Kumi Naidoo, international director of Greenpeace, tweeted an article today that caught my attention. Written by David Suzuki at EcoWatch, it discusses climate change deniers and their mutually exclusive arguments. At a recent conference organized by the Heartland Institute, one of the biggest centers for climate change “skepticism” in the United States, the speakers were arguing that climate change isn’t happening, or that it’s happening but that it’s cooling the earth instead of warming it, or that it is warming it but it’s not caused by humans but by the sun, volcanoes or something else, or that it is happening and it is caused by humans but it’s to expensive to do anything about it.
Obviously, these four theories are not compatible with each others, yet they were uttered at the same conference. The only common thread was, according to Bloomberg news, the constant jokes about Al Gore. I wasn’t at the event, but I recognize the pattern from various climate skeptic blogs that I’ve encountered; and I would like to add another thing that I think is almost universal among climate change deniers: conspiracy theories.
When I took a course in climate change at Uppsala University, we watched a British climate change “skeptic” documentary that argued that the earth is indeed warming, but it’s caused by the sun rather than carbon dioxide. It ended with an attempt to explain why most scientists believe in man-made climate change if it’s so obvious that it is caused by the sun, and the answer was – I’m not kidding now – that they are communists. The voice-over explained to us that after Soviet collapsed, Marxists and leftits felt disillusioned in how they now would crush capitalism, and found their escape in the environmental movement and its demand to decrease fossil fuel usage.
Likewise, a friend of mine who is a climate change denier explained to me and his wife why global warming is a myth that is being spread by scientists, politicians and activists in a global conspiracy. When she asked him why, he firstly didn’t understand what she meant. “Why would they come up with this lie and spread it on if it’s so easy to disprove?” “I don’t know”, he admitted after a while. I guess he hadn’t heard about the commie theory.
Suzuki’s article also describes how some evangelical Christians are climate change deniers, not mainly because of scientific study but because of theology. The Cornwall Alliance’s Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming says “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence—are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.”
This is, however, very unbiblical, since the Scriptures never states that humans cannot impact the environment or that nature always will be self-regulating. It’s embarrassing that Christians sympathize with conspiracy theories because of bad theology, and I hope that more and more disciples will realize that the world is indeed warming and no, it’s not the sun.
It is pointless to have an mature adult discussion with liberal hippies. It is like talking teenagers who think they know everything because they read a bizarre book or heard somebody
like Timothy O’Leary speak. Al Gore is a fraud. If you have
not discovered that by now, your case is pretty much hopeless.
Global warming promoters are following the money. THERE IS
NO MONEY IN JUST FOLLOWING GOOD SENSE. There is money(GOVT GRANTS) in scaring the Hell out of uninformed fools who are easily led down a path. No govt grants for just reporting the truth. But, I am wasting my time talking to hippies who are
dreaming childre who do not want to grow up. It amazes me how
a hippie can be 70 years old and never gained any life experience. Still reasons like a teenager and debates like a teenager.
Communism is very unpopular in the US. But there are still some
communists. They hide behind the GREEN movement. Going GREEN
is going communist. April 22…Earth Day…is their High Holy
Day. So…when environmentalist wackos are accused of being
communists…right on the money. All the same. Fools in the
US want to put the brakes on US industry….but there are no
brakes on Chinese industry, Russian industry, Indian industry,
South American industry, SE Asian industy…etc. THEY ARE
THE MANUFACTURERS OF EVERYTHING….not the US!!!
Like you, I don’t live in the US, but I am amazed at the depth of denial of what are clearly scientific facts, worst of all in the US but in Australia as well.
I studied water engineering and worked all my life for the government doing hydrology and the protection of rivers and catchments (or watersheds), I have read quite a bit on climate change, spoken to climate scientists from Australia’s prestigious CSIRO, and there can be no doubt that these scientists know their stuff, are not part of any conspiracy and have found that all the evidence points towards the reality and seriousness of climate change. THose who deny it and delay serious action are failing their responsibility to the earth, to their children and grandchildren, and to God.
I don’t know whether you will come back to read this, but do you realise you have offered no facts to support all that you say? But if you look at the facts, you’ll find that you have been misinformed. China is indeed starting to act on climate change (much more than Australia, and more even than the US). Most of those supporting action on climate change are sober and professional scientists, not hippies, and calling them names won’t change the truth of their findings. The reason why other countries do so much manufacturing is that labour costs in the US and in Australia are higher. If you read Michael’s blog you’ll find most of what he writes is well researched and accurate. Best wishes.
No facts? Communism and environmental wackos are now married.
