Voting for Polytheists

Thursday, August 4, AD 2011

Jimmy Akin must have had a bet with someone who dared him to write a post that got more comments than the Fr. Corapi stuff.  This may not beat the Corapi story, but this should get . . . interesting before all is said and done.

Jimmy’s post is titled “Should America Elect a Polytheist Who Claims to Be a Christian?”  If you’re not sure who he is referring to, I’ll let him explain:

In various races, we might be asked to vote for candidates who are Mormon.

While they may be very nice people and may even share many values with Christians, Mormons are not Christians. They do not have valid baptism because they are polytheists. That is, they believe in multiple gods. This so affects their understanding of the baptismal formula that it renders their administration of baptism invalid and prevents them from becoming Christians when they attempt to administer the sacrament.

Unlike other polytheists (e.g., Hindus, Shintoists), Mormons claim to be Christian.

Casting a vote for a Mormon candidate thus means casting one’s vote for a polytheist who present himself to the world as a Christian.

He goes on to argue that voting for a Mormon in a national election poses grave concerns.

It would not only spur Mormon recruitment efforts in numerous ways, it would mainstreamize the religion in a way that would deeply confuse the American public about the central doctrine of the Christian faith. It would give the public the idea that Mormons are Christian (an all-too-frequent misunderstanding as it is) and that polytheism is somehow compatible with Christianity.

In other words, it would deal a huge blow to the American public’s already shaky understanding of what Christianity is.

That means it would massively compromise a fundamental value on the scale of the abortion issue.

Jimmy writes that he’d sit out an election between a Mormon and a pro-abortion candidate.

Before stating my disagreement with Jimmy, let me point out where is he is right:

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42 Responses to Voting for Polytheists

  • I would vote for Mitt Romney, a Mormon, in a battle against Barck Obama. Romney isn’t the best pick of the litter, but Obama by far is among the worst.

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  • “I don’t think there will be a sudden uptick in Mormon recruitment efforts because there is a Mormon in the White House”

    Well, was there a sudden uptick in conversions to Catholicism during the JFK Administration? I suppose that would be difficult to determine since the “Camelot” years also coincided with the papacy of the very popular Pope John XXIII, not to mention the start of the Second Vatican Council. Sorting out which event had the greatest impact on attracting non-Catholics to the faith might be impossible at this late date.

    Also, given that the influence of JFK and family upon the Catholic Church in America was NOT all good, for reasons discussed numerous times on this blog, it’s possible that the election of a popular Mormon president might prove to be a bad thing for Mormonism in the long run. It might encourage them to go more “mainstream” and lose some of their distinctiveness.

  • “With abortion, we have government sanctioning the killing of innocent human life. Barring a sudden mass conversion, I can’t see a Mormon presidency having anywhere near the same impact on our culture as the terrible crime of abortion.”

    That’s right Paul….

  • I wouldn’t vote for a Mormon or a moron especially when they’re one in the same.

  • In strict point of fact, are Mormons really polytheists, though? Yes, there is that divine progression idea, but it was my understanding that Mormons only worship God the Father. They don’t pray directly to Jesus, as I understand it, either–offering prayers in Jesus’ name. I’ve read LDS theology described as “monolatry”–acknowledging other gods’ existence, but worshiping only one.

    But I freely acknowledge my knowledge of the topic is very limited.

  • Joe,

    I have several Mormon friends in the industry where I work. Not a one of them is a moron. In fact, I have had theological discussions with them. true, when I start getting too deep into unique aspects of their religion (e.g., Jesus is brother of Satan, God the Father had sex with the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can all ascend to become gods of our own worldfs, etc.), the conversation gets cut off with some remark about my unpreparedness to understand the sacred mysteries and I should open my mind to the Holy Spirit (which in their view is simply another god). But never has any Mormon treated me with the disrespect of saying that all Catholics are morons (though one may make a case that many liberal Catholics seem to act that way).

  • @Elaine:
    There is a difference between JFK and Mitt Romney. You should check out both of their speeches, where they speak about how their religion influences their politics. (both are rather famous, and from experience they make great college papers to write on). JFK didn’t combine the two, and was a staunch Separationist. Mitt Romney is much less so.

    I think it would be a mistake to simply say there wouldn’t be a large effect. My best friend in high school was Mormon, and when Mitt Romney was running for President, it did embolden him! I think a Mormon president WOULD increase the evangilization efforts of the Mormon ecclesial community. Maybe my experience is tainted because of exposure to a small group of Mormons, but I’m not so sure. If you’ve ever met an ‘on fire’ Mormon, you know how a symbolic victory like a Mormon president would effect them (at least in my experience).

  • Paul, if you’re using the ‘some of my best friends are Mormons argument,’ fine, but as religions go it’s flat-out weird. All the founders including head honcho Joe Smith were into group sex, a.k.a, polygamy, still practiced by some.

