Joanna Clark, San Juan Capistrano

There have been five major extinctions over the last 4.6 billion years, according to the BBC Nature’s article “Big Five Mass Extinction Events.”

The conditions that caused these extinctions occurred over millions of years, not a few hundred years.

With the arrival of our Industrial-Age in 1750, in less than 300 years we have set ourselves on a course that could very well result in a sixth mass extinction.

Prior to the beginning of the Industrial Age, atmospheric CO2 remained relatively stable at 280 parts per million (ppm), according to NASA Global Climate Change. As our demand for coal, oil and gas intensified, we released more and more CO2 back into the atmosphere, exceeding the ability of the natural carbon sinks to maintain equilibrium. This has resulted in an exponential increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As our planet’s natural carbon sinks became overwhelmed by rising CO2 levels, the environment began to destabilize, causing a gradual warming of the planet. This warming has driven climate change, leading to the collapsing of our glaciers, ice shelves, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, originally held back by the ice shelves.

The consequences listed above have shown an increase in storm severity, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, flooding, extreme heat waves, drought and wildfires, according to NASA.

The risk of wildfires increases exponentially during extended heat waves and droughts. They release CO2 and reduce the number of trees available to absorb CO2, “a double whammy for the atmosphere,” said the Associated Press in “Wildfires Deliver a Double Whammy” from 2008.

Today, our continued development as a species depends upon our destruction of the planet’s natural environment. Yet our future depends on the survival of that very same environment.

We are facing a catastrophic future if we cannot put our many irrational and tribal differences aside and work as one to solve the paradox that threatens each of us.

We can become an unstoppable force for change and the common good, if we put our irrational and tribal differences aside and unite as one to solve the paradox we created.

About The Author Staff

comments (9)

  • Give the other side’s climatologists a listen/view; they acknowledge the planet IS warming, but they don’t share the climate change alarmism.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3hHi4sylxE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwqIy8Ikv-c&t=8s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZN2jt2cCU4&t=11s

    In the early 1970s, the alarmists said we were entering a new ice age. Fear sells, brings government grants and subsidies, but it often shuts down debate. Before jumping on the climate alarmist train, one should verify it is not headed, as the alarmism of the past was, over the cliff.

  • 50 years ago, David, today’s technology didn’t exist. Sure, we had some mainframe computers, but the top-of-the-line desktop computer was an IBM Selectric typewriter with, if you were lucky, a Hewlett-Packard 35 scientific pocket calculator. The first functional Personal Computer was the IBM 5150, introduced in 1981. Prior to this time everything had to done with a pad, pencil and a slide-rule. Your cell phone today has more memory than the initial IBM 5150.

    It took us more than 300,000 years for us to achieve powered flight, but consider this, 66 years after our first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, we had eradicated polio, split the atom, walked on the moon and sent spacecraft to other planets. We achieved these feats because of science. Yet, today, that same science is under attack. “We’re seeing a titanic battle between the power of science and the power of money—and money is winning.” McKibben, (2015). This is indeed unfortunate, as Marcia McNutt, president of the US National Academy of Sciences, points out—“Science is not a body of facts, but rather a structured approach to uncovering the fundamental laws that govern the natural world. … policy-makers who choose to ignore those fundamental laws imperil us all, for the laws of nature will always trump the laws of man.” Shawn Otto, War on Science (2018).

    Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist, cosmologist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, points out further that “…there are forces at work coming from many directions that serve to undermine the simple proposition that public policy should be based on rational reflections on sound empirical evidence. From efforts to obstruct the teaching of evolution in schools, to the removal of fluoridation in water, to restrictions on vaccination, restrictions on other scientific research and related attacks on the efficacy of the scientific enterprise itself, and most recently wholesale and broadly organized efforts to deny the science associated with human-induced climate change….” Shawn Otto, War on Science (2018).

    Because of science, our world is changing, often at whirlwind speeds, and for some, that can be pretty scary. Unable to assimilate this change, they find a comfortable place in the past and use old data to support their denial.

    You are, as Dr. Jere Lipps previously pointed out, “stuck in the past, relying on old data,” and that “is not the way science works. We move along with new data to test all hypotheses.

