I haven’t done any skylarking about global warming in a while, so let me have a bit of fun in my opening paragraph. Then, after that, I will sober up a bit, and move on to my more serious point, which I do, in fact, have. In 2007, serious scientists were predicting that the Arctic icecap would be GONE by the year 2013, which, you may have noticed, is almost in our rear view mirror. What is the actual state of the icecap in this, the year of our Lord, 2013? I am glad you asked, because since last August, the icecap has grown by 920,000 square miles. That’s a lot of global warming recoil.
The great idol of modernity is the state. When people engage in political debates, therefore, a lot less time should be spent in looking at what people are offering up, and much more time spent on recognizing what they are offering it to.
Whenever we are talking about climate change, they want me to look at the offering they have brought in their hands. What ever could be wrong with funny looking light bulbs? But the whole point of everything was to grow the power of the state, and the state is an idol. If it weren’t offered up on that altar, I wouldn’t care how your light bulbs looked. When the state is the idol, absolutely every course of action winds up being placed on that altar. Global warming means we must “pull together.” Global cooling means we must “coordinate our efforts,” and either way we go, it will always mean statist coercion.
A persistent aluminum siding salesman uses absolutely anything as an argument for you buying his product now. If it is Wednesday, that’s a good reason. If it is not Wednesday, even better. It turns out that issues related to Wednesday may not be his chief interest.
This is why I have little interest in pursuing the deep thoughts of philosophers, theologians, and other smart guys, who cannot see this glaringly obvious fact. I have often called Heidegger a Nazi, and that’s because he was one. That’s what you might call getting thrown at the rodeo, in the disqualification round, by one of those walk-the-children-around-a-pole-ponies. But the socialist Karl Barth also raises my suspicions — quite apart from the alarming fact of his towering genius — by refusing to condemn the Soviet invasion of Hungary in the fifties. If you can’t see the idolatry in the 90-foot statue of Nebuchadnezzar, I am not going to trust you when you find it in the fact that I am quoting Bible verses, like a crazed fundamentalist bibliolater . . . or like Jesus in the wilderness. Whatever.
When the music goes, the guys who bow down to that statue might be able to produce a lot of scintillating repartee at the cafe afterwards, explaining how the infinite meets the finite on the tip of the statue’s nose, most of which sails right over my head — but they still bowed down. But I want to be with the guys who didn’t. I want to hear what they have to say.
A friend pointed out that if you zoom out on the Arctic ice level graph, there is a definite downward trend, despite the annual ups and downs. For those who think this answers the question, zoom out some more – about a thousand years – and see Vikings sailing an Arctic Sea free of ice. The graph is a fractal. And Vikings are always right.
“Statists use global warming as an excuse to increase the size of the state” => “global warming is not happening” is a logical fallacy. If, as you say, they will use any excuse to increase the size of the state, you can’t use the fact they are using GW as evidence for or against the truth of it. They are just as happy to leverage truth to argue for more statism as falsehood. In fact, it makes it easier. Also, the fact that the icecap has grown 920,000 sq km since last year is as useful in proving the non-existence… Read more »
Gervase, You are correct about your assessment of the logic. But whether you’re right or not is equivalent to whether or not your house actually needs siding. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t — but because the deciding factor has nothing whatsoever to do with Wednesday, the guy who *says* it’s all about Wednesday should be automatically disqualified from any further input, because it is manifestly true that his interests and the truth only coincide by convenience. He may have a piece of truth in his hand, but he’s using it as a tool for some other end having nothing… Read more »
Gervase, think of it this way. The boy who cried wolf does not leave us with a problem in deductive logic, but rather an opportunity for inductive reasoning, which is strong or weak, not valid or invalid. They have filled up my adult lifetime with false alarms, and I just don’t believe them anymore.
Thanks, Mr. Wilson, for your posts, always chew-worthy!
But Mr. Wilson… in the story, the wolf DOES come…
Doug, I have this nagging suspicion that even if you believed that global warming is true and that the funny looking lightbulbs were the only things standing between us and global destruction, you’d still be against them just because it’s the government that’s asking you to do it. Am I right?