    Jesus in America? The Book of Mormon? Pearl at Great Price? Pre-mortal existence? Joe Smith having face-to-face meetings with the Apostles and the Angel Moroni, who gave him the ‘golden plates’? Cue in the Twilight Zone music.

  • Sometime ago Mormon Elder oaks gave an interview on PBS. My comments on that interview are here:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/11/comments-on-elder-oaks-pbs-interview.html

    The link to the interview transcript itself is broken, so you’ll have to hunt and peck through the LDS on-line library to find it. Sorry. 🙁

  • I’ll grant the possibility that I downplayed a potential small uptick in Mormon evangelization efforts, but I just don’t see it is as being as big of a concern as Jimmy Akin is making out. Conversely, will a Mormon president actually water down Mormonism, as some are speculating? That’s also doubtful. Of course those living in compounds with multiple wives already think the religion is watered down, but that’s probably best left for another discussion.

  • Also, one thing I didn’t really address sufficiently in the post was the degree to which a Mormon president would further legitimize Mormonism in the mainstream population’s eyes as a Christian faith. If you ask most people they probably already view Mormonism as basically a Christian denomination, and those that don’t really aren’t going to be persuaded with a Mormon in the White House, or at least not to the degree that Jimmy is speculating.

  • Yes, Joe, you’re correct.

    Joseph Smith’s Mormonism is as weird and heretical as Charles Taze Russell’s Jehovah Witness or Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science.

    I have a friend born and raised as a Jehovah Witness (non-practicing right now, but she is a believer) who works at a company that is involved in supplying engineering expertise for digital instrumentation and controls equipment to a nuclear steam supplier company (that will remain nameless). She is about the smartest engineer (woman or man) with whom I have ever worked.

    As for Christian Scientists, I have met none, but a brief observation of their organization indicates that they are left wing liberals, so it’s likely that I would have little use for them. But I may be wrong, so I shouldn’t judge without first hand facts.

    I will say this: I have far more in common with a conservative Mormon who believes in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman than I do with any liberal Democrat “Catholic” who thinks it’s OK to vote for abortionist Obama because he says he supports social justice and the common good.

  • I think that we’re forgetting that Jimmy Akin NEVER suggested voting for a liberal politicians instead of a Mormon. INSTEAD, he was suggesting not voting at all. So it’s not really an issue of voting for a “conservative Mormon who believes in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman” or a liberal Democrat. It’s about whether voting for a Mormon would be more detrimental than voting for a liberal Democrat.

    It must be remembered that there are more than two options.

  • Setting religion aside, which is impossible to do since one’s beliefs shape one’s politics to a degree, for the sake or argument, keeping things on a secular plane, Mitt’s track record is uninspiring. Yeah, he made tons of money (so does George Soros), but consider his sorry reign over the People’s Republic of Massachusetts and enactment of RomneyCare, which is Obamacare, writ small. Mitt’s father, George, admitted he was “brainwashed” and one wonders whether the bad genes got passed down.

    As an agnostic who keeps an open mind about all things, secular or spiritual, I’d prefer a thinking man in the White House rather than one who subscribes to the bizarre LDS beliefs, rigid as they are (now we’re back to religion).

  • If I have to vote for Mormon Romney in order to defeat Barack Hussein Obama, then I shall do that. It’s really that simple.

  • @Paul:
    I doubt that it would come down to your singular vote.

  • Of course it wouldn’t, Brett. But it is my vote. And at least by casting it that way I would be able to say that I voted AGAINST Barack Hussein Obama. Maybe my vote doesn’t count for much in the great scheme of things, but if we all feel that way, then what’s the sense anyways?

    Obama has got to be defeated. There is no other option. He must be removed from the White House. If that means a Mormon, then so be it.

  • I agree with you that Obama should be voted out of office. The two issues you raised:
    1. It is pretty interesting what the worth is of one vote. One vote rarely matters, but many ‘one votes’ does matter. My reaction to your one vote was from the fact that you said “If I HAVE to vote for Mormon Romney in order to defeat Barack Hussein Obama, then I shall do that” (emphasis mine). I was just stating that I doubt you will HAVE to vote for Romney in order to vote out Obama.

    2. Not voting at all means that you sort of voted for NEITHER candidate (have your cake and eat it too). There is, of course, always a write in. Because one vote probably won’t matter, you could write in a candidate! Then you voted against Obama while at the same time did not vote for Romney.

    Of course, all of that is relevant ONLY if you think Mr. Akin is right. If you think he’s wrong then the entire issue of you voting for Romney is irrelevant.

  • “Jimmy writes that he’d sit out an election between a Mormon and a pro-abortion candidate.”

    If that Mormon happens to be Mitt Romney, then I’ll be sitting out the election along with Jimmy. I won’t vote for Romney under any circumstances. He’s a fraud.