    You keep referring to Judith Curry, so you might want to consider the following:“Twenty-five years ago the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” These concerned professionals “called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” You can read the full article here

    In November 2016, a second plea was published in the international journal BioScience. The article, titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” is supported by “15,372 signatories, representing 184 countries, urging global leaders to save the planet from environmental catastrophe.” EcoWatch (2017). You can read the full article here

    The foundation of climate change science did not happen last week, last month or last year. It began back in the days of Aristotle, when a pupil of his, Theophrastus, told how the draining of marshes had made a particular locality more susceptible to freezing, and speculated that lands became warmer when the clearing of forests exposed them to sunlight.

    The BBC published a fascinating “Brief History of Climate change” in 2013. You can read it on the BBC website here.

    Whether the current global climate change was caused by the actions of humans, David, should no longer be a topic of debate. The consensus that humans are causing recent global warming is shared by 90%–100% of publishing climate scientists according to six independent studies. Their results are consistent with the 97% consensus reported by Cook et. al. (Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024) “based on a review of 11,944 peer-reviewed research paper abstracts.”

    In 2016, the iconic cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who passed away this past Wednesday, “warned that climate change was the gravest threat facing humanity.” In September he also joined 377 members of the National Academy of Sciences in signing an open letter that began, “Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. ¶Our fingerprints on the climate system are visible everywhere. They are seen in warming of the oceans, the land surface, and the lower atmosphere. They are identifiable in sea level rise, altered rainfall patterns, retreat of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and many other aspects of the climate system. Human-caused climate change is not something far removed from our day-to-day experience, affecting only the remote Arctic. It is present here and now, in our own country, in our own states, and in our own communities.” Joe Romm, ThinkProgress (2018).

    The enormity of global warming can be daunting and dispiriting to the non- scientifically-inclined individual, but there are things we can do, both individually and as a group, to slow and reverse climate change.

    Problem 1: Deforestation, the loss of forest through urban sprawl, land clearing for agriculture, wildfire (California lost 1,381,405 acres in 2017), disease or timber harvest, presents a negative impact on the environment. Our forests help mitigate climate change by consuming the carbon dioxide we put into the air, while breathing out oxygen. Tropical rainforests, like those in the Amazon, play a vital role in the water cycle by providing rain to the region. Rainforest Alliance (2016).

    Solution 1: Plant a tree. In April 2016, the people of Bhutan planted 108,000 trees. China has mobilized 60,000 soldiers to plant 6.6 million hectares (16,308,955.18 acres) of new trees this year.

    Problem 2: Fossil fuels.

    Solution 2A: Mandate the adoption of the Sebastopol Solar Ordinance statewide, preferably nationwide. The ordinance requires all new commercial or residential buildings, and specific alterations, additions and remodels require the installation of a photovoltaic energy generation system. Any addition to an existing commercial building which increases the square footage by 1,800 square feet or greater and all commercial remodels, alterations or repairs that are made involving demolition, remodel or repair of more than 50 percent of the structure.

    Solution 2B: Instead Of Trump’s Wall, Let’s Build A Border Of Solar Panels. If private investors “were to construct the equivalent of a strip of arrays one-third the width of a football field south of the entire U.S.-Mexico border, wider in some areas and narrower in others, with a wide berth allowed for populated areas and stretches of rugged terrain, San Diego, Tijuana, Mexicali, Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, San Antonio and Monterrey would immediately benefit.” It is possible that “sufficient energy might be produced to also supply Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston. For the U.S. cities, it would be a way to obtain cheaper and cleaner energy than they can from other sources.Huffington Post (2017).

    Solution 2C: Replace “Cap and Trade” with a revenue neutral Carbon Tax. “Pricing carbon emissions through a carbon fee is one of the most powerful incentives that governments have to encourage companies and households to pollute less by investing in cleaner technologies and adopting greener practices. A carbon fee is a charge placed on greenhouse gas pollution mainly from burning fossil fuels. This can be done by placing a surcharge on carbon-based fuels and other sources of pollution such as industrial processes.David Suzuki Foundation

    Utilize a portion of the tax revenue to provide low-interest loans to companies like Charge Point to expand their electric vehicle (EV) charger networks. Utilize the balance to fund EV rebates on vehicles having a range of 200 or more miles per charge. Make the rebates a sliding scale, with low-income EV purchasers getting the larger rebate.

