Climate nihilism

Anne Applebaum finds that the scare tactics of the climate alarmists have reached her children:

There is no nihilism like the nihilism of a 9-year-old. "Why should I bother," one of them recently demanded of me, when he was presented with the usual arguments in favor of doing homework: "By the time I'm grown up, the polar ice caps will have melted and everyone will have drowned."

Watching the news from Copenhagen last weekend, it wasn't hard to understand where he got that idea. Among the tens of thousands demonstrating outside the climate change summit, some were carrying giant clocks set at 10 minutes to midnight, indicating the imminent end of the world. Elsewhere, others staged a "resuscitation" of planet Earth, symbolically represented by a large collapsing balloon. Near the conference center, an installation of skeletons standing knee-deep in water made a similar point, as did numerous melting ice sculptures and a melodramatic "die-in" staged by protesters wearing white, ghost-like jumpsuits. . . .

I'll pause here to point out that I enthusiastically support renewable energy, believe strongly in the imposition of a carbon tax and am furthermore convinced that a worldwide shift away from fossil fuels would have hugely positive geopolitical consequences, even leaving aside the environmental benefits. It's true that I'm not crazy about the Kyoto climate negotiation process, of which the Copenhagen summit is the latest stage. But I'm even more disturbed by the apocalyptic and the anti-human prejudices of the climate change movement, some of which do indeed filter down to children as young as 9.

I’m sure her little girl goes to a progressive school and is fed this propaganda daily. The old leftist propaganda at least was an appeal to revolutionary action. This propaganda, while perhaps trying to wake people up to the alleged problem, in reality just inspires nihilistic apathy.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    When the most loudly touted solution is invariably a comprehensive exercise of centralized authority,
    there’s not much call to action. You vote for the right people, raise awareness on your blog, and maybe engage in some childish dramatics at a protest, but what else is there? Climate change been framed as a problem that can only be fixed by a king. When the kings keep disappointing, nihilism is the only place left to go.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    When the most loudly touted solution is invariably a comprehensive exercise of centralized authority,
    there’s not much call to action. You vote for the right people, raise awareness on your blog, and maybe engage in some childish dramatics at a protest, but what else is there? Climate change been framed as a problem that can only be fixed by a king. When the kings keep disappointing, nihilism is the only place left to go.

  • Larry

    Tax Nihilism is more realistic. Tax Nihilism that will be the out fall this and other chicken little stuff. “Johnny you should work hard.” Johnny; “Why bother, by the time I’m grown up there won’t be any paycheck left.”

  • Larry

    Tax Nihilism is more realistic. Tax Nihilism that will be the out fall this and other chicken little stuff. “Johnny you should work hard.” Johnny; “Why bother, by the time I’m grown up there won’t be any paycheck left.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    My son is seven, he hasn’t expressed nihilism, but the proselytizing of the environmental movement has reached him. But then I remember back when I was his age and maybe even a little older trying to convince the lawn guy at the 3M plant across the street from the parsonage that he should use insecticide. Within another year I began to realize the stupidity of this global wide environmentalism etc. The first conservative epiphany I had was on the way home from a mink farm, and realizing that that family was more important than the mink, and everyone that can afford a mink coat should buy one and help that family. It snow balled from there.
    Of course my son doesn’t live in the country, so I have to expose him to it. He’s smart, so I know this stuff won’t sno him for long.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    My son is seven, he hasn’t expressed nihilism, but the proselytizing of the environmental movement has reached him. But then I remember back when I was his age and maybe even a little older trying to convince the lawn guy at the 3M plant across the street from the parsonage that he should use insecticide. Within another year I began to realize the stupidity of this global wide environmentalism etc. The first conservative epiphany I had was on the way home from a mink farm, and realizing that that family was more important than the mink, and everyone that can afford a mink coat should buy one and help that family. It snow balled from there.
    Of course my son doesn’t live in the country, so I have to expose him to it. He’s smart, so I know this stuff won’t sno him for long.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Around here, on the bald prairies, (well no, it’s technically the aspen parkland) some children are so sensitized they worry, like really worry, about the weather every time it’s rather warm or really cold.

    Of course, our weather is usually extreme, here. They are too young to realize that it’s always been this way.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Around here, on the bald prairies, (well no, it’s technically the aspen parkland) some children are so sensitized they worry, like really worry, about the weather every time it’s rather warm or really cold.

    Of course, our weather is usually extreme, here. They are too young to realize that it’s always been this way.

  • Garry

    Mom: “Johnnie, do your homework.”

    J: “Why bother, Mom? You and Dad can’t afford college for me since our free-trade congressman ensured that Dad’s job was outsourced to China, and if I get student loans, I’ll be paying them off for the rest of my life. Besides, when Dad lost his job, he lost health insurance for all of us, meaning that we may well be among the tens of thousands of Americans who die each year because they can’t get health insurance. My friend Joey’s dad is a Lutheran pastor. He says that God hates health care reform and that Dad’s just lazy because he accepts the unemployment benefits that put food on our table right now. Why does God hate the poor and the sick, Mom?

  • Garry

    Mom: “Johnnie, do your homework.”

    J: “Why bother, Mom? You and Dad can’t afford college for me since our free-trade congressman ensured that Dad’s job was outsourced to China, and if I get student loans, I’ll be paying them off for the rest of my life. Besides, when Dad lost his job, he lost health insurance for all of us, meaning that we may well be among the tens of thousands of Americans who die each year because they can’t get health insurance. My friend Joey’s dad is a Lutheran pastor. He says that God hates health care reform and that Dad’s just lazy because he accepts the unemployment benefits that put food on our table right now. Why does God hate the poor and the sick, Mom?

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    I think Garry is putting words in the mouth of the “Lutheran pastor.” The eighth commandment says something about that, I think.

    It’s not health care reform per se that we oppose; we certainly need some reform in the health care provision and insurance industries.

    But, let’s be clear: What our government is currently proposing is deceptively called “health care reform,” but in reality is something quite different, in my opinion.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    I think Garry is putting words in the mouth of the “Lutheran pastor.” The eighth commandment says something about that, I think.

    It’s not health care reform per se that we oppose; we certainly need some reform in the health care provision and insurance industries.

    But, let’s be clear: What our government is currently proposing is deceptively called “health care reform,” but in reality is something quite different, in my opinion.

  • DonS

    I think Garry is just putting into Johnnie’s mouth the propaganda that Johnnie’s public school teacher is inflicting on him daily in school.

  • DonS

    I think Garry is just putting into Johnnie’s mouth the propaganda that Johnnie’s public school teacher is inflicting on him daily in school.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    That too, DonS.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    That too, DonS.

  • Carl Vehse

    “By the time I’m grown up, the polar ice caps will have melted and everyone will have drowned.”

    Anne Applebaum needs to send her child to somewhere other than Algore Climategate Elementary School (or the kid needs to find another homework-avoiding excuse from some other TV sitcom/news show).