All the same. There is money(govt grants) ONLY for those who
dream up schemes about global warming being caused by man.
There is NO money for the natural truth that the earth has had many very warm periods followed by ice ages….SOME AT THE TIME
OF THOSE PESKY DINOSAURS AND NO HUMANS!!! Where is the absence of facts in those sentences?
Saying hippie is not name-calling. Hippies are hippies.
Hippies just do not like mature adults. Hippies see the world through a different filter than mature adults. When I hear a hippie debate…it is the same as listening to a teenager who may make A’s, but has no life experience. Hippies do not like
the traditional facts that are so obvious to mature adults.
One more time. If you cannot see that Al Gore is a fraud, then it is pointless to continue the discussion. That would be another fact…Al Gore is a fraud. Al Gore WILL NOT debate any
real scientist on global warming. He cannot defend his baloney. He has been challenged to do this.
“Those supporting global warming are sober scientists…”
Those supporting global warming are getting a govt grant. It
is always about the money. There is no money to prove the obvious…that glabal warming is a natural occurrence, repeating over millions of years. There is money for pseudo-science that can be used for Democrat political purposes.
This article gets off to a misleading start. The scientists who spke at Heartland have never denied climate change! What they deny is CAGW, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. And one of the speakers was Dr. Patrick Moore, who is one of the founding members of Greenpeace who served as prestident of Greenpeace Canada and also as international director.
Two facts that put this in perspective: CO2 has continued to increase; there has been no statistially significant change in the mean global temprerature anomoly in more than a dozen years.
The warming we have had since the late 19th C. is agreed to be about 0.08 C. We were moving away from the Little Ice Age that petered out in the early 19th C. That meant more food for people.
The key concern about CO2 is feedbacks. The computer modlels amplify its effect by programing in positive feedbacks. Ye empiracle data from satalittes show negative feedbacks (as pub. in Geophysical Research Letters a couple summers ago).
The actual climate sicentists on which ever side they support, agree that CO2 reductions as proposed in the Kyoto protocol would have no measureable effect.
Dr. John Christy in his testimony to Congress stated that this is a catastrophic system and thinking that we can control it is hubris. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/21/dr-john-christys-testimony-before-congress/
A good discussion of the basics by two noted scientists who actually work in the specialty of climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJwayalLpYY
You seem to know a bit about this, yet do you know that your statement “there has been no statistially significant change in the mean global temprerature anomoly in more than a dozen years” is actually meaningless and misleading (as well as probably wrong)?
Climate is very variable, and no-one who knows much about it would use a statistic like that because it takes far longer than 12 years to establish a trend. And when you loo at a longer period, the trend is certainly sharply upwards. And we can’t predict climate be drawing a line on a graph. Climate prediction must be done using an understanding of the Physics of climate systems. That requires complex computer models – which show that the climate is indeed heating up as predicted.
Depending on exactly how we measure temperature, there has in fact been an increase in global temperature over that 12w year period, it has just been slower than before. But we have had slowdowns several times before i the past 5 decades, due to La Nina weather patterns, but the faster rate of temperature rise always returns when El Nino weather patterns return.
Thanks for your interest, and I hope this brief background helps you understand weather prediction better, and helps you see that climate deniers are presenting misleading information and we shouldn’t believe them. Best wishes.
Hi Rick, you have made a number of accusations there, but I don’t see any supporting evidence. May I give you some evidence to show that some of what you have been told is in error?
1. Not all scientists who have found evidence for global warming are receiving grants from government, and not all governments are sympathetic to climate change. The CRIRO scientists I spoke about were employed at the time by a conservative Australian Government led by John Howard, who was not very supportive of climate change at the time. They spoke in support of climate change because they had done the work, not because they were funded to do it.
2. IT is not always governments that are concerned about climate change. Some of the world’s leading companies are now committed to carbon emission reduction – see this and this and this.
3. You say there are no brakes on industry in China, but did you know that China is the world’s largest user of renewable energy?
4. Did you know that one of the world’s most successful economies,Germany now generates three quarters of its energy from renewable sources?
DSo you can see it is not true that supporters of climate change action are mere “hippies”. Rather, they are some of the hardest headed and forward looking business people and governments in the world.
Climate change is real, we can do something about it, it won’t cost the earth (about 1-2% of GDP), it will create jobs, and we will all benefit if we act now. What’s not to like?
So when temperatures are flat the hysterics cry ‘No significance’ and when they temp. goes up (even for a day) they cry ‘globlal warming catastrophe.’