    And it has nothing to do with his religion. I could probably bring myself to vote for Romney’s co-religionist, Jon Huntsman, despite the fact that Huntsman is allegedly the one who is the “moderate” stalking horse. Huntsman, unlike Romney, has at least governed as a conservative before deciding to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

  • That is pretty poor rationale Akin gives for his decision to vote against Romney:

    “I could see, for example, voting for a pro-life Hindu over a pro-abortion monotheist. But a Hindu does not claim to be a Christian and thus does not risk confusing people about the core doctrine of Christianity the way Mormonism does.”

    The connection betweeen a sitting president’s religion and increased confusion about Christian beliefs is very tenuous and would never make my list of top items to consider when selecting a candidate.

    I, on the hand, am determined to vote against Romney because of one very specific lapse in judgment:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1003&bih=537&q=romney+dog+roof&oq=romney+dog+&aq=0&aqi=g4g-m2&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=2359l5250l0l8078l11l11l0l1l1l0l281l2014l0.4.6l10l0

  • I’m just curious as to whether Catholics would vote for a Jewish president, given that Jews flatly reject Christ as the Messiah. Seems to me this would be the biggest ‘deal-breaker’ of all. At least Obama pays lip service to Christianity. What say you all? I ask this question strictly as a neutral, objective observer. Thank you for your comments. As always, TAC provides a forum for intelligent discourse, which this troll truly appreciates.

  • I certainly would have no problem voting for a Jewish candidate. If Eric Cantor ran for President, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.

    As far as this is connected to Jimmy Akin’s post, remember that his issue is that Mormons present themselves as Christian when they are not (at least in his reckoning). There would be no similar issue with a Jewish presidential candidate.

  • Paul, I’m shocked. Does not the Bible say ‘Do not be yoked with unbelievers’?

  • Hi, Joe! The reference of not being unequally yoked was to marriage.

    In today’s environment, however, to be yoked with a liberal Democrat “Catholic” is to be unequally yoked. I suppose I could do what the Jehovah Witnesses do and eschew all secular contact.

    😉

  • Isn’t there similar doctrines in Mormon ideology as in Islamic fundamentalism? Ie. The take over of the Government system to install a theocratic regime? In the Islamic doctrine there is in place Taqita (Spelling is incorrect for sure) but that allows the individual to outright lie during DAWA to get whatever advantage they will need. With that thought being transferred to Mormonism – is it smart to elect a Mormon president. Well I am skeptical for sure…

  • I think you meant Taqiyya. Taqita is a tasty fried crispy corn meal shell with spicy meat. 😉

  • I am with Jimmy– Mormonism is so incoherent and a grownup thinker who professes it is not who I want to be thinking about how to govern us… thankfully I don’t think we will be reduced to the choice of Romney. I am still hoping Rick Santorum will catch the attention of the good citizens of this country.

  • A Mormon president would be catastrophic for Mormonism. The hard left is still smarting from the Proposition 8 victory in California, and they blame the Mormons. They’re taking out their anger on the religion, and it’s going to get worse. Both Romney and Huntsman have distanced themselves from the doctrines of Mormonism. How quickly will Mormonism crumble when its ‘doctrines and covenants’ become water-cooler talk?

    Remember that the American religious ideal is to believe something you really don’t believe in, keep it to yourself, and be a nice person. That’s what most people consider to be good morality. Most people don’t think like most TAC regulars. They’ll be perfectly happy with a Mormon who doesn’t believe in Mormonism, but has a good family life and likes apple pie. So American pragmatism will kick in. “Who cares if the church he goes to teaches some weird things? Religion is a thing you are, not a thing you believe.” That kind of thinking undermines Catholicism, and we’re protected by the Holy Spirit. Protestantism is less protected, and suffers from that kind of thinking moreso. Think about how it’s got to be undermining Mormonism.

    A good shake-up and Mormonism could become like Freemasonry: weird anti-Catholicism in old Europe, but an excuse for charity bake-sales and business networking in the US.

  • Mormonism is nutty. That said, despite believing they can be gods of other planets, Mormons seem to be just as good at running companies, organizations, and governments as everyone else — moreso, at times. Moreover, they claim to be Christians but I don’t know of any Christians who agree with them. If a Mormon candidate was qualified and I agreed with him/her on the issues, I would vote for him or her.

  • Gail nailed it.
    I would only add that I would look to any candidate’s record as to judgment, intelligence and morality before I would examine his religion. Regarding morality, the many Mormons I know live exemplary lives when measured by natural law. While I agree that their religious beliefs may strike an informed Christian as eccentric, not much less really than the belief in a virgin birth, transubstantiation, purgatory, miracles, three persons composing one God, etc. would strike an informed agnostic. Reason alone, without faith, renders us all agnostics. Faith makes all things possible, and as long as internally consistent all religions are leaps of faith rather than reason.

  • Pinky wrote

    Remember that the American religious ideal is to believe something you really don’t believe in, keep it to yourself, and be a nice person. That’s what most people consider to be good morality. Most people don’t think like most TAC regulars. They’ll be perfectly happy with a Mormon who doesn’t believe in Mormonism, but has a good family life and likes apple pie. So American pragmatism will kick in. “Who cares if the church he goes to teaches some weird things? Religion is a thing you are, not a thing you believe.” That kind of thinking undermines Catholicism, and we’re protected by the Holy Spirit. Protestantism is less protected, and suffers from that kind of thinking moreso. Think about how it’s got to be undermining Mormonism.

