think?

My judgment is that you continue to be shrill in your response because you are not often criticized and thus have not become acclimated, yourself, to allowing anyone outside Scripps to express scepticism about your discipline and its conclusions. Yet pastors never stop defending themselves against such scepticism, and their money is often given by those who are sceptical of their work, so they have to be civil with them.

My recommendation to you is to start writing lots on creation and global warming. It will subject you to criticism and thus produce growth in humility, which we all (especially I) need. It would also serve the church well by allowing sheep to observe a scientist admit his fallibility and the fallibility of his colleagues as he listens to other experts not disposed to leave him alone in his temple.

BTW, you still did not admit you were wrong about our knowing climatologists, let alone being intimate for years with many scholars including those who make decisions about climatologists’ grants and funding. This you rudely dismiss as “took a course and had” some conversations. More El Cajon than La Jolla, sir.


(Ben Carmack) #27

“I used to be an environmentalist.”

Me too. Peak Oil. To me, if you’re gonna go the environmental route, do it all the way. Climate change is weaksauce. Zero in on resource depletion to really do it right.

I still am to a degree. We recycle. My friend Jon informed last night me that that makes me gay.

I’m laughing.

Love you brother

(Joseph Bayly) #28

Not gay. Just a chump. Almost nothing makes sense to recycle. :wink:

(AndreasM) #29

Dear @Joel,
yes I do that and I did that. My wife is a MD. I will ignore medical advice from homeopathic doctors despite them having a pretty high standing in my country. Also from other doctors if they give old or outdated advice. Sometimes I seek a second opinion.
It was a bad example to pick. I once read that in medicine its knowledge is replaced at the rate of 1% per year. Example: Back when I was born all mothers in my country were told that breastfeeding newborns is bad (feed only with the bottle) and the immediate separation of the newborn from his mother for a few days. Needless to say, this was bunk. I wonder if this happens in climate science too.

As I said, I do respect your work, the link of Pastor Tim is very impressive, I read some of the abstracts. What bothers me is that there is never any criticism, never a “oops I was wrong back then”. Does that never happen to you? It happens to me all the time. In climate science it is like that in general, like Hansen in the original link. Did he ever say “That prediction was wrong” ? Or the hockey stick chart of Mann. Hockey sticks don’t have a “hiatus”.

Several points:

  1. Yes it is the right way to put it. Kepler believed in Astrology, the stars affecting the affairs on the earth, he did horoscopes! What’s the difference between “wrong” and “wrong inference due to incomplete views”?
  2. Yes, the most basic model - heliocentrism - of Copernicus still holds, but a lot of the details were wrong. Kepler introduced ecliptic orbits. Wouldn’t want to travel in a rocket based on Copernicus’ calculations really. Could it be that climate science isn’t finished yet either? In my country the lead climate scientist wants a “Great Transformation” of society “because climate change”. What if he is wrong?
  3. Yes, Newton’s mechanics are still taught, they are still useful as I said, but they break down at the edges (mass is not constant at various speeds), same as Einstein’s general relativity breaks down at the edges (singularities).

(Joel Norris) #30

Dear @andrm

No, it’s a good example. Here’s the situation you face: Your temperature has been rising higher and higher. You visit some doctors, and nineteen out of twenty say you have a serious condition that needs an unpleasant treatment. One doctor out of twenty says that your condition is not serious and your fever will resolve itself on its own. Now you need to make a decision. Are the nineteen out of twenty doctors advising a treatment plan that will later be demonstrated to be ineffective or even harmful? Or is the one doctor a homeopathic quack?

My research primarily observes processes occurring in nature or documents how nature has been changing, and sometimes I have pointed out errors in certain climate records. Since my research is oriented around observing and I am cautious in my conclusions, I have never given myself a chance to be really “wrong”. It’s true that some of my earlier understanding was incomplete by what I know now, but the way that is handled is to write a new paper that supersedes the old paper. But you won’t find this in abstracts – it’s the introductory sections that review the previous papers and discuss their limitations and errors.