    The Arctic polar ice cap floats in the Arctic Ocean and, even if it melts completely, will not cause ocean levels to rise. The polar ice cap on the Antarctic continent is actually growing.

  • Carl Vehse

    “By the time I’m grown up, the polar ice caps will have melted and everyone will have drowned.”

    Anne Applebaum needs to send her child to somewhere other than Algore Climategate Elementary School (or the kid needs to find another homework-avoiding excuse from some other TV sitcom/news show).

    The Arctic polar ice cap floats in the Arctic Ocean and, even if it melts completely, will not cause ocean levels to rise. The polar ice cap on the Antarctic continent is actually growing.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Garry, ya do a great job of mouthing the kind of nonsense taught to kids….would it be too horrible if we pointed out little things like “there is no credible study that proves thousands of people are dying each year because they don’t have insurance”?

    Or “the reason college costs so much is because government guarantees all those student loans”? Or “The reason so many jobs require college now is because universities have become de facto vocational schools, and employers don’t feel the need to train anyone anymore.”?

    Or best of all, if you want a place with restricted trade to protect jobs, guaranteed cost free university education and medicine, and so on, we have a place for you.

    Havana. No, not Illinois. Cuba.

    Sorry, Garry. Reality is that the mantras of the left seldom hold up to “data.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Garry, ya do a great job of mouthing the kind of nonsense taught to kids….would it be too horrible if we pointed out little things like “there is no credible study that proves thousands of people are dying each year because they don’t have insurance”?

    Or “the reason college costs so much is because government guarantees all those student loans”? Or “The reason so many jobs require college now is because universities have become de facto vocational schools, and employers don’t feel the need to train anyone anymore.”?

    Or best of all, if you want a place with restricted trade to protect jobs, guaranteed cost free university education and medicine, and so on, we have a place for you.

    Havana. No, not Illinois. Cuba.

    Sorry, Garry. Reality is that the mantras of the left seldom hold up to “data.”

  • Manxman

    A few weeks ago my 8 yr. old grandson (who unfortunately attends public schools) and I were taking a walk in a park near our home. As we were sitting on a log by a creek eating some sandwiches, he said to me, “It’s nice here – too bad all these trees are going to be torn down.” I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, “Well, in school they told us they’re tearing down the rainforests, and I thought pretty soon they’ll be tearing these trees down, too.”

    Here’s an example of an 8 year old kid being stressed out with a bunch of simplistic, fear-inspiring, environmental propaganda by the nature worshipping change agents in the public schools. To my way of thinking, laying this kind of burden on someone else’s kid at that age to further your agenda borders on child abuse.

  • Manxman

    A few weeks ago my 8 yr. old grandson (who unfortunately attends public schools) and I were taking a walk in a park near our home. As we were sitting on a log by a creek eating some sandwiches, he said to me, “It’s nice here – too bad all these trees are going to be torn down.” I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, “Well, in school they told us they’re tearing down the rainforests, and I thought pretty soon they’ll be tearing these trees down, too.”

    Here’s an example of an 8 year old kid being stressed out with a bunch of simplistic, fear-inspiring, environmental propaganda by the nature worshipping change agents in the public schools. To my way of thinking, laying this kind of burden on someone else’s kid at that age to further your agenda borders on child abuse.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Manxman, my children attend a public school here in Saskatchewan. They also watch TV (under our guidance, of course.) They read a lot too.

    BUT:

    We tought them to think critically, and be sceptical of what they hear. So they tend to argue with others at school about all kinds of issues. They question their teachers. We encourage them to think about statements, including their own. To logically analyze what they hear. Etc etc. Sometimes it gets quite lively (they strongly suspect any statement on a TV advert. Hoorah!)

    Folks should talk to their children about what they see and hear. Discuss it.

    It makes a big difference…

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Manxman, my children attend a public school here in Saskatchewan. They also watch TV (under our guidance, of course.) They read a lot too.

    BUT:

    We tought them to think critically, and be sceptical of what they hear. So they tend to argue with others at school about all kinds of issues. They question their teachers. We encourage them to think about statements, including their own. To logically analyze what they hear. Etc etc. Sometimes it gets quite lively (they strongly suspect any statement on a TV advert. Hoorah!)

    Folks should talk to their children about what they see and hear. Discuss it.

    It makes a big difference…

  • Manxman

    Scylding

    One of the things that home schooling our 6 kids taught us is that young kids aren’t just rational little machines that have the sophistication of adults when it comes to understanding ideas and issues. Each child is different when it comes to when they’re ready for certain ideas to be introduced to them. Filling kid’s lives with these weighty, complicated issues before they are emotionally or mentally mature enough to comprehend them isn’t productive, and can be harmful if not done properly. Too often the agenda people in the public schools deliberately try to get to kids early with their propaganda before they have any defenses built up. They WANT to schock them so as to make a lasting impression, and they could care less what they do to other people’s kids when they introduce material that is not age appropriate.

    Also, most parents have no idea what their kids are being exposed to either in the world or the classroom, and often parents find out about things only by accident after the damage is done. Also, kids don’t understand what is being done to manipulate them, and miss the significance of things that happen in the classroom.

  • Manxman

    Scylding

    One of the things that home schooling our 6 kids taught us is that young kids aren’t just rational little machines that have the sophistication of adults when it comes to understanding ideas and issues. Each child is different when it comes to when they’re ready for certain ideas to be introduced to them. Filling kid’s lives with these weighty, complicated issues before they are emotionally or mentally mature enough to comprehend them isn’t productive, and can be harmful if not done properly. Too often the agenda people in the public schools deliberately try to get to kids early with their propaganda before they have any defenses built up. They WANT to schock them so as to make a lasting impression, and they could care less what they do to other people’s kids when they introduce material that is not age appropriate.

    Also, most parents have no idea what their kids are being exposed to either in the world or the classroom, and often parents find out about things only by accident after the damage is done. Also, kids don’t understand what is being done to manipulate them, and miss the significance of things that happen in the classroom.

  • Garry

    I have no idea what’s being taught today in public school, having taken my degrees years ago and having no children in them. But I suspect I now know what your poor homeschoolers are told.
    Today, the religious right, which includes, I’m sure, many Lutherans, are praying publicly in DC for the defeat of the Senate health care legislation. Even the insurance companies like this bill, but apparently God must be invoked to halt even de minimis change to a system that causes the deaths each year of more than 40,000+ uninsured Americans. Or so the religious right tell us.
    What I put in “Johnnie’s” mouth were simple truths that should drive any thinking American to despair – or perhaps to Christ, who remains a stranger to so many conservatives.

  • Garry

    I have no idea what’s being taught today in public school, having taken my degrees years ago and having no children in them. But I suspect I now know what your poor homeschoolers are told.
    Today, the religious right, which includes, I’m sure, many Lutherans, are praying publicly in DC for the defeat of the Senate health care legislation. Even the insurance companies like this bill, but apparently God must be invoked to halt even de minimis change to a system that causes the deaths each year of more than 40,000+ uninsured Americans. Or so the religious right tell us.
    What I put in “Johnnie’s” mouth were simple truths that should drive any thinking American to despair – or perhaps to Christ, who remains a stranger to so many conservatives.