    It’s my understanding that this is already happening to some extent, especially in areas where the majority of people are Mormon. Not a small number of these Mormons don’t particularly believe in Mormon theology but enjoy the family and social atmospheres that Church membership brings, so they stay in it, kind of like “cultural Catholics” (sigh…).

    It’s perfectly within the right of a Catholic voter to abstain from voting for a particular office because he or she finds all candidates to be morally objectionable. Having said that, I’ve always found arguments like Akin’s to be fairly unpersuasive. No matter who votes or doesn’t vote in 2012, the next president is either going to be Obama or his Republican opponent. No other outcome is reasonable. Given how awful Obama has been as president, both morally and otherwise, I’ll apply the principle of double-effect and vote for the Republican, holding my nose if necessary.

  • I am no fan of Romney, but Akin’s post strikes me as silliness on stilts. The religion of Romney, a religion he was born into, says nothing about his ability to do the job of being President. The idea that having a President who was a Mormon would foster conversions to Mormonism are as ridiculous as a claim in 1960 that electing JFK would foster conversions to Catholicism. Certainly the election of Obama has not led to a groundswell of conversions to the United Church of Christ, just as the election of Reagan did not lead to conversions to the Disciples of Christ. Akin’s post sails too close to religious bigotry for my taste as he seems to be stating that he would never vote for a Mormon for President, and would indeed sit out an election between a Mormon and a pro-abort. That is rubbish, and precisely the type of attitude that anti-Catholic bigots have used against Catholics down through the centuries. Personally I regard Mormon theology as hogwash, just as I would assume that a believing Mormon would regard Catholic theology as hogwash. That fact does not cause me to therefore refuse to vote for a Mormon candidate if I agree with his or her position. In regard to Romney I regard him as an oportunistic weathervane, and I will be working next year to deny him the nomination, but his religion will have nothing to do with my opposition.

  • We know far more dirt about Romney than we do about Obama.

    Can someone explain to me why Akin, et al go to such lengths to detract guys like Bush, Perry, Romney, but give Obama and 20,000 uber abortionists/gay privileges fanatics/class hatred merchants “passes”?

    Is it publish or perish?

    Are they feverishly contorting themselves to ease their consciences for advancing for abortion and hatred?

  • @McClarey:

    There is a HUGE difference between Mormonism and Catholicism that makes your comparisons between the two problematic. Specifically, Mormonism is in a position that having a Mormon president WOULD bolster evangilization efforts and embolden Mormons even more. Neither the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ, or the Disciples of Christ were in a position from which having a president of the same religion would embolden them. Mormonism is a much different story.

    So, the fact that Mormon and Catholic evangilization is so different allows for the good posibility that a Mormon president would lead to conversions whereas a Catholic president would not. The difference in evangilization, as well as the general attitude and history of both groups, leads to this.

    I think people have become so angry and set against Obama that they idea of ANYTHING BUT voting against him seems ridiculous and impossible. Heck, even if the Republican nominee came out saying that he was more pro-choice than Obama and was totally anti-Catholic, there would still be people defending the Republican nominee.

  • Brett this raising of a Mormon bogeyman is ludicrous. The problem for Catholics in this country regarding religion and politics is not Mormonism, but the vast number of Catholic politicians who embrace causes directly antithetical to the teachings of the Church. Akin’s article, to be quite blunt about it, is one of the stupidest things I have seen written by any Catholic blogger not a member in good standing at Vox Nova.

  • Neither I nor Mr. Akin is proposing any Mormon bogeyman. All that he proposed is that if a Mormon is elected, it would strongly embolden and encourage Mormon evangilization efforts. A read of Mormon history and current evanglization efforts would show that, in fact, it WOULD provide legitamacy to Mormonism.

    Mr. Akin is not saying that a Mormon president is THE problem facing Catholics in regards to religion and politics, but rather it is A (not THE) problem facing America in general.

  • Disagree Brett. Akin views the Mormon bogeyman with such alarm that he is willing to sit out an election between a pro-life Morman and a pro-abort opponent. That indicates to me that he views that to be more important than fighting for the pro-life cause. This whole attempt by Akin to rouse anti-Mormon hysteria reminds me of the election of 1800 where Thomas Jefferson’s opponents charged, correctly, that he was not a believer in Christianity. The election of Jefferson did not lead to a growth in atheism and agnosticism, and neither would the election of a Mormon lead to a surge in conversions to the Mormon faith. The whole idea is complete rubbish as even a cursory examination of American history would demonstrate.

  • If you want to talk about ‘cursory examinations’, then I suggest a cursory examination of Mormonism, specifically Mormon evangelization efforts. If you notice, whenever a significant event happens that helps legitimize Mormonism, it is greeted by an uptick in Mormon converts and evangelization efforts.