    Solution 2D: Ban hydraulic fracturing statewide, preferably nationwide, and provide free training for workers to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy programs.

    These are just a few of the things we could do to slow climate change. Yes, it will require change, but we reduced smog through science and change. We reduced acid rain through science and change. We reduced ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere through science and change. We can do the same with climate change.

    It’s time to chose. What will it be?

    • Remember Climate-gate where alarmists strategized to silence their science peers.

      Regarding the faux 97% consensus, have you actually looked at the report this “consensus” comes from, the one YOU posted? Here is a quote from that very report, the one that claims there is a 97% consensus:

      “We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

      So, in a report that is the basis for this 97% consensus narrative, we find that fully two-thirds of the papers in their study actually had NO position on AGW. Only 97.1% of the 32.6% (of the total) expressed agreement with AGW as defined in the study and yet somehow, this translated into a full 97%. In addition, none of the abstracts examined were written by Richard Lindzen who has been publishing papers on climate since the 1960s. Could it be that they intentionally left him (and possibly others) out precisely because he doesn’t go along with the alarmist message? These alarmists have already been caught attempting to silence the voices of their dissenting peers in what has become known as “climate gate”. Here, from an article in Forbes:

      “Then, in the aftermath of the ClimateGate e-mail scandal, 265 APS members circulated an open letter saying: “By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate which was and is an international science fraud, and the worst any of us have seen…We have asked APS management to put the 2007 statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done.” Of the 265 letter signatories, many or most are fellows of major scientific societies, more than 20 are members of national academies, two are Nobel laureates, and a large number are authors of major scientific books and recipients of prizes and awards for scientific research.”

      In addition, any scientist who holds to the position that man contributes to the warming, no matter how small, would be considered a part of this consensus regardless of how strongly he or she disagreed with the proposition that warming was dangerous, unprecedented, or something mankind could successfully deter in a world whose population is growing.
      Indeed, Dr. Spencer in the aforementioned testimony before the Senate stated that he as well as most of his fellow climate “skeptics” would be included in that 97%, yet he strongly disagrees with the alarmists. See him state this about minute mark 8:40 (I noticed my link to the Senate hearing failed. Type in “Warmists Stunned by Roger Pielke in Senate Testimony on Climate Change” on Youtube).

      Since 1998, 31,000 scientists (more than 9,000 of them with PhDs) have signed a public petition that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of GHGs is causing or will cause, in the foreseeable future, catastrophic heating of the earth.

      From the Forbes article quoted above:

      “While real polling of climate scientists and organization memberships is rare, there are a few examples. A 2008 international survey of climate scientists conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch revealed deep disagreement regarding two-thirds of the 54 questions asked about their professional views. Responses to about half of those areas were skewed on the “skeptic” side, with no consensus to support any alarm. The majority did not believe that atmospheric models can deal with important influences of clouds, precipitation, atmospheric convection, ocean convection, or turbulence. Most also did not believe that climate models can predict precipitation, sea level rise, extreme weather events, or temperature values for the next 50 years.”

      The article goes on to describe a 2010 survey of broadcast journalists where 63% of the 571 respondents felt warming is mostly caused by natural, not human causes.

      A 2012 survey conducted by the American Meteorological Society found that only one in four agreed with the IPCC claims that humans are primarily responsible for recent warming and only 30% said they were worried.

      A 2008 canvas of Canadian scientists associated with the APEGGA found that 68% disagreed that the science is settled on this issue and only 26% attributed global warming to the burning of fossil fuels or other human activities.

      Again from Forbes, this quote:

      “A 2009 report issued by the Polish Academy of Sciences PAN Committee of Geological Sciences, a major scientific institution in the European Union, agrees that the purported climate consensus argument is becoming increasingly untenable.”

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/3/#202ff9351830

      Concluding this installment, we find that:

      1)The climate models have been demonstrably wrong and many, if not most scientists acknowledge this. Understanding this, why should the public support undermining our economy to deter the prophesied catastrophic events made by those with such a poor track record?

      2)Although CO2 levels have risen rapidly this past 40 years (currently around 400 ppm), CO2 levels during one ice age were 3000 ppm. If one concludes high levels of CO2 necessitates extreme warming, how, with drastically higher CO2 levels (3000 vs 400) did we experience an ice age?