Climate science certainly isn’t finished yet, and there are still many uncertainties that I am taking part in working on. But medicine isn’t finished, either, and ill people must make decisions according to our current understanding.

Yes, he might be wrong. But here is the decision you face. Nineteen out of twenty climate scientists say one thing. One out twenty climate scientists says another. Maybe the nineteen will be proven to be wrong in the future. Maybe the one is a crank. What are you going to do?

My advice is to undertake policies that make sense on other grounds so it will be win-win however things turn out.

(Nathan Smith) #31

I recently read an article that only 36%of “climate scientists” believe global warming is a major man made problem. That’s hardly 19 of 20.

(Joel Norris) #32

Would you point me to this article?

(Nathan Smith) #33

I don’t think this is the article I read, but it seems to capture the same gist:

(Tim Bayly) #34

Question isn’t whether 97% of scholars getting money from climate change research agree that climate change research is necessary to avoid catastrophe, but whether it’s possible to agree without those scholars getting that money being able to pooh-pooh you as an ignoramus. Don’t worry, they’ll never admit it, but they know you have a point:

More than one thousand scientists disagree that human activity is primarily responsible for global climate change. In 2010 Climate Depot released a report featuring more than 1,000 scientists, several of them former UN IPCC scientists, who disagreed that humans are primarily responsible for global climate change. [55] The Cook review [1] of 11,944 peer-reviewed studies found 66.4% of the studies had no stated position on anthropogenic global warming, and while 32.6% of the studies implied or stated that humans are contributing to climate change, only 65 papers (0.5%) explicitly stated “that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming.” [54] A 2012 Purdue University survey found that 47% of climatologists challenge the idea that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and instead believe that climate change is caused by an equal combination of humans and the environment (37%), mostly by the environment (5%), or that there’s not enough information to say (5%). [173] In 2014 a group of 15 scientists dismissed the US National Climate Assessment as a “masterpiece of marketing,” that was “grossly flawed,” and called the NCA’s assertion of human-caused climate change “NOT true.” [56]

(Joel Norris) #35

It’s getting to the point of ping-pong, so I’ll just say this and probably not follow up anymore.

If you drill down to the original survey that Nathan Smith cited, you’ll find that 70% of the survey takers were engineers in Alberta, and the rest were geologists and geophysicists. I will leave you to decide how technically informed their views on climate change will be. Regarding Pastor Tim’s citations, it’s difficult to easily summarize demographic data, but my reading indicates that few are working scientists in the climate field.

(Tim Bayly) #36

This means you, Joel, not only are committed to global warming, but also to it’s cause being man. It may be true, but trust me, no one has been playing ping-pong with you. That we’ve gotten to the point of elders denying pastors any place in a public policy issue scientists are driving which demands cataclysmic changes to life across the globe indicates the need to discipline scientists in their hubris—which, I’m sorry to say, you have perfectly illustrated.

One more comment for readers. Often during this discussion, I have considered the old cliche that it’s hard to hold a minority position with equanimity. It’s true that Joel’s commitment to global warming is a minority position among conservative Christians who believe in 7-day creation and oppose abortion and Obergefell. I get it. I am sympathetic to Joel’s challenges among us.

What I’d like to see is conservative Christian scientists like Joel who oppose abortion and Obergefell and the whole debauchery of the Western world to demonstrate sympathy for our scepticism concerning global warming. A little sympathy would go a long way to establishing trust and real dialog. We have good reason for being sceptical, and the scholars I know and love and live with and take week-long trips to write with each year are not squeamish, privately I should say, about admitting the scholarly reasons for questionsing this five-thousand ton behemoth crushing discourse in the media today. Currently called climate change.


(Joel Norris) #37

Dear Pastor Tim,

Since you wrote a gracious email, I will respond.