    Furthermore, you give bad examples when you try and show that other presidents have not led to converts to their respective religions. A cursory examination of Mormon evangelization history would show you that it is MUCH different than Catholic. The same would be said for atheist and agnoticism (the fact that you would even compare the two shows a lack of such a cursory examination).

    I do, however, see that this is quickly becoming a simple repeat, with nothing being added by either of us in regards to the issue at hand. So, if you want, I can give you the last word.

  • Actually Brett I am quite familiar with Mormon history. If you care to, go to my American history blog, Almost Chosen People, and you can read several posts that I have written about the Mormons. The Mormons are not a threat in any way to Catholics in this country. Electing a Mormon as President would do no damage to the Faith or cause great numbers of Catholics to be pounding on the doors of Mormon Temples seeking admission. What truly does damage to the Faith in this country is that too many Catholics in positions of power in this country, inside and outside of politics, give every indication of not really believing in what Catholicism teaches.

  • Akin’s article, to be quite blunt about it, is one of the stupidest things I have seen written by any Catholic blogger not a member in good standing at Vox Nova.

    Ow~! I just quit reading that blog last month (not so much because I thought it was stupid, but because for other reasons). Just a coincidence, I suppose.

  • What truly does damage to the Faith in this country is that too many Catholics in positions of power in this country, inside and outside of politics, give every indication of not really believing in what Catholicism teaches.

    AMEN.

    I think the biggest problem with Romney is not LDS theology about the Godhead, but his record of going against the usually-laudable moral teachings of his church on social issues.

The New Paganism: Climate Change

Wednesday, January 6, AD 2010

The Pagans are coming out of the woodwork, or more properly named, coming out of the ice sculpture.

What is turning into an annual event in Fairbanks, Alaska, a frozen ice sculpture of Al Gore, or what the locals call “Frozen Gore”, was unveiled.

Steve Dean sculpted the two-ton ice block in tribute to Al Gore and his ‘theories’ of man-made Global Warming.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports with my emphases and comments in this truncated article:

This year’s version includes special effects, thanks to a system that pipes the exhaust from a Ford F-350 out of Gore’s open mouth. Compeau [who funded the ice sculpture] will fire up the truck periodically this winter to create the “hot air” effect.

50 years [ago]. The average temperature for 2009 was 27.8 degrees in Fairbanks, about one degree warmer than normal, said Rick Thoman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Last winter, however, was unusually cold in Fairbanks. Temperatures in the winter months of 2008-09 were about 4 degrees below normal, according to National Weather Service figures.

The mocking tribute of Al Gore and the pseudoscience that he uses is cause for concern.  We need to start a movement to begin the separation of science and state in order to protect Americans from environmentalist fanatics such as Al Gore.

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73 Responses to The New Paganism: Climate Change

  • Al Gore is hardly a fanatic. Environmental fanatics attack whaling boats, live in trees for a few years. Gore wrote a book, won a prize, and has speaking gigs. No different from any other celebrity.

    I’ll grant you that celebrity is never a good engine to drive an issue, modern media outlets aside. But if you want to whine about paganism, look to the movement that has taken over every Sunday and holiday: professional sport.

  • Todd,

    Fanatics is defined as a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

    I think that fits Mr. Gore well.

    Don’t you know that we should listen to celebrities on how to vote? 😉

  • One who elevates the spotted owl over the needs of families, for instance, the loss of 30,000 logging jobs, is a fanatic. It is madness.

  • If I can put my excessive reasonability hat on:

    – I’d say that it’s not political programs based on “science” that are a problem, but rather programs which are based on fundamental mistakes about human dignity. Eugenics treated people as only being worth the sum of their traits, and treated humanity as an improveable commodity. It violated basic human dignity when it forced “defective” people to be sterilized. None of this has anything to do with the “science” of eugenics (which turned out to be wrong as well) but rather with not respecting human dignity. Similarly, environmentalists suffer from a poor understanding of human dignity when they get into thinking of humanity as a “cancer on the planet” or see human lives as worth the same or less than animal lives, or seek to violate human life in order to reduce the effects of humanity on the planet.

    – There are some interesting ways in which environmentalism can fit into the same slot which paganism appealed to in the human mind, but I don’t think it’s right to simply equate environmentalism and paganism.

    – Gore is a bozo in part because he gets the actual science involved wrong — and one of the big problems with a lot of environmental advocacy is that it proposes changes which would have very little measureable impact on the scientific metrics involved, yet would involve a lot of negative impacts on society.

    – I’m not jazzed about the idea of a “separation of science and state”. To the extent that science is a way of knowing about the universe, one doesn’t want to rule it out of influencing political thinking any more than one wants to rule religion out of political thinking. However, it’s important to understand that science does not and cannot make moral or policy prescriptions. It can’t say “We must pass this law”. It’s only predictive, as in “If we make this change, this will be the result.” Anyone who claims that science says more than that is selling something.