  • cattail

    A geological history of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming–note that it was written from an evolutionary point of view–that I recently read stated that University of Wyoming geology researchers have found convincing evidence that all the glaciers in the Wind Rivers melted about 5,000 years ago and that all the current glaciers there have formed since then.

    Then there’s the Medieval Warming Period–the pro-AGW folks try to ignore it. There’s plenty of hard anthropological/archeological evidence (not just the Norse Eddas and Sagas) that people from Sandinavia found at least parts of Greenland liveable in the 10th century AD, and the colonies there died out later when the climate became too cold for even grazing-style agriculture.

    Another strange (to me) item is that, for all but the last 10-15 years of the 74 the Lord has let me live so far, most scientists have been predicting another ice age!

  • cattail

    A geological history of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming–note that it was written from an evolutionary point of view–that I recently read stated that University of Wyoming geology researchers have found convincing evidence that all the glaciers in the Wind Rivers melted about 5,000 years ago and that all the current glaciers there have formed since then.

    Then there’s the Medieval Warming Period–the pro-AGW folks try to ignore it. There’s plenty of hard anthropological/archeological evidence (not just the Norse Eddas and Sagas) that people from Sandinavia found at least parts of Greenland liveable in the 10th century AD, and the colonies there died out later when the climate became too cold for even grazing-style agriculture.

    Another strange (to me) item is that, for all but the last 10-15 years of the 74 the Lord has let me live so far, most scientists have been predicting another ice age!

  • DonS

    Garry @ 14: While I have seen many political rallies against this proposed, hasty, ill thought-out and blatantly political attempt to re-make, in one fell swoop, our health care system, which comprises one-sixth of our economy, I have not observed a lot of public prayer vigils against the legislation. Not saying that it hasn’t happened or that some are not praying in the way that you are indicating, but I’m not, and no one I know is. I don’t think it is generally a good practice to pray for a particular political outcome, except for blatantly moral issues, such as abortion and gay marriage. Rather, I prefer to pray that God’s will be done, and that our leaders will seek God’s guidance, on their hands and knees, for everything that they do.

    Of course, everything that happens in this fallen world will ultimately drive us to despair, absent Christ and His redemptive power. Another government health care or anti-poverty program is not going to address man’s fallen condition, I’m sure you will agree. But, what drives us to Christ is the Gospel. Nothing else.

  • DonS

    Garry @ 14: While I have seen many political rallies against this proposed, hasty, ill thought-out and blatantly political attempt to re-make, in one fell swoop, our health care system, which comprises one-sixth of our economy, I have not observed a lot of public prayer vigils against the legislation. Not saying that it hasn’t happened or that some are not praying in the way that you are indicating, but I’m not, and no one I know is. I don’t think it is generally a good practice to pray for a particular political outcome, except for blatantly moral issues, such as abortion and gay marriage. Rather, I prefer to pray that God’s will be done, and that our leaders will seek God’s guidance, on their hands and knees, for everything that they do.

    Of course, everything that happens in this fallen world will ultimately drive us to despair, absent Christ and His redemptive power. Another government health care or anti-poverty program is not going to address man’s fallen condition, I’m sure you will agree. But, what drives us to Christ is the Gospel. Nothing else.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Garry, I’m an orthodox Lutheran. Especially when it comes to Lutherans, blanket statements about “conservative Christians” often miss the point. Just read this blog. We cover a great many angles and positions.

    Manxman: We did homeschool for some time, back in SA. The problem is not so much the method, but the ability to think. There are parents, and I’ve met them, that fill their children’s head with (insert position here) propaganda, instead of teaching them to think for themselves. Many of the “homers” fall into this category. Similarly, we were involved with a Christian School for some time. Same problem.

    At the end of the day, you have to teach your children to critically evaluate what they are taught, and then to become auto-didacts. To read. Widely. To think. etc etc. Unfortunately, many people do mimic what Garry wrote here. They parrot Dobson / AIG / Wilson / whoever without being to even follow an opposing argument. That is not education. That is sophisticated spoon feeding. True, it has a Christian flavouring, but it only remains a flavouring.

    By this I’m not shooting down homeshoolers / Christian schoolers / Elite private schoolers / public schoolers and whatever other schoolers we can think of. But we need to recognise the inherent strengths AND weaknesses of any system. And as parents, it is our jobs to compensate for that as much as we can. Granted, I have near-instant access to my children’s teachers, I see what they learn, and our kids have lengthy conversations with us EVERY day about what they learn and do (MRS Smith says that…., but I think…..). Sometimes I think the teachers want to emit deep sighs when they hear my voice, but as I pay their salaries through my municipal taxes, I have no regrets… ;) . Then again, our school division is very open to parents, and my thoughts might have been otherwise had I lived in an oppresive state like many others do, it seems.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Garry, I’m an orthodox Lutheran. Especially when it comes to Lutherans, blanket statements about “conservative Christians” often miss the point. Just read this blog. We cover a great many angles and positions.

    Manxman: We did homeschool for some time, back in SA. The problem is not so much the method, but the ability to think. There are parents, and I’ve met them, that fill their children’s head with (insert position here) propaganda, instead of teaching them to think for themselves. Many of the “homers” fall into this category. Similarly, we were involved with a Christian School for some time. Same problem.

    At the end of the day, you have to teach your children to critically evaluate what they are taught, and then to become auto-didacts. To read. Widely. To think. etc etc. Unfortunately, many people do mimic what Garry wrote here. They parrot Dobson / AIG / Wilson / whoever without being to even follow an opposing argument. That is not education. That is sophisticated spoon feeding. True, it has a Christian flavouring, but it only remains a flavouring.

    By this I’m not shooting down homeshoolers / Christian schoolers / Elite private schoolers / public schoolers and whatever other schoolers we can think of. But we need to recognise the inherent strengths AND weaknesses of any system. And as parents, it is our jobs to compensate for that as much as we can. Granted, I have near-instant access to my children’s teachers, I see what they learn, and our kids have lengthy conversations with us EVERY day about what they learn and do (MRS Smith says that…., but I think…..). Sometimes I think the teachers want to emit deep sighs when they hear my voice, but as I pay their salaries through my municipal taxes, I have no regrets… ;) . Then again, our school division is very open to parents, and my thoughts might have been otherwise had I lived in an oppresive state like many others do, it seems.

  • Garry

    Here’s a typical lede paragraph: “The Family Research Council Action PAC held an extraordinary “prayercast” event last night, praying for the intercession of God to change Senators’ minds and stop the health care bill.” Coverage is all over the web. Dobson, et al., Michelle Bachmann, etc. are promoting this. Would to God these Pharisees would exert as much effort to pray for the poor and sick in this country, then get behind legislation to bring some relief.

