Global Warming is not a typical subject for a collection of Christian essays, but I believe Christians need to be aware of political issues, particularly when they are founded in fear and fallacy. And make no mistake: Global Warming is a political issue, not a scientific issue. While the implications for conservative Bible-based Christianity are not as great as those of the lie of evolution, I think there is common ground here: why do lies get promoted so vigorously unless they are rooted in Satan, the father of lies, and intended to delude people and turn their eyes away from truth?
In 2007, Al Gore was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Here is an excerpt from Gore's Nobel Lecture, delivered at his acceptance of the prize on December 10, 2007:
"So today, we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun. As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong."
Well, something is wrong, all right, Mr. Gore: you and your fellow alarmists need to get off your political hobbyhorse and check out a few cold, hard facts about "global warming." But you see, Mr. Gore and his compatriots aren't too concerned with facts. Note that he said, "We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth." Global warming alarmists, like evolutionists, like to spout theory and opinion as if it were fact. Let's not repeat that error: let's look at some actual data and see what we discover.
The following information is taken from the article entitled "Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective -- Comparison of Atmospheric Temperature with CO2 Over The Last 400,000 Years" on www.geocraft.com, and available for review here:
"For more than 2 million years our earth has cycled in and out of Ice Ages, accompanied by massive ice sheets accumulating over polar landmasses and a cold, desert-like global climate. Although the tropics during the Ice Age were still tropical, the temperate regions and sub-tropical regions were markedly different than they are today. There is a strong correlation between temperature and CO2 concentrations during this time."
Unfortunately, this venue does not lend itself to displaying charts, so I will describe some of the numbers from the two very interesting charts included in this article. One is a chart showing lower atmosphere temperatures of the earth over the last 400,000 years. The other is a chart showing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere for the same period. These numbers are not a fantasy: they are taken directly from observation satellites, ground temperature measurements, and data from ice cores. References are given in the article.
What do these charts show? There is a period of global warming about every 100,000 years; the warm period always lasts roughly 20,000 years, and is always accompanied by a corresponding increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 - what scientists today like to call "greenhouse gas." "Aha!" the true believers in global warming are crying out at this point. "You see? There IS a direct correlation between "greenhouse gases and atmospheric temperature!"
Well, yes, there is. In fact, the data on these two charts mirror one another to an almost eerie extent, and the spikes on both charts are almost as even in magnitude and spacing as the teeth on a saw. So much so that there can be little doubt that atmospheric CO2 content and atmospheric temperature must indeed be closely related in some manner.
But that correlation has existed for at least 400,000 years. And we have had industrial air pollution for how long? Maybe a couple hundred? It's quite a stretch to think that what's been done in the past blink of an eye can explain a cycle that has existed for at least 400,000 years. And if man has been polluting the atmosphere for only the last couple of hundred years, then how do you explain the rise in atmospheric CO2 in the previous 4 cycles stretching back 400,000 years? With no more information than we have available, it's just as likely that the rise in temperature caused the rise in the CO2 level as it is that the rise in CO2 concentration caused the temperature increase.
But of even more compelling interest to us than the general history of that cycle is its specific relevance to the present time. Just where are we in that cycle? Well, it just so happens that the atmospheric temperature has been rising for the past 18,000 years or so -- ever since the last ice age. In other words, we are right in the big, hairy middle of a natural warming cycle that has occurred repeatedly like clockwork for the past 4,000 centuries.
Here's another morsel to gnaw on: when you look closely at the temperature chart, historically it has peaked rather sharply at the end of a 20,000-year increase, and then dropped off pretty abruptly -- and right now we are 18,000 years into a warming cycle, with the atmospheric temperature within a degree or two of its historic high points. If the historical data mean anything at all, then it is much more likely we are headed for another temperature decline, rather than a continued increase -- we're at what would appear to be the peak of the current cycle!
In fact, here's another relevant excerpt from the article: " Historically, glacial cycles of about 100,000 years are interrupted by brief warm interglacial periods-- like the one we enjoy today ... Interglacial periods of 15,000-20,000 years provide a brief respite from the normal state of our natural world -- an Ice Age Climate. Our present interglacial vacation from the last Ice Age began about 18,000 years ago." Let Al Gore have the sun screen concession -- I want the mukluk and snowshoe concession!