  • DC

    You are right, environmentalism is not paganism, though both pagans and Christians can be environmentalists. As Pope Benedict himself has made clear, environmentalism is intricately connected to Catholicism and its pro-life message. If there are non-pro-life environmentalists encouraging evil, as there are, that must not be used to judge environmentalism itself– rather, it should be used as an example of where some environmentalists need to come to grips as to why one should be an environmentalist- reasons which include the whole of the Gospel of Life.

    ” “Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of ‘environmental refugees’, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement?” Pope Benedict XVI.

    Don’t call him pagan!

  • However, it’s important to understand that science does not and cannot make moral or policy prescriptions.

    Good points in your comments, though in the past eugenicists were able to pass the Racial Integrity Act.

    And I’m sure environmentalists will be pushing for radical legislation to tax and control American lives following the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

  • Tito

    Just because someone makes a statue does not mean they are pagans; are you going to say all the artists in the world, unless they are making icons and statues of the saints, are making idols?

  • “I think that fits Mr. Gore well.”

    Disagree. Mr Gore has his post-political career. He’s far from exuding the qualities of the extremists of the environmental movement.

    Now, Mr Gore may be far away from denizens of the anti-science or anti-AGW wings, and certainly extremists on their side. Distance doesn’t equate with extremism.

    I’ll back up much of DC’s comment. Eugenics is a horrific, anti0life pseudo-science. I don’t see any reasonable connection with the green movement. It might be that some greens advocate population control as part of an uninformed strategy. I don’t see eugenics gaining traction in either the mainstream green movement or in society at large.

    Steering human beings away from hydrocarbon fuel makes great sense politically, economically, and scientifically.

  • HK,

    Of course not.

    Art can be used as a beautiful expression of God.

    From Michelangelo to Bach, art has been an integral part of enhancing our spirituality and worship of God.

    But I’m sure you knew that already just as much as you know I was referring to much of the “science” that is used to control peoples lives in the climate change movement.

  • I don’t see eugenics gaining traction….”

    I don’t know – seems China’s one child policy got kudos at Copenhagen. That may not be eugenics per se, but it certainly seems like some traction in that direction.

  • I don’t think explicitly means what you think it does. Watch this:

    The Ten Commandments explicitly refer to Wensleydale Cheese – “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s [including his Wensleydale, Stilton, Cheddar, or other cheeses].

    mmmm, mmmm, delicious!

  • Why thank you for clarifying that Inigo Montoya.

    Signed,

    Vizzini

  • Did you kill his father 15 years ago?

    Words have meaning, at least they used to. What does “environmentalism” mean? It seems to be an ideology and that makes it incompatible with Catholicity. That doesn’t mean aspects of it cannot be integrated into a Catholic worldview but environmentalism and Catholicity cannot go hand and in hand.

    Conservation, which may be part of environmentalism, is not only compatible with our faith, I am fairly confident that it is the first commandment from God, He told Adam to tend His Garden. Adam was not permitted to destroy or worship the garden, but he had to take care of it for God as His steward. Of course, Adam screwed up, so some of us, his children, worship the garden and others want to destroy the garden. Some of us, are sons of the Most High, if sons than heirs and we are not only heirs to His promise, but we are also heirs of His garden, our planet, and we want to tend His garden, conserve it, enjoy it, populate it with large Catholic families, use it to benefit others and glorify God. I don’t think that can be considered environmentalism.

    EnvironMENTALism is a mental disorder just like other ISMs including Communism, Socialism, Democratism, Mammomism, Liberation Theolgism, American Idolism, and yes, the cult of Al Goreism too. Heretics should be burned at the stake, or we can simply stake them and let the Anthropogenic Global Warming burn them eventually. 😉

  • One particular phrase grabbed my attention: “the science says…”

    One of the first principles of science is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.

    It’s often repeated: “but the science says…”

    It seems as though some of the scientists in the AGW debate (see the recent Climategate episode) have gotten caught up in being fooled themselves.

  • Big Tex,

    “the science says…” is the equivalent to what liberal extremists accuse Christians of saying “the Bible says…” when defending their position.

    It has become their religion, ie, science or what I call scientism, to use in place of God.

    Sad.

  • “It has become their religion, ie, science or what I call scientism, to use in place of God.”

    Another example of taking one’s own subjective situation and interpreting others’ actions,words, etc., as if they thought the same way you did.

    Scientists approach their vocation dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, and if they’re lucky, wisdom. As in most all professions, some fail at both. Some even let science become their life, and these folks may be right, but they err in the social or political application of their “life.”

    I can appreciate that scientists and others trained in science would get frustrated at the intentional ignorance tossed their way in an attempt to form a logical dissent.