    Scylding, I appreciate your thoughtful comment, but you know, being Canadian, that the health care system you take for granted was conceived, in the minds of many here, in the very pit of hell. DonS will tell you that.

    American Lutherans, to their discredit, are too often undistinguishable from ‘conservative [American] Christians.’ Tell me – when was the last time Canadian Lutherans got together to pray that your nation’s health system would fail?

  • Garry

    Here’s a typical lede paragraph: “The Family Research Council Action PAC held an extraordinary “prayercast” event last night, praying for the intercession of God to change Senators’ minds and stop the health care bill.” Coverage is all over the web. Dobson, et al., Michelle Bachmann, etc. are promoting this. Would to God these Pharisees would exert as much effort to pray for the poor and sick in this country, then get behind legislation to bring some relief.

    Scylding, I appreciate your thoughtful comment, but you know, being Canadian, that the health care system you take for granted was conceived, in the minds of many here, in the very pit of hell. DonS will tell you that.

    American Lutherans, to their discredit, are too often undistinguishable from ‘conservative [American] Christians.’ Tell me – when was the last time Canadian Lutherans got together to pray that your nation’s health system would fail?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Of course, climate nihilism can be found on “both” sides of the debate. Why, commenters here who routinely pillory any argument that humans are involved in climate change have been known to argue that, even if humans can be blamed, it’s too late to do anything at this point!

    Arguably, this — claiming that nothing can be done, regardless — is more depressing than the people who are trying to do something about it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Of course, climate nihilism can be found on “both” sides of the debate. Why, commenters here who routinely pillory any argument that humans are involved in climate change have been known to argue that, even if humans can be blamed, it’s too late to do anything at this point!

    Arguably, this — claiming that nothing can be done, regardless — is more depressing than the people who are trying to do something about it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Scylding (@17), I’d just like to thank you for your consistently reasonable comments. Perhaps that is faint praise, coming from one who can be so rash, but there it is, anyhow.

    And Garry (@18), if American Lutherans are indistinguishable from the conservative political set, I’d like to think it’s just the loud ones that make it seem so.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Scylding (@17), I’d just like to thank you for your consistently reasonable comments. Perhaps that is faint praise, coming from one who can be so rash, but there it is, anyhow.

    And Garry (@18), if American Lutherans are indistinguishable from the conservative political set, I’d like to think it’s just the loud ones that make it seem so.

  • DonS

    Garry @ 18: I think that so-called “prayer-cast” event is wrong. But I also don’t think that you can take a singular event like that and paint the entire “religious right” with having that approach.

    Why do you think that God’s preferred approach to ministering to the poor and sick is to do so through the government bureaucracy? Did not Jesus charge each of us, directly, as the Church, with this responsibility? He certainly was not a big fan of the government of the day. Scripturally, God’s work is accomplished through the Body of Christ, not through secular government.

    Where did you get the idea that the current proposed health care legislation is considered by me to be “from the pit of hell”? It’s bad political policy, in my view, but I never insinuated that it or its sponsors were satanic.

    As to your last paragraph, it is a serious misrepresentation to assert that Christians are praying for our health care system to fail. Even those who are praying for a specific outcome regarding the current legislation are only praying for the failure of that legislation, not the health care system. I trust that you can see the difference between the two.

  • DonS

    Garry @ 18: I think that so-called “prayer-cast” event is wrong. But I also don’t think that you can take a singular event like that and paint the entire “religious right” with having that approach.

    Why do you think that God’s preferred approach to ministering to the poor and sick is to do so through the government bureaucracy? Did not Jesus charge each of us, directly, as the Church, with this responsibility? He certainly was not a big fan of the government of the day. Scripturally, God’s work is accomplished through the Body of Christ, not through secular government.

    Where did you get the idea that the current proposed health care legislation is considered by me to be “from the pit of hell”? It’s bad political policy, in my view, but I never insinuated that it or its sponsors were satanic.

    As to your last paragraph, it is a serious misrepresentation to assert that Christians are praying for our health care system to fail. Even those who are praying for a specific outcome regarding the current legislation are only praying for the failure of that legislation, not the health care system. I trust that you can see the difference between the two.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    tODD, Thank you. I simply try and refrain from posting when I feel too excited. Many times I have deleted my cooments before submission, because, well, the blood was a trifle too hot.

    Garry, I don’t take anyhting for granted. 90% of my life was spent in Africa.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    tODD, Thank you. I simply try and refrain from posting when I feel too excited. Many times I have deleted my cooments before submission, because, well, the blood was a trifle too hot.

    Garry, I don’t take anyhting for granted. 90% of my life was spent in Africa.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@21), I really wish I could understand how you can say that you “don’t think that you can take a singular event like that and paint the entire ‘religious right’ with having that approach,” yet you have no problem doing just that when it comes to groups on the left — notably, environmentalists.

    You seem to have different standards for evidence depending on which “side” is being depicted.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@21), I really wish I could understand how you can say that you “don’t think that you can take a singular event like that and paint the entire ‘religious right’ with having that approach,” yet you have no problem doing just that when it comes to groups on the left — notably, environmentalists.

    You seem to have different standards for evidence depending on which “side” is being depicted.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 23: Let me see if I can clarify the difference for you, and it is likely that I am not always as careful as I should be when I characterize the environmental movement. But, Garry has accused the entire “religious right”, which he means, I think, to include all evangelical Christians who hold to a fundamentalist view of Scriptures and also have conservative political views, even if they are not political activists, as praying for the health care legislation to fail. This is simply inaccurate. Only a very small percentage of political activists within this group of people are doing so. The rest of us abhor that kind of praying. I wanted him to understand that.

    When I speak of the “environmental movement”, or the “environmental left”, I am referring to political activists who promote activist political solutions to environmental problems. I am not referring to all environmentalists. I consider myself to be an environmentalist in my personal lifestyle choices, because it is my responsibility as a steward. I appreciate environmentalists who form nature conservancies and buy up property for conservation purposes. I support sustainable logging practices, and reasonable regulation of mineral extraction operations, all with a mind toward preserving the earth God has given us to steward. My comments, in context to the particular thread, should be understood as being directed to those environmentalists who support a command and control radical environmental policy, regardless of the cost to lives, the economy, or property.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 23: Let me see if I can clarify the difference for you, and it is likely that I am not always as careful as I should be when I characterize the environmental movement. But, Garry has accused the entire “religious right”, which he means, I think, to include all evangelical Christians who hold to a fundamentalist view of Scriptures and also have conservative political views, even if they are not political activists, as praying for the health care legislation to fail. This is simply inaccurate. Only a very small percentage of political activists within this group of people are doing so. The rest of us abhor that kind of praying. I wanted him to understand that.

    When I speak of the “environmental movement”, or the “environmental left”, I am referring to political activists who promote activist political solutions to environmental problems. I am not referring to all environmentalists. I consider myself to be an environmentalist in my personal lifestyle choices, because it is my responsibility as a steward. I appreciate environmentalists who form nature conservancies and buy up property for conservation purposes. I support sustainable logging practices, and reasonable regulation of mineral extraction operations, all with a mind toward preserving the earth God has given us to steward. My comments, in context to the particular thread, should be understood as being directed to those environmentalists who support a command and control radical environmental policy, regardless of the cost to lives, the economy, or property.