      3)Why do climate alarmists keep ignoring the fact that the Roman warm period and the medieval warm period were periods warmer than today yet the cause for this warmth cannot be attributed to man?

      4)Why do some alarmists feel it necessary to game the system to make their case (climate gate)?

      Joanna, just something to mull over until I respond to your recommendations above.

  • Science is advanced when there is a healthy skepticism of any theory or supposition being proposed, especially if a governmental action will be based on this theory.

    @ Joanna Clark

    Your statement, “Yet, today, that same science is under attack.”

    Science is not under attack simply because one set of scientists don’t subscribe to the theory of another set. Science is not served when scientists themselves jump onto the bandwagon of the latest in a long line of alarmist scares nor is the failure to challenge such scares beneficial to the public.
    If science is under attack, it is under attack from those who wish to silence the voices of dissenting, professional opinions. When one group claims victory and proceeds as if no further evidence is required and then strategizes to squash their peers’ views, then the practice of science is undermined.

    As to using old data, did you bother to read what I wrote in the Capistrano Dispatch? Here was my reply to this charge,

    “It should have been apparent that I was not using data at all but simply pointing out how wrong the alarmists of the past were and cautioning today’s alarmists (and those who follow them lemming-like), that silencing professional dissent is not a road to predictive success.”

    I’m looking at the track record of alarmists and it is not a good one. Alarmists predicted an ice-age was coming, they were wrong. They attempted to frighten the public over the ozone layer, what happened to that issue? What happened to the fear-mongering over acid rain? The population bomb? Lawn chemicals, cell phone radiation, power lines affecting health, etc., etc., etc. Yeah, science tools are better now but won’t that always be the excuse when alarmist predictions fail and a new scare is needed?

    You can view more of these climate-related false prophecies at this site:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOGt3OzTXBs

    See Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. testifying before the Senate that current natural disasters cannot be attributed to global warming as climatistas are want to do. Begin at the 1-minute mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN_onyx1D8w

    In the same Senate testimony, see Dr. Roy Spencer demonstrate that the IPCC’s own climate models for earth’s average temperature have been wrong. Begin just after the 34-minute mark.

    You’ve spoken a lot on rising sea levels, here is Nobel Laureate, Ivar Giaever, demonstrating that sea levels have risen 20 cm in the past century, just as it had risen 20 cm each of the two centuries before the last, ie., there is no unusual rise in sea levels. Begin at the 18:25 mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk60CUkf3Kw

    I’ll conclude for now but I’ll take up the issue of the fictional 97% consensus in my next installment.

  • “No war on science?” Really. David? Historical evidence implies otherwise.

    Bruno is well known as a martyr to the cause of modern astronomy. Bruno’s belief in an infinite universe, got Bruno shunned, exiled, imprisoned and burned at the stake by the Church in 1600. In 1616 the Catholic Church’s inquisitors began their investigation of Galileo. Galileo had confirmed Copernicus was right. The Church banned his work, his discoveries and his book, and he was sentenced to “villa arrest” for the rest of his life.

    In the 1920’s 17 states banned the teaching of evolution. The Scopes’ trial in 1925, is the most famous of the early evolution trials. In 1968 Arkansas’ prohibition of the teaching of human evolution in the public schools was challenged in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968), and the stature invalidated.

    In 1987, Louisiana required the teaching of the creation myth along side evolutionary science. It was challenged in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), and it was found that the teaching of the creation myth as a science violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because the law was specifically intended to advance a particular religion.

    Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design (ID). The court found that the Dover mandate requiring the ID statement be read in class was unconstitutional. The ruling concluded that ID is not science, and permanently barred the board from “maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.”

    The above are just a synopsis of the religious right’s war on science.

    In the late-50s early 70s medical science began to warn that smoking caused cancer and other degenerative-diseases. They also found a link between second-hand smoke. These findings, of course. didn’t sit well with R.J. Reynolds and their stockholders. They established a biomedical research group. It was initially funded by a $45,000,000 grant. By the 1980s funding had risen to more than $100,000,000.00 The sole-purpose of this research was to discredit the science and confuse the smoking public. Merchants of Doubt (2011).

    Climate Change

    Exxon made the news in September and October of 2015 when research produced by InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism revealed that Exxon had known since the 70s about the causes of climate change and the dangers climate disruption poses. The articles spurred a wave of actions against Exxon.