    What’s undeniable is that world temperatures have been on the rise due to natural cycles since the Renaissance. Trends toward warmer temperatures have ticked up at greater rates over the past century, more than would seem to be explained by the post-Little Ice Age trend. The attempt at rationalizing: “No, the weather isn’t getting warmer …” followed by “Okay, it’s getting warmer, but it’s not our fault …” followed by ” Okay, maybe we contributed some, but we can’t do anything about it …” has been all over conservative faces for the past decade or more.

    Even if climate change weren’t a worry, it would seem to make sense for the US to unilaterally cut its use of hydrocarbons for political reasons, if nothing else. Why would loyal Americans want to continue to use West Asian oil if we could develop alternatives at home? Why wouldn’t oil companies embrace the creativity and ingenuity of their homeland, if not their science staffs? If we’re talking about religion or quasi-religion here, let’s not let Big Oil and its followers off the hook.

  • When scientists cannot agree on the global warming trends, if there are any or even affected by man, then why do we have to listen to celebrities such as Al Gore who doesn’t even have a science degree?

    Especially with scientists heavily in opposition to the theory that man is the primary cause of global warming by 100:1, how can we take any of the science at face value at all?

    And I haven’t thrown in the fact of the huge climate controversy that came out of East Anglia university of doctored and made-up numbers. Europe has accepted that these figures are wrong, why hasn’t the liberal elite here in America?

    Because it is their religion.

  • Tito

    Which scientists and in which fields? Secondly, does the lack of agreement of scientists make for truth or that we can ignore the issue? After all, it’s a classical argument against Christianity: Christians can’t agree with themselves, so why be Christian?

  • Henry K.,

    Both you and I know the answer to your question.

    As Catholics we have the three pillars that hold up the Church: 1) Sacred Scripture, 2) Sacred Tradition, 3) the Magisterium.

    😉

  • “Just because someone makes a statue does not mean they are pagans”

    I wonder if that applies to soldiers who wear insignias, or regular American families that fly a flag on the fourth of July.

  • “When scientists cannot agree on the global warming trends …”

    This is just fantasy. Every climatologist knows the temperature trends are rising. All accept that the increase in temperature has accelerated over the past century or so. Has human industry the cause?

    100%? You’ll find some. 90%? 70%? Probably more like these numbers.

    This is like your attempted “expertise” on liberation theology. If you want to be taken seriously, bring a few climatologists to the discussion to raise the bar and challenge you. If you prefer to repeat political talking points and cocktail talk, then we mark another AC topic under the label “ignorance here,” and move on.

    And let’s be clear: there’s no problem with a person not educating her or himself on climate change. The problem is when such folks pretend to be serious commentators.

  • Todd,

    Now you’re just trashing me with no evidence.

    Keep up your malicious comments Mr. Pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ voter. (irony eh?)

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  • The Montreal Protocol was a good example of science working with government for the common good. CFC’s were destroying the ozone and most countries, including the US, took the advice of scientists and regulated it. I don’t think you will find many today who will dispute the fact that we would have been in big trouble if they had remained unregulated.

  • Tito,

    I think you are a serious commentator and I like your observations. My only concern is how big is your carbon footprint? Mine is huge but not as big as Al Gore’s.

    The assertion that Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever convenient moniker they are giving it this week is a religion is a very valid point that needs to be discussed more often.

    I tend to confuse most people because I don’t fit the stereotype of a ‘conservative’ so when a ‘liberal’ meets me for the first time they tend to let their guard down. After I play with their heads as if they were a drunken kitten I ease them into exposing the fallacy of their own argument (if you let a liberal talk long enough they will refute their own position and then deny it). Once the argument has been destroyed I acknowledge that they are actually a logical human being who is in severe self-denial. Then they lash out at me.

    When it comes to this particular topic their emotional reaction (it has to be emotional because if they tried to react reasonably they would have to acknowledge that they propose and invalid position) is to yell at me, “How can you not believe in Global Warming!*&^%?”

    If it isn’t a religion, why do they want me to believe in it? If it is a fact then belief is not needed. If belief is required then it is either a religion or a lie or a religion of lies.

  • Brian,

    The evidence is still out on CFC and the Ozone hole. It seems that was a cyclical thing and not caused by man.

    The more plausible analysis is that CFC were a convenient tool to bring about totalitarianism through environmental concerns. It didn’t work. So they moved on to something that is so prevalent and necessary for life to function, impossible to control and concerns everyone: CO2. By making warming as a result of carbon emissions the neo-paganism of environmentalism will place us all under the yoke of the spirit of this world.

    The conflict between environmental neo-paganism and the Catholic Church is inevitable. My money is on Christ’s Church.

  • What if some of us see idolatry in the stubborn refusal of some Americans to consider the possibility of global warming because it will require making changes, even modest sacrifices, to their consumerist lifestyle?

    You can see idolatry in any movement, which is why the charge doesn’t have any bearing on the truth or untruth of human induced climate change.

  • “The evidence is still out on CFC and the Ozone hole.”

    Really?
    Odd since we’ve been able to verify most of it in laboratories. Not to mention that the ozone has been recovering now that CFCs have been regulated. But I guess you have your sources.

