March 12, 2008

Organizers Defend Environmental Statement

Ethics Daily ran my latest article today, which is entitled "Organizers Defend Environmental Statement." It is a follow-up to my piece on Monday about "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change" that was released by the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. This piece deals with some of the struggles the organizers were having as they attempted to defend the declaration against various complaints and questions in a teleconference on Monday. Also, Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics had a column yesterday that followed up on his initial criticism of the declaration's weaknesses.

6 comments:

  1. Brian,

    Good job on your article.

    As a Southern Baptist, I'm glad the position paper is not being officially endorsed.

    I place the human-caused global warming, carbon footprint theories in the same general category of "science" as evolution.

    I don't wish for either theory to be swallowed by the denomination.

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  2. Brian,

    I thought you might be interested in considering some of the science and scientists not swallowing the human-caused global warming theories.

    Here's a link to a recent event: http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/newyork08.cfm

    One of the interesting quotes from the site:

    "Are the scientists and economists who ask these questions [which the United Nations group ignored] just a fringe group, outside the scientific mainstream? Not at all. A 2003 survey of 530 climate scientists in 27 countries, conducted by Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch at the GKSS Institute of Coastal Research in Germany, found

    * 82 percent said global warming is happening, but only

    * 56 percent said it’s mostly the result of human causes, and only

    * 35 percent said models can accurately predict future climate conditions.


    Only 27 percent believed 'the current state of scientific knowledge is able to provide reasonable predictions of climate variability on time scales of 100 years.'

    That’s a long ways from 'consensus.' It’s actually pretty close to what the American public told pollsters for the Pew Trust in 2006:

    * 70 percent thought global warming is happening,

    * only 41 percent thought it was due to human causes,

    * and only 19 percent thought it was a high-priority issue."

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  3. Thanks for the comments. Your position probably fits most Southern Baptists and thus I do not think the document could pass at an SBC annual meeting.

    Those are some interesting numbers, but consider the source. The Heartland Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute)

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  4. Brian,

    Attacking the source without attention to the actual evidence the source has set forth is an ad homimen. You must consider the fact that despite who provides funding, their evidence may very well be true.

    But, here are a few more articles that you should also examine:

    Climate Facts to Warm To
    Increasing Carbon Dioxide Volumes Not Responsible for Global Warming
    The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat
    Climate Panel on the Hot Seat
    Increasing Sea Ice Measurements

    I have a couple of dozen more links if you want to examine them as well. Most of them (just like the 400 scientists who came out against Man-made global warming a few months ago) aren't tied to any oil companies.

    There has clearly been a swing in research and that is precisely why Christians need to be careful taking scientific positions that even scientists can't agree upon.

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  5. Brian,

    I apologize for my blogger identity being messed up. But it's D.R. Randle and my website is still Christ and Culture

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  6. D.R.: Thanks for the comments. Dealing with source credibility is not an ad homimen attack. That is when one attacks the person instead of the issues. However, source credibility goes to the heart of the issue. I have not attacked these individuals or called them names. I am just arguing that we need to make sure we are getting the best and most credible evidence possible. I'm not even saying that they are wrong, but that we need to listen to someone who has not been paid by a group that has a vested interest in controlling the discussion. I am not saying that all of the claims about climate change are correct as I clearly do not have the expertise to evaluate that. And that is why it upsets me when a group pumps in a lot of money to get their one-sided account accepted. As you note, there are many other sources that could be used and I hope that Christians who do not believe the claims of climate change will be careful who they trust in this debate.

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