Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Climate Change


A lot of silliness is talked by people about climate change. Little children go home from school as freshly indoctrinated eco-nazis fearing the end of world is about to be brought about by their parents profligate ways. We are bringing them up with a nightmarish Apocalyptic fear which far outweighs the loony “end is nigh” message of any fundamentalist sect. Every carrier bag will certainly kill a turtle, every non-earth friendly light bulb kills a tree, a petrol guzzling 4x4 reduces the ozone layer by x%, the need to recycle the weekend's wine bottle is self evident, though of course it has become too expensive to recycle, so it is back to the landfill site.


On the other hand there are the change deniers, for whom any evidence whatsoever would draw a skeptical sneer. Amongst them there are lot of conspiracy theorists who at best see climate change as a reason to raise taxes, at worse a UN conspiracy of masonic lizards seeking a new world order.

I don't understand too much of the science, I would like to ignore what is presented, more for the hectoring manner of the delivery than for anything else. Their religious zeal is as disturbing and as off putting as any Protestant fundamentalists.

Christians tend to listen to prophets of doom with a healthy skepticism: gaps are minded, phones switched off on take-off, and who doesn’t apply butter to bread without a sense of the immanence of a heart attack.

Yet when all is said and done for us Christians we have accept we have neighbours, the pile of supermarket packaging in the kitchen bin is going to be weighed against our soul simply because it reflects our wealth, it marks us out as the rich man in hell rather than poor Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. There is a real need to apply the Church’s social teaching in all its richness, and there is hunger for it.

If a poor Bangladeshi farmer is fearing for his life and the lives of his family, charity demands we not only listen but also come to his aid. If there is a possibility that filling up the car is going to harm our neighbour, even our yet to be born neighbour, we have to take the risk seriously. We have to start being concerned about our “global neighbour” and insist on our governments being concerned, just as any good Catholic demands his government is concerned about beginning and end of life issues. These issues are so important because the affect the very dignity of the human person and society. In our clamour about these issues it is easy to forget or be blasé about other life issues that affect our neighbour’s dignity.

What is the thinking behind protecting a child’s right to be born, if poverty is going to rob that child of life shortly after birth, especially if poverty is linked to the extraordinary wealth of us in the West?

32 comments:

shadowlands said...

My dad, who is in his seventies always reminds me, we don't own anything. Not even the body we stand up in, it's all on loan. God only ever made us stewards over materialism, and as you say, stewards who will have to give an account.
Jesus wasn't very well off, and I ask Him to give me His attitude to possessions, as I can get envious sometimes and forget I could be dead tomorrow and only my faith and works will be added up, and hopefully they will outweigh my defects by the time I kick the bucket.

Crux Fidelis said...

God made us stewards of this Earth. One day we may be called to account for our stewardship.

Profligacy and waste are not pleasing to Him.

Paulinus said...

Little children go home from school as freshly indoctrinated eco-nazis fearing the end of world is about to be brought about by their parents profligate ways.

Doesn't seem to stop them leaving the b****y lights on!

I hear what you say, father. The climate has always changed (cf the medieval warm period, the Little Ice Age). We may or may not be responsible - the science on that is far from settled as the corrupt goings on at the CRU have shown.

The main reason we should try to live frugally and take account of the impact of our own lives on those of others is becasue it is right and viruous to do so.

What I will not do is offer sacrifice and incense to Gaia and/or Al Gore.

P Stanbrook said...

I recently attended a church sponsored (Churches together, not an individual church) meeting addressed by a climate action advocate. There was a question/discussion session which was prefaced by remarks from the speaker to the effect that anyone who disagreed with him was "contemptuosly arrogant", "in a world of make believe", and "paranoid". That is no way to present a legitimate case, and in fact should set the alarm bells ringing. 'Trust me I'm a Climate Scientist'? I don't think so, after reading the Climategate emails and looking at the data sets. (If you're not aware of these, google them and be amazed). There is a lot of science yet to be done despite the attempts to panic the population. The real crime is that the poverty you describe has its real cause in the very much here and now. Clean water can be provided to every person on the planet for almost trivial amounts of money relative to the sums that bankers and traders will make out of carbon trading. The beneficiaries of Copenhagen will be bankers, and the moneymen, Al Gore included. The crime of ascribing global poverty to Climate Change is that it makes it someone elses problem to sort at some time in the future, when acting on corruption, waste and old fashioned greed could solve the problem tonorrow.