  • Every climatologist knows the temperature trends are rising.

    Aye, 0.6 C over more than a century. Bug me about somthing else.

  • I don’t dispute that the temperature of parts of the globe are increasing. I just haven’t seen any evidence that points the finger at man as the cause. I have also seen no evidence to indicate that any of the life-threatening measures proposed by enviro-fascist fanatics will do anything to reduce the temperature increases.

    I agree with you about certain aspects of ‘materialism’; however, other aspects of good stewardship of the material given have provided a rise in the standard of material well-being of God’s children. The wealthy man of 150 years ago had a lower standard of material well-being than a ‘poor’ American today.

    Someone please tell me why the same people running around screaming about global warming are the same ones always bitching and shivering because it is cold?

  • I think that given:

    a) the undemocratic nature of the massive, world-changing political program that the warming alarmists wish to impose upon the entire planet,

    b) the unfortunate existence of bona fide scientists who are skeptical of the contribution of human activity to global warming

    c) the pretty clear evidence that human civilization has survived historical periods considerably warmer than anything we may be facing in the near future,

    d) the climategate scandal that revealed dishonest attempts to alter and/or hide findings that ran against the ‘consensus’,

    and most importantly,

    e) the anti-life, population control, eugenicist ideology of many of the major players in the secular environmental movement,

    that

    We have every right to be skeptical of this movement, to question and even resist its attempts to take control of the global economy through carbon taxes and other regulations, and to give the skeptical scientists and others a fair hearing.

    If our choice is between a possibility that human activity might cause a slight rise in temperature and sea levels on the one hand, and shutting down all debate, levying massive taxes, and handing over more sovereignty to an international body that is vehemently opposed to Catholic teachings on sexual morality – I’ll take my chances with the C02.

  • “I’ll take my chances with CO2”.

    Heretic. Blasphemer. Burn him. Wait. No. Hargrave is made of carbon – if we burn him we’ll be contributing to global warming. What do we do? Mother Gaia save us. 😉

  • Some Copenhagen attendees saw it for what it was, a tool for the UN to establish a Marxist one-world government. Since this is all clearly anti-human and anti-Catholic (you know those evil breeders) it must be of the spirit of this world.

    Additionally, it seems that someone, probably the guy that designed the planet in the first place, set it up so that CO2 is absorbed in a stable ratio. It seems that since 1850 nature (no not Mother Gaia, just plain old planet Earth) has absorbed the CO2 that has been created, even the increased amount since man industrialized.

    As we face the worst winter in 25 years and global temperatures plummet, store shelves go bare over fears of being snowed in and ski addicts are in a frenzy we should re-think this whole global warming thingy.

    Let’s all say it together, “CO2 is our friend, Ohmmmmmm!” Televise that on C-SPAN.

  • “Now you’re just trashing me with no evidence.”

    Trashing you? Hardly. I had the course in climatology thirty years ago. I read the scientific literature. There is no discussion among scientists on warming trends. They’re happening.

    You’re also incorrect on my being pro-abortion. Been pro-life all my life. Another example of drawing illogical conclusions.

    “As we face the worst winter in 25 years and global temperatures plummet …”

    Another example of the dictatorship of relativism. Clearly AK doesn’t live in the southern hemisphere these days.

  • A few decades ago the EPA would have hesitated in classifying CO2 as a hazardous gas. By the time they are fourteen most youngsters would have learnt that for plants, CO2 + water + sunlight = oxygen + plant substance, and that CO2 is a byproduct of the respiration of almost all living things. The EPA are confident that the rot in the education system is so widespread that they fear no ridicule from the populace, they being too dumb to care.

  • Ivan,

    I fear that you might be right.

  • Todd,

    157 dead in India due to . . . extremely cold weather.

    Didn’t it snow in Saudi Arabia last year?

    NWS stated that we set 1200 cold temp records across the US last week, including Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Imagine the shock of all the yenta snowbirds; they wake up and think they’re back in Noo Yawlk.

    And, no I don’t live in the Southern Hemisphere. . I hail from North America by choice and the South by the Grace of God.

  • Sadly, Ivan is probably right, education has been so dumbed down intentionally by the designers of the god-state that most people wouldn’t know how to formulate a question. We have become a nation of parrots. Squak, poly want a cracker, squak, global warming.

    Nevertheless, to keep the remnant of thinkers quiet they will soon shift back to global cooling and the parrots will run around fearing a new ice age and calling for global taxes and population reduction (I think they are aiming for 500,000,000 according to the Georgia Guidestones).

    Warming, cooling, heck, just go with Global Climate Change. Nov. 2008 was proof that undefined ‘change’ works best on the Idiocracy generation that was born when slick willy became president, oh the horror, the horror!

    BTW – Todd, where I come from, you know the ignorant South, do you know what we call climate change? Seasons, you know, Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn – crazy, huh?

  • Brian, some of us also see the AGW scam as an excuse to further widen the scope of government and