God's Politics

God's Politics


God’s Custodians (by Jim Wallis)

posted by God's Politics

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Last week, I wrote about U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon’s speech to a dinner hosted by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Micah Challenge. While the main part of his speech was on the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals, he closed by linking that to “another moral imperative” – acting to stop global warming.


On this Blog Action Day for the environment, the words of the Secretary General are worth emphasizing. He noted that



Climate change affects us all, but it does not affect us all equally. Those who are least able to cope are being hardest hit. Those who have done the least to cause the problem bear the gravest consequences.


He cited the dependence of “hundreds of millions of people in Asia and the Americas on mountain snow and glaciers for their water,” and the catastrophic threat as the ice and snow melt. Growing droughts in Africa due to climate change threaten the lives of those dependent on subsistence agriculture for survival. Then came his call:



We have an ethical obligation to right this injustice. We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable. Without a strong global effort against global warming, we will fail in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the implicit human right to economic justice and development.


Without a strong global effort against global warming, humankind could even be wiped out, along with other species. Our earth is God’s creation. We are its custodians. We can no longer look the other way.


The good news is that people and institutions of faith all over the world agree. This gives me great hope.


There is now a strong consensus among scientists and the religious community, including evangelical leaders, that while the hour is late, we still have a chance to make a difference. If we are to honor the biblical commandment to be good custodians of God’s creation, we have no choice.



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Eric

posted October 15, 2007 at 2:04 pm


I wonder why Congress here in the U.S. hasn’t brought any legislation up on this yet? They campaigned on it, but they haven’t done a thing yet except form “special committees” and things like that.



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Moderatelad

posted October 15, 2007 at 2:15 pm


OK – but what about the CO professor and meterologist and the judge in the UK and are speaking out for many that do not believe that what we are experiencing is caused by man.
Yes – the earth is warming – slightly. But the cause has yet to be determined. There are other reasons for why we are experiencing a warming.
Oh – allow me to one of the first to congratulate Al Gore on the Nobel Prize.
Blessings -
.



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Roger

posted October 15, 2007 at 4:03 pm


Are we not better off with a warmer earth?
Don’t more people die of cold than heat?
How many times have the ice capes melted?
The markets will find the best way here and in healthcare if the goverment will stop causing more and more problems.



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Hali

posted October 15, 2007 at 4:48 pm


“Moderatelad” wrote,
“OK – but what about the CO professor and meterologist and the judge in the UK and are speaking out for many that do not believe that what we are experiencing is caused by man. ”
I hope you’re not trying to use a few people’s ignorance to deny the existence of global warming. There will always be the flat-earthers among us. The vast majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is taking place and that we are contributing to it significantly. It is extremely difficult to get scientists to agree on anything, Mod. We are a cantankerous lot and always have a “what about this?” to address (you should see us in meetings!) Simply the fact that so many of them agree on global warming is strong support for its existence.
Please be intellectually honest. If you’re not a scientist, please take some introductory science courses. You might just have some fun :) And statistics, while you’re at it (you can buy Minitab online, I think.)
Shalom.



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Ngchen

posted October 15, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Roger wrote:
Are we not better off with a warmer earth?
Don’t more people die of cold than heat?
How many times have the ice capes melted?
The markets will find the best way here and in healthcare if the goverment will stop causing more and more problems.

It’s hard to say what a warmer earth would do. First, cimate scientists have suggested that a warming earth may well cause global food production to plummet, as previously fertile ground becomes desert. Maybe more people die of cold than heat; however, even a slight rise in sea levels would mean tremendous flooding of coastal areas (think of New Orleans, Bangaladesh, and the Netherlands).
The reason why the “markets” won’t help with global warming here is what economists call negative externalities. The costs of global warming are spread (unfairly) to all of humanity, while the financial benefits go only toward the big greenhouse gas belching factories and so on. No pure market mechanism can fix this, as the cost is borne mainly by someone else not the producer. As an aside, I wonder what would happen if say the Sierra Club endorses certain green products, and withholds the green label from undesirable stuff. Then consumers might be able to have a choice with moral purchasing, exerting financial pressure on the polluters.
Practicalities aside, the mandate of caring for creation means we don’t mess it up. Polar bears are part of creation, and therefore are worth protecting. Global warming is clearly having an adverse effect of them.



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Rob D.

posted October 15, 2007 at 5:26 pm


I blogged for Blog Action Day as well. My focus was on the responsibility “the church” must take in “bringing the kingdom of God on earth” and how the government, specifically the EPA often does more harm than good.
Save the Earth. Shut down the EPA.



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squeaky

posted October 15, 2007 at 5:29 pm


“Are we not better off with a warmer earth?”
Depends on where you live.
Europe’s 2003 heat wave left roughly 30,000 people dead. I don’t think they would think it was a good thing. The Russians are happy because it opens up sea ports. I’d also suggest reading the above article to see how climate change affects differen’t people differently, and disproportionately the poor.
The ice caps have melted several times in Earth history, but never in human history.
The markets can help, which is why this cap and trade system that has been proposed needs to be strongly considered. Also, innovation in alternative energy and ways of living sustainably need to be encouraged by both government and business.



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CKC

posted October 15, 2007 at 5:47 pm


Moderatelad and all other global warming doubters,
Let’s agree for a minute to a hypothetical. Let’s say global warming does not exist. Let’s say instead that pollution exists.
It has adverse affects on human health and is indisputably caused by human activity. Let’s also say that wastefulness exists (or glutony) and that there are better, cleaner, and more efficient ways of managing our natural resources and everyday lives. Let’s agree that God has given us a responsibility of stewardship. (Does anyone disagree with that – besides Ann Coulter and Rush Linbaugh?)
I am confounded by those of us who believe in a supreme Creator on the basis of faith yet find it so important to question science on this particular issue. Fine. If you must distrust the diagnosis, at least accept responsibility for the symptoms.
Does it not seem reasonable that God would be displeased with glutony, wastefulness, and pollution? Then why do we get hung up in semantics? Do you not want more fuel efficient cars? Clean air to breathe? Safe fish to eat? Clean drinking water? We as Americans waste so much because we have so much. If we had less (land mass, timber, oil access, GNP, personal wealth….) we would use less – Take a closer look at European countries. To whom much is given, much is required. Do we Americans need the 3,000 square foot house, the gas guzzling SUV, the individually wrapped everything? Where does the garbage go?
Wake up people – it’s about being decent human beings. It’s about being a good neighbor. It’s about being a good Christain. Once we understand how each of us is part of the problem, then we can begin to make the changes in our lives that makes each of us part of the solution.



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mark

posted October 15, 2007 at 5:51 pm


Moderatelad -
Even if you can’t accept the overwhelming consensus view of those qualified to speak on this issue (professional climatologists, not economists or political commentators or judges or beneficiaries of Exxon front organisations), you could at least take seriously the precautionary principle.
In other words, ask 2 questions and compare the answers:
- What are the results if the climatologists are right, and we don’t take action? Probably ultimately a planet on which human civilisation and maybe even human life becomes impossible. In the shorter term, more climate-driven disasters, more difficulty in developing an effective development programme in any location which is arid or low-lying, more poverty, more environmental refugees, more conflict over land and water, more wars.
- What are the results if the deniers are right, but we do take action? A shift to a more efficient way of doing things, with some short-term economic costs but probably long-term economic gains.
Mark



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squeaky

posted October 15, 2007 at 7:17 pm


Moderatelad–how are you doing on that assignment I gave you several threads ago?
By the way–Mark and CKC have very good points.