    How far does this go back? “In 1957 “Scientists working at Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil) publish a paper on the dilution of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ocean. The paper notes: “Although appreciable amounts of carbon dioxide have undoubtedly been added from soils by tilling of land, apparently a much greater amount has resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels”–indicating company scientists understood the link between fossil fuel use and rising CO2.” (Source: Center for International Environmental Law)

    In a “1968 report produced for the American Petroleum Institute, scientists Elmer Robinson and R.C. Robbins note that, among the possible sources of rising CO2 in the atmosphere, “none seems to fit the presently observed situation as well as the fossil fuel emanation theory.” The paper warns that significant rises in CO2 could melt icecaps, increase sea levels, change fish distributions and increase plant photosynthesis.” (Source: Center for International Environmental Law)

    You will find a continuation of the above timeline here.

    Jean-Daniel Collomb writes “The ideological underpinning of climate change denial in the United States merits closer scrutiny than it has received to date. American opponents and critics of the scientific consensus over man-made global warming have been much more vocal and influential than their counterparts in continental Europe; in France several scientists and intellectuals1 do take issue with the positions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) but they tend to be rather isolated and marginal figures with little or no impact on public policy. By contrast, American climate change deniers have been remarkably successful in confusing public opinion and delaying decisive action. They receive considerable media attention and enjoy access to key Washington power brokers. Therefore, it is worth analyzing the origins of this powerful movement in order to see what really drives climate change denial in the United States. It is very often claimed, with good reason, that climate sceptics are beholden to powerful corporate interests such as those of the Koch brothers.2 Ties between corporations and conservative and libertarian think tanks3 have been well-documented. There is no denying that, in the short term, some industries, such as the coal industry, have a vested interest in averting any government plan to reduce carbon emissions.” European Journal of American Studies

    In simple terms, the fossil fuel industry has a singular interest — PROFIT

    In regards to your continuing citing of “climategate,” “Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[15] However, the reports called on the scientists to avoid any such allegations in the future by taking steps to regain public confidence in their work, for example by opening up access to their supporting data, processing methods and software, and by promptly honouring freedom of information requests.[16] The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged throughout the investigations.” Wikipedia

    “The material comprised more than 1,000 emails, 2,000 documents, as well as commented source code, pertaining to climate change research covering a period from 1996 until 2009.[28] According to an analysis in The Guardian, the vast majority of the emails related to four climatologists: Phil Jones, the head of the CRU; Keith Briffa, a CRU climatologist specialising in tree ring analysis; Tim Osborn, a climate modeller at CRU; and Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. The four were either recipients or senders of all but 66 of the 1,073 emails, with most of the remainder of the emails being sent from mailing lists. A few other emails were sent by, or to, other staff at the CRU. Jones, Briffa, Osborn and Hulme had written high-profile scientific papers on climate change that had been cited in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.[21] Wikipedia

    “Most of the emails concerned technical and mundane aspects of climate research, such as data analysis and details of scientific conferences.[29] The Guardian’s analysis of the emails suggests that the hacker had filtered them. Four scientists were targeted and a concordance plot shows that the words “data”, “climate”, “paper”, “research”, “temperature” and “model” were predominant.[21]The controversy has focused on a small number of emails[29] with ‘climate sceptic’ websites picking out particular phrases, such as one in which Kevin Trenberth said, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”[20] This was actually part of a discussion on the need for better monitoring of the energy flows involved in short-term climate variability,[30] but was grossly mischaracterised by critics.“[21] Wikipedia

    Enough.

    Tell me this. Ice core samples have allowed us to track atmospheric CO2 over the past 2.7 million years. Prior to 1750 CE, the highest CO2 level in the past 2.7 million years was 300 parts per million (ppm), while the average was 280 ppm. With the arrival of the Industrial Age we began burning coal, then we added in oil and finally gas. The result was more and more CO2 being trapped in the atmosphere. In a short 300 years CO2 has risen to 408.25 ppm on March 18, 2018. CH4 was 694 parts per billion (ppb) in 1750. CH4 was 1859.6 ppb in December 2017.

    How would you explain this?

  • @ Joanna Clark

    Giordano Bruno was NOT martyred for his scientific beliefs but for being a heretic (and no, I don’t subscribe to burning heretics). The fact that he believed in a Copernican universe, ie., that the sun was the center, is irrelevant. The Catholic Church didn’t burn Galileo for holding the same scientific belief.