Michael Clifton said...

The science of climate change is quite difficult. The basic problem is% that those loony lefties who say that our polluting the atmosphere with CO2 will lead to ultimate catastophre as CO2 for them is responsible and we are responsible for most of it. Sceptics like me deny this. Most CO2 emmission are due to the workings of nature which are usually in balance. 80% come from cattle emissions of methane. The continued use of bio fuels like oil seed rape makes matters worse and this crop does not absorb CO2 whilst living but on being cut down the remnants rot and emit the gas. Most climate change anyway comes from the growth or absence of sun spot activities. That is what caused the ice ages and subsequent warming up. The BBC have done their best to cover up the sceptics position but more and more people are beginning to realise that the lefties are wrong.
This is some what oversimplifying the matter..but is roughly right.

Michael Petek said...

The findings and predictions of climate science are by no means conclusive, especially when yiu consider the recent 'Climategate' revelations and the propensity of some scientists to refuse to disclose their data.

What isn't so easily controvertible is peak oil/coal/gas, and where a world of six billion souls is going to get its energy from once fossil fuels become no longer economically feasible to extract.

Delia said...

Excellent post, Father. I wish they'd just advocate the long-lost virtue of thrift instead of all this self-righteous 'saving the planet' stuff.

Laurence England said...

The climate change agenda is dressed up as 'we're doing this for Africa and the poor'.

However, given that the priorities of Western nations, governments, G8 etc are so skewed in favour of the West/G8 that Pope Benedict XVI feels compelled to write an entire cyclical on the scale and nature of the injustice, for some niggling reason, I doubt very much whether 'concern for the poor' is motivating the Copenhagen summit at all.

There must be another motivation to do with making money and subjugating Africa, lest the continent think of becoming wealthy or powerful.

I expect that in a couple of years time we'll have carbon credit cards telling us how many times a day we can break wind.

Michael Petek said...

I hear what people say here, and I say again that the real elephant in the room is peak hydrocarbons.

In 1800 ninety-five per cent of the primary energy used in the economy came from the muscular strength of humans and animals. Today it's one per cent.

Given that the earth receives from the Sun several times more energy that the entire human race consumes in a year, how do we harness it?

See the cover article in the November issue of Scientific American for an idea of how to do this.

There's also some interesting materialon the website of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Michael Petek said...

What happened to the content of my second posting?

nickbris said...

To look on the Bright-Side,more BILLIONAIRES have been created since the start of "Global Warming Climate Change Exchanges"started.With a bit of luck some of these "Nouveau-Riche"may be stricken down like Saul and repent their GREED.

Some of us who are being persecuted the most were brought up in a different climate,we never wasted anything,we actually collected salvage and got our pocket money for it.All left-over food was fed to the Pigs or other livestock,we were indoctrinated into thrift.

What exactly are they going to talk about in Copenhagen? Do they think they can change Nature? If we turned everything off in whole World it would not alter the will of Nature one Iota.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Michael,
"Blogger" seems to be playing up today, I keep having to press publish several times.
I have deleted nothing today, so blame "blogger".

George said...

For a well balanced, non-politically motivated, rational, factually and scientifically backed
refutal of the Al Gore 'Wagon Train' of Hot-housers and his unscientific indeed verging on the criminal, fudging of presented data see Lord Chris Monkton's most recent video recording of a lecture presented in October this year in St Paul's Minnesota.

I've long been a sceptic of this Anthropogenic CO2 Global Warming stuff ever since in fact Professor David Bellamy the 'cockney' Botanist called it junk science and a load of poppycock.

Follow this link to what I believe is the definitive and most open and honest representation of the facts as we know and understand them to date:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zOXmJ4jd-8&feature=player_embedded

Make your own minds up about the sinister agendas behind all this - one world government, green lizards, aliens, the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, Masons, with of course the Devil beating the drums and setting the pace for all this chaos!