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bren

posted October 15, 2007 at 7:46 pm


The comments and questions from CKC and Mark are excellent; I’m very grateful for the way they pose questions that don’t require us to know every single scientific fact before committing to the stewardship of God’s Creation.
In addition, I want to respond to moderatelad’s reference to the British court decision questioning some scientific details and whether or not films such as An Inconvenient Truth are “merely” propaganda. I don’t know how or why the judge allowed himself to get caught up in what is basically about science. However, I do know that British newspapers report that the case was brought–and financially supported by–a mining magnate and a network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies. Support also come from a hitherto unknown New Party, whose funding also came from the same magnate. This doesn’t mean that the judgment was right–or wrong–but it does raise questions about this campaign against climate change talk.
And finally, there is a fairly simple, as well as a longer more complicated, reason why warming is bad news. The warmer the globe becomes, the more drought, even in places where there has always been water. That’s why there is so much anxiety about the icebergs melting. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Consider the ramifications if the U.S. were to turn to Canada to get water and Canada not having enough to meet U.S. needs! Now THAT’S scary!



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justintime

posted October 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm


Patrick, the neighbor lad, is helping me with fall planting.At 14, he’s the oldest of 8 siblings, all being home schooled by a devout Mormon mom.
Yesterday I asked Patrick what he thinks of Al Gore being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on Global Climate Change.
Patrick said he didn’t think it had any thing to do with peace and that the Earth has had many cycles of climate change. He quoted a ‘scientist’ who doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about.
He said it’s all in his ‘Christian’ home school science textbook.
I didn’t choose this time to debate Global Climate Change with Patrick.
But it really tics me off that Patrick, a bright intelligent 14 year old boy, is being taught fake science at home.
I’ll have to look into these ‘Christian’ home school science textbooks and find out who’s peddling this claptrap to our kids.
What do you think I should do?
Anything?



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jerry

posted October 15, 2007 at 8:53 pm


bren.anyone. who do you know that denies that the climate has changed? probably no one. i don’t. but al gore has played the blame game. he blames humans for the changes. and got a nobel for it. now that is scary!! and he is getting rich off the industry he invented to go along with his game. at the rate they say the ice is melting, what do you think humans could resonably do to stop it? maybe the emphsis should be to stop blaming and start dealing with the problems that are being created. feeding people, changing water habits, moving industries and people. like rebuilding new orleans again after katrina. hello; wonder when another katrina will happen? tomorrow? shoulda moved n o to higher ground, eh?
and move thirsty hungry people to another area, eh? but wait….there’s no money in those solutions. better to start an industry that will stop energy use, trade trees for polution and make movies, write books etc. etc.



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jerry

posted October 15, 2007 at 8:58 pm


justintime; better check the book before you label it. also whats wrong with quoting a scientist that disagrees with you? and what does gore have to do with peace? it sure is hard to listen isn’t it.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted October 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm


Just a couple of questions? When does science advance our understanding of the created oreder by consensus? I thought science was about testing theories, WITHOUT POLITICAL MOTIVATION, and reporting the conclusions, all supported by visible facts, not consensus.
How arragant are we to think that we can know weather or not we are “damaging the earth” when we have about 100 years of data at best? As time has progressed, our ability to record data with more accuracy, and we are also able to ask better questions, as well as collect better data with increasingly more sophisticated equiptment. However, we just do not have enough proof to say that we are distroying the earth. Add to that the fact that natural disasters(volcanoes speciffically) pump far more pollution into the air than my SUV, or even a whole fleet of them.
Last question. Is there really a consensus? The big study everyone points to, is so large, that even though there are hundreds of scientist who worked on it, the report is so massive, that no one person has been able to digest all the information yet, and come to an agreement, with all of the multitudes of conclusions made. Each scientist, or groups of a few scientist only worked on a small part of this massive report. Having seen reports that this “consensus” is falling apart, why would we even use it as a proof of validity. Hundreds of years ago, the “consensus” was that the earth was flat.
Paul C. Quillman
Don’t drink the kool aid!!!



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Susannah

posted October 15, 2007 at 10:39 pm


Do you need a consensus of scientists when there are islands disappearing, large scale deforrestation, slum-cities and strip mining?
Putting aside the ‘climate change’ debate – there can not be any doubt that the earth is suffering for our collective greed.



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Moderatelad

posted October 15, 2007 at 10:55 pm


Posted by: squeaky | October 15, 2007 7:17 PM
Assignment -
Yes we are in a period of warming…
Just not sold on the idea that we are causing it.
I believe that we can do better on keeping the planet in good condition.
Blessings!!!
.



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kevin s.

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:21 am


“Do you need a consensus of scientists when there are islands disappearing, large scale deforrestation, slum-cities and strip mining?”
Yes. At minimum, you need scientific consensus to determine how we can best provide solutions. At worst, without scientific consensus, you make yourself vulnerable to the charge of making a religion out of environmentalism.



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Anonymous

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:27 am


At minimum, you need scientific consensus to determine how we can best provide solutions. At worst, without scientific consensus, you make yourself vulnerable to the charge of making a religion out of environmentalism. Posted by: kevin s.
Consensus does not have to be unanimiity. Quit trying to muddy the waters with your senseless blather.



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Trent

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:36 am


Moderatelad,
even the climatologists aren’t certain we’re causing climate change, it is not in the nature of science to be ‘certain’ of anything.
but their best and most compelling evidence consistently suggests that the earth is warming and that human activity is more or less directly responsible.
It’s like the surgeon examining your scans and saying, well it’s probably cancerous. Sure it might not be, but you don’t muck around with it.
and Paul, your suggestion that we have only a 100 years of data on climate basically ignores every other means of guaging temperature variations other than direct measurement. It’s just wrong. And your comments on consensus are equally erroneous. Would you prefer a lone scientist presenting a paper and findings or hundreds of scientists studying the same information (and more) and agreeing on what it means (in general terms if not specifically)? And I’m curious as to what political motivations you assume lie behind the mix of international scientists working on this. Do you believe that the democrats conscripted them all? What political motivations do you see in this? I seriously doubt that your domestic politics (interesting as I’m sure they are) lie behind the research findings.
Be Blessed,



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bren

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:40 am


Jerry, by now you have probably noticed that justintime’s neighbour Patrick comes from a family that denies there’s anything to worry about. There are countless others.
Let’s talk about water because we all drink it and wash in it. And if we go for too many days without water, we die. Residents of my city apparently use between 400 and 500 litres of water a day. Europeans use 150. No matter who/what is responsible for warming, the records show this reality: It used to be that winter set in, the snow built up and then in the spring it began to melt and run off on ground that was still frozen. The warming of the earth means that runoff is occurring earlier, atop soil that is no longer frozen. So, the glacial melt is being absorbed by the earth instead of flowing into, and replenishing, lakes and rivers. Over time they will dry up.
One very clear message this information gives us is that consumption of water has to change, not only amongst those of us who drink and wash in water, but for agriculture and industry. We have to use less water and recycle water more. It is becoming a finite resource.
I suppose we can wait until every piece of data is analysed and re-analysed to our satisfaction before we agree there is a problem and that we at least share the responsibility for the problem. Of course, if we wait that long it’s likely that it will be too late to reverse it. Instead, let’s be more faithful to God’s call that we be good stewards of His creation. We have to be more serious about changing our wasteful ways!