Dr. John Christy is an actual climate scientist who has served as a lead author on the IPCC. He is also a Christian who has served in Africa and understands the needs of the poor, unlike billionaire propagandists. Maybe rich westerners who are looking for a cause to either fill their empty souls or line their pockets should think about the poor. Dr. Christy has. See his closing statement, part of which is:
“When thinking about policy regarding CO2, one cannot ignore the immense
benefits produced directly by CO2 or indirectly from in its relationship to low-cost
energy. It is a simple fact that CO2 is plant food and the world around us evolved when
levels of CO2 were five to ten times what they are today. Our green world is a
consequence of atmospheric CO2. And,
food for plants means food for people
The extra CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere not only invigorates the biosphere, bualso enhances the yields of our food crops’…”
Hi Michael, do you think we should take notice of the 3% of climate scientists who think we needn’t be concerned about global warming, or the 97% who think we should? It is always possible to find someone to support any opinion, but we need to go with the consensus of experts. If you had a headache, and 30 specialist doctors said you had cancer and needed an operation, and one said don’t worry, I wonder which course of action you would take.
There may be some small benefits to global warming for some people, but the overall effect will be disastrous if we don’t act. In North Africa, where there is already a serious problem with repeated droughts, water will be in even shorter supply in the years ahead. In Nepal, subsistence farmers are losing their soil and having to make do with less water because the rain now falls over a shorter period of the year. Some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable will be hardest hit. This is why christian relief organisations like TEAR and World Vision are campaigning actively for action on climate change.
I really think you need to read more widely. This God’s world we are destroying, and we could prevent many of the problems if we were only willing. But just like the smoking lobby obscured the truth about lung cancer for decades, there are some people obscuring the truth here.
Thanks for the opportunity to share these things with you.
Do your homework about the “97 Percent” myth/propanda. Some Christians site, puffing Atheist Suzuki’s agenda.
Greenpeace. Those associated with Greenpeace have to accept communism and atheism. That’s what “going green” means. Easter and Christmas and Pentecost are replaced by Earth Day.
To not see the connection between communism and atheism and
so-called “environmentalism”….you have to be blind. Real
environmentalists spend their own money to improve/protect/nourish/promote a species of of animal or plant.
….and NOT govt money.
Climate scientist. Very few can actually make a living with that as a major. The climate is NOT the weather that changes
daily. Climate hangs around for 100 years with microscopic changes. The main way to make money with a degree in climate
science is…GOVERNMENT GRANTS. So, you have to create a problem to study, scare uninformed people, and get a government
grant. Never solve the problem. Make it more scary. Get
and extension to your government grant.
Keep that gravy train chugging!! NEVER get into a debate
with a real climate scientist who is NOT getting a government
grant. Get a politician(political whore) to get behind you
by showing him how he too can make money and get votes. During a very hot summer…raise Hell about global warming. During a
mild summer…lay low. Ignore it. Blame every storm on global warming. Earthquakes too. Get fools to donate money to save the earth…for who? Why, the CHILDREN, of course! Always check the government grant behind someone promoting global warming.
Hi Michael, you say I should do my homework. I have in fact done so.
In science, as I’m sure you know, progress is made by respected and qualified scientists and reported in peer reviewed scientific journals. If we want to know the truth on a scientific question, we have to go back to the original research and the papers that report it. And to make sure we have a consensus view, we need to read a lot of papers or reports, so we don’t just get one side of the question.
I have read many, many websites on this question, One thing I find is that most websites that deny the reality of climate change (1) don’t refer much to scientific papers, and (2) are written by journalists, not scientists, and often journalists employed by Rupert Murdoch.
Now it is unfortunate that your most recent comment falls into all three of these mistakes: You have quoted only one report, and it is by a journalist not a scientist.
So I did a little more homework as you suggest on the 97%, and I found this:
1. There are several published scientific papers that establish this figure. For example this NASA paper lists several scientific papers and a whole range of scientific bodies that support the consensus position on climate change.
2. I have read several other reports of other scientific reviews that say the same thing – e.g. here and here.
3. The main denialist reviews I have read (e.g. here and here) are by journalists, not scientists, and their claims are contested here.
4. Most of those who deny global warming now accept what they used to contest – that global warming is occurring and humans have had a significant contribution. So that is progress.
5. The main arguments these days seem to be twofold: (i) Some scientists argue about some of the details, which is quite legitimate. The broad features of global warming are now well known, but there are many finer details still to be discovered, and of course prediction can never be 100% accurate. Climate change sceptics sometimes focus on these minor disputes and try to make them out to be major ones. (ii) Now that sceptics have been forced to accept the basics of global warming, they tend to be disputing the severity of the outcomes. The human impacts are not so much a matter of science, so the scientists tend to say less about this. But the effects are nevertheless clear in terms of higher temperatures, changed rainfall patterns and rising water levels.
