The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a new report showing that the Earth has not warmed in the past 15 years. The results have those who believe that carbon dioxide emissions pose significant threat to the planet scrambling to explain why their previous predictions have not occurred. Critics of human-caused-climate-change arguments are using the results to argue, in essence, "see, I told you so."
Despite the fact that the IPCC's previous predictions did not come to pass, the new report argues that human impact on the climate is "unequivocal" and, given enough time, its predictions will eventually come true.
If humans release 800 to 880 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, the report predicts that the Earth's temperature will rise to dangerous levels by the end of this century. Of that amount, 530 gigatonnes has already been emitted. more >>
Recently on his nationwide talk show, host Rush Limbaugh said, "If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming."
Two evangelical climate scientists took him to task in The Christian Post. "Rush Limbaugh doesn't think we exist. In other words that evangelical scientists cannot subscribe to the evidence of global warming," they said. "… Rush's uninformed rhetoric is demeaning to Christians who care deeply about what humans are doing to God's Creation and ignorant of the consequences that future generations will face if we don't respond quickly to the challenge of climate change."
Ironically, these climate scientists-Katharine Hayhoe and Thomas Ackerman-acknowledged at the outset, "Talk radio personalities often make hyperbolic statements …." Why is that ironic? Because, having acknowledged that, they then took Limbaugh literally-precisely what one must not do with hyperbole-and castigated him for meaning something they acknowledge he didn't. more >>
Some people think belief in God and belief in manmade global warming are incompatible. Two evangelical climate scientists rightly corrected that in The Christian Post, pointing out that they believe in God and in global warming. But they went on to make serious mistakes of their own.
We, too, are evangelical climate scientists. We, too, believe in manmade global warming. But, unlike Katharine Hayhoe and Thomas Ackerman, we believe natural climate variations might far outweigh human-induced variations and that attempts to control future global temperature by reducing greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide—CO2) emissions will cause more harm than good to the poor for whom Hayhoe and Ackerman express concern. Like them, "We are also evangelical Christians who believe that God created the world in which we live."
Like them, "We are … atmospheric scientists who study climate change, having earned advanced degrees in our respective fields and having devoted our lives to increasing knowledge through scientific research." Like them, "We know climate change is real." more >>
Rush Limbaugh doesn't think we exist. In other words that evangelical scientists cannot subscribe to the evidence of global warming.
Specifically, during a recent segment on his radio show Limbaugh stated, "If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming."
Talk radio personalities often make hyperbolic statements. It is what their listeners expect and want to hear. But in this instance, Rush's uninformed rhetoric is demeaning to Christians who care deeply about what humans are doing to God's Creation and ignorant of the consequences that future generations will face if we don't respond quickly to the challenge of climate change. more >>
The problems continue at President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency. Under fire for their leadership using private email addresses to illegally conduct official business and enacting new regulations through coordinated lawsuit settlements with outside environmental groups, the EPA shows no sign of slowing down in Obama's second term.
Last month, in an attempt to deflect attention from scandals at the IRS, the NSA and the embassy in Benghazi, the Administration has turned its attention to the issue of climate change.
At the center of their new environmental policies is the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standards, which mandates the use of ethanol and biofuels in the production of gasoline. This a prime example of misguided government regulation, as it punishes companies to use a type of hybrid fuel - known as cellulosic biofuel - which does not yet exist on the commercial market. In addition, drives up prices at the gas station for consumers (10 cents/gallon in 2011), while simultaneously driving up cost of food. more >>
Nineteen firefighters died fighting a forest fire in Arizona earlier this summer. Curiously, almost no one is talking about why it happened, only that it was a tragedy. Arizona Deputy State Forestry Director Jerry Payne has been the only one to speak out about the cause, and he backtracked immediately afterwards, apologizing for what he said. He claimed that the superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots violated wildlife safety protocols while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30th, 2013, 60 miles north of Phoenix.
According to Payne, the superintendent's violations allegedly included not knowing the location of the fire, failing to have a spotter serve as a lookout, and leading his crew through thick, unburned vegetation near a wildfire. There wasn't a proper escape route in case the fire changed direction; the firemen would have to bushwhack through thick brush to retreat. The firefighters lost their lives when the fire suddenly changed direction and came at them, traveling 12 miles an hour. The fire destroyed more than 100 of the roughly 700 homes in Yarnell, burning 13 square miles. Flames shot up to 20 feet in the air.
The account given by Payne is not the whole picture. Firefighting today is not what it was 20 years ago. Fires 20 years ago moved slowly, at 2-3 mph. Today they move at speeds of 10-12 mph. There are three reasons for this. First, people are building more homes near or within forests. In the past, no one dared to build a house in the forest, because there weren't fire departments everywhere. As one retired firefighter told me, "Try to find a photo of a house in the middle of the forest from 100 years ago. You can't." more >>