Christian anti-science and AGW denial in Congress.
Before getting into this topic, I should make a bit of a disclaimer.
When I talk about fundamentalist Christians and “Fundie” politicians here, I am in no way meaning to impugn the millions of well educated, sane and wonderful people who are Christian. There are many very well educated, compassionate, caring, Christians in the world. If you are one of them, I am not writing about you.
I am however writing about an argument against AGW that takes certain false scriptural interpretations on faith. This argument goes that after the Flood, God promised not to do another flood - OK true enough. But then it derails into there is no way AGW could be bad or catastrophic because of that (after all, flooding of coastal regions is a major prediction of AGW).
The science is incredibly clear that if you melt ice, it turns to water and has to go somewhere. It is also incredibly clear that as you heat water it expands.
Here is a post that shows that we will pass 2 meter sea level rises by 2100 if the rate of ice sheet melts which we are observing now continues to accelerate at the rates we are observing now. It is sourced from Geophysical research letters, and an analysis from GIS
I could show you dozens more papers.
I assume that people get that when ice melts it turns to water. It is very distressing to see people who think that won’t happen.
You would hope our elected representatives get this too yes?
Apparently not, and that is why I am making this post.
Rep. John Shimkus: God decides when the “earth will end”
Of course, Shimkus is a Republican. We have an elected representative in the US. saying that his narrow minded and incorrect view of reading the Bible will contradict the known and observed facts of AGW. He has announced that nothing could sway him. He gets his “data” from a higher source.
Let that sink in.
In a nation with separation of Church and State, he is announcing as a matter of policy, that he denies science and observed facts, based on his ideas of faith.
Here he is, from the same hearing, kissing up to “Lord” Monckton to promote the “CO2 is plant food” pseudo science. Monckton actually claims that we are Carbon starved! While it is true that plants “eat” CO2, too much of it in the atmosphere will kill them. Actually going through all the junk science of Monckton will detract from this post. Monckton is debunked in great depth here:
Rep. John Shimkus: Capping C02 emissions will steal “plant food”
Then Shimkus wraps up with the smug certainty of a teacher explaining things to a slow witted five year old, that “the Earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”
The science end of why this man is an utter idiot I addressed somewhat in this post and at length in many of my other posts. This time instead, I am going to take another tact. I am going to point out that he is wrong on scripture as well.
I could go into a whole discussion about the metaphors of the Flood, and ways that allow one to view it as something that does not contradict geology, science and common sense, but that is not the point. Fundies don’t like science. Trying to point out that the Bible need not be read such that creation is 6,000 years old will simply not penetrate. However, Fundie idiots sure bang their bibles and are utter hypocrites when they do it. So, I am going to stick strictly to basic theology that they ignore. If you are faced with a Fundie, fight him on what he thinks is his own turf.
First, a trivial scriptural point:
According to Bereshit, Noah’s flood covered the whole Earth and happened over 40 days - then the waters receded. G-d promised He would never make such a flood again.
First off, we are doing this to ourselves. G-d letting something physical happen as a result of our freewill choices, and G-d actively doing something physical to us, are different things.
Secondly, AGW certainly does not predict that. AGW predicts the flooding will wipe out coastal areas and certain islands at an increasing rate over the next several hundred years if we do not change our policies. It will have already wiped out places like New York by 2100, but will continue to get worse. The waters also aren’t going to recede any time soon after that, and in any case, it won’t cover the whole Earth, vast areas will become dust bowls and deserts!
The flooding from AGW does not fit the description of what G-d never promised to do again. Then there is also the fact that we are doing this to ourselves. If it happens, G-d isn’t breaking any promise.
There is no contradiction. Shimkus is done, but this simple point really doesn’t show just how badly Shimkus violates the precepts of Abrahamic faith.
Perhaps the largest thing to take from the Flood is that it happened when man’s sins had literally corrupted the Earth. That is certainly what we are doing now in a real physical sense with pollution and emission - but the greed behind it and the shattered lives in other nations to support our lifestyle, is the sin that drives it.
Here is the main theological point:
To believe that G-d will not judge you for your actions, and to believe that your actions do not, or can not, have consequences in the physical world and the next world, is utter heresy and an utter abuse of the name of God.
Shimkus, and his fellow travelers, are saying that effect will not follow cause because G-d would not let it happen. That is like arguing that jumping off a cliff will not harm you because G-d would not let it happen. Not only is such reasoning stupid, but it robs man of the free will choice between good and evil that is at the heart of any Abrahamic religion.
All of good and evil - for such things to exist, requires the ability to actually choose one or the other and face the consequences. To deny this idea, by claiming that G-d will not let man to choose to destroy, is to deny both history, where G-d has allowed us to slaughter each other again, and again, but theologically, it is to deny the essence and foundational underpinning of the whole of Abrahamic faith.
Here is a verse Shimkus missed:
I put before you, life and death, a blessing and a curse. Choose life so that you and your children can live
Obviously if you choose wrong, G-d will let you pay the consequences - and it will hurt your children too.
After the horrors of two world wars, how dare anyone pontificate on what G-d will or will not allow men to do to each other?
G-d was quite clear. With AGW, we really do have a choice. There is a blessing and a curse, life and death. If we choose wrong, and follow the words of hypocrites who desecrate G-d’s name like Shimkus, not only we will suffer for our sins, but so will our children.
The last part is pure science as well as theology.