    Regarding Galileo, perhaps unintentional irony on your part. The Church held to the “scientific consensus” of the day, the one that astronomer, Tyco Brahe, supported. Galileo was challenging that consensus, just as today many scientists challenge the so-called “scientific consensus” on global warming. However, in the one case you criticize those holding to the accepted view (the Church) championing the lone dissenter, and in the other, you criticize the many scientists who are skeptical of the global warming dogma.

    In addition, the Church would have been fine had Galileo confined his ideas to theory, but when he insisted it was indeed fact, the church felt it had to act.

    Your statement, “In the 1920’s 17 states banned the teaching of evolution.”

    And today, all 50 states ban the teaching of alternatives to the evolutionary theory. It has become the religio/scientific dogma of the day. Questioning this dogma can be unhealthy for one’s academic career, indeed it has been for many.

    Since you like books, here is one you might find enlightening, The Genesis of Science by James Hannam

    http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscience/2011/05/18/science-owes-much-to-both-christianity-and-the-middle-ages

    Some quotes from the above site discussing the book:

    “Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress turn out to be bogus. For instance, the Church has never taught that the Earth is flat and, in the Middle Ages, no one thought so anyway. Popes haven’t tried to ban zero, human dissection or lightening rods, let alone excommunicate Halley’s Comet. No one, I am pleased to say, was ever burnt at the stake for scientific ideas. Yet, all these stories are still regularly trotted out as examples of clerical intransigence in the face of scientific progress.”

    The Church has traditionally supported science. Again, from the above website we read:

    “That support took several forms. One was simply financial. Until the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was the leading sponsor of scientific research. Starting in the Middle Ages, it paid for priests, monks and friars to study at the universities. The church even insisted that science and mathematics should be a compulsory part of the syllabus. And after some debate, it accepted that Greek and Arabic natural philosophy were essential tools for defending the faith. By the seventeenth century, the Jesuit order had become the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers and spreading new discoveries around the world. The cathedrals themselves were designed to double up as astronomical observatories to allow ever more accurate determination of the calendar. And of course, modern genetics was founded by a future abbot growing peas in the monastic garden.”

    AND

    “Technology had ploughed its own furrow up until the 1830s when the German chemical industry started to employ their first PhDs. Before then, the only reason to study science was curiosity or religious piety. Christians believed that God created the universe and ordained the laws of nature. To study the natural world was to admire the work of God. This could be a religious duty and inspire science when there were few other reasons to bother with it. It was faith that led Copernicus to reject the ugly Ptolemaic universe; that drove Johannes Kepler to discover the constitution of the solar system; and that convinced James Clerk Maxwell he could reduce electromagnetism to a set of equations so elegant they take the breathe away.”

    Your statement, “…that Exxon had known since the 70s about the causes of climate change and the dangers climate disruption poses.”

    The 1970’s, you mean when some, including Obama’s science advisor, were predicting a coming ice age?

    Regarding the oil & gas industry (and coal), I think it is reasonable to suspect, indeed to expect, that they will attempt to undermine a theory that threatens their bottom line. In the 1970s the oil industry provided the seed money to the anti-nuclear movement recognizing that renewables like solar and wind posed zero threat to them and nuclear was kicking their backsides.
    However, it is simply imprudent to assume any and every argument against alarmist global warming is a profit-driven attack from the above industries.

    One can also suggest (and it has been suggested) that global warming alarmists understand that if governments subscribe to their theory, then they can sit in the driver’s seat advising governments on how best to direct their entire economies to “save the planet”. I would likewise caution global warming skeptics not to assume any and every argument is based on individuals craving power.

    As for me, I am skeptical of global warming alarmism. I recognize the earth has warmed (I’ve visited the Athabasca Glacier and seen first hand how far it has shrunk) but the warming we’ve experienced thus far has not only NOT been harmful, it has been beneficial to mankind. There is NOT a consensus on whether further warming will be harmful but I am open to information for or against this theory. I purchased and listened to a course on global warming from the so-called “consensus” viewpoint. It is by The Great Courses (AKA The Teaching Company) and is called Earth’s Changing Climate by Professor Richard Wolfson. It provides a lot of evidence for this so-called “97% consensus” but I like it because it is done in a dispassionate way (zero zealotries or hysteria). It did NOT, however, answer some of my principle objections such as what caused the Roman warm period, what caused the Medieval warm period, and if CO2 necessarily leads to warming, then how did the earth experience an ice-age when the CO2 level was 3000 ppm?

