Climate Change and Trust II

Let me approach this issue from another angle.  For those of you who are skeptical of climate change science or are suspicious of its political implications, I have a thought experiment.   
Let us imagine, just for a few minutes, that the following statements are true.
  • Average global temperature is increasing.
  • Human activity, such as the industrial production of greenhouse gasses, is the main cause of this warming.
  • Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will have negative consequences for large numbers of people during the coming decades if present trends continue.
  • Conditions on this planet decades from now are affected by actions humans take now.
If this were all true, what would the proper response be by our nation and world?
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8 Responses to Climate Change and Trust II

  1. Darius says:

    I'll think about that. In the meantime, how about this? What if we assume for a few minutes that ANY of the following are true:

    – Global temps have plateaued for a decade and are likely destined for a long-term decline (which has already begun)

    – Solar activity or other natural occurrences are the main cause of any temp change, up or down

    – Warming, even if it does happen, will positively affect more people than those it negatively affects (particularly in the third world)

    – Based on United Nation and the IPCC, any actions done now by humans will have limited affect on any future climate.

    – Any serious government actions will be very detrimental to the health and survival of third world economies.

    ——————–

    Do you seriously still believe that global warming is occurring? The science is pretty well against it these days. For one, the earth hasn't warmed in a decade, which even the World Meteorological Org admits. As many scientists have pointed out, solar activity is much more likely to be the cause of any changes, up or down, in temps. Furthermore, they also agree that studies show that temps go up BEFORE CO2 levels rise, not after. "Climate change" (like ethanol) has little to do with science these days and everything to do with politics and control.

  2. corwin says:

    Interesting. I think I can give meaningful and useful responses to each of your statements. I will do so after you give your replies to my questions.

  3. Darius says:

    To answer your question… the proper response would be to make certain that whatever we do is truly helpful, effective, and not infringing on people's freedom. Also, as Christians, we should also make sure that we avoid a god complex or creation worship, two things that the world has no problem with.

  4. corwin says:

    I agree that any steps to address global warming must be truly helpful and effective. Nature is no god, but it is the Creation of a God who cares about it and us. We are not gods, but the real God has given us the power and responsibility to care for that Creation.

    The only part of your answer that I am uncertain about is "not infringing on people's freedom." Could you be a little more specific? For instance, I think if a river ran from a neighbor's property on to yours, you would probably be comfortable with some limits on what that neighbor could put in the river.

  5. corwin says:

    Now for my answers to your questions, as promised.

    – Global temps have plateaued for a decade and are likely destined for a long-term decline (which has already begun)

    Then global warming is real and climatologists will need to account for the new data, which seems to defy what we currently know about the behavior of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

    – Solar activity or other natural occurrences are the main cause of any temp change, up or down

    Then an explanation would need to be found for why the sun has had such a large influnce for a relatively small change http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/FAQ/wg1_faq-2.1.html

    – Warming, even if it does happen, will positively affect more people than those it negatively affects (particularly in the third world)

    This scenario directly contradiction your first one. Those who are causing the warming (the USA, China, Europe, etc.) then have the responsibility to compensate those who are negatively affected. We as Christians have that responsiblity in any case.

    – Based on United Nation and the IPCC, any actions done now by humans will have limited affect on any future climate.

    Should we not still do what we can?

    – Any serious government actions will be very detrimental to the health and survival of third world economies.

    This would be irrelevant to whether the science is correct.

    If you are right, then we need to tap the creativity of charitable people and entrepreneurs to find better solutions. Such creativity is now being immobilized by the kind of viceral reflexive negative reactions that you express.

    I am not an expert in this area, but how about creating the National Association of Evangalicals Global Stewardship Venture Capital Program? Okay, the name needs work.

  6. Darius says:

    "Then global warming is real and climatologists will need to account for the new data, which seems to defy what we currently know about the behavior of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses."

    I don't follow. How does the fact that global temps have plateaued for a decade show that global warming is real??? Second, actually, what science knows about carbon dioxide is that it FOLLOWS temperatures, rather than causes them. When global temps rise, THEN CO2 goes up.

    This scenario directly contradict[s] your first one. Those who are causing the warming (the USA, China, Europe, etc.) then have the responsibility to compensate those who are negatively affected. We as Christians have that responsiblity in any case."

    I again don't follow. I am merely saying that even IF the earth is warming (which none of the data seems to indicate for the last 11 years), that's not necessarily a bad thing. As economists and scientists like Bjorn Lomborg have pointed out, a little warming of the Earth would be in humanity's best interest, since more people die from cold than from heat (and because the places most likely to be affected by global warming are cold climates).

    "Should we not still do what we can?

    We could also lower speed limits to 5 MPH and get rid of almost all automobile deaths. But in so doing, we would grind the economy to a halt. Likewise, the Kyoto protocols and cap and trade legislation would devastate the world's economies, particularly the third world. The rich Western governments might be able to manage (barely), but third world countries, already with serious economic problems, would be obliterated. Just doing something for the sake of doing something is pretty foolish.

    "This would be irrelevant to whether the science is correct."

    Okay, at least we're agreed that government shouldn't mess with science. Can we also agree that scientists should stay out of politics? It's like mixing cow manure and ice cream… the cow dung of government may not suffer, but the purity of science certainly does. Science has a big black eye from the lack of skepticism (once a hallmark of science) and the overdose of hysteria over this issue (and that black eye will grow immensely in another 5-10 years). Thankfully, many scientists have realized that AGW is a crock and have begun to speak out against it.

    "Such creativity is now being immobilized by the kind of viceral reflexive negative reactions that you express."

    Well, I'm just repeating what thousands upon thousands of scientists have been saying for years.

    As for creative solutions to a problem that doesn't exist, the free markets will do just fine at discovering them.

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