Catholic Global Warming Denialism

I’ll be saying more about this topic.  However, here is something I wrote on someone else’s blog just now, in response to his entry “Anthropogenic Global Warming is the Fraud of the Century”:

RESPONSE 1:   I’ve been studying global warming for over 20 years, and in 1995 the .05 level of signficance (95% confidence) was reached. Scientists have understood the physics of it for over 100 years, when they discovered the natural greenhouse effect.

A prudent and pro-life Catholic, however, does not need 95% confidence of a problem that kills people and harms creation to start mitigating. Pope John Paul II back in 1990 said it was everyone’s responsibility to mitigate it, and that’s the year I started reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. And glory halleluia, we have been able to do so by 60% while saving thousands of dollars and not lowering our living standard, even raising it.

When you seek first the Kingdom of God, all will be added unto you. I KNOW that now as truth.

Any sincere questions about global warming, you can ask the scientists who actually study it at www.RealClimate.org either on their blog or contact them privately.  I have found them most gracious in clarifying the science.

RESPONSE 2 (to his negative response to my response above):  Governments can’t really do too much about this problem, but they do have some limited and helpful role.  As JPII said, it is EVERYONE’S responsibility.  If the gov puts a 10 cent tax on gasoline, that’s not going to stop hard-hearted people from profligately and gluttonously driving around in inefficient cars & choosing to live many miles from work, when an equally suitable house is much closer to work.

What is needed is for people to have a heart and concern about their fellow men and progeny, and their own immortal souls.  That’s what’s needed and what’s lacking.  And once people turn to God and His Kingdom by doing the EC (environmentally correct) thing, they willl be very pleasantly surprised by the savings and many other benefits they reap.

Regarding the science, science isn’t a matter of public opinion.  Science doesn’t work that way.  Again, I suggest going to www.RealClimate.org and at least looking at the science and the attempts to suppress and distort it.  I’ve been studying it for years, and I can tell you that the denialist industry (much funded by Exxon, Koch, and other energy companies) has been quite vicious in its relentless attacks on the science and the scientists, but have been completely unable to disprove global warming or show its science to be wrong.  They have, however, been able to bamboozle a large part of the public, who would prefer convenient falsehoods to inconvenient truths, who would follow agenda-driven “truth” rather than truth-driven agenda.

Another help comes from Pascal, and his wager.  Applying this to global warming, it goes like this:  The FALSE NEGATIVE:  If global warming is real and we fail to mitigate it, not only will the economy be destroyed but our very lives and livelihoods (it is a slow moving process that will take centuries and millennia, but once we have triggered it to the tipping points, there will be no going back); plus in the short term (our lifetimes) we will have failed to realize all the great savings from becoming energy/resource efficient/conservative and going on alternative energy (my 100% wind-generated electricity from GreenMountain is actually cheaper than dirty energy).  Plus we would have failed to mitigate a host of other problems, such as local pollution and acid rain, and ocean acidification.  And the worst part, we end up in a place a lot hotter than a globally warmed world for eternity.

THE FALSE POSITIVE:  If we take actions to mitigate global warming when in fact it is not happening, then we realize great savings and help the economy, and we mitigate a host of other problems.

Mitigating global warming is a win-win-win-win-win situation.  Failing to mitigate is a lose-lose-lose-lose-lose situation.

Where is economic rational man when you need him?  Where is spiritually inclined man when you need him?

I’m speaking as a Catholic now, there is a real spiritual warfare going on.  I’m beginning to think the evil is something greater than our fallen human nature.

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4 Responses to “Catholic Global Warming Denialism”

  1. Joe Hargrave Says:

    Are you going to post my responses too?

  2. lynnvinc Says:

    I did put a link for your site (over the words, “someone else’s blog”) so people can go there and see what I’m responding to.

    Feel free to post your responses here if you wish. A good debate is always welcome.

  3. Joe Hargrave Says:

    Alright, well, first of all, I’m not a denialist.

    I’m open to the possibility that a) global warming is taking place and b) that man may be contributing to it.

    My argument is that there has been a breach of trust between the scientific establishment and the public.

    My argument is that the people have a right to a say in the policies they’re going to live by, and that its immoral, unconstitutional, and undemocratic for carbon taxes or cap and trade to be imposed on sovereign states by the UN without any sort of democratic process or oversight or accountability, which is exactly what they did at Kyoto and what they wanted to do at Copenhagen.

    My argument is that we ought to reject a scientific dictatorship. Scientists ought to do their work in a political vacuum and then present their findings to the public. Then they ought to engage in a debate with skeptics and others who question their methods and their findings. They ought to be, in other words, able to defend their arguments. That’s what a free and open society is about.

    If their arguments are true, they should be able to defend them, and convince the people of their truth. If their arguments are false or they turn out to be wrong, then we obviously shouldn’t implement them.

    That’s my argument, that’s what I want to see happen. I don’t worship science. I respect it but I don’t worship it. And I don’t “deny” anything.

  4. lynnvinc Says:

    I really don’t think you are a denialist, Joe. But there are denialists out there, and that’s whom I’m really addressing.

    I think the nations of the world have agreed (non-binding) that we need to keep the global average temp below a 2C increase. How we (each nation, each individual) do it is up to us. That is, nations can use some carrots to get people & busineeses to lower their emissions, or some sticks, or it would really be great if Obama would just get up on the bully pulpit and encourage people to reduce ther GHG emissions.

    Ultimately it all boils down to what we as individual do or fail to do. As Hunter Lovin’s said the national energy policy comes down to the cracks around our windows. The gov can only inspire us to do go, and facilitate in some ways.

    I find no fault at all with the scientists, except they tend to be conservative by nature — striving to avoid the FALSE POSITIVE of making claims that are untrue; they need 95% confidence before making claims. We people & policy-makers should be striving to avoid the FALSE NEGATIVE of failing to address true problems. I call this the “medical model”; a person would be pretty put out if the doctor came back and said “I am only 94% certain your lump is cancerous, so no surgery for now, come back next year and see if we can’t get it up to 95% certainty.” We (or most of us) refuse to drink poison that is only 90% certain to kill us.

    We should be “prudent” as the U.S. Bishops have called us to be — that is, even if we are unsure of the science, we should still strive to mitigate climate change. See: http://www.nccbuscc.org/sdwp/international/globalclimate.shtml

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