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Trent

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:51 am


Australia has just entered it’s election period and both parties have policies on addressing climate change. They’re different policies, but both readily acknowledge that there is a serious problem to address.
But then both our conservative party (ironically called the Liberals) and our liberal party (Labour) would be socialist by US standards. We have a Democrats and Nationals too (but they’re socialist as well).
And both our candidates for Prime Minister this year are Christians, which for the Labour party has not always been the case. Maybe they’ve been reading God’s Politics.
There will be no debate on abortion (legal) no debate on gay marriage (unrecognised – though homosexual relationships are given legal status) and no debate on stem cell research (legal). There will be debate on war and on poverty and on education and on health and on taxation and on immigration and on fair workplace laws. Sounds like a sojourners utopia, all their issues under one roof.
Be Blessed,



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canucklehead

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:58 am


Personally, I think Tim LaHaye should have got the Nobel.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:09 am


“Would you prefer a lone scientist presenting a paper and findings or hundreds of scientists studying the same information (and more) and agreeing on what it means (in general terms if not specifically)?”
No, I would prefer scientist acting like scientist, instead of pawns in the latest religious movenment. You know, questioning every assumption.
“And I’m curious as to what political motivations you assume lie behind the mix of international scientists working on this. Do you believe that the democrats conscripted them all?”
I would not be at all suprised. Reid and Pelosi have brought nothing but disgrace to the US and the DNC.
“What political motivations do you see in this?”
The rise of totaliarian control, the demise of freedom for individual people. Bringing power to a few people who are “so much smarter than the rest of us”, so much so that they deserve to run every aspect of our lives, ands how dare we question their theories.
” I seriously doubt that your domestic politics (interesting as I’m sure they are) lie behind the research findings.”
They do not. My point is that I would prefer to not be subjected to religious fanaticism, which is what the new “global warming theocracy” is. I would much prefer a healthy dose of sanity and reality. We are far too arragant to think that in less than 300 years we can ruin the earth.
God grant us freedom from this new theocracy of environmental idolitry, and let the sanity of the Gospel liberate us to be good stewards of the resources He has entrusted to us



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Paul C. Quillman

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:14 am


Canucklehead,
Please don’t give LeHaye another platform from which to damage people with his eschatology. Already, too many Christians fall for his unBiblical views on the book of Revalation.
Paul



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:55 am


There will be Global Warming on a scale that will put this tiny bit of GW to shame.
Ban-Ki Moon said: “Without a strong global effort against global warming, humankind could even be wiped out, along with other species.”
I’ll take the Apostle Peter’s word over Ban-ki-Moon. If you Christians out there don’t know what I mean, then you better read your Bible a little more carefully. A hint: 2 Peter 3.
And as far as science, I seem to remember being taught that Pluto was a full blown planet. I think I read that in a science book too.
Oops, and all those warnings about “don’t drink coffee, drink coffee, don’t drink.”
I’m still waiting for the Global “ice age” we were warned about years ago. The moths have eaten most of my heavy wool pants and shirts I bought to protect myself.
And if it gets to hot, I will still refuse to run around naked — just not a pretty sight.
fishon



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Trent

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:33 am


Paul,
I sort of hope you’re joking. I’m trying to imagine a wide range of climatologists from many nations, faith and creeds working together to create a ‘theocracy of environmental idolatry’ under the direction of Pelosi and Reid.
Can’t write, too busy chuckling.
Be Blessed,



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:42 am


The blatant ignorance of how science operates and how scientists work is so obvious here among the so-called “rationalists” who deny that this climate thing is a serious problem. It appears that we all need refresher courses in the scientific method. (Last I knew, scientists weren’t remotely interested in creating any kind of ‘theocracy’. They are just doing their work.) That’s all I will say for now.
Cancklehead, how can Tim LaHaye qualify for the Nobel peace prize when his doomsday scenarios involve so much bloodshed? I suppose we should all be at peace with the fact that so many Jews and others will be slaughtered during the “tribulation,” because it’s right there in the Bible after all, and all we should do is believe it!? ;-)
Peace to all,



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:45 am


Just saw Trent’s note. Like Trent, I’m too busy laughing about the notion of a religious conspiracy among scientists!
Peace



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Moderatelad

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:09 am


Posted by: Trent | October 16, 2007 12:36 AM
But there is strong evidence that what we are experiencing has happened before, that it is a cycle that occurs on a regular basis.
(OK – kinder – gentler…)
Gore has his Noble Prize. If ‘climate change’ is happening and we are the cause – why did the Noble people give it to the ‘spokes person’ and not a researcher or a group of PhD’s that have put together evidence of climate change?
too many other viable options that have not been disproved and in my estimation too much that is questionable on the other.
Recycle – gas efficent vehicles – yes. I promise I will not travel to visit my brother or sister on a private jet. I will do my part.
Blessings -
.



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Moderatelad

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:44 am


Posted by: Hali | October 15, 2007 4:48 PM
No – I have nevered denied that we are warming ‘slightly’. I am just questioning what is causing the slight warming. I have found information that what we are experiencing is a ‘cycle’ the earth goes through every so often. There is information that other planets are ‘warming’ just like we are but Gore will never address that question.
Blessings -
.



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Donny

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:52 am


Is it not a strange “coincidence” that global warming just so happens to align itself exclusively with all of the aims and goals of the Humanist Left? And also that globalwarmingism soundsa a lot like guilt, repentance and forgiveness preaching? Gore and his congregants sure sound like preachers.
I smell a rat in the global political action comittee being set up to promote this new religion based on old Gaia worship.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:57 am


Sadly, Trent, I am not joking. I really don’t think that Reid and Pelosi are running the show, they are not that smart. However, I do see that liberals in general are bowing before this massive report without critically examining the contents. The demand to just accept the report, and don’t question it is at a religious ferver. If we let it go on long enough, the theocracy I spoke of is not far behind.
Why not let rational thought, common sense, and a healthy dose of Biblical reality guide our thinking on matters of the environment? IOW, lets be good stewards of the earth that God has entrusted us to, without bowing to the idol of environmentalism.
As Fishon alluded to, the “consensus” 30 years ago was that we were headed for another ice age. Time and Newsweek did big articles on it. Nearly 100 years ago, the New York Times did a piece on how global warming was going to get us. The reality is we just don’t know.
In light of that, sanity would suggest we stop waisting energy the arragant rant on how we are killing the planet, spend that energy on being good stewards, and engage in more research.



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Trent

posted October 16, 2007 at 9:24 am


Moderatelad,
I do appreciate the kinder, gentler approach. It’s really refeshing and I hope everyone can reciprocate in kind, especially when they disagree, then at least our Christian discussion won’t look like politics (and more importantly won’t be a witness against Christ in whom we’re supposed to find unity).
On the point though I totally understand where you are coming from that there is evidence of cycles of warming and cooling of the planet. And while I think we do need to keep researching and watching the phenomena, I think that the prudent cause of action is, as you’ve described, to try to do a better job of managing this world that God has entrusted to us. As for the Nobel I have no idea why it was given to Gore, only I suspect it’s probably easier to award it to him than to an extensive panel of researchers (who’d probably get snarky if some of them were nominated but others weren’t).
Paul, if this were something that just affected the US, and was just a useful tool for some groups in your domestic arena then the sort of conspiracy you’re talking about just might make sense. But given the international scope, the recognition of the problem across countries, races, languages, political leanings and faith groups, I suspect that a conspiracy is so extremely unlikely as to be untenable.
And Australia I’m sad to say is one of the first countries I know of being affected (at least the first affluent country – as the UK press reported a while back) where we’re into our seventh year of drought across most of the country and where a significant portion of our south is under the hole in the ozone layer. It’s surely possible as Moderatelad suggested that this warming is not solely or entirely caused by human activity (against the weight of scientific evidence but not impossible), but the warming itself is taking place.
If there is anything we can do, then we probably should, even if we remain sceptical.
Be Blessed,



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jerry

posted October 16, 2007 at 9:31 am


bren i agree with your basic lesson on water. but glorifying and listening to hypocrites like gore will not provide the solutions you are looking for. we are talking here about what is causing the warming. and there is no proof/consensus that humans are to blame. gore and politicians will ride this pony until they get more control over your life. the scientists develop a theory then go about proving it…follow the money. grant money, book money, movie money, green credits, etc, etc,. the new religion you all are trying to define is really a very old one – love of money and power.



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 9:42 am


“There is information that other planets are ‘warming’ just like we are but Gore will never address that question.”
Scientists have long since addressed this question. You don’t think they would have? Of course they have!
And guess what: some planets are warming, but not all planets are warming. That strongly suggests that there is no single cause for the warming (such as the oft-suggested increase in the sun’s output). No dice, folks. The sun’s output does fluctuate, but only about one or two percentage points. Not enough to be responsible for the observed warming of the earth or any other planet.
Besides, a warming of the earth due to an increase in the sun’s output would show up even stronger in Venus, which is much closer to the sun. But Venus’ surface climate has not experienced warming. And solar output decreases geometrically based on distance from the sun. In other words, a body twice as far as the earth from the sun would receive only 1/4, not 1/2 of the energy from the sun that the earth receives. (This is taught in high school physics.) So if an increase in the sun’s energy output were warming Mars, which receives only about 44% of the energy the earth receives, it would have caused a much greater warming here on earth.
So the solar system warming “argument” is basically a sham.



