By Thomas Williamson
3131 S. Archer Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60608
I feel that I have a responsibility to address, in this
publication, the issues that are of current and deep concern in
evangelical Christianity. Global warming is now a hot issue (no
pun intended) among Christians, so the time has come for me to
deal with it.
A recent news article by ABC News states that evangelical Christians are losing interest in such issues as fighting abortion and homosexuality, and are turning to new, more popular causes such as the battle against global warming.
The ABC News article, while not completely accurate in describing the attitudes of modern evangelicals, has a certain amount of truth to it, as shown by the large numbers of prominent, respected evangelical Christian leaders who are publicly calling for Christians to join the crusade to fight global warming.
This raises such questions as, just how does one fight global warming? How do we know that the things we do to fight global warming do not have the effect of inadvertently making global warming even worse? How can we be sure that global warming is happening at all? Assuming that global warming really is taking place, is it something that mankind can control or is it beyond our control?
President Bush has been heavily criticized for not submitting the Kyoto Treaty to combat global warming to the U.S. Senate for ratification. However, President Clinton, who supported the Kyoto Treaty, never submitted it to the Senate, because the Senate voted 95-0 against the ratification of such a treaty.
The Kyoto Treaty would force America and other industrialized Western nations to cut down on their carbon emissions, while allowing Third World nations to continue uncontrolled manufacturing and other forms of carbon emissions. This would have the effect of shutting down industries in America and relocating them to such places as Mexico, China and India where they would continue to emit the same amounts of carbon dioxide, only from different locations. How does this help to stop global warming?
The late Jerry Falwell, writing "The Great Myth of Global Warming" in the April, 2007 National Liberty Journal, warned that the Kyoto Treaty would inflict major economic damage to America, costing a minimum of $352 billion almost immediately.
Falwell quoted from a report issued by the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, stating that "1. These climate changes are well within the bounds of natural variability, in which the earth's climate has warmed and cooled cyclically throughout its history; 2. These changes are largely natural in origin; 3. These changes are unlikely to be catastrophic to humanity or the rest of the biosphere; 4. These changes are not susceptible to significant reduction by any actions we take; and 5. These changes are far from the most serious threat to humanity and the rest of our environment."
Newsweek, April 28, 1975, had an article entitled "The Cooling World" reporting on massively accumulating evidence that the world is cooling down. Global cooling was blamed for tornadoes in America, shorter growing seasons in England, and declining ground temperatures and increased snow cover all over North America. Scientists predicted massive famines, droughts, floods and long freezes as a result of global cooling, and called for politicians to take immediate and urgent action to save the planet from global cooling. Now the scientists (not all of them, just the politically correct ones) are sounding the alarm about global warming instead.
Some scientists even today believe we are still entering a period of global cooling. Russian scientist Khabibullo Abdusamatov and his colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences are predicting, based on measurement of solar emissions, that we are entering a period of global cooling that will reach its peak between 2055 and 2060. He says, "The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times."
When Kyoto Treaty supporters warn about "greenhouse gases," this has a menacing, sinister sound to it, but all they are really referring to is carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring gaseous compound that is beneficial to plant growth and whose concentration has fluctuated for ages, long before the beginning of the Industrial Age. There is no scientific evidence that carbon emissions, which would be regulated at extravagant cost by the Kyoto Treaty, have any relation to average global temperatures. Average global temperatures declined slightly from 1950 to 1970, precisely when man-made carbon dioxide emissions were dramatically increasing.
Timothy Ball, Canadian climatologist with a Ph.D in the field, says that carbon dioxide emissions, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, have nothing to do with global warming or cooling. His study of the Little Ice Age of the 17th Century indicates that it had no relation with carbon dioxide concentrations, and much to do with sunspot activity at that time.
Ball, an opponent of the global warming hysteria, believes that the concern about global warming is based on "Uniformitarianism. This is the idea that change is gradual over long periods of time. It was basically established out of Darwin's view, which had to overcome the church and accommodate his evolutionary theory. So what it means is that we are all educated to see change as gradual over long periods of time. So any sudden or dramatic change is seen as either wrong or unnatural. Of course, that plays into the hands of the environmentalists, because it means all of this is not natural, it is something that humans are doing, when in fact nature varies tremendously all the time."
Left-wing, anti-Bush author Alexander Cockburn, in a May 12, 2007 article, "Hot Air, Cold Cash - Who are the Merchants of Fear?" on his CounterPunch web site, debunks the global warming myth, saying, "The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind's sinful contribution.
"The world's best known hysteric and self promoter on the topic of man's physical and moral responsibility for global warming is Al Gore, a shill for the nuclear industry and the coal barons from the first day he stepped into Congress. . . . All Gore has ever needed is a hot day or some heavy rain as opportunity to promote the unassailable theory of man-made global warming. Come a rainy summer (95), a perfectly routine El Nino (97), or forest fire in Florida (98) and Gore was there for the photo op, the uplifted finger warning of worse global warming to come. 97 also found Gore in Glacier National Park, pointing at Grinnell Glacier and telling the press gravely that it was melting, which indeed it has been since the end of the Little Ice Age, 1450 to 1800. Mid-latitude glaciers expanded then, just as they contracted in the Medieval Warming Period, hotter than today and thus so vexing to climate alarmists . . . that they had wiped it off their historical temperature graphs."
Global warming theorists have no explanation for the Medieval Warm Period, during which Vikings farmed in Greenland. The Vikings were not driving SUVs, and the modern Industrial Age did not begin until about 1750. Around the year 1200, temperatures in Europe were much higher than the average today, and there is no explanation for this based on human activity or concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air.
A report in the Asheville, North Carolina Tribune dated March 29, 2007 notes that average temperatures appear to be going up as measured in large metropolitan areas, caused by the "urban heat island" effect. However, satellite temperature readings of the atmosphere, where readings are not affected by urban heating, show no increase in average temperatures and no global warming.
This report notes that Antarctica has gained ice mass in the last 30 years, reversing a 6000-year melting trend. Meanwhile, astronomers have determined that global warming is now taking place on the planet Mars. What is causing that - Martians in SUVs?
Some regions of the Arctic, including Alaska, appear to be warming, while other Arctic regions are stable or cooling. Some glaciers worldwide are melting, others are growing. No firm conclusions can be based on what is going on in just one region.
All glaciers flow and are in constant movement - if they are near the ocean, there will always be icebergs breaking off in a dramatic manner, which in no way indicates that the glacier is shrinking or disappearing, any more than a river discharging water into the ocean is in danger of drying up.
It is believed that the melting of the Kilimanjaro glacier in Africa is caused by deforestation of the lower slopes of that mountain, not by global warming. Satellite measurements of temperatures in the atmosphere over Kilimanjaro show no warming since 1979.
In my judgment, there is insufficient scientific evidence to show that we need to shut down our industries, transportation and other trappings of modern civilization, in order to fight global warming. This current fad is one bandwagon that Christians need not and should not get caught up in.