Elizabeth said...

Climate change is the 21st century religion. People now see themselves as gods both arrogant and wayward. They believe they have a serious impact on climate and can stop any predicted disasters from happening by getting rid of 4by4 cars etc.

The money spent on these Global Summits would be far better off given to the poorer countries instead pampering an already over pampered minority.

God knows perfectly well how to run this world after all He created it. The Bible clearly states that God both created and maintains the universe as an expression of His love. But only a few people will face these facts because it requires them to make peace with their maker.

On the other hand, this is big business

"Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to (find a) way to scare the public . . . and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they really are."
Petr Chylek
(Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Malcolm Kemp said...

It's a bit like the ever changing messages we get about what we should or should not eat or drink. What is very good for us one week suddenly beocmes very bad for us the next week. (Do you remember "Go to work on an egg"?) I suspect we need to adopt a food/drink attitude of everything in moderation and nothing in excess.

I have no intention of using these silly new light bulbs unless it becomes absolutely unavoidable because I don't want to make my eyes any worse than they already are. I am well prepared!

As someone else has noted above, this has always happened. At one time the Thames regularly became as ice rink in winter.

Paulinus said...

...and another thing.

It is a good idea to cut our dependence on fossil fuels to avoid filling the coffers of Mohammedan despots or fundamentalists who then use the cash to fund the destruction of the West through Wahhabist fifth columnists.

God made algae for a good reason....

Michael Clifton said...

Ge0rge
The link you give does not come out underlined which means instant access is not easy. You may have either left out something or even put too much into the linkage.

Mike said...

CAFOD, SCIAF, Justice and Peace, Cardinal Keith O'Brien. They're all telling us that Copenhagen MUST succeed. They are all telling us that WE must tell our leaders that we want a binding treaty that will do X, Y and Z.

Yet all the Catholic bloggers that I have read are all sceptical about the whole business. This is fascinating (and encouraging). OK, I haven't read an enormous number of Catholic bloggers so maybe there are some out there who are AGW believers. Does anybody know of any? (And I'm not talking about people who are part of the CAFOD/SCIAF/J+P establishment.)

Jack said...

Its now a sin to be wealthy? when will someone tell the kennedy faimly ?

seriously Fr I don't see anything in the Bible about being judged because one brought to many individually wrapped chocolates (which will remain wrapped until Christmas Day) I can understand the blind persuit of wealth for wealth's sake being sinful but merely wanting to earn enough to send any future kids to good i.e. expensive Catholic schools/ be able to afford to homeschool and keep your family fed seems perfectly ok.

Patricius said...

I am always instinctively suspicious of anything so pushed by the government, 5-a-day, swine flu, climate change etc...I see the marring of peoples' souls by sin and the overthrow of their minds by idolatry and ideologies as more important than ''climate change'' which is something I consider to be beyond human means to curtail or control, if indeed it is as big a problem as people make out in the first place. I wonder if mere indifference to the whole thing is the answer?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Well Jack, revelation involves Tradition as well, there I read, "the wealth of the earth belongs to all".

Peter said...

Thank you Father.
Can a reader help me with the science?
1
If the Arctic ice and the ice around Antarctica melts why should sea levels rise: the ice is floating on the water and displacing water equivalent to the frozen water the ice is made of?
2
If global warming melts the ice on the Antarctic land or Greenland or the temperature of the sea rises so as to expand the water volume this might cause sea levels to rise. But would this not be partly offset by warmer air holding more water?
3
How does the surface area of the oceans compare to Antarctica and Greenland, presumably many times greater? So would losing an average of one yard of snow from these land areas cause sea levels to rise by as much as an inch?

There may be complications to this as the ice is salt free unlike the oceans and the sea temperatures are related to the pressure of the depth. I suspect that these are at the margins of the calculations. A reader might be able to explain if not.

I think that the case for conserving the environment may be overstated and so weakened. Meanwhile as I cycle 7 miles or so to work in the morning I feel that I am "doing my bit" for the environment. But beyond a general advice to conserve the earth is there a religious angle to this? I fear that clergy who take a strong view may be speaking on a subject for which they have no training and for which the faithful may reasonably dispute the issue.

