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Friday, November 25, 2016

DNR: Mixed Messages On Climate Science

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"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it...  And I beheld, and heard an angel... saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth..."
Revelation 8:12-13 (KJV)

The editorial page of our local paper, the Daily News-Record, appears to have a generally optimistic view of the earth's future, and takes a consistently skeptical stance regarding any climate warming resulting from human activity. Yet it regularly publishes Associated Press articles that show otherwise.

The headline of an AP article in the November 23 edition, for example, was "Study Predicts More Heat Records In Future". It begins with, "The United States is already setting twice as many daily heat records as cold records, but a new study predicts that will get a lot more attention as man-made climate change worsens." The piece ends with, "In life we get alarmed when we have a fever... We are setting Earth on course for high fever events to be quite common."

It appears the paper's policy is to print such articles as verifiable and valid on the one hand, but on the other hand to deny their trustworthiness and truthfulness in its editorials.

There are always plenty of non-scientists, editors included, who feel they have the necessary credentials to dismiss organizations like the World Meteorological Organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Natural Resources Defense Council, NASA, the EPA, the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the National Geographic Society, the Union of Concerned Scientists and countless other groups as being just plain wrong in warning us to reverse the rate at which we are spewing carbon emissions into the atmosphere.  The so-called deniers, self-proclaimed "experts" who trust science in almost every other area of their lives, accuse climate scientists of either being grossly ignorant or willfully devious, willing to risk their professional reputations by conspiring with others around the globe to promote faulty science, apparently to gain the funding they want to promote their shameful research.

But does that really make sense?

The fact is that scientists tend to be a fiercely competitive and independent lot, all too willing to find errors in their colleague's research. In addition, there is an equally competitive press that will do anything possible to expose fraud in a way that gains attention to themselves and might result in a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism.

Having said all that, I do believe that ultimately God's "got the whole world in his hands". Yet I also take seriously the first and extremely important mandate we are given in scripture, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing upon the earth."

This means that we who are stewards of the planet are to care for it and for all life on it as our Creator intended.

Surely that means doing everything possible to avoid harming the fragile atmosphere on which all life depends.

Here's a link to another piece on the subject:
http://harvyoder.blogspot.com/2013/04/where-theres-smoke-theres-denial.html

And there's this in today's New York Times: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/science/global-warming-coastal-real-estate.html?emc=edit_th_20161125&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=57644220
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