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Trent

posted October 16, 2007 at 9:49 am


It would be a horrible shame if the US missed an opportunity to act on global warming because of suspicions of Gore.
Maybe Bono should have been asked to narrate the movie (is he acceptable to both sides?)
Be Blessed,



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 10:25 am


A quick survey for the global climate change deniers posting on this thread:
1. Did you go to college?
2. Did you flunk science in school?
3. Did you even take a science class?
4. Did you learn science in Sunday school?
5. Were you home schooled from a faith-based science textbook?
Thank you for taking this survey.
And please don’t run for public office.



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squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 10:52 am


Justintime–
Thanks for posting the survey. I was going to, but you beat me to the punch. Here are my observations as someone who actually teaches college level science courses:
1. Most students in my classes have had very little science both in and outside of high school.
2. Most students in my classes admit they know very little about science.
3. Most students in my classes admit they are afraid of science because they think they will not understand it.
4. Most students in my classes openly admit they are not the least bit interested in science (the coup for me is when they tell me they think the stuff they are learning in my class is pretty cool afterall–which happens with enough frequency that my arm gets at least a small workout from patting myself on the back, but not so much that I am buff like Schwartzenegger–but then again, I go for the lean look when working out, so it’s alright).
5. Notwithstanding 1-4, most students in my classes are experts on Global Climate Change, even though over half of them don’t actually know what it is, and of those who think they do know what it is, think it is caused by the hole in the ozone layer. I actually do have survey evidence to back up statement #5.
I’m sorry, but number 5 does not mesh with numbers 1-4. Someone please explain to me how it does.
By the way, every one of you doubters immediately lose credibility the moment you say things implying you think Al Gore came up with this whole global warming thing. Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, and he didn’t invent the concept of Global Climate Change.
So, I will be interested in the results from Justintime’s survey.
And doubters, please omit Al Gore from this discussion. Take some time and actually learn this material. As I have suggested before, start with the EPA’s website. And you should also note that President Bush is also finally admitting that global climate change has a human cause.



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squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 10:54 am


Moderatelad,
you said you completed my assignment, so I am going to ask you for a list of sources you examined in doing so.



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:21 am


Squeaky wrote: “Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, and he didn’t invent the concept of Global Climate Change.”
I seem to remember Al Gore saying he did invent the internet. You mean to tell me he really didn’t?? Oops, if that’s so, maybe he is not being fully up front about GW??
I tell you, I am sooooo confused. Wait a minute, I just remembered, Al Gore is first and foremost a polititian——I CAN TRUST him. How silly of me.
And yep, I can believe those scientists too. I am a decendent of apes. Yes sir, as a Christian I believe everything science teaches–NOT!
fishon



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Brad

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:30 am


I’m not a “doubter” as that would imply that I might be convinced that something is true. Man-made global warming is just too lacking in science and there is too much factual evidence to the contrary. Al Gore is either a liar or the most vile, despicable human being alive. If he truly believed his own rhetoric, he would not own 5 different mansions, travel in motorcades of SUV’s and fly in private jets (the old, gas-guzzling variety.) By his lifestyle, it is clear that he does not believe what he preaches. Or even worse, he does believe it and doesn’t care.
I prefer to listen to real scientists like Dr. Gray, the pioneer of Hurricane forcasting and a true student of climate. He says Gore’s ideas are laughable.



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:31 am


fishon,
You’re suffering from exposure to the extreme right wing Christian echo chamber.
You have a right to your own delusions, but please stay out of politics – just ‘fish on’.



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Moderatelad

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:32 am


Posted by: squeaky | October 16, 2007 10:54 AM
I am still in the process and have done very little when it comes to notes as just reading and following different links.
I will do better in the future but I am not going to change my perspective in just a few months. If I will change it will take a year+.
I do agree with ‘warming’ just not in agreement with it being caused only by fossel fuels that we use. I am leaning that we can influence our climate in the short run but it is a small percentage. I don’t jump too often with both feet at the same time. I am dangling my toe in the GW water at this time.
Blessings -
.



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:33 am


Fishon, Al Gore did NOT say he invented the Internet. His comments were taken out of context (a CNN interview in March 1999). Read what snopes.com has to say about it, and be sure to read through the entire entry:
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp
Also, Fishon scientists DO NOT claim that humans were descended from apes; another common distortion of the findings of science. You would do well to take justintime’s survey, or Squeaky’s.
Squeaky, thanks for the succinct description of the problem with science education. We need more Christians out there teaching real science instead of passing off nonsense (or worse) as science.
Peace,



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:42 am


“Al Gore is either a liar or the most vile, despicable human being alive. If he truly believed his own rhetoric, he would not own 5 different mansions, travel in motorcades of SUV’s and fly in private jets (the old, gas-guzzling variety.) By his lifestyle, it is clear that he does not believe what he preaches. Or even worse, he does believe it and doesn’t care.
I prefer to listen to real scientists like Dr. Gray, the pioneer of Hurricane forcasting and a true student of climate. He says Gore’s ideas are laughable.”
Brad, I’ve never been a big fan of Al Gore either, but this is nothing more than the old . Dismiss everything Gore says because in your mind he’s a hypocrite. Makes arguing easy, doesn’t it? You don’t have to do research to come up with reasoned counter-arguments.
It really doesn’t matter if Gore’s a hypocrite or not. His arguments stand or fall on their own merits, regardless of his own character. The observed data–that is, the scientific evidence–determines whether what he says is valid or not, not what kind of car he drives. Go to Gore’s sources and read them if you can’t trust him. There’s plenty of scientific evidence out there about global warming that doesn’t have his fingerprints on it.
Almost every thing you said about Gore isn’t true anyway. (What does the Bible say about bearing false witness?) He drives a hybrid Lexis, not a gas guzzler. When he flies, he flies commercially just like you and I would. He only owns one house, and it’s in Nashville. he’s doing what he can to retrofit it so it will be more energy efficient, including installing solar panels. He buys “green” energy from the utility company–and pays a premium price for it. In other words, he’s walking the talk. Are you?
Peace,



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kevin s.

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:45 am


I suppose I’m lumped in with the Global Climate Change deniers so…
1. Did you go to college?
Yes. Go Sagehens.
2. Did you flunk science in school?
Not remotely.
3. Did you even take a science class?
I took every science class offered, as well as biology and environmental science courses at the local community college in the summer.
4. Did you learn science in Sunday school?
No.
5. Were you home schooled from a faith-based science textbook?
No. But I want to make a comment here. I took science courses from the third grade and onward. Every time the issue of the environment came up, it was presented as a policy issue. We learned of the bad things that could happen, and gained a rudimentary understanding of the process by which greenhouse gasses contribute to global warming.
Which is fair enough. Modeling and long-term forecasting methodologies are beyond the pale of most secondary science courses. But the way the information was presented (absent concrete science as it was) highly political. As such, it is unsurprising, if unimpressive, to see a Christian textbook respond in kind.
I do think the people on both sides of this issue are woefully ignorant of the science. When I hear someone say we don’t need scientific consensus to act, that sounds just as unreasonable as someone denying the global warming exists.



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:45 am


I’m not sure what happened to this sentence:
“Brad, I’ve never been a big fan of Al Gore either, but this is nothing more than the old …
the ending of the sentence should be:
argumentum ad hominem.
D



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N.M. Rod

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:51 am


Most people believe want they want to, almost always for self-serving economic reasons, regardless of the high rhetoric that masks it.