Comment threads aren’t a good forum for debate, especially when they become polemical, and it’s not always obvious to me at first what sort of argument someone is advancing. My argument was that, in general, I should receive the same sort of respect for my expertise as any other expert in some line of work ought to receive, and that, in particular, my authority shouldn’t be diminished simply because I am working in the area of global warming. I was also arguing that a non-scientist is not in the position to criticize my practice of science. And I think these are valid arguments for me to make, at least at one level. Your argument is that you think my authority in the area of global warming should be diminished according to your judgment from your personal experiences and the scientists you have talked to. This is a criticism to which it is difficult for me to respond because I don’t know what you have been told by other scientists, and nor can I put it to cross-examination. So I stood by my previous arguments.

Sometimes I have thought about blogging, but I’m not sure anyone would really be interested in what I have to say because most of it doesn’t fit into neat scientific/political/ecclesiastical categories, so there is no natural home for me. Plus, blogging is time intensive, and a man needs to decide what he will spend his time on.

I don’t get paid to argue for global warming – I could completely ignore the topic and be just fine. Yes, it would be hard to get money to argue against global warming, but that’s the nature of unpopular views in any area of science or outside of science.

(Joel Norris) #38

I appreciate this, Pastor Tim.

Although part of my job description is public outreach, under which I suppose this qualifies, I don’t have time to continue spending hours responding to every comment, which is what I meant by ping-pong.

And to be honest, I think a lot of things have been imputed to me that aren’t necessarily true – I’ve felt like a punching bag for everyone’s grievances against the most extreme climate change adherents. After all, just because I think global warming is real, caused by man, and likely to be a serious problem doesn’t mean necessarily I endorse any particular policy action that someone has advocated, and I think some people have jumped to conclusions in that regard.

Have I displayed hubris? I’ll leave that judgment to One more competent than me to decide. I think my interactions with other people on the thread have been pretty measured, though I will confess that is not so true with you, Pastor Tim. But I think it is also true that you have been more polemical than everyone else.

(Tim Bayly) #39

Good point. I accept it, dear brother.

Yes, certainly. With love,

(Ken Lamb) #40

Going against my own better judgement that I should just stay out of this, and have so far, I wanted to drop a note as an outsider looking in.

I for one an grateful to know that a man of Christ such as Joel is in his particular role as a climate scientist or whatever title we want to otherwise call it.

Joel may have some presuppositions regarding his field of study, which I expect given the nature of higher education today. But having had some opportunity to receive gracious counsel from Joel on another matter, I’m convinced that as a man who seeks to be pleasing to the Lord, his understanding of such things would lean heavily on his knowledge of God. Sometimes this is a process of sanctification. It is a slow work as the Lord humbles us.

Sometimes I’ve noticed our demeanor on Sanityville tries to make a race out of every conflict or disagreement. And we should run the race as a long distance runner, forebearing with patience and endurance. But when we are trying to sprint to the finish line, it shows a lack of love. A lack for sure that we all suffer from to one degree or another.

The accusation here of hubris has been so often used now, that no one seems able to escape its condemnation.

But nevertheless we ought to strive to repent of that as love is patient, and kind, and gentle, and does not boast. And where we fail at any one of these should not be opportunity to pile on, lest we incur much guilt ourselves.

That being said, I understand, I think, much of what Pastor Bayly is saying to Joel and I hope this discussion will give him an opportunity in the Lord to pursue some competing viewpoints.

As I shared with Joel in private, my great uncle, was one of the pioneers of modern weather science. In fact the method of rating hurricanes is named after him as a co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

I’m grateful for men like Robert Simpson who flew into the eye of hurricanes to study them at great peril, and for the hope of saving future lives. There is much that could probably be said to attack his legacy and presuppositions, and maybe some deserved. I’m not fully convinced that he sought the pleasure of the Lord in all that he did, though I know he assured my grandfather, a Baptist missionary and his brother, that he did have his trust in the Lord. Either way, I’m not his judge.

But this I say, because I believe brother Joel to be in so much better positioned to please the Lord as a man who sits under the authority of the word of God, and wrestles with Godly men on account of it. I pray that perhaps Pastor Bayly could facilitate some private discussions with godly men he knows that speak the language of climatology and who could challenge Joel better than we.