Global WarNing

“And God saw all the things he had made, and they were very good…And the Lord God took man and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it and to keep it.” These extracts from Genesis (Douai) remind us that attention to global warming is not merely a practical matter but a moral obligation required by God.

We have discussed the issue on this Blog at a time when global warming was almost an open question. We are left with Trump continuing to remain sceptical, taking the USA out of the Paris Agreement and reversing moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal fire power stations. I was convinced of the threat of global warming when a highly qualified physicist friend, some years ago, took me through the detailed projections and the evidence behind these.

You will all have read at least summaries of the latest UN panel report. It is essential to limit the temperature rise to 1.5̊C to avoid massive and damaging changes across the world. To do this would require changes in our diet, and a large drop in the level of CO2. And that means substantial changes in our lifestyle. There will be huge movements of emigrants from hotter countries, and many would die from drought and coastal flooding. And so on and so forth. While we have already addressed potential changes in our lifestyles, most of them are at no more than an infant stage.

So perhaps we could consider what we must be prepared to do in order to fulfil God’s requirement “to dress it and to keep it.” And are our personal choices enough? Should we be in active crusade to persuade others?

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About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
This entry was posted in Bio-ethics, Climate Change, Quentin queries and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Global WarNing

  1. Barrie Machin says:

    With the recent terrible events weatherwise around the world one might be tempted to think that the forecast doom and gloom of our weather systems uncorrected was already upon us.
    For my part – although agreeing wholeheartedly with the experts that the unpalatable but necessary steps must be taken – I am at a loss as to what I could realistically do to help.
    Gone are the days of marching in protest demanding that authorities DO something about it and it appears there is still disunity as to the validity of the discussion and (that seems to be all that HAS happened – with just one or two bold exceptions.)
    Maybe I should challenge my children and grandchildren to take a stand because if the predictions are ignored and the chaos and calamity forecast takes place when they are having to battle with it all I will be in better place hopefully – perhaps just as an observer!

  2. David Smith says:

    The Global Warming movement is emotion over science, a progesssive political cause. The motivations behind it are several, and ought to be considered seriously, but only with the understanding that they are based primarily on emotional and political conviction, not firmly on scientific knowledge.

    Scientific tools may reasonably be used to make tentative projections of future events. That’s good and necessary. No intelligent, responsible person of whom I’m aware would dispute that or has disputed it.

    What’s disputable and regrettable is the perfervid apocalypse-now atmosphere engendered by the Global Warming movement and taken up enthusiastically by much of the news media, which are never-endingly in search of sensationalism and conflict.

    Human beings, en masse, are easily and quickly excited. Smart people eager to push agendas know and take advantage of that, sometimes cynically, sometimes with what they believe are the purest of intentions.

    We need to talk about climate forecasting and plan for the future using the best scientific tools available, but, to the best of our ability, we also need to keep the conversation free from strong emotion, ideological conviction, and political manipulation.

    • Nektarios says:

      I see the few that have contributed to this topic so far, mix the terminolgy somewhat. Global warming is when the planet is heating up. There are various reason for this that has been studtied and found especially in the South Pole for example there are many underwater volcanos going off presently. This may contribute some of the polar caps ice melts.

      Climate Change is being rachetted up as an immediate threat to the planet, politically. Some so-called scientists doing this work are indulging in bad science. It is not so much meterological science that is being done by the IPCC, but computer projections which in the past have proved alarmist, false and they have had to lengthen their projections. Not only that, the IPCC have deliberately changed facts to their computer graph projections, such as the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph.

      The IPCC want to control the narrative on Clmate Change even though their projections are deeply suspect.
      And as real scientists have found out through core samples, tree rings and the like, the temperature
      was around 4.5 with little or none contaminants during the middle ages, such as we have today.

      David Smith’s comment above is spot on.

      The IPCC as a body is political and ideological and manipulative. But take a closer look and what you find, is a Globalist Communist plot to penalise the West by the East.
      To shut down practially all production in the West, and pay for the privilege, and handing everything over to Globalist Communists of the East who are bad polluters of the atmosphere.
      It is time the IPCC were called out on the ramifications of their real agenga.

      One last thing. Those who don’t agree with the IPCC are called Climate Change deniers.

      Nothing is further from the truth. Disagree with IPCC certainly, but they know that the climate has always been changing up and down on this planet. To what degree it is changing in the past, medium term and long term, they have the science to back their view that Climate Change according to the IPCC is practically non-exesitent to make any real difference on the planet.

      • Nektarios says:

        Sorry for so many mistakes in my posting above, hope it is still clear enough. I am in a lot of phyical pain at the moment and it is very distracting.

  3. galerimo says:

    I think there are 195 governments behind the production of the latest Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change report from the UN. It claims we need to limit the rise of temperature on the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. How likely is that to become reality, is the point.

    Pope Francis (describing climate as “a common good”, Laudato Si, 22-26) is no less urgent in his appeal to everyone to face the problem at a personal, community and governmental level.