So that is where things stand. The vast majority of climate scientists know that warming is occurring and it will have severe impacts. Exactly how bad is still being discussed. But the main people opposing are the Murdoch press and big business, doing much the same as the smoking lobby once did to obscure the truth. If you do your homework more thoroughly, you will discover this is the case.
I do hope you do that homework. Thanks.
Hi Rick, I hope you know that truth is found by looking at evidence, not by calling people names as you have done. I do not see how anyone could think what you say is true when that is what you do.
May I suggest that you read some of the evidence instead. You may like to start here.
There is ZERO name-calling. I did notice that YOU failed to
comment on the subject of climate scientists being dependent on
govt grants to make any money.
Back to the original headline about embarrassing Christian statements. The real embarrassment is on the other side…
the Democrats who use “man-made” global warming for raising
money and getting re-elected to office.
Anybody knows how to read a thermometer, add up numbers, and
divide to get an average. Nobody is debating that the climate
has warmed a little over the last 100 years.
That is not the debate. The debate is what is causing it.
Here is the question that man-made global warming advocates
cannot answer: WHAT CAUSED THE ICE AGES AND THE GLOBAL WARMING THAT FOLLOWED IN PRE-HISTORIC TIMES?
I have yet to hear an answer. There is much changing of the
Hi Rick, thanks for continuing the conversation.
Re name calling: I just wanted to point out that calling people “hippies”, “wackos”, “communists”, “fools”, “fraud”, etc, is not an argument and proves nothing. What is needed is facts and evidence.
Re climate scientists being dependent on Government money: What is the problem here? Armed forces, police, teachers, hospitals, roads, etc, are all funded by Government money. If you see a problem, can you please explain what it is and offer good evidence that it is real?
The fact is that scientists who are government funded, including some funded by governments unsympathetic to climate change action, and some who are not government funded, have all found the same evidence, that climate change is happening and is a problem we need to deal with.
There is actually little debate about what is causing global warming now. That was the debate of a few years ago, but most of those opposing global warming have now conceded that point. The argument now seems to be how severe human induced global warming is – see for example this article.
“Here is the question that man-made global warming advocates
cannot answer: WHAT CAUSED THE ICE AGES AND THE GLOBAL WARMING THAT FOLLOWED IN PRE-HISTORIC TIMES?”
I’m sorry Rick, but you’re mistaken here. The question is very easily answered. The variations in temperature were caused by natural physical causes – changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, changes in ocean currents, etc. The world has been much warmer than it is today, and somewhat colder. This website gives some details and graphs.
The temperatures we will be experiencing in the future are not unusual! The problems are:
1. There weren’t people around in earlier times, or not many. But 7 billion on earth, plus national boundaries, makes the likely effects much greater than previously.
2. The temperature increase is very fast, because of the large human influence which hasn’t been significant before. This makes it much harder for populations affected to respond, and millions, possibly billions, will be seriously affected, and national boundaries and overcrowding will adjustment very difficult.
So you see, there ARE clear answers to your questions. Now may I ask you what are your answers to the evidence I have offered to you and Michael? Or are you able to see that you have been given some misinformation by people who have a vested interest in doing nothing about this serious problem? It would be good if you could show yourself willing to change your mind when given the facts.
You made no points. I knew you would not. You responded, but
you did not give the correct answer…concerning alternating
ice ages and warm periods prior to humans. It was just a RHETORCICAL question…there is only one answer: The climate
of the world is MUCH larger than mankind. God’s hand is at
work. Liberal so-called Christians do not like to be under
the control of God. Liberals are attracted to humanism,
where man is in control of his destiny and
can affect world climate. The world heated up and then had an
ice age as designed by God. When I see where MAN can make it
rain at will in the Sahara Desert, Gobi Desert, Death Valley,
and in the Negev and Dead Sea area…then I will believe that
MAN can cause climate change. Yes, man can create nasty, polluted air,…and can BLAME pollution as a climate changer.
But the proof of that has not happened. There is a lot of noise and accusation…but no cool, calm explantion that nobody
can deny. And one more thing….
As usual, your debate was full of holes concering govt grants.
You threw up a straw man example…teachers, military, etc.
