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Category: Environment
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
I appreciate the Okie Gardener's recent thoughts on Global Warming (and his prior musings), which always reflect a true respect for the scientific method and classic conservatism, rather than the all too common blow-hard varieties of both.

As was noted earlier this week by a friend who knows me well, my knowledge of science is fairly elementary. Perhaps as a result, the Global Warming jokes are hard to pass up. A few months ago, I noted wryly that I spent the night at Gate C-29 at DFW, snowed-in during early March. I confess that I cannot help but get a chuckle every time an Al Gore conference on Global Warming is canceled on account of a 100-year blizzard. And every morning in May that I wake up in Central Texas with the temperature in the high-40s (and then told Global Warming is actually making things cooler before they get unbearably Hellish), I tend to become more skeptical of the UN, NASA, Brad Pitt, and the Hollywood intelligentsia.

Notwithstanding, I agree wholeheartedly with the Gardener's call for better stewardship of Creation and his exhortation to thoughtfully consider genuinely alarming potentialities despite the asinine alarmists.

Minus my intro concering some Texas football history, I am reissuing this concurring opinion based on what I consider a non-scientific, common-sense approach:

The predicament:
Finite resources and exponential population growth equals a problem at some point in human history. Thus far, dramatic advances in technology and an amazingly dynamic and productive economic system have outpaced the inherent difficulty --and made the Malthusian predictions of scarcity during the nineteenth century the butt of modern derision.

However, do we really think that this planet will sustain 10 billion people? Twenty billion? Thirty billion? Do we think the United States will sustain a billion? Two billion? Do we think the American Southwest can continue to meet its water needs in perpetuity?

Does it alarm anyone other than me that we have become accustomed to a luxuriously abundant lifestyle that is predicated on an expanding economy, which is dependent on a growing, building, and expanding civilization, which requires the creation and infusion of more and more inhabitants into an environment with finite resources. There are limits. Where those limits actually exist--perhaps no one can say with certainty. However, undoubtedly, there must be a point at which our demand for potable water, breathable air, and fossil fuels to run our modern world exceeds the planet's capacity to offer them up.

Note: back when I first posted this, Tocqueville directed us to a timeless and provocative piece by Fred Ikle: Growth Without End, Amen. It is a must-read, if you missed it.
Category: Environment
Posted by: an okie gardener
Conservative Talk Radio lately has made much of data indicating that the earth could be in a cooling phase until about 2015, according to computer models. The Telegraph has details on recent climate predictions.

I have addressed the issue of Global Warming many times, for example here and here.

I think the same reasoning I argued earlier still applies. (1) Christians should seek to practice good stewardship of this planet and its resources, which includes minimizing pollution. (2) the model behind Global Warming--that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere helps trap heat--is pretty universally accepted by science. The question is, are humans releasing enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to alter the earth's climate. Since we have only one habitable planet, we had better be careful with it. We do not want to say oops.

I can believe, along with some conservative talk show hosts, that the fear of Global Warming is being used by some to try to destroy capitalism. But, we must not confuse the motive for an assertion with the truth of an assertion. Who knows why I might argue that 2 plus 2 equals four. What matters is the truth or falsity of the assertion.