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:52 am


Gray and Muddy Thinking About Global Warming
Anybody who has followed press reporting on global warming, and particularly on its effects on hurricanes, has surely encountered various contrarian pronouncements by William Gray, of Colorado State University. A meeting paper that Gray provided in advance of the 2006 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, provides an illuminating window into Gray’s thinking on the subject. Our discussion is not a point-by-point rebuttal of Gray’s claims; there is far more wrong with the paper than we have the patience to detail. Gray will have plenty of opportunities to hear more about the work’s shortcomings if it is ever subjected to the rigors of peer review. Here we will only highlight a few key points which illustrate the fundamental misconceptions on the physics of climate that underlie most of Gray’s pronouncements on climate change and its causes.
Detailed critique of Dr. Gray’s paper is here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm


Dear Site Monitor,
Please read my last post, confirm that it contains only inconvenient truths.
If you agree, post it.
Thank you,



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squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 12:37 pm


fishon,
Gotta ask–what is evolution? How does it work? Did you get a flu shot?



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Brad

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:07 pm


Don, the fact that Al Gore is a hypocrite is not my reason for not believing that man is capable of affecting the world’s climate. (And incidentally, you should check your facts. I can direct you to the photos of Al & Tipper emerging from a private jet just weeks ago. The allegations I made against Gore are substantiated.) There are plenty of scientific facts that dispute the “man-made warming” hypothesis popularized by Gore, not the least of which is Dr. Gray’s years of study in the field. For several years, I was a Realtor in a mid-sized Southeast city. As such, no serious person would care about my opinion regarding the high-rise condo market in NYC or Industrial real estate investments in New Jersey, or Mineral rights with regards to ranch sales in Texas. But why not? After all, I was a licensed agent and a member of the Nat’l Assoc. of Realtors. But clearly, those fields were as foreign to me as climate research is to most of the “scientists” who are cited as sources supporting the man-made hypothesis.



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm


“But clearly, those fields were as foreign to me as climate research is to most of the “scientists” who are cited as sources supporting the man-made hypothesis.”
This is erroneous thinking. The scientists who are supporting the man-made climate change theory (it’s no longer a hypothesis) are climatologists; that is, experts in how earth’s climate systems work and change. They have dedicated their lives (in the case of one climate scientist I know of at Ohio State University, over thirty years) to trying to understand how the many factors and variables function to create and modify earth’s climate. They are the true experts. Questioning their scientific credentials is disengenous at least.
Brad, if you mean Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, he is not really an expert in earth’s climate systems. He’s a meterologist, not a climatologist. As good as he is at what he does, predicting hurricanes is not the same thing as understanding how earth’s climate systems work.
It’s sort of like the difference between a physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon.
And I’m not going to respond to your comments about Gore. I could post references, but you obviously are going to believe what you want to believe. And as I said, Gore’s lifestyle is not the issue. The evidence is. Read the evidence; don’t base you opinion on what you hear from others.
Peace,



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:36 pm


Brad: ‘After all, I was a licensed agent and a member of the Nat’l Assoc. of Realtors.’
That explains a lot about your opinions on global climate change, Brad.



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Brad

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:48 pm


I believe that I myself stated that Dr. Gray is a meteorologist, which I am well aware is different than a climatologist. I cited him because he is a specialist in predicting Hurricanes and has obliterated the attempt by Gore and others to link Hurricane strength and activity with global warming.
I’m glad to see that you are aware of the field of climatology, but you are mistaken when you say that climatologists agree on the hypothesis of man-made warming. (It is still only a hypothesis as there has been no scientific evidence or mathematical relationship proven between human activities and average temperatures. For example, please cite the mathematical equation that explains how x amount of carbon translates to y change in temperature. There is no such connection, therefore, it is merely a hypothesis, defined by Webster as “a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences.”)
My point in the previous post was to show that even Gore knows that there is no such concensus among climatologists, which is why he cites concensus among “scientists” which goes back to my analogy to being a Realtor and claiming expertise in fields of specializaton in which I have no experience.



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 1:59 pm


Dear Don,
I did as you requested and slipped on over to “snopes.” And this is what it says Al Gore said: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet.” I will let his statement speak for itself.
And whoever wrote the piece in snopes defended him by saying he was “clumsy” in his “phrasing.”
I suppose you defended Rush when he “clumsely” made his “phoney Soldiers” comment. I doubt it. No, I will let Al’s on words stand.
And science not claiming that humans were descended from apes; I still have trouble getting those pictures I was shown by my science teachers right out of science books of the ape in transition to becoming human. Are you telling me, Don, that what my science teachers taugth me from a science book was a distortion?? Am I the only one that saw those pictures [chart]? My goodness, what am I to believe today?
Come on, Don, you can do better than follow the “fact” changers.
fishon



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:10 pm


“My point in the previous post was to show that even Gore knows that there is no such concensus among climatologists”
Wrong, wrong, wrong! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26065-2004Dec25.html
(And this article is three years old. The consensus has simply been building since then.
The article talks about a survey of peer-reviewed publications in the field tha shows NOT ONE dissenting viewpoint published. And don’t forget the IPCC report. And yes, even the American Meteorlogical Assoc. issued a consensus statement, so Dr. Gray is on the outs with his own professional group. The consensus is there. The dissenters, such as they are, are for the most part in other fields (i.e., not climatology) and/or are on the payroll of Big Oil or other interests.
And further, one does not need a formula for a hypothesis to graduate to theory status. One needs evidence. And there’s plenty of that. It’s been building for over thirty years. At taht time, the “greenhouse effect” WAS a hypothesis, and most scientists were sceptical.
Have you read any of the REAL evidence, Brad?
Here’s my challenge, Brad, and I’ve offered this to other climate change deniers on this board, though nobody has yet come up with the goods: Find me an article 1–by a climatology expert 2–published in a peer-reviewed publication and 3–that clearly dissents from the view that human activities are contributing to climate change, and I’ll take it seriously. I promise.
Peace,



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:12 pm


Squeaky,
I suggest you do as I just did, open your Webster’s dictionary to E: evo-lu-tion. It sets open as I write. Then you will not have to depend on me for an explaination, but get it from the horse’s mouth {word}.
You asked, “How does it work?” Don’t believe in evolution as taught in school. You know, the pictures of apes transitioning to humans! I believe in the Genesis creation.
No, I haven’t got a flu shot? Do I need one?
fishon



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Fishon, you apparently didn’t read the entire Snopes article. Didn’t Eisenhower “create” the Interstate highway system? But does that mean he invented the concept of the superhighway? Or that he himself operated the bulldozers and stone crushers? Or rather, does it mean that he was the driving force behind the legislation that made the Interstate system possible?
Don’t you think it’s possible that Gore was simply making a similar claim for himself, since he sponsored the 1988 National High-performance Computer Act and co-sponsored the 1992 Infrastructure and Technology Act?
And what about the 2005 lifetime achievement award that Gore won regarding his contributions to the Internet over three decades?
I agree with Snopes that Gore’s response was clumsy, but he was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet!
And regarding evolution, I should let the science teacher here (Squeaky) speak, but evolutionary theory maintains that humans and apes both descended from a common ancestor, not that humans descended from apes. Maybe to you that’s a trivial distinction, but not to scientists. If that famous chart that you mentioned ever was considered an accurate representation of what most believe actually happened, it no longer is.
Later,



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:23 pm


justintime,
I have decided to take your survey.
#1. Yes
#2. Yes
#3. Yes–couldn’t answer number 2 if hadn’t
#4. No–never went to SS
#5. No–didn’t know there was such a thing when I
was in school.
By the way, justintime, I don’t deny GW. Just what causes it and how much of a threat it really is. Now if you want to read about a real GW, read 2 Peter 3:10.
Run for public office–I wouldn’t sink to that low in this political climate.
fishon



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canucklehead

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:27 pm


Why does Donny blame the Gaia rights movement for everything?



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canucklehead

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:30 pm


Being duly chastened in his nomination of Tim LaHayHay for the Nobel, canucklehead retracts it and compromises by suggesting John “Ample” Hagee as co-winner.