The point is this: There is NO PAYCHECK for climate scientists in the real world. There is such a small need for them. But a paycheck can be CREATED by way of govt grants
…..due to manufacturing a phony problem that has a kernel
of truthe….but only that kernel. Plus a lot of speculation
and of course…FEAR. And the CHILDREN.
I AM NOT REALLY DEBATING YOU. I am addressing others who might read this and see the fraud of global warming being affected by human activity. It just keeps coming back to that same question: What caused the warm periods following an ice age
a million years ago? It was NOT human activity!! We are not
greater than God….and that is what you are claiming.
Hi Rick, I want to finish up with four comments.
1. You are mistaken about me thinking people are greater than God. I am a christian who acknowledges God’s greatness. But one of the “great” things God has done is create an orderly universe governed by predictable laws.
When we fly in a plane, we rely on the laws of gravity and aerodynamics always working the same. Our lives depend on it. So it is the same with climate science. God has made an orderly world where climate physics can be measured and modelled. That’s the way God made it.
2. You keep saying climate scientists rely on government grants, but you haven’t shown any evidence that this affects what they conclude from their science. And it seems you may be wrong even about them depending on Government grants. I looked up Australia’s top climate scientists and found that every one was a Professor, most of them still employed at Universities and all of them capable of holding such a position. Now the Government partially funds universities (students also pay fees), but these professors are not dependent on grants, these are just their normal jobs “in the real world”.
I also found that they come from many different academic disciplines, including oceanography, geography, earth science, meteorology, ecology, epidemiology, marine science and chemical engineering, most of which are qualifications which could and do give them jobs outside of climate science.
So I say again, I cannot see any relevance in your repeated statements about these scientists, unless you care to offer some evidence.
3. You say again:“What caused the warm periods following an ice age a million years ago? It was NOT human activity!!”. I answered that before. It is quite clear, it wasn’t human activity But it is now. I cannot see any point you are making here.
4 You also say: ” I am addressing others who might read this and see the fraud of global warming being affected by human activity.” I am happy with how the discussion has gone, as I believe it shows that you have offered no real evidence, whereas I have given many references to the evidence. So I am happy to leave the discussion where it is now, and any others reading can judge for themselves.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss. Thanks also to Michael for letting us take over his blog for a while. Best wishes to both of you!
When I see where an oil company, farm industry, steel company,
auto industry, any private for-profit industry….hires a
fulltime climate scientist…then I will concede something.
You point to COLLEGE PROFESSORS ! The academic classroom is
NOT the real world. A college professor can be dead wrong in
all his theories and he still keeps his job and and his
paycheck. You continue to dream that you are producing evidence. I am not impressed. One more time…there is no money
in reporting the existing climate. NONE. There IS money in
getting a govt grant to “save the world” because of creating a
very scary report of polar ice caps and ozone holes. Only
promoters of global warming caused by man get govt grants. There are NO GRANTS for opposing the global warming scare.
In the real world, away from the college classroom, a climate
scientist might have a part-time job…to occasionally check
on the climate…but his real job is some other science-related
position. Climate science is sort of like watching grass grow
or watching paint dry. It is a 100-year proposition, not a
week-by-week gig. JNot a 40-hour per week job. Years, decades can go by and nothing to report. Who will pay you $50 – 75,000
to do so little? Well, a university will pay you to teach
climate science and write books and promote theories and you
might even score a GOVT GRANT!! If you can create a problem
that does not exist. And one more thing…
The ice age and warming. How can you not see the point?
The earth has global warming WITHOUT human help. To overcome
an ice age. Not the climate we have now. The earth is warming
now just as before…without human help. Democrats use global
warming to raise money for re-election or create a false project
to make it look like they care…for the CHILDREN, of course.
September 9, 2014 at 2:56 am
Climate science = an excuse for rich Western people with guaranteed monthly paychecks and pensions to interfere in developing countries whose people have to make a living day to day from their own efforts.”
The high human cost of being “Green”
HI Michael, of course there’s a high human cost of some ways of doing alternative energy, and we should ameliorate these. China has had a poor record in this regard in the past (not just in alternative energy, but fossil fuel energy and many other industrial processes), but is starting to lift its game.
But this doesn’t affect the reality that unchecked climate change will have an even worse effect. The solution is not to deny climate change or oppose combatting it, but to develop the best and safest methods to address it. I’m sure if you searched you could find examples just as you’ve found an example of worse ways to do it.
unkleE – I would just like to say that you are an extremely patient person and good-on-you for maturely responding to what has been written.
Thanks. My job used to be doing water environment management, and often required me to talk with the general public and farmers. Most people are reasonable, but it sometimes requires patience. 🙂