  • Garry

    tODD @20. Well put. I do mean the loud ones; not every US Lutheran, to be sure.

    The Scylding @22. By ‘take for granted’ I meant merely ‘depend on,’ but I see your points, both about S. Africa and about restraint in writing in ‘hot blood.’

    DonS@ 21 When Dobson, Perkins, and their political retinue go to God to defeat legislation, they represent millions on the religious right. American Christians, unlike believers elsewhere, don’t have to pray that our health care system fails. The system already fails too many. We’re sinking to new depths in infant mortality and life span, to name two categories. It’s a great system, but only if you can afford it and if you don’t irritate your insurance company.

  • Garry

    tODD @20. Well put. I do mean the loud ones; not every US Lutheran, to be sure.

    The Scylding @22. By ‘take for granted’ I meant merely ‘depend on,’ but I see your points, both about S. Africa and about restraint in writing in ‘hot blood.’

    DonS@ 21 When Dobson, Perkins, and their political retinue go to God to defeat legislation, they represent millions on the religious right. American Christians, unlike believers elsewhere, don’t have to pray that our health care system fails. The system already fails too many. We’re sinking to new depths in infant mortality and life span, to name two categories. It’s a great system, but only if you can afford it and if you don’t irritate your insurance company.

  • DonS

    Garry @ 25:

    They don’t represent anyone other than themselves, any more than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton represent all African-Americans. I like James Dobson, have read a number of his books, and have supported Focus on the Family on occasion. But James Dobson does not “represent” me.

    I agree with you that the American health care system fails a lot of people. I think intelligent reform is necessary. Insurance coverage should be unlocked from employers, so that it is portable. People should be able to form groups of various kinds in order to qualify for group coverage (i.e church, social club, credit union, etc.) and thereby do away with pre-existing condition limitations. There is no magic in the fact that by becoming employed with a particular company, you can get coverage for pre-existing conditions, but otherwise you cannot. Let’s fix that. Let’s allow insurance to cross state lines, and let’s offer more coverage options and not mandate so much coverage that people don’t need. Let’s improve health spending accounts (HSA’s), so that more people will feel comfortable with the wonderful advantages of high-deductible catastrophic policies, which are relatively cheap, coupled with tax-advantaged HSA’s. Let’s eliminate lifetime caps, which make no sense if insurance is supposed to cover catastropic events. Let’s direct government assistanct to subsidize premiums for the needy, and to contribute money to the HSA’s of the needy, so that they can get the same dignified health care that everyone else gets, instead of being forced into a clinic or MediCaid policy. Also, if they had HSA’s, they could carry over unspent money from year to year and actually establish a savings program to assist in lifting them out of poverty and off the public dole.

    What do you think?

  • DonS

    Garry @ 25:

    They don’t represent anyone other than themselves, any more than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton represent all African-Americans. I like James Dobson, have read a number of his books, and have supported Focus on the Family on occasion. But James Dobson does not “represent” me.

    I agree with you that the American health care system fails a lot of people. I think intelligent reform is necessary. Insurance coverage should be unlocked from employers, so that it is portable. People should be able to form groups of various kinds in order to qualify for group coverage (i.e church, social club, credit union, etc.) and thereby do away with pre-existing condition limitations. There is no magic in the fact that by becoming employed with a particular company, you can get coverage for pre-existing conditions, but otherwise you cannot. Let’s fix that. Let’s allow insurance to cross state lines, and let’s offer more coverage options and not mandate so much coverage that people don’t need. Let’s improve health spending accounts (HSA’s), so that more people will feel comfortable with the wonderful advantages of high-deductible catastrophic policies, which are relatively cheap, coupled with tax-advantaged HSA’s. Let’s eliminate lifetime caps, which make no sense if insurance is supposed to cover catastropic events. Let’s direct government assistanct to subsidize premiums for the needy, and to contribute money to the HSA’s of the needy, so that they can get the same dignified health care that everyone else gets, instead of being forced into a clinic or MediCaid policy. Also, if they had HSA’s, they could carry over unspent money from year to year and actually establish a savings program to assist in lifting them out of poverty and off the public dole.

    What do you think?

  • Garry

    DonS @26 – Not to belabor, but Dobson represents the religious right. Besides, you concede that you like him, read his books and give him money. But I take your word that you don’t like what he’s doing today with your money, though I fail to understand your reasons.

    As for health care, some of what you say is undeniably good, e.g., removing coverage from employment, but your suggestions still are driven by dependance on a private health insurance system whose sole goal is to make as much money as possible. Therefore, I think some of your suggestions, e,g., removing annual caps, eliminating pre-existing conditions, while beneficial, are impossible without causing enormous premium increases, which would force even more to lose coverage. HSA’s are for the rich anyway.

    We’ve got to take the profit out of health insurance for those who have no access to the current system – and for those who want out. A public option or Medicare buy in would have been a great first step. Medicare for all would be great. But then come the complaints about higher taxes, yet silence about the multitudes of Americans who each year die and/or are driven bankrupt by our current for-profit system. Why isn’t Dobson praying for them?

  • Garry

    DonS @26 – Not to belabor, but Dobson represents the religious right. Besides, you concede that you like him, read his books and give him money. But I take your word that you don’t like what he’s doing today with your money, though I fail to understand your reasons.

    As for health care, some of what you say is undeniably good, e.g., removing coverage from employment, but your suggestions still are driven by dependance on a private health insurance system whose sole goal is to make as much money as possible. Therefore, I think some of your suggestions, e,g., removing annual caps, eliminating pre-existing conditions, while beneficial, are impossible without causing enormous premium increases, which would force even more to lose coverage. HSA’s are for the rich anyway.

    We’ve got to take the profit out of health insurance for those who have no access to the current system – and for those who want out. A public option or Medicare buy in would have been a great first step. Medicare for all would be great. But then come the complaints about higher taxes, yet silence about the multitudes of Americans who each year die and/or are driven bankrupt by our current for-profit system. Why isn’t Dobson praying for them?

  • DonS

    Garry @ 27:

    Wow, there is a lot to unpack there.

    The things Dobson does politically are done privately, not through Focus on the Family. He is not using my money to pray for the failure of the health care bill, and he doesn’t represent me. If you donate money to the American Red Cross, because you like the work that organization does, or if you read a book it written by its president on blood donation policy in the U.S., does that mean the ARC president “represents” you?

    I run a small business. While it is important that my business makes a profit, in order to sustain operations and justify its continued existence, that profit is not my sole, or even primary motivation. To assume that the “sole” motivation of private insurance companies is profit is very cynical indeed. And what’s different about the public sector? Politicians often have the motivation of re-election or campaign contributions. Government workers are heavily unionized and seem to be highly motivated by rich benefits and pensions, to the detriment of the taxpayers and services beneficiaries.