    As for your question about CO2 and how I explain the recent rise, I would say no one can fully explain the causes but I would, as many climate skeptics do, accept that man has some role to play in this rise. The questions become how much of a role, is this rise dangerous to man and the planet, and can our efforts actually reverse this trend.

    I’d say small, no, and no.

  • Anyone that spoke differently than what the church taught, at the time, was deemed a heretic. Copernicus would have been declared as a heretic and burned at the stake, had he not waited to publish his scientific findings until he was on his death bed. Galileo was deemed a heretic and came close to being burned at the stake, as well, but he recanted and was given “villa” incarceration for the remainder of his life. It wasn’t until 1972, that the Catholic Church admitted “It appears that Galileo was right.” Likewise, Darwin allegedly delayed publication of his “Origin of the Species” because of the religious implications that it carried. The fact that is born out by today’s movement to ban evolution.

    Today, we have to deal with Trump, Pence, and the conservative evangelicals anti-science crusade. “The science-related cuts proposed by the Trump administration come in programs that deal with issues it opposes ideologically, such as climate change and the use of regulation to reduce pollution. These changes are only part of a larger effort to “deconstruct the administrative state,” as former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has put it, and they reflect this administration’s uniquely antiscience attitude. (Scientific America, January 1, 2018)

    The Trump administration has taken what many see as a largely apathetic—and at times actively hostile—approach to science. The position of White House science adviser (director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP) has been empty longer than under any other modern president, and many other science-related agency positions remain unfilled. These posts play a crucial role in advising the chief executive and senior White House staff as well as in informing policies, legislation and budgets. Meanwhile Trump has moved to install pro-industry leaders on science advisory boards to delay or roll back environmental and technological regulations as well as undercut access to health care.” (Scientific America, January 1, 2018)

    I’m glad you’ve been to the Athabasca Glacier. I took the Skeptic Society education trip to Glacier Bay in 2011. We had a science team providing daily lectures. I also visited the North Pole twice in October and December 1965. There has been considerable change there since that time.

    You bring up the matter of atmospheric CO2 reaching a level of 3,000 ppm. Over the Earth’s history, there are times where atmospheric CO2 [may have] reached 5600 ppm. Does this contradict the warming effect of CO2? No, for one simple reason. CO2 is not the only driver of climate To understand past climate, we need to include other forcings that drive climate. (Royer, 2005). Given that solar output was around 4% lower than current levels, CO2 would need to fall to 3000 ppm to permit glacial conditions. Around 446 million years ago, volcanic activity dropped while rock weathering remained high. This caused CO2 levels to fall below 3000 ppm, initiating cooling. It turns out falling CO2 levels was the cause of late Ordovician glaciation. Skeptical Science, 2015)

    Periods of low CO2 coincide with periods of geographically widespread ice (with one notable exception, discussed below). This leads to the concept of the CO2-ice threshold – the CO2 level required to initiate a glaciation. When the sun is less active, the CO2-ice threshold is much higher. For example, while the CO2-ice threshold for present-day Earth is estimated to be 500 ppm, the equivalent threshold during the Late Ordovician (450 million years ago) is 3000 ppm. Skeptical Science, 2015)

    Dana Royer says it best. See here Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 15, 2008, Vol.105, No. 2, Pgs. 407-408.

    • The Church has been a consistent and constant friend of science contrary to what extreme secularists have claimed.

      @ Joanna Clark

      Your claim, “Anyone that spoke differently than what the church taught, at the time, was deemed a heretic.”

      That’s your opinion, one you haven’t adequately supported. Your statement regarding what may have befallen Copernicus is just vacuous. Nobody was burned at the stake for his or her scientific views so why conclude, sans any evidence, that this is what awaited Copernicus had he published earlier? Remember, Copernicus held a doctorate in canon law, hardly a candidate for the stake.