Eric, asking me to do it?
Uh . . . the coming of the wolf was not actually induced by the false alarms of the little boy; he was still a liar and the wolf’s arrival was a mere coincidence.
The answer is Regression toward the Mean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean
Doug, nice way to dodge the question. Whether or not “ask” was the right choice of verb, would you still oppose them, even if you thought they were necessary to save the planet, just because it’s coming from the secular state?
Eric the Red Herring continues to dodge the issue. Is the secular State growing its powers by asking, or by taking? The difference between freedom and oppression is just a choice of verb.
If Eric the Red thought that belief in the Triune God was necessary to save the planet, would he then adopt belief? Or would he still oppose belief just because the Gospel invitation is coming from Christ and His Church? Would Eric finally take one for the planet, and bow the knee? Or would he retreat to his principles? /gasp/
For those that may be interested in another perspective on the arctic ice measurements, this article might be helpful. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/arctic-ice-increasing/#more-5904 I have never commented here before. I am an evangelical Christian and a retired physical therapist.
Gervase, it’s the warmists who came to us, and told us that “we have to do something!” – said something being to give their idol more power – because the arctic ice was disappearing.
Given that history, to say “um, your own data shows the ice is *not* disappearing” is in fact a very valid thing to do.
Katecho just laid a smack down! Dang.
Katecho, if I believed that the triune God existed, I would be more than happy to adjust my entire belief system accordingly, and your repeated efforts to make everything about me stopped being amusing some time ago. But whether the secular state is growing by asking or by taking or by some other means, my question remains: Is Doug’s hostility to efforts at conservation based on who it is that’s initiating it? If so, he may be cutting off his nose to spite his face. And I say that as someone who is agnostic on the question of whether climate… Read more »
My thoughts: 1) You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. You don’t need to be a climate scientist to know which way the thermometer is going. Take a walk outside. Look at a map of glaciers. Do a bit of basic study re: greenhouse gases. Come visit Colorado. We’ve been globally swarmed. 2) Encouraging Christians to mock stewardship is not a wise use of a leadership position. Honoring God by honoring what God has made seems pretty fundamental. Seems like a first tablet of the Law thing. Acting in a way that opposes… Read more »
There’s a difference between distrusting a government for the government and distrusting the government because it’s untrustworthy. This is what Pastor Wilson intimated (and by that I mean outright stated) in his first comment above.
Charlie Long: I think there’s still some circularity in here. If everyone who tells you that GW is happening is a statist (perhaps in disguise), and therefore untrustworthy because of it, you’ve made your assertion that “there is no GW” irrefutable, regardless of evidence – because anyone who might try and provide some is an untrustworthy statist and their evidence can be disregarded. Put it another way: who would you believe if they told you that GW is happening? Climate scientists who are also Christians? How about Sir John Houghton, former chair of the IPCC, creationist and evangelical Christian? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Houghton… Read more »
Doug: any chance of asking your tech team to enable the <p> tag, so we can make points which take more than one paragraph to elaborate?
The evidence is clear that the global climate has warmed, both on the micro level (since the mid 20th century) and the macro level (since the 1500s). The questions are: .. (1) Is the consequence of this warming something that we should be concerned about? (2) Can we do anything about it anyway? .. Now, from 1980 to 2000 there was clearly a correlation between increases in certain man-made gases and increases in temperature. But was this a connection or coincidence? It’s easy to point to two trend-lines and say “they are moving in the same direction”; the data becomes… Read more »
I heartily agree that we should not jump on a particular band wagon just because the state tells us to, nor should we throw others under it who don’t conform to the pronouncements of the conformacrats. In British Columbia, the government tried to ban all non-swirly light bulbs a while ago in order to save the world. Thankfully there are enough citizens in this province (whose southwest population is often only slightly right of Sweden) who still have a backbone that they were unable to do it. Farmers reacted by pointing out that those little swirly bulbs don’t put off… Read more »