The perenially sane George Will just weighed in on some very bad news for climate-change doomsdayists:
On Nov. 2, The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeffrey Ball reported some inconvenient data. Soon after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—it shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Thinking Man’s Thinking Man—reported that global warming is “unequivocal,” there came evidence that the planet’s temperature is beginning to cool. “That,” Ball writes, “has led to one point of agreement: The models are imperfect.”
Models are no better or worse than their assumptions, and Ball notes how dicey these assumptions can be: “The effects of clouds, for example, are unclear. Depending on their shape and altitude, clouds can either trap heat, warming the earth, or reflect it, cooling the planet.” It gets worse: “The way that greenhouse gases affect cloud formation—and how clouds in turn affect temperature—remains a subject of debate. Different models treat these factors differently.”
Read the whole piece. I will never be mistaken for an expert on climate change, but with many others, I have wondered about climate change for some time. It’s clear that more data is needed before this question is settled, but I wonder whether this whole episode doesn’t show us the importance of not jumping on cultural bandwagons. Better to let all the data come in and give oneself time to think hard and well about matters before adopting a whole new position.
Evangelicals need to be quick to care for the world and the “environment”. But we need to be slow to jump at whatever pet cause the culture is trumpeting. The intelligentsia can be very right, but they can also be very wrong. Discipleship at the feet of Christ requires that we use the full measure of our minds for His glory (Romans 12:1-2).