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:34 pm


Dear Don,
You write: “If that famous chart that you mentioned ever was considered an accurate representation of what most believe actually happened, it no longer is.”
That is just the point we, so-called, deniers are getting at. In 30 yrs, we will know [well I will probably be dead] that the GW scare was wrong, just like the transitional ape to human chart was. Kinda like the “ice age” is coming upon us in a few short years.
fishon



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canucklehead

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm


>>>”I prefer to listen to real scientists like Dr. Gray, the pioneer of Hurricane forcasting and a true student of climate. He says Gore’s ideas are laughable.” Brad
If I recall correctly, the all-knowing powers-that-were once scoffed at Galileo and Copernicus also.



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canucklehead

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:40 pm


>>>”And regarding evolution, I should let the science teacher here (Squeaky) speak, but evolutionary theory maintains that humans and apes both descended from a common ancestor, not that humans descended from apes. Maybe to you that’s a trivial distinction, but not to scientists.” Don
I say all regular contributors to this blog be required to submit recent headshots and then we take the vote on the ape-origin thing. One vote per ape.



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justintime

posted October 16, 2007 at 2:49 pm


It’s the ape in me that keeps getting me into trouble.



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 3:02 pm


“I suggest you do as I just did, open your Webster’s dictionary to E: evo-lu-tion. It sets open as I write. Then you will not have to depend on me for an explanation, but get it from the horse’s mouth {word}.”
Fishon, I think Squeaky’s point was that before you can properly criticize evolution, you ought to understand what it is. A simple dictionary definition isn’t what Squeaky was asking you for. And judging from the evidence from the things you have written here today, I would say that you probably do not understand it. (E.g., do you know what natural selection is? Do you know how natural selection operates to effect genetic changes in an organism? Do you understand the cumulative effects of such genetic changes over time among separate populations?)
Squeaky can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that chart, despite its popularity, ever really reflected what evolutionary theory actually posited for human origins. And even if not, comparing revisions to evolutionary theory to global warming deniers is a bit of a false analogy (i.e., an apples-to-oranges comparison).
I leave you with a couple of questions: does evolution actually teach there is no God? Is it possible to believe that God created all that exists and still affirm evolution?
Peace!



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 3:07 pm


I wrote:
“Do you know how natural selection operates to effect genetic changes in an organism?”
I should have written:
Do you know how natural selection operates to effect genetic changes in the descendants of organisms?
D



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 3:09 pm


“Why does Donny blame the Gaia rights movement for everything?”
Maybe because they’re so down to earth? ;-)
D



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 3:14 pm


Don asked me: I should have written:
Do you know how natural selection operates to effect genetic changes in the descendants of organisms?
No.
fishon



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Don

posted October 16, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Do you know how natural selection operates …?
No.
fishon
Then you shouldn’t try to criticize evolution. Your criticisms are meaningless if you don’t understand it.



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Hali

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:29 pm


“Moderatelad” wrote
“Gore has his Noble[sic] Prize. If ‘climate change’ is happening and we are the cause – why did the Noble[sic] people give it to the ‘spokes person’ and not a researcher or a group of PhD’s that have put together evidence of climate change? ”
Gore shared the prize with the entire IPCC.
“No – I have nevered denied that we are warming ‘slightly’.”
Mod, when you take that introductory science class I suggested, I strongly recommmend chemistry. You’ll see what a few degrees (C) can do.
“I am just questioning what is causing the slight warming.”
Read the IPCC report.



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Bud Duncan

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:36 pm


“I do think the people on both sides of this issue are woefully ignorant of the science. When I hear someone say we don’t need scientific consensus to act, that sounds just as unreasonable as someone denying the global warming exists.”
Thank you for weighing in Donny.



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squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:37 pm


Kevin S. and everyone who wishes to learn more about actual science from actual scientists and not politicians.
“But the way the information was presented (absent concrete science as it was) highly political.”
There really are better textbooks out there than what you have encountered. I have an excellent textbook to suggest. Environment: The Science Behind the Stories by Withgott and Brennan
I can’t say enough how well done it is–it presents the issues and gives both sides of the story. Several sections give studies, how the scientists came to their conclusions, and how other scientists do work to either support or question those conclusions. It does a great job of showing how science works, and is not political. It has a foundational section that delves into the history of environmental conservation, environmental legislation, how the government enacts environmental legislation, the economic issues involved, and environmental ethics. From my perspective, it is easy to understand (I’m sure my students will say differently), and quite interesting. It’s a very good starting point for dealing with these issues.
I’m sure you can pick it up on Amazon if you are interested…and no, Withgott and Brennan aren’t paying me royalties for this advertising I am giving them for free–although maybe that’s a thought…



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Tony Dickinson

posted October 16, 2007 at 5:06 pm


As a fellow-countryman of the “UK judge” cited in the first post on this thread, can I correct some rather over-heated comments? Mr Justice Barton allowed that “An Inconvenient Truth” was “broadly accurate” in its presentation of climate change. He identified nine significant errors (I can detail them if you want – but, hey, let’s not allow mere facts to get in the way of good solid prejudice!) but said that many of the claims made by the film were supported by the weight of scientific evidence and he identified four main hypotheses each of which is very well supported “by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”.
Mr Justice Barton also, by the way, threw out the attempt to block plans to show the film in schools as part of a climate change resource pack, though he did rule that it should be accompanied by fresh guidance notes.
PS Somebody asked why the Nobel Committee gave the prize to Gore and not to the scientists. They did actually give it to both. As my morning paper said:
“The former US vice-president Al Gore and the UN climate change panel will share the 2007 Nobel peace prize for raising awareness of the risks of climate change, the Nobel committee announced today.
Chosen from a field of 181 candidates, Mr Gore and the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) will split the $1.5m (£750,000) prize.”
And while I’m at it, you might like to know that the (London) Observer “has established that Dimmock’s case was supported by a powerful network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies.”



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kevin s.

posted October 16, 2007 at 5:47 pm


Squeaky,
Thanks for the textbook reco, but I think our schools need it more. Frankly, I think schools would do better to teach kids the science, and let them make up their own minds about the issue. It’s science class, not social justice class. You’ll have more effective advocates down the road.
“Read the IPCC report.”
Have you read the IPCC report, Hali?



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:32 pm


Don wrote: “Then you shouldn’t try to criticize evolution. Your criticisms are meaningless if you don’t understand it.”
Why Don, that would take the fun out of life.
Don, I don’t understand Hillary, but I am still going to be critical. I don’t understand Muslim extremeist, but I am still going to be critical. I don’t understand Pres. Bush’s handling of the war, so I will criticize none-the-less.
By the way,Don, how much do I have to know before my criticisms are meaningful??? Tell me Don, I don’t understand the limitations you would put on me.
And by the way, Don, I wonder just how much you really know?
fishon



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Hali

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:37 pm


kevin s. asked,
“Have you read the IPCC report, Hali?”
No, I read the summary as soon as they released it (before they released the whole report). I’m not the one asking for additional evidence, though ;) The summary was not just an abstract – did give sufficient details to support their conclusions.
Have you read either one?



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squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 6:52 pm


fishon,
Actually–You have no basis for an opinion if you have learned nothing about which you have an opinion about. Opinions really only have value if they come from facts. An opinion not based on fact is, quite frankly, based on ignorance and prejudice. So I ask again–what is evolution and how does it work? If you can’t answer those simple questions, your opinion is not based on a careful evaluation of the facts.



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fishon

posted October 16, 2007 at 7:10 pm


And there is the rub. Often times the “so-called” facts are in dispute.
fishon



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Hali

posted October 16, 2007 at 7:17 pm


fishon wrote,
“And there is the rub. Often times the ‘so-called’ facts are in dispute.”
You cannot dispute facts, “so-called” or otherwise, without knowing the facts that you are disputing. So I will repeat squeaky’s question: what is evolution, and how does it work?