    I don’t think lifting annual or lifetime caps would raise premium costs very much at all. Such caps affect an infinitesimal fraction of the population, especially if substantially all are insured. And the pre-existing condition problem only affects individual insurance policies. You can already avoid those limitations by getting group insurance from an employer. My question is, why limit the groups to employers? “HSA’s are for the rich anyway”? Why do you say this? And how do you define “rich”? Middle class families can get as much advantage from HSA’s as they do from IRA’s and 401(k)’s. And did you even read my proposal? I think the HSA’s should be funded for those in poverty. So how is that “for the rich”?

    Since you only want a public option approach to health care, is it the case that you, too, are praying for the current Senate bill, which includes no such option, to go down to defeat? :)

  • DonS

    Garry @ 27:

    Wow, there is a lot to unpack there.

    The things Dobson does politically are done privately, not through Focus on the Family. He is not using my money to pray for the failure of the health care bill, and he doesn’t represent me. If you donate money to the American Red Cross, because you like the work that organization does, or if you read a book it written by its president on blood donation policy in the U.S., does that mean the ARC president “represents” you?

    I run a small business. While it is important that my business makes a profit, in order to sustain operations and justify its continued existence, that profit is not my sole, or even primary motivation. To assume that the “sole” motivation of private insurance companies is profit is very cynical indeed. And what’s different about the public sector? Politicians often have the motivation of re-election or campaign contributions. Government workers are heavily unionized and seem to be highly motivated by rich benefits and pensions, to the detriment of the taxpayers and services beneficiaries.

    I don’t think lifting annual or lifetime caps would raise premium costs very much at all. Such caps affect an infinitesimal fraction of the population, especially if substantially all are insured. And the pre-existing condition problem only affects individual insurance policies. You can already avoid those limitations by getting group insurance from an employer. My question is, why limit the groups to employers? “HSA’s are for the rich anyway”? Why do you say this? And how do you define “rich”? Middle class families can get as much advantage from HSA’s as they do from IRA’s and 401(k)’s. And did you even read my proposal? I think the HSA’s should be funded for those in poverty. So how is that “for the rich”?

    Since you only want a public option approach to health care, is it the case that you, too, are praying for the current Senate bill, which includes no such option, to go down to defeat? :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@24), your comment improves things, but I still don’t understand what mental framework you could hold to in which the actions of Gore and Kennedy stand for the “environmental movement”, but Dobson’s actions are somehow not emblematic of the “religious right”.

    You seem to defend your particular definition of the “religious right” because you see yourself as belonging to it. Since you don’t agree with this particular action of Dobson (even though you often do agree with him and have supported him financially), you’ve decided that he doesn’t speak for you, and therefore, somehow, doesn’t speak for the religious right.

    And yet you admit that you are rather loose in smearing the whole of the “environmental movement” based on the actions of a few high-profile people who talk a lot about the environment. What of those people who consider themselves part of the “environmental movement” who don’t agree with everything Gore says or does? Sadly, they are not the recipients of your zealous defense. Nope, they all get lumped into your broad use of the “environmental movement”. If you want me to believe that Dobson does not speak for the “religious right”, then at the very least, you should find a more accurate way to refer to the “environmental movement”, rather than just tarring everyone and assuming I know what you really mean.

    You also said, “I support sustainable logging practices, and reasonable regulation of mineral extraction operations.” And while that sounds good, of course, an unreasonable person could thereby accuse you of not caring about the poor people who are hurt financially by your so-called “reasonable regulations” and insistence on “sustainable practices”, going so far as to accuse you of encouraging the deforestation of third-world countries and the wasteful transportation of that lumber to our country. Like I said, it would be unreasonable for someone to make that claim. But it wouldn’t be the first time someone had made such an argument here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@24), your comment improves things, but I still don’t understand what mental framework you could hold to in which the actions of Gore and Kennedy stand for the “environmental movement”, but Dobson’s actions are somehow not emblematic of the “religious right”.

    You seem to defend your particular definition of the “religious right” because you see yourself as belonging to it. Since you don’t agree with this particular action of Dobson (even though you often do agree with him and have supported him financially), you’ve decided that he doesn’t speak for you, and therefore, somehow, doesn’t speak for the religious right.

    And yet you admit that you are rather loose in smearing the whole of the “environmental movement” based on the actions of a few high-profile people who talk a lot about the environment. What of those people who consider themselves part of the “environmental movement” who don’t agree with everything Gore says or does? Sadly, they are not the recipients of your zealous defense. Nope, they all get lumped into your broad use of the “environmental movement”. If you want me to believe that Dobson does not speak for the “religious right”, then at the very least, you should find a more accurate way to refer to the “environmental movement”, rather than just tarring everyone and assuming I know what you really mean.

    You also said, “I support sustainable logging practices, and reasonable regulation of mineral extraction operations.” And while that sounds good, of course, an unreasonable person could thereby accuse you of not caring about the poor people who are hurt financially by your so-called “reasonable regulations” and insistence on “sustainable practices”, going so far as to accuse you of encouraging the deforestation of third-world countries and the wasteful transportation of that lumber to our country. Like I said, it would be unreasonable for someone to make that claim. But it wouldn’t be the first time someone had made such an argument here.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 29:

    Well, actually, tODD, I would be happy to do away with the label “religious right”. But, it exists, and is heavily used by the left and the media (a somewhat overlapping group :)). As I have seen it defined, I would clearly be included within its bounds. So, since I would most likely be perceived by Garry to be a member of the “religious right”, it seemed reasonable to me to point out to him that I do not agree with the actions of those who are actively praying for the defeat of the health care legislation. He is free to tell me if he didn’t mean to include me in the definition of “religious right” as he used it.

    When I identify the environmental movement, and ascribe to it the agenda which it promotes, obviously, I am only including those who actually ascribe to and promote that agenda. You are free to pipe up and say that you are a leftist environmentalist, and you completely or partially disagree with the agenda of these leaders, and explain how. I have not heard you do that yet, but you are certainly free to do so. If you know of a better term for these activist environmentalists, please let me know and I will be happy to use it.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 29:

    Well, actually, tODD, I would be happy to do away with the label “religious right”. But, it exists, and is heavily used by the left and the media (a somewhat overlapping group :)). As I have seen it defined, I would clearly be included within its bounds. So, since I would most likely be perceived by Garry to be a member of the “religious right”, it seemed reasonable to me to point out to him that I do not agree with the actions of those who are actively praying for the defeat of the health care legislation. He is free to tell me if he didn’t mean to include me in the definition of “religious right” as he used it.

