Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Not-So-Global Warming of Evangelicals

Evolution pundits have accused Evangelicals of not being scientifically savvy for believing that God created all this instead of it happening by chance. These same pundits, for similar political reasons hail global warming as an excuse to savage the capitalist economy. Interestingly, a considerable percentage of Evangelicals agree with the pundits on global warming. So, on the one hand, Evangelicals are a bunch of superstitious dolts and on the other, they're apprehensively hopeful. There's actually a bit of a debate among Evangelicals and the libs are a little amused by it. Here are some of the more fruitful references I've come across in researching this:


Christian references:

http://www.christiansandclimate.org/polling
http://www.christiansandclimate.org/faq
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/106/34.0.html
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1346095.html


Liberal References:

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/021406EC.shtml
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/10/national/10evangelical.html?ex=1140584400&en=12667bcb056c9650&ei=5070
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/02/09/evangelicals/


As for the "science" involved in global warming, two things are certain. First, we are polluting the air. Carbon dioxide has increased in the atmosphere beyond what it has been historically. We also know that carbon dioxide is fresh air for plants. It's just not fresh air for animals. For this, we need to look into what constitutes a proper balance. The second thing we know is that overall climatological temperatures have been increasing in recent decades. There is one thing we do not know. We do not know that there is a correlation between increased carbon dioxide or any other gaseous pollutants in the atmosphere and increased climatological temperatures. There are too many factors not being taken into consideration like the rate of transfer of heat from the earth's core through various volcanic activity, the means and rate of transfer of heat from the atmosphere into outer space, the effect of various atmospheric elements on the percentage of electromagnetic radiation from the sun reflected back into outer space, and the fluctuations in emissions of electromagnetic radiation from the sun. This is where the global warming issue gets its "junk science" moniker. It assumes the relationship to be true because carbon dioxide has a greater potential to retain heat. What does this mean? Water changes its temperature slower than anything else for the same amount of energy transfer. Would humidity, or lack thereof, not be a greater factor than carbon dioxide? Could it be that the energy level of the atmosphere has remained the same while the temperature rose because of a difference of elemental structure? If so, then the answer may not be to concern ourselves with the temperature because the energy is the same. My point is, we just don't know. And I doubt that it has all been taken into consideration.

So, I'm all in favor of cleaning up our emissions and working to determine the limits of a balance of elements in the atmosphere and developing good practices to keep it that way. However, I'm not so alarmist as to think that a fluctuation in climatological temperatures that is well within historic parameters is detrimental to the earth - or that we could have much of an effect on it.

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