Global Warming Controversy Heating up

A new major new study backed by three universities has concluded that climate change over the past thirty years is explained by natural factors, not by human activity. As reported at Canada Free Press:

“Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability.

“The fundamental question is whether the observed warming is natural or anthropogenic (human-caused).  Lead author David Douglass said: ‘The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming.  The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming.’”

Read the the whole story here.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI recently issued his message for the World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2008. His message is entitled “The Human Family, A Community of Peace,” in which he took up the issue of environmentalism. He affirms society’s legitimate concerns about global warming, but says we must proceed on the basis of firm evidence and not dubious ideologies or agendas. Here’s what he had to say:

“We need to care for the environment: It has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion. Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole. Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. Rather, it means not selfishly considering nature to be at the complete disposal of our own interests, for future generations also have the right to reap its benefits and to exhibit towards nature the same responsible freedom that we claim for ourselves. Nor must we overlook the poor, who are excluded in many cases from the goods of creation destined for all.

“Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations. Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken, decisions aimed at strengthening that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying.”

Read the Pope’s entire message, which is certainly worth reading in full, here.

4 responses

  1. I agree with what I read as your global warming skepticism, Leon. However, “the Vatican” seems less skeptical than this. Just this summer they boasted of being the first carbon-neutral state when they accepted the donation of a denuded island in Hungary which will be “reforested” to “offset” Vatican carbon emissions. One Vatican official even likened it to “penance” for pollution and overconsumption in the past. Also cited were Benedict’s support for a green agenda. Here’s the story

  2. Pope Benedict has been surprisingly (in my opinion) outspoken in his defense of the environment, and surely that has trickled down into “the Vatican” as a whole. The Pope’s latest statement doesn’t reflect skepticism about the existence of global warming and other environmental concerns, but with Pete Brown-like nuance he strongly rejects the injection of ideology into the debate, and he affirms man’s rightful place in the order of creation and what that means in terms of his stewardship of the environment–a perspective often lacking in the debate. I think the latest study bears out the Pope’s caution against “hasty decisions” without adequately assessing the issues.

  3. Actually I learned my nuance from the other Pete. All seriousness aside–I think it wil be a long time before we can capture the right balance again in environmental issues. Modern environmentalism is in my view animated not so much by love of the earth but by hatred of mankind–and by extension all activity that is associated with human civilization. They dont want wise use stewardship of resources–they want little or no use of them.

    But human economic activity (and the fuel it consumes) is necessary to feed a world with over 6billion people. There’s no way around that. The US and the west “consume” more fuel because they produce most of the goods and services that the growing world needs.

    I fear it’s only a matter of time before the global warming crowd starts calling more loudly for another 1970′s era round of population control when these carbon offset schemes and international protocols fail to amount to anything. I can hear it now–global warming will become another “life issue”

    In my judgment the problems of the third world can only be solved with greater economic development which will mean more carbon emissions not less certainly in the short run and probably in the long run too. Which is why I have to admit, I really don’t see what the Holy Father is doing on the global warming front.

  4. Pete – global warming has already become a “life issue,” along with expanding cable tv to rural markets. Remember the “Catholic scorecard” prepared by House Democrats in 2004?

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