    When I identify the environmental movement, and ascribe to it the agenda which it promotes, obviously, I am only including those who actually ascribe to and promote that agenda. You are free to pipe up and say that you are a leftist environmentalist, and you completely or partially disagree with the agenda of these leaders, and explain how. I have not heard you do that yet, but you are certainly free to do so. If you know of a better term for these activist environmentalists, please let me know and I will be happy to use it.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 29:

    As to your last point, the whole point of stewardship is a balancing of factors. What is wrong with the environmentalist movement today is that there is no balancing. You seldom see an environmentalist group say “well, we cannot support that proposal as it stands, but if you do this or that, we will not oppose it.” Rather, it is a line in the sand, and an attitude that they will oppose it, no matter what, and the only right answer is no construction at all. They insist that economics not factor into the decision. This is particularly egregious when they obstruct green energy projects, such as new power transmission lines to link up solar or windmill farms, or the windmills themselves, because of aesthetics or bird strikes. It’s crazy.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 29:

    As to your last point, the whole point of stewardship is a balancing of factors. What is wrong with the environmentalist movement today is that there is no balancing. You seldom see an environmentalist group say “well, we cannot support that proposal as it stands, but if you do this or that, we will not oppose it.” Rather, it is a line in the sand, and an attitude that they will oppose it, no matter what, and the only right answer is no construction at all. They insist that economics not factor into the decision. This is particularly egregious when they obstruct green energy projects, such as new power transmission lines to link up solar or windmill farms, or the windmills themselves, because of aesthetics or bird strikes. It’s crazy.

  • Mike

    When some 97% of climate change scientists indicate they think that climate change is being caused in part by human activity , where do we get the chops to call this propaganda? To put it another way, what ever happened to humility? How is it that seemingly every evangelical with a belly button has become a climate change expert and somehow knows that 97% of climate change scientists are wrong?

    Could it be that climate change scientists are wrong or are engaged in groupthink? Sure. But I have talked to several climatologists, and they have all said to me they would love to find some good data that they could publish to refute anthropogenic climate change. That’s how you make your mark in science, by refuting scientific orthodoxy. And the thing is, you don’t have to really put your reputation on the line to do this. You just publish your results and say that it’s inconsistent with what ACC proponents have to say but that more data and analysis will have to occur before definitive conclusions can be drawn. If you have the data and correct methodology, you can’t really lose. That’s why God created tenure for these folks.

    Religion has taken on science before, and the results have often been ugly. What I least understand is why has climate change skepticism become so orthodox among evangelicals. What skin do we have in this game? I’m no scientist, but I know enough about theology to understand that the creation groans under the weight of sin and awaits its redemption in Christ (Romans 8:20-22). Does human sin result in the environmental degradation? You bet it does. Could ACC be one component of this degradation? Of course it could.

  • Mike

    When some 97% of climate change scientists indicate they think that climate change is being caused in part by human activity , where do we get the chops to call this propaganda? To put it another way, what ever happened to humility? How is it that seemingly every evangelical with a belly button has become a climate change expert and somehow knows that 97% of climate change scientists are wrong?

    Could it be that climate change scientists are wrong or are engaged in groupthink? Sure. But I have talked to several climatologists, and they have all said to me they would love to find some good data that they could publish to refute anthropogenic climate change. That’s how you make your mark in science, by refuting scientific orthodoxy. And the thing is, you don’t have to really put your reputation on the line to do this. You just publish your results and say that it’s inconsistent with what ACC proponents have to say but that more data and analysis will have to occur before definitive conclusions can be drawn. If you have the data and correct methodology, you can’t really lose. That’s why God created tenure for these folks.

    Religion has taken on science before, and the results have often been ugly. What I least understand is why has climate change skepticism become so orthodox among evangelicals. What skin do we have in this game? I’m no scientist, but I know enough about theology to understand that the creation groans under the weight of sin and awaits its redemption in Christ (Romans 8:20-22). Does human sin result in the environmental degradation? You bet it does. Could ACC be one component of this degradation? Of course it could.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    I’m skeptical about the 97% figure. Where do you get that? Al Gore?

    Who did the survey, and what criterion did they use to determine who was a “climate change” scientist worthy of participating in the survey?

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    I’m skeptical about the 97% figure. Where do you get that? Al Gore?

    Who did the survey, and what criterion did they use to determine who was a “climate change” scientist worthy of participating in the survey?

  • J

    Westfall, answer Mike’s intriguing question why climate change skepticism has become an article of faith among evangelicals. Why this of all topics?

  • J

    Westfall, answer Mike’s intriguing question why climate change skepticism has become an article of faith among evangelicals. Why this of all topics?

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    First, Mike has to defend his assertion that climate change skepticism has become “orthodox among evangelicals.”

    I don’t buy it, except to the extent that evangelicals are generally politically conservative (and maybe that’s the answer to the question), and political conservatives think that global warming paranoia is a pretext to enact unnecessary limits on liberty. Global warming skepticism really has nothing to do with religion.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    First, Mike has to defend his assertion that climate change skepticism has become “orthodox among evangelicals.”

    I don’t buy it, except to the extent that evangelicals are generally politically conservative (and maybe that’s the answer to the question), and political conservatives think that global warming paranoia is a pretext to enact unnecessary limits on liberty. Global warming skepticism really has nothing to do with religion.

  • Mike

    I tried to post the URL of the site that indicates that 97% of climatologists believe in human-induced climate change, but I don’t know how to post URL’s to this site. All you need to do is Google “97% climatologists” and you’ll get it.

    As far as climate change skepticism being an “orthodoxy” among evangelicals, all I know is that the vast majority of my evangelical friends are on this side of the fence and I get in lots of arguments with them. If I’m wrong about this, so be it. That’s the way I read the tea leaves.

    But my real point is that most of us don’t have the scientific literacy to even participate in the discussion. Climate change is one of the most complicated scientific problems we have had in the history of science. The number of variables one has to account for are enormous. However, theologically speaking, human-induced climate change is completely consistent with a Biblical worldview, which views human sin as degrading everything good in God’s creation. If the science of human-induced climate change is correct, it will be no surprise from the standpoint of a Biblical worldview. If it is not correct scientifically, that works too. In either case, God is control so why are people so freaked out about it.

  • Mike

    I tried to post the URL of the site that indicates that 97% of climatologists believe in human-induced climate change, but I don’t know how to post URL’s to this site. All you need to do is Google “97% climatologists” and you’ll get it.

    As far as climate change skepticism being an “orthodoxy” among evangelicals, all I know is that the vast majority of my evangelical friends are on this side of the fence and I get in lots of arguments with them. If I’m wrong about this, so be it. That’s the way I read the tea leaves.

    But my real point is that most of us don’t have the scientific literacy to even participate in the discussion. Climate change is one of the most complicated scientific problems we have had in the history of science. The number of variables one has to account for are enormous. However, theologically speaking, human-induced climate change is completely consistent with a Biblical worldview, which views human sin as degrading everything good in God’s creation. If the science of human-induced climate change is correct, it will be no surprise from the standpoint of a Biblical worldview. If it is not correct scientifically, that works too. In either case, God is control so why are people so freaked out about it.

  • DonS

    Mike, Mike Westfall is right. It’s not an evangelical thing, it’s a conservative thing.