      Again, the Church was very much interested in science, supported science financially and many of the scientists were themselves, clerics. Where is the interference or persecution of men like Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus, Nicholas of Cusa, or Albertus Magnus, etc. etc., all men of science as well as churchmen? Non-existent because contrary to the claims of today’s opponents of the Church, the Church was the best friend of learning and science.

      As for Galileo, he was his own worst enemy. The Pope considered Galileo a friend but when Galileo made fun of the Pope in his writings and attacked the very Jesuits who were likewise scientists and sympathetic to him, he sawed off the very limb he had gone out on. His “villa” incarceration came complete with a servant.

      Galileo was right in that the earth moves, but he was wrong when he asserted the sun didn’t. He was also unable to defend his position (scientifically) or answer the arguments against a heliocentric universe that Aristotle had first raised. Had he confined his statements to theory instead of claiming they were the truth, he would have had no problems from the Church. As he later admitted, he was too prideful.

      Your statement, “The fact that is born out by today’s movement to ban evolution.”

      The only banning we’ve experienced on the subject is the banning of alternatives to evolution. You can’t complain about banning scientific theories and simultaneously champion the silencing of scientists who don’t subscribe to either evolution or global warming alarmism.

      Consider this, to have evolution, one must first have an organism to evolve from. Where did life come from? The naturalistic explanation is that non-living matter (chemicals in a soup if you will) suddenly leaped to life and not just life, but one fully capable of taking on products, giving off byproducts and reproducing. The naturalist may believe this to be the case but he cannot call this scientific; there is zero evidence for this, This obvious gaping hole in the dogma of evolutionary thought led famous atheist, Antony Flew, to fly the coop of atheism. Indeed, other atheist scientists like Sir Fred Hoyle and Francis Crick, proposed life was seeded here on earth by aliens, ie., the substitute for God. When serious scientists find it necessary to appeal to aliens for their life creators, one should recognize how shaky is the foundation for evolutionary thinking.

      Another hole in the theory of evolution is that the Cambrian Explosion (when complex creatures suddenly appear) requires billions of transitional forms but the fossil record doesn’t provide them. No adequate explanation for this absence has ever been provided…to my knowledge.

      Regarding shrinking ice, ice fields at the north pole have declined, but ice at the south pole is expanding a fact conveniently ignored by alarmists.

      I like your quote from Skeptical Science:

      “Over the Earth’s history, there are times where atmospheric CO2 [may have] reached 5600 ppm. Does this contradict the warming effect of CO2? No, for one simple reason. CO2 is not the only driver of climate To understand past climate, we need to include other forcings that drive climate. (Royer, 2005).”

      So, after hyperventilating over rising CO2 levels, when it is pointed out that CO2 has been much higher in the past AND during ice ages, the alarmist answer is that there are more drivers than just CO2. Well, no kidding but viewing all the hand-wringing over CO2 one would never guess that alarmists recognize this fact.

      As far as solar output being 4% lower in the past, an issue I’ve never heard of (not saying it isn’t true), why isn’t solar output responsible for today’s warming? What caused the medieval and Roman warm periods assuming solar output was similar then to current levels?

      Finally, past behaviors of the Church vis a vis science and scientists cannot be changed, what is past is past. What we can change is the attitudes and actions of extreme secularists who religiously cling to their dogmas just as fiercely as the highest medieval Popes. I believe in the free marketplace of ideas and freedom of inquiry, that science is NOT advanced when unpopular ideas or alternative theories are suppressed in favor of the status quo. Isn’t that what secularists are always accusing the medieval church of?

  • David, I suggest you read the following books:

    1. John William Draper, “History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. 1 and 2. Both were written in the mid-1800s,

    2. John William Draper, “History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874)

    3. Andrew D. White, “A History of Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (2 vol. set)

    4. Bertrand Russell, “Religion and Science” (1997).

    5. Jonathan Lyons, “House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization” (2010)

    6. Jim Al-Khalili, “The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance” (2012)

    7, Salim T.S. Al-Hassani (Editor. “1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization: Official Companion to the 1001 Inventions Exhibition” (3 Ed. 2012)

    8. Shawn Otto, “The War on Science (2018)

    9. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (2011)

    Perhaps if you read these, you will have a better understanding of science, and it will be easier for you to understand the science of climate change, which is being driven by global warming, and the threat that they present to future generations.

    If not available in your local library, they are available through Amazon. And, yes, I have copies in my library.

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