    The lulling effect of strings, like those on the Titanic, is detectable in the call to talk nicely about it all to each other. The otherworldly language of “Paradise” is part of the same concern.

    That is a concern shared with Christians everywhere. Our reading of scripture has not cultivated a good sense of collegiality with creation. The non-human part of God’s creation especially.

    Filling the earth, and subduing it; ruling over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28:Douay-Rheims) – all language that supports the centuries of first world planet usage that has got us into the mess we are in.

    Considering this, I hope that 1.2 billion Catholics on the planet could make a positive difference.

    Also, the islands visible from here that are far out to sea were once a very pleasant day’s walk for the men, women and children who lived in this place. That is a sobering thought when it comes to climate change. It is also part of our world.

    The atmosphere heavy with CO2, as you rightly point out is the problem. It is hard for us to give up the polluted paradise we have created in God’s name.

  4. John Nolan says:

    The atmosphere is not ‘heavy with CO2’; carbon dioxide is a trace gas (0.035%) albeit an important one as it is part of the carbon cycle and contributes to the ‘greenhouse effect’ without which we could not survive.

    Climate change in the form of global warming and cooling has always been with us. There is historical evidence that overall temperatures were higher 1000 years ago than they are today, and that there was a ‘mini-ice age’ from the 13th to the 18th centuries. As recently as the 1970s climatologists were predicting another inter-glacial trough, and the buzz-word was ‘global freezing’.

    Anthropogenic climate change is a hypothesis. Some of the more ludicrous computer predictions of the 1990s have been scaled back, but the scare-mongering continues. The gradual warming since 1800 coincided with the so-called Industrial Revolution, but there is no evidence that the two were connected.

    There is no moral obligation to align oneself with any ‘scientific’ theory, however plausible. The man who rejects evolution in favour of a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis may be labelled obscurantist, but is not morally at fault.

    For most of the Church’s history it was believed that fasting and penance could avert natural disasters. However, I suspect that those who advocate lifestyle change to mitigate global warming would be the first to pooh-pooh that notion.

    Meanwhile, Pope Francis would be better employed addressing the moral turpitude in high ecclesiastical circles, as highlighted by Archbishop Vigano, rather than focusing on secular issues which have no shortage of well-placed advocates.

    • ignatius says:

      That’s interesting, john. Particularly this:

      For most of the Church’s history it was believed that fasting and penance could avert natural disasters. However, I suspect that those who advocate lifestyle change to mitigate global warming would be the first to pooh-pooh that notion.

  5. Alan says:

    David Smith – “We need to talk about climate forecasting and plan for the future using the best scientific tools available …”

    I suspect we may be lacking an important element of this plan. Hard to imagine what can encourage this sort of dialogue if the widely accepted scientific view isn’t something people trust or are listening to.

  6. Geordie says:

    I agree with the comments of David Smith and John Nolan. However, two good side effects of the global warming hysteria could be the reduction in waste and the control of gluttony. The food that is thrown out each year is criminal. The over-indulgence in food and drink is obvious to us all as we walk down any main street in the western world.
    If global warming leads us to re-examine the seven deadly sins and we make efforts to avoid them, than I can tolerate the false predictions and the hysteria.

  7. John Nolan says:

    Geordie, you are quite right. The western world, despite its supposed over-population, has more food than it needs. Africa, which as a continent is relatively under-populated, seems to teeter on the edge of famine. We are told that unequal distribution of resources is the fault of the west; the reality is that endemic and pointless conflicts, combined with chronic political and economic mismanagement, are to blame.

    Where the West might effectively intervene is disallowed as being neo-colonialist, which gives essentially malevolent Powers like China a free reign.

  8. Alan says:

    Quentin,

    What sort of things did you need convincing of before your physicist friend discussed the details with you? Did you cover any of the concerns and criticisms mentioned here?

    • Quentin says:

      I am certainly no expert on climate change, so my instinct is to consult the authorities whom I judge to be the most likely to be right. The physicist I consulted I knew to be reliable and extremely competent. She provided me with several examples of comparative studies, and explained the methodology. Of course any study, however meticulous it may be, can be wrong. Does anyone know of a better authority than the IPCC, and disagrees with them?

      • Nektarios says:

        Yes Quentin, there is a better authority than the political Globalist/Communist than the very deceitful and manipulative IPPC.
        Google up SPPI for yourself and anyone interested in the the scientific factson climate change and studies done to date by SPPI

      • Quentin says:

        Thank you, Nektarios. Obviously you have some information which is not available to me. Nor apparently to Google. SPPI, it tells me, is concerned with price inflation over time. On the other hand the IPPC is shown as a large intergovernmental organisation devoted to the study of climate change. Try http://www.ipcc.ch/ and you’ll get the idea.

  9. Alan says:

    With respect to the problem of global warming, I don’t see the significance of CO2 being only a trace gas or of it being part of the carbon cycle.

    The idea that science offers “tentative” predictions seems somewhat strange to me too. Is that as confident as we imagine science being for any predictions it makes, in any field of study, or is that only so for some science? If it isn’t always the case then does its use here reflect the level of confidence expressed by the scientists themselves or is it some other group’s assessment?

