Sunday, June 10, 2007

Do we sit and say that this is all a myth constructed by the far Left?

Thursday, June 7, 2007 Global Warming: Not a Partisan Issue (Part 1) The issue at hand is that we are seeing concentration levels of these gases in the atmosphere—especially carbon dioxide—in unprecedented levels and scientists believe that this is due to increased human activity, because of its exponential increase in post-Industrial times (see Figure from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
For Christians around the world, the question becomes: if we are seeing that concentration levels of CO2 have increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution and we are being told by scientists that this can cause an increased heat release to the earth... do we sit and say that this is all a myth constructed by the far Left? Or do we attempt to understand the problem at hand and do something about it? On Part 2: - Conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Posted by Katerina Marie at 9:24 AM Labels: , , , Comments (14) Trackback
Thursday, June 7, 2007 On the Economics of Global Warming Many thanks to Katerina for her excellent post on the science underpinning global warming. What really bothers me about global warming denial is that people feel free to simply ignore the overwhelming consensus of experts, and instead take comfort in the arguments a few contrarians. Would people be so willing to reject the received medical wisdom and embrace some peddler of "alternative healing techniques" on the grounds that the doctors are lying? Hardly, and when one's health (or the health of one's family) is in the line, one does not have this luxury, quite frankly.
I confess that I not fully understand why so many on the right (including in Catholic circles) feel engage in this exercise in purest truthiness. I have some conjectures. It could be theological, a potent mix of derivative Calvinism (the belief that the elect are entitled to use the earth's resources as they see it, and that America is somehow exempt from the responsibilities of other nations) and end times dispensationalism (the belief that the rapture is around the corner, so why worry?). But, when it comes down to details, many global warming deniers point to the economic effects of actions to curb greenhouse has emissions. This is often the crux of the issue.
Now, I could talk a lot about materialism, crass consumerism, and individualism. But the arguments made are (obviously!) a little more subtle. They claim that corrective actions will have disastrous economic consequences that will fall disproportionately on the poor and marginalized. This is a tactic employed by a number of Catholic bloggers (some of whom even assert that the IPCC is peddling lies).
Those who push this argument claim (without supportive evidence) that these measures would wreak havoc on the global economy and do immense harm to the welfare of developing countries, leaving millions in poverty. Fortunately, their reading of the economic evidence is as shoddy and selective as their reading of the science. For they ignore completely the most important study to date on the economic costs of global warming and associated policy actions, the UK Treasury-mandated Stern Review...
The discounting assumptions underlying the Stern report are also worthy of support from a Catholic perspective, as they do not fall into the utilitarian trap of assuming our lives are worth more than the lives of those not yet born. And, yet, how much of the current global warming denial is motivated by selfishness, by a tendency to heavily discount the future? Posted by Morning's Minion at 7:26 PM Comments (3) Trackback

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