Michael Petek said...

I can answer Peter's first question quite easily.

The melt of the Arctic ice will not of itself cause sea levels to rise because it floats on water already. Antarctic ice lies on top of a continent.

But if they melt, then they lose their albedo effect, which is theit propensity to reflect the heat of the sun instead of absorbing it.

George said...

Peter - as the unbiased 'Real Science' that is non IPCC or UN funded (see and listen to Chris Moncktons lecture - link given in my earlier post above), points clearly to the fact that we are moving into a period of global cooling, the ice caps will remain healthy perhaps even expand to a degree - so there is no problem.

Oh and by the way especially for those children reading this blog - the Polar Bear population has been dramatically increasing over the last forty or more years. Their numbers are healthy. The 'AGW' image of a poor lonely tearful polar bear cub floating away into the wild yonder on a small iceberg is pure made-up 'bunkum'!

Shame we're not getting some global warming down here in the UK really - looking at the miserable weather outside I was rather hoping for some climate warming down in London in my lifetime - oh well! God knows precisely what he is doing. Jesus - I trust in Thee.

Elizabeth said...

Paricius you are absolutely right, we need to be suspicious. As in the case of vaccines (supposedly tetanus) being used against people who weren’t aware of the fact that they were being sterilized, as was the case in the Philippines. What we need is to concentrate on our souls as they will continue forever either in the presence of God’s Glory or in Hell. Makes global warming or cooling pale down to insignificance, but while we are in this world we need to deal with its problems and bring truth to the forefront.

Peter said...

Thank you Michael Petek
I wonder how much heat is in fact reflected from polar ice.
At the same time I wonder how much ice would melt if the temperature rose from -40 to -30 centigrade.

It is not that I deny the I deny the problem. Rather I suspect that some of the warnings seem to need better explanation.

umblepie said...

Interesting post Father. I have just discovered the following blogsite - with a revealing and excellent analysis of the current 'global warming'etc. paranoia. http://leg-iron.livejournal.com/264655.html
Well worth a read!

johnf said...

Father I agree with the points made by other commentators. The wheels I hope are coming off this bandwagon. The last of the faithful will no doubt be the BBC, who is still doing its best to put a positive spin on the news coming out of the CRU in East Anglia.

The earth is in an interglacial period. The terrifying thought is that a new ice age might be due rather than the earth overheating. Some scientists claim that it could happen in months - it might not be a gradual change.

Archbishop Nichols is one of Churchmen leading a march in London to protest against climate change. 'Stop climate chaos' They urge global politicians to adopt more stringent measures to curb carbon dioxide.

There will be a blue wave around parliament. (Are they hoping for a walls of Jericho effect?)

Which planet are they actually on? Do they really wish to trash the whole economy? If so, how are we to support the Third World? How are we to support Archbishop Nichols and his ilk for that matter?

Some climate zealots also claim that the effects of current CO2 levels will be felt on earth for centuries. It would be better therefore if we stopped wasting money in curbing CO2 and if sea levels are really rising to put into effect more flood defences and assisting more vulnerable nations such as Bangladesh.

Crux Fidelis said...

I'm no scientist so I've yet to be convinced one way or the other. However I can see that some (eg oil companies) have a lot to gain from climate change denial.

Michael Petek said...

Visit http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org

for the SPPI monthly CO2 report and much more.

Remember that the computer models they use to predict the futire state of the climate generate hypothetical projections. These are tested against observed data.

If the hypothesis doesn't fit the data it's disproved. If it does, the hypothesis lives to fight another day.

That's how science is done.

Just the same, the climate doomsayers ought not to be derided. You can't exclude the possibility that they might be proved right.

We know that God is in control of the forces of nature, but He has put us on notice to respect them, because some of them are dangerous.

johnf said...

Crux, the oil companies will win either way. and Al Gore stands to make billions of dollars

I wonder what Al Gore means in Arabic? It sounds Arabic?

Pedro said...

Don't be too hard on left-wingers. It's not their fault, they are just bound by their physical impossibility of admitting error.