  10. Nektarios says:

    As I have pointed out this Globalist/Communist cabal called the IPPC want to and for now do control the narrative on climate change.

    The IPPC talk of and vaunt the many, many scientists under the IPPC umbrella giving us all these climate change details. Look a bit closer, we find many of these scientists work is in universities around the world.

    The IPPC control the narrative for now on climate change, even though nothing has really happened over the last twenty four years or so. but if these scientists were to truly say what is going on, they would be castigated by IPPC as ‘climate change deniers’, a term untrue by those who actually do do the science and measurements on this are reluctant to speak out, thousand of them around the world and they would lose their posts, salaries, demoted as scientists, so many don’t speak out against the IPPC methodology and narrative. Many are in the position where they are literally being blanckmailed by the IPPC.

    The Universities they serve in have bought into have bought into the IPPC narrative on climate change. But look a bit closer at these universities in America and Europe and we find many are bankrolled by the Chinese Government.

    To answer Quentin’s point , that SPPI is controlled by price inflation over time. I wonder if you are aware just how much it would cost? Let me put it this way, it would, with having to halt agriculture and most production in the West, to receive our hand outs from the East, would bankcrupt the West which is the Globalist/Chinese/ IPPC agenda.
    Without all out war, this is just not going to happen.

  11. John Nolan says:

    I don’t buy into conspiracy theories regarding climate change, and if there is global warming which can be scientifically measured, then I can accept it, based on the evidence. However, we are not talking about things that exist now, which science can explain. We are being expected to believe that science can predict the future, which is an entirely different matter.

    In the 1970s the Met Office stopped doing ‘long range forecasts’ since they had proved to be completely unreliable. The recent hot summer in the UK and northern Europe was attributed to a change in the jet stream, which is not connected with climate change.

    Climate science is still in its infancy. The effect of ocean currents, for example, is only imperfectly understood. No doubt in the course of events we will know more.

    The IPCC does not carry out original research. From its inception it has produced reports that support the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which starts from the premise that climate change is almost entirely due to human factors. Anything that emanates from the UNO needs to be treated with the utmost reserve; it is a platform for political posturing that has signally failed in its avowed aim to ensure world peace. Indeed, rather than resolving conflicts, it has arguably exacerbated them. Its predecessor, the League of Nations, was more effective in this regard.

    The only way to ‘prove’ anthropogenic climate change would be to remove all human beings from the planet for the next hundred years and monitor the results. Otherwise it’s merely speculation.

    • Alan says:

      John Nolan “The only way to ‘prove’ anthropogenic climate change would be to remove all human beings from the planet for the next hundred years and monitor the results. Otherwise it’s merely speculation.”

      This is something that you would expect of any such hypothesis before accepting that greater confidence amongst experts was justified? Mere speculation that manmade CFCs contributed significantly to the depletion of the ozone layer? The points you’ve raised don’t apply there? Trace gas. Naturally cycled in and out of the atmosphere. The air not “heavy” with fluorocarbons. No re-run of history without mankind as a point of comparison. A known process by which the gas has an impact but no direct evidence of a link. No other process that the experts know of that explains the data but no “proof” either.

      • Nektarios says:

        Alan& John

        I would be sceptical about the way the IPPC relases the data and indeed so much of the data itself. The IPPC are not really qualified to talk about the data. The IPPC simply want to manipulate their version of the data ti meet their agenda.

        John
        I don’t hold or follow conspiracy theories either, nothing can be more conpsiritorial than the IPPC agenda and use of data.

        There are climatologist scientist out there that do the science and the measurements and produce the data. Like I said earlier;- “The IPPC control the narrative for now on climate change, even though nothing has really happened over the last twenty four years or so. but if these scientists were to truly say what is going on, they would be castigated by IPPC as ‘climate change deniers’, a term untrue by those who actually do do the science and measurements on this are reluctant to speak out, thousand of them around the world, and they would lose their posts, salaries, and be demoted as scientists,

  12. Nektarios says:

    Sorry about the spelling errors.

  13. Alasdair says:

    I recall much of this same discussion a while back under the heading of Laudato Si.
    We all inhabit a spectrum between outright rejection and acceptance of the notion of anthropogenic climate change. Personally, even as a scientist I do not require rigorous scientific proof in order to understand and believe every single thing that affects my life and requires sensible action. Sometimes common sense is sufficient.
    The carbon which we are adding to the atmosphere was deposited and trapped underground during the Carboniferous and Jurassic eras when the climate was very different from todays. Apparently there were forests at the south pole. By reinjecting that carbon back into the atmosphere we are risking in-part recreating the climate of these times but without allowing flora and fauna millions of years to adapt.
    Aside from changes to my own lifestyle I can see good practices around me. For example, a part of the bus fleet in my city is hydrogen fueled and the hydrogen is produced by renewable means. Also a medium sized off-shore wind farm is visible from the end of my street. That is the wind farm that Donald Trump objected to because he claimed it would spoil the view from his new golf course.

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