    Your statement: “Climate change is one of the most complicated scientific problems we have had in the history of science. The number of variables one has to account for are enormous” is absolutely right. That is why we conservatives are so skeptical. Given the complexity of the theories, and the paucity of long term data, the assertions repeatedly made by climate scientists and politicians that the science is settled and we must get on with re-making all of society are ludicrous. No legitimate scientist would be that dogmatic about theories and computer modeling.

  • DonS

    Mike, Mike Westfall is right. It’s not an evangelical thing, it’s a conservative thing.

    Your statement: “Climate change is one of the most complicated scientific problems we have had in the history of science. The number of variables one has to account for are enormous” is absolutely right. That is why we conservatives are so skeptical. Given the complexity of the theories, and the paucity of long term data, the assertions repeatedly made by climate scientists and politicians that the science is settled and we must get on with re-making all of society are ludicrous. No legitimate scientist would be that dogmatic about theories and computer modeling.

  • Mike

    DonS, I guess I thought our beliefs as Christians trumped our political ideas, but let’s not go there for the moment.

    I agree that the science is not settled. I wonder if it ever will be. If the worse climate change scenarios come true, I’m sure there will be many out there who claim it’s all natural and that we couldn’t have done anything about it anyway. And they could be right. Climate change simply could be beyond the scope of our ability to understand given the current state of the art (or should I say, science!).

    What I don’t understand any more than the dogmatism on the left is the dogmatism on the right. I wish I had a dime for every conservative who absolutely claims that human-induced climate change can’t be true (and visa versa for every liberal who claims it is true). How can they know this? We simply don’t know and can’t know. The problem is, this stance leaves us in an ambiguous position. Since we don’t know, what should we do? If 97% of climatologists are right and we do have human-induced climate change, we should be pursuing mitigation efforts. If not, we should do nothing.

    My view is that this ambiguity drives people crazy. It’s very unnerving not to know what to do. That’s why I think our values as Christians trumps conservatism. As Christians, we can leave this issue in God’s hands and simply trust that however it turns out, good or bad, that He is in control.

  • Mike

    DonS, I guess I thought our beliefs as Christians trumped our political ideas, but let’s not go there for the moment.

    I agree that the science is not settled. I wonder if it ever will be. If the worse climate change scenarios come true, I’m sure there will be many out there who claim it’s all natural and that we couldn’t have done anything about it anyway. And they could be right. Climate change simply could be beyond the scope of our ability to understand given the current state of the art (or should I say, science!).

    What I don’t understand any more than the dogmatism on the left is the dogmatism on the right. I wish I had a dime for every conservative who absolutely claims that human-induced climate change can’t be true (and visa versa for every liberal who claims it is true). How can they know this? We simply don’t know and can’t know. The problem is, this stance leaves us in an ambiguous position. Since we don’t know, what should we do? If 97% of climatologists are right and we do have human-induced climate change, we should be pursuing mitigation efforts. If not, we should do nothing.

    My view is that this ambiguity drives people crazy. It’s very unnerving not to know what to do. That’s why I think our values as Christians trumps conservatism. As Christians, we can leave this issue in God’s hands and simply trust that however it turns out, good or bad, that He is in control.

  • Economist Doug

    What troubles me about this sense of panic is that it leads us away from thoughtfulness and towards force.

    If the entire world is at risk of destruction because my neighbor is driving an SUV then there can’t be thoughtfulness. Everything becomes black and white.

    What if a nation flatly ignores this alarmism?
    Will environmentalists call for invasion of nations that refuse to go ‘green’?

    I understand scientists have concerns based on their models but it is irresponsible of them to whip the public into a panic when we don’t yet understand the contribution we make to climate.

  • Economist Doug

    What troubles me about this sense of panic is that it leads us away from thoughtfulness and towards force.

    If the entire world is at risk of destruction because my neighbor is driving an SUV then there can’t be thoughtfulness. Everything becomes black and white.

    What if a nation flatly ignores this alarmism?
    Will environmentalists call for invasion of nations that refuse to go ‘green’?

    I understand scientists have concerns based on their models but it is irresponsible of them to whip the public into a panic when we don’t yet understand the contribution we make to climate.

  • DonS

    Mike @ 38:

    Our Christian faith should inform our political views. I’m not sure it “trumps” them, because that would indicate that the two are somehow in conflict, which shouldn’t be the case. Mike Westfall’s point, however, was that global warming skepticism isn’t limited to politically conservative evangelicals. It is a generally held view of political conservatives, regardless of faith, and is rooted in the philosophy that our federal government is constitutionally limited to certain defined powers, and computer modeled theories should not cause us to panic into rejecting the very foundation of the country.

    Otherwise, we agree. Very few conservatives categorically deny AGW. Many are skeptical, however, as, apparently, are you. It is an unknowable thing. It deserves further observation, and if it becomes confirmed over time, by actual observation, then action of some sort, whether it be mitigation or prevention, may be required. In the meantime, as you suggest, we leave it in God’s hands.

    Economist Doug’s comment is wise, pithy, and on the mark.

  • DonS

    Mike @ 38:

    Our Christian faith should inform our political views. I’m not sure it “trumps” them, because that would indicate that the two are somehow in conflict, which shouldn’t be the case. Mike Westfall’s point, however, was that global warming skepticism isn’t limited to politically conservative evangelicals. It is a generally held view of political conservatives, regardless of faith, and is rooted in the philosophy that our federal government is constitutionally limited to certain defined powers, and computer modeled theories should not cause us to panic into rejecting the very foundation of the country.

    Otherwise, we agree. Very few conservatives categorically deny AGW. Many are skeptical, however, as, apparently, are you. It is an unknowable thing. It deserves further observation, and if it becomes confirmed over time, by actual observation, then action of some sort, whether it be mitigation or prevention, may be required. In the meantime, as you suggest, we leave it in God’s hands.

    Economist Doug’s comment is wise, pithy, and on the mark.

  • John C

    There is an interesting debate b/n George Monbiot and one of Australia’s leading global warming sceptics, Professor Ian Plimer.
    Plimer wrote ‘Heaven and Earth:Global Warming -The Missing Science’
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2009/s29772906.htm

  • John C

    There is an interesting debate b/n George Monbiot and one of Australia’s leading global warming sceptics, Professor Ian Plimer.
    Plimer wrote ‘Heaven and Earth:Global Warming -The Missing Science’
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2009/s29772906.htm

  • coetsee

    Hi, I think your website is interesting very colorful. Good job! I feel helping job seekers finding their ream home jobs are a fulfilling quest. Good luck in your quest too.Today, the religious right, which includes, I’m sure, many Lutherans, are praying publicly in DC for the defeat of the Senate health care legislation.

    onlineuniversalwork

  • coetsee

    Hi, I think your website is interesting very colorful. Good job! I feel helping job seekers finding their ream home jobs are a fulfilling quest. Good luck in your quest too.Today, the religious right, which includes, I’m sure, many Lutherans, are praying publicly in DC for the defeat of the Senate health care legislation.

    onlineuniversalwork


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