Let's look at another reliable source of information. The following information is taken from the article "Earth's Climatic History" on PhysicalGeography.net and available for review here:
"The period from 2,000,000 - 14,000 B.P. (before present) is known as the Pleistocene or Ice Age. During this period, large glacial ice sheets covered much of North America, Europe, and Asia for extended periods of time. The extent of the glacier ice during the Pleistocene was not static. The Pleistocene had periods when the glacier retreated (interglacial) because of warmer temperatures and advanced because of colder temperatures (glacial) ... The most recent glacial retreat is still going on. We call the temporal period of this retreat the Holocene epoch. This warming of the Earth and subsequent glacial retreat began about 14,000 years ago (12,000 BC)."
Now look at what has happened to this general warming trend during more recent history, according to this same article: "By 5000 to 3000 BC average global temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene and were 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today ... From 3000 to 2000 BC a cooling trend occurred. This cooling caused large drops in sea level ... A short warming trend took place from 2000 to 1500 BC, followed once again by colder conditions. Colder temperatures from 1500 - 750 BC caused renewed ice growth in continental glaciers and alpine glaciers, and a sea level drop of between 2 to 3 meters below present day levels. The period from 750 BC saw warming up to 150 BC ... During the time of Roman Empire (150 BC - 300 AD) a cooling began that lasted until about 900 AD. At its height, the cooling caused the Nile River (829 AD) and the Black Sea (800-801 AD) to freeze ... The period 900 - 1200 AD has been called the Little Climatic Optimum. It represents the warmest climate since the Climatic Optimum ... A period of cool and more extreme weather followed the Little Climatic Optimum. A great drought in the American southwest occurred between 1276 and 1299. There are records of floods, great droughts and extreme seasonal climate fluctuations up to the 1400s. From 1550 to 1850 AD global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene. Scientists call this period the Little Ice Age ... The period 1850 to present is one of general warming."
Disregarding for the moment the large swings of temperature in earlier eras, look at what has happened in just the last 14,000 years: glacial retreat ... temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene ... cooling that caused large drops in sea level ... a short warming trend ... renewed growth in glaciers and a drop of 2-3 meters in sea level ... warming up to 150 BC ... cooling that caused the Nile River and Black Sea to freeze ... the warmest climate since the Climatic Optimum ... a period of cool and more extreme weather ... from 1550 to 1850 global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene. Scientists call this period the Little Ice Age.
All this swinging up and down of atmospheric temperature was due to completely natural causes. But now a certain group of scientists and politicians are trying to convince everyone that a little warming today can only have been caused by man's activities. And notice particularly that scientists call the period from 1550 to 1850 the Little Ice Age. Yet now many of them seem to be shocked that we're seeing a warming trend following this period of unusual cold.
The short and long of it is this: you can find many, many articles such as those cited above, all describing large swings of atmospheric temperatures throughout history -- none of which were or could have been caused by industrial air pollution. And if you search, you will find much speculation as to the cause or causes of all those temperature swings -- but no one really knows why they happened. If they don't know why large temperature swings occurred in the past, how can they be so certain about why small temperature changes are occurring now?
And here's the answer to that question, folks: because it funds grants. If your friendly neighborhood university professor goes to Uncle Sam and says, "Well, nothing particularly interesting is happening. Now please give me some money to study it," he'll get nothing but a yawn. But if he runs in screaming, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling! You must give me money to discover why before it's too late and we're all doomed!" Well, then he'll get some money thrown at him.
The same is true of the politicians, especially those of a liberal bent. They have finely tuned a wonderfully compelling political agenda. Their constant theme is that they represent the poor and the underpaid working middle class: "the little people." And why? Because those groups comprise the vast majority of voters. They're going to fight with all their power against the evil forces that are keeping "the little people" down!
Obviously, these politicians are not going to proclaim, "You people need to get up off your duffs and go to work! If you're already working, then work harder! Get a good education and provide for your families, instead of expecting the government to take care of them!" Not many votes there. No, the way to gain votes is to identify the big, bad enemy that is making life miserable for all those people, and then to be seen fighting that enemy tooth and nail.
But what if there isn't an enemy? Well, then, they'll just have to create one. Can't be the bloated, bureaucratic government, because that's who THEY are! Who else? Oh, here we go: let's blame it all on big business! They're impersonal, they make large profits: they'll make wonderful enemies! Let's blame it all on them, and then show "the little people" how we're fighting for them by passing thousands of laws that will punish those big, bad corporations and save them from the evil of "global warming." The only real results of this campaign are votes for the politicos, increased cost of everything "the little people" buy, and the flight of more and more jobs to overseas countries where the EPA doesn't make life impossible for businesses.
So the next time you hear someone mention global warming, have a good laugh and point them to some factual references so they can understand that they're being sold another batch of snake oil -- and that they're paying dearly for it.
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