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Feargal

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:28 pm


As a scientist using risk assessments to look at major development approvals, I find much of this discussion irrelevant and distracting. The jury was out in 1990, when I first joined discussions on global warming; the level of detail in modelling and mechanistic response simply wasn’t available. The level of detail, sensitivity analyses and responses to changed parameters available now is simply mind boggling.
The more important question, though, is what do we DO with such information; even if not entirely certain, are we justified in taking action? Does lack of full scientific certainty justify doing nothing?
The answer, of course, is we MUST take action. Humans are not separate to the environment; every impact we cause has consequences, and now greenhouse gas concentration increases are well understood, and the consequences of no action are also being brought into realistic risk scenarios, the requirement for action is more urgent than we could have believed possible. To do climate change deniers, could I ask when were you last in China? Do have any idea of the state of the world when we will jostle with 9 billion fellow humans? How can you justify nil action; it seems like Canute’s choice, or Louis XIV; either can’t stop the tide, or “Apres moi, la deluge”.
Careful evaluation of predicted possibilities will go on, and verification of actual impacts will occur with or without you. Just as in my job, I will resign if I take no action against predicted impacts on critical water supplies (as noted above, more pressing an issue in Australia would be hard to find). What will you do when Pakistan, or India, Or sub-Saharan Africa, or Central Asia run out of water?
What exactly do You propose to do in response to the warnings that are in the face of the world’s population?



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:51 pm


Part of the problem might have been with Inconvenient Truth . The plus side it proves Al Gore does have a personality . That proved the right wrong . I still want scientific proof that was him .
But many of his proposed predictions and some of the facts were just over the top , and the water level stuff was way off even the stop global warming at all costs side stated this .
.
The real solution is in techonology I think . China and India are going to be having massive increases in fossil fuel use , you are not going to be able to stop thrird world nations from being able to feed their poor by convincing them to use solar power . They will ask us how come we didn’t ?
But with techonology , and we are getting better , slowly , of having power that is re newable , cleaner , and CHEAPER is the answer .
How about a President that says in 10 years we will be energy independent. ,
I bet we could if we wanted to . ?



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c kitty

posted October 16, 2007 at 10:28 pm


fishon, Squeakey
There’s way too much factless opinionating going on. Thanks Squeaky for throwing a wet blanket on it.
Mick — you’re right, not only is energy independence the answer, it would also be an econmic boon if our entrepreneurs, our industries come up with the solutions. As Tom Friedman has pointed out, other countries will be beating a path to our door to but it from us. I can’t believe that American capitlaists haven’t seen that handwriting on the wall. Maybe it takes a louder chorus from the public.



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Moderatelad

posted October 17, 2007 at 8:19 am


Posted by: Hali | October 16, 2007 4:29 PM
Read the IPCC report.
There are several groups of experts that I consider peers of those that are promoting GW and they are questioning it.
Tell me something – roles reversed. If lets say John MaCain was playing the role that Al Gore is on promoting GW or CC, would you be so willing to back it?
Personally – I don’t think so, even if he has done everything that Gore has done.
Blessings -
.



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I and I

posted October 17, 2007 at 9:23 am


Well, Exxon got its wish. There is now doubt and confusion sown about global warming, even though nearly all scientists who are NOT being funded by those with an interest in suppressing knowledge of it have agreed that there is a problem.
As to you doubters and Exxon-party-line peddlers, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid you can’t drive your Hummer (or Yukon or Expedition, or whatever) anymore? Are you afraid to look reality in the face and admit that you (we all) are contributing to this problem and are going to leave a mess for our children?
Thank you Exxon, for letting us live in denial. Just as so many of us lived in denial about how rotten things were in the South for people of color in the ’50′s.



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squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 9:54 am


moderatelad,
Personally, I don’t care who would play the role Al Gore is currently playing. I happen to have a lot of respect for John McCain, however, and actually wish it HAD been him who took up the mantle. I don’t think he carries the same political baggage Gore does. I’m glad Gore has taken up the cause, but I still wish it were someone who doesn’t elicit such a gutteral response from his political rivals. As you can tell from reading comments on this thread, many have completely ignored the evidence and written it off as Gore’s idea. If Bush takes up the mantle, and I do give him credit for his apparent recent turn around, I will be extremely happy and supportive. So your political argument doesn’t hold water with me, or, frankly, anyone who is concerned about the climate.
fishon,
here’s another way of looking at your argument about science and your refusal to look at the evidence. You seem to think that going on hearsay makes you informed. So let me ask you–if an atheist told you the Bible was bunk and full of lies, and you found out that atheist hasn’t even read the Bible but was getting his or her information from sources hostile to the Bible, how much stock would you put in that person’s opinion? Would you consider it informed? If you are not going to take the time to learn anything about science, then your opinion is not informed. Learn a little. It won’t hurt.



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squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:04 am


“what are you afraid of? ”
What they are afraid of has more to do with economics than anything else–at least that is what I have observed (of course, if the hidden costs of fossil fuels were actually figured into the equation in a way that we could actually see their effects on our economy, their tune might change). It may also be a fear of letting go of a very comfortable lifestyle and this American attitude that we are individuals and can live our lives however we please. To suddenly realize we need to be responsible about the good of the community as a whole can be very jarring (even when doing so means a richer lifestyle, and one that can be attained with really not that much sacrifice). I’ve noticed a bit of an “am I my brother’s keeper?” response, and just in general how we Americans live our lives. That’s a criticism, to be sure, but understand I know full well I am guilty as well.



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jerry

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:25 am


notice how certain people bring in the race card on every subject?
the present energy companies have the distribution systems so they will benefit regardless of where our energy comes from.
does anybody remember the hole in the atmosphere over antarctica? and the warnings of pending disaster.
you can’t have alternative energy and refuse to build wind farms, nuke power plants, etnanol plants etc. and yes, the emerging contries will pump massive amounts of polution into the air. u s originated polution is insignificant in light of world wide polution sources, both man made and natural.
follow al gore, follow the money, let sojo be your guide. or, start helping people who suffer with environmental problems like drought.



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Moderatelad

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:52 am


Posted by: squeaky | October 17, 2007 9:54 AM
When you speak – I listen. I am still learning because so much changes in our world too fast.
I don’t think that Hali and others share your same view-point. One person that I had a lot of respect for about enviormental issues was the late Eddy Albert. He took on the Calif. Condor issue and proved what was happening and what was the fix. He never made people or industry the problem – it was DDT and showed us that we needed to find another way to accomplish what DDT did for us and how removing DDT would save the Condor.
Yes – he talked to Congress but he did not make anyone the ‘enemy’ like Gore and Co have. He asked them to become part of the solution. I believe that can be done today but not with the current leaders and spokesman.
We made a change on the chem. that was used for cooling in Air conditioners and ref. freezers. It was phased out over a period of time causing little if any problems with all involved.
The same can be done with climate change – globle warming or the coming ice age. BUT – there needs to be a controled, gaged, systematic change over several years so that we can make the change and not destroy our ecconomy or peoples ability to make a living. This can be done without the ‘carbon credits and taxes’ that are currently being put forward as the solution.
Blessings -
.



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squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 11:27 am


Moderatelad,
Appreciate your props.
The DDT issue and ozone issue are great examples because they show us what we can do when we acknowledge the science and do something about it. These changes didn’t come about without opposition, however. I should also point out that DDT and freon were used extensively in ignorance because we didn’t understand their impact. Once that became clear, we were able to enact legislation to fix those problems. We can’t use the ignorance excuse any longer because we do know the effects of pollution on the environment and on ourselves.
Jerry–not sure your point on the Ozone, but the reason the hole is smaller (it’s still there) is not because scientific concern was a hoax. It is because laws were enacted that prohibited the use of CFC’s that were causing the hole.
carbon credits and taxes are a possible solution–it has helped with other kinds of pollution. In any case, it is a proposal–if people are in opposition to it, then let’s talk about why, rather than just dismissing it as unviable. If people only talk about why it won’t work without considering possibilities, then any possibilities that would have arisen from an open, honest discussion will be lost. Those who see problems with it need to bring those problems out in the open so that the proposal can be adjusted to accommodate those problems. This country works when people with other viewpoints bring their concerns into the conversation–that is why our forefathers gave us three branches of government. They valued all opinions and viewpoints. Just saying “it won’t work” and shutting down the discussion never leads to a sollution or progress. and if we are all concerned about the environment, we can’t afford to shut down the conversation.
We can respond to Global Climate Change. I would submit we don’t rely on government or business to start the ball rolling, but realize our unsustainable lifestyles can change in really simple ways that won’t hurt, and in fact will give us many benefits. Turn the lights off. Recycle. Turn the heat down. Drive less. In the end, we can save our own pocketbooks just by being more aware of our impact and have a positive affect on the environment. No more waiting for others to find the solution–the solution is within each of us.



