Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Environmentalism

Follow-Up Thought

I thought I should follow-up on the previous post with a note about why I think it’s so important that we stay balanced on the whole issue of environmentalism and the role we play as Christians in this world.

In the conclusion to the WSJ article previously cited, Dr Michaels writes:

This prompts the ultimate question: Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there’s little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you’re liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn’t such a threat, who needs all that funding? Who needs the army of policy wonks crawling around the world with bold plans to stop climate change? 

Here’s why it’s so important that we stay level-headed here. Something that seems so certain to so many in our day is still built on the shakiest evidence. We need to be discerning in our thinking, lest we be found to be building a house on sand.

But there’s more to it than this. If there is any truth in what Dr Michaels is saying, then we’re spending our time and our energies as Christians fighting for a cause built on a political agenda, rather than advancing the gospel of Christ crucified and raised for sinners. What could be a greater shame?

And in light of the charge I’ve recently received, I am renewed in my passion for keeping the gospel at the centre–which is where the NT would have it as well. You’ll notice that in that whole list of things that the elder of the NT church is to do (which is a long list!) ‘fighting against climate change’ is not there! That’s not to say it’s bad, but it is to say that it’s not central.

Here’s why I want those of you in ministry positions in particular to consider this: we’ve been given a charge by our Master, who will be our strict Judge (Jas 3.1; 2 Tim 4.). He’s given us a task. I do not want to be the one to stand before him and say, ‘I know you said “preach the gospel,” but I took that to mean “save the icebergs… which weren’t really melting in the first place…”.’ It is a serious charge we have been given, and we must keep the centre the centre, in fear of the living God.

A Convenient Lie

Tim Challies linked to a very interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on the topic of global warming / climate change, and how we get the numbers that are used to ‘prove’ that the earth is, in fact, getting warmer. Here’s a little excerpt:

The fear of a sudden loss of ice from Greenland also makes a lot of news. A year ago, radio and television were ablaze with the discovery of “Warming Island,” a piece of land thought to be part of Greenland. But when the ice receded in the last few years, it turned out that there was open water. Hence Warming Island, which some said hadn’t been uncovered for thousands of years. CNN, ABC and the BBC made field trips to the island.

But every climatologist must know that Greenland’s last decade was no warmer than several decades in the early and mid-20th century. In fact, the period from 1970-1995 was the coldest one since the late 19th century, meaning that Greenland’s ice anomalously expanded right about the time climate change scientists decided to look at it.

Warming Island has a very distinctive shape, and it lies off of Carlsbad Fjord, in eastern Greenland. My colleague Chip Knappenberger found an inconvenient book, “Arctic Riviera,” published in 1957 (near the end of the previous warm period) by aerial photographer Ernst Hofer. Hofer did reconnaissance for expeditions and was surprised by how pleasant the summers had become. There’s a map in his book: It shows Warming Island.

The mechanism for the Greenland disaster is that summer warming creates rivers, called moulins, that descend into the ice cap, lubricating a rapid collapse and raising sea levels by 20 feet in the next 90 years. In Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” there’s a wonderful picture of a moulin on page 193, with the text stating “These photographs from Greenland illustrate some of the dramatic changes now happening on the ice there.”

Really? There’s a photograph in the journal “Arctic,” published in 1953 by R.H. Katz, captioned “River disappearing in 40-foot deep gorge,” on Greenland’s Adolf Hoels Glacier. It’s all there in the open literature, but apparently that’s too inconvenient to bring up. Greenland didn’t shed its ice then. There was no acceleration of the rise in sea level.

You can read the whole very interesting article here.

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