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Anonymous

posted October 17, 2007 at 12:04 pm


Moderatelad wrote:
“Tell me something – roles reversed. If lets say John MaCain was playing the role that Al Gore is on promoting GW or CC, would you be so willing to back it?
Personally – I don’t think so, even if he has done everything that Gore has done.”
Moderatelad, as I have written to you on previous threads, Gore isn’t the issue. It’s the evidence. The evidence is what drives this issue, not Al Gore. If Gore got hit by a Prius today, we’d still be wrestling with climate change next week.
I wouldn’t care if McCain, or George W. Bush, or for that matter Rush Limbaugh, got behind the climate change issue and did what Gore is currently doing. The important thing is that the message would be gettting out.
So your argument–that I wouldn’t support this issue if it weren’t for Gore–is invalid.
Fishon wrote:
“And by the way, Don, I wonder just how much you really know? ”
About evolution? Not a lot. But enough to know that I would be unable to mount a valid science-based critique of the theory if I wanted to.
Squeaky is right–become informed.
Jerry wrote:
“does anybody remember the hole in the atmosphere over antarctica? and the warnings of pending disaster.”
Yes, Jerry, I remember. After science raised the alarm, we took steps to fix the problem, most particularly banning CFC’s. In other words, we heeded the warnings and averted disaster.
Why is it so hard to see that we need to heed the climate change warnings in the same way?



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Don

posted October 17, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Last post was mine.
Peace,



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squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 12:44 pm


Thanks, Don,
I always appreciate your well-reasoned responses.



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kevin s.

posted October 17, 2007 at 1:58 pm


“The DDT issue and ozone issue are great examples because they show us what we can do when we acknowledge the science and do something about it.”
Other than the several million people who were infected with malaria because we ceased its use, you’re right on. I think the DDT hysteria is a perfect example of turning environmentalism into an idol at the expense of all reason. But who needs science? Bald Eagles were dying!



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Hali

posted October 17, 2007 at 3:44 pm


“Moderatelad” asked,
“Tell me something – roles reversed. If lets say John MaCain[sic] was playing the role that Al Gore is on promoting GW or CC, would you be so willing to back it?”
Of course. Apparently you don’t know me as well as you think. I’m not a big fan of Al Gore’s. He just happens to be right about this issue, and I applaud him for that. McCain has been right about a number of things, as have Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and George W. Bush. I NEVER reject an idea simply because of the messenger. In fact, one of the worst plagues that the Republicans have inflicted on American politics since the 1980′s is the substitution of personal attack in the place of rational argumentation.
Now, can you answer your own question?



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 17, 2007 at 5:36 pm


Hali ,
Sorry to hear about your Grandfather and DDT . I think Kevin was speaking to possible over reaction to DDT , and the fact is DDT contributed to the final eradication of malaria in Europe and North America . It still is used today , but with controversary . Usually by poor third world countries , who measure the deaths that are for certain coming their way against the side effects if they don’t use it .
Appears to me we got rid of it becasuse it was proven to have some nasty side effects . Perhaps how it is an example in this debate is science has not yet proven there will be drastic bad effects from global warming , that if there is even anything we can do about it , and also are you willing to telll those starving people in the third world countries to not utilize the techonology that we have in this country to feed their people because it may add a considerable amount to global warming .
I guess what makes this strange is the left on this site so often promotes feeding and helping the poor , and here is a situation your “political ” views may cause the poor to be hurt .
There are smart people on both sides of this issue that disagree . And they base their views on science not politics .



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squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm


Mick,
“Perhaps how it is an example in this debate is science has not yet proven there will be drastic bad effects from global warming ,”
to really prove that, we would have to wait for it to happen. I don’t think anyone wants that. The signs that it is happening are all around us, and they are very compelling.
“that if there is even anything we can do about it ,”
of course there is something we can do about it. We just aren’t willing to let go of our wasteful lifestyles. I posted on this above…
“and also are you willing to telll those starving people in the third world countries to not utilize the techonology that we have in this country to feed their people because it may add a considerable amount to global warming . ”
I think the question is, are you willing to tell those people in the third world countries that the reason they are suffering even more drought conditions than before is that we in the 1st world ignored the signs of climate change? It will effect the poorest nations worst, as posited by the article above.
Additionally, my suggestion is that these third world nations become natural laboratories of technological innovation. They could lead the way in finding new alternative energies. They currently don’t have the structure to do so, so it would take wealthier nations, or even better, businesses, investing in their energy infrastructure using new technologies. Some of this is already happening, as some communities are being given very simple solar stoves which use only the sun’s rays to cook for them. This in itself saves them time which enables them to do other things like get an education or start and run a business. Those investing in these nations would also educate the people working for them, thus also increasing the overall education level of those nations. Anyway, that’s how I would deal with that problem if I were emporer of the world…



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Don

posted October 17, 2007 at 6:39 pm


Thanks, Don,
I always appreciate your well-reasoned responses.
And thank you, Squeaky, for your thoughtful comments.
D



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 17, 2007 at 7:54 pm


think the question is, are you willing to tell those people in the third world countries that the reason they are suffering even more drought conditions than before is that we in the 1st world ignored the signs of climate change
Squeaky I think you copped out being honest here without really thinking about this . Transportation , getting goods to market , heating homes , and farming has been revolutionized by the use of fossil fuels . Third world countries have people starving now . you can say with conviction those people are better off waiting for another techonology and just allowing people starve to death . You think I have to answer to them for droughts they have been having since recorded time , and you better realize your facts of INCREASED droughts and global warming in many regions don’t add up . I am surprised you don’t know that ?
My point is the global warming crowd at times appears as a religion , where common sense is forgotten in the name of dogma . Sorry , but this is where the left screws up on this issue . For one thing we will never be able to say to China or India what to do , the second thing is even with the political majority of democrats in office , they do not have the spine to push the policies that will require a drastic change in how we exist. It will cost the average American an increase in costs, a dramatic increase , their transportation love affair with their cars to end, and it will cost the majority of democrats to become a majority of republicans . Conssidering the last bunch of spending fools who were republicans that would anything to be happy about .



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kevin s.

posted October 17, 2007 at 9:44 pm


“My grandfather died from the effects of DDT exposure.”
That would be impossible to conclude from any scientific study. Sorry for your loss.
“Top predators are canaries in a coal mine. (Google: bioaccumulation)
Really, Kevin, I don’t know a nice way to put this… you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
Oh? Than why did the WHO begin allowing DDT in 2006? Do they not know what they hell they are talking about either? Maybe they should use Google. There is no proven link between cancer and DDT. There is, however, an extraodinarily well documented link between the use of DDT and the elimination of malaria. Ceasing to use DDT cost literally millions of lives.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Thank you Exxon, for letting us live in denial. Just as so many of us lived in denial about how rotten things were in the South for people of color in the ’50′s.
Posted by: I and I
What is your problem , not only rude but intellectually dishonest Linking a view point on this issue that does not agree with yours to racism . There were some comments from the left I enjoyed reading , this was not one of them .



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dug

posted June 8, 2013 at 10:02 am


Test your Faith! Read entire link. You may never believe in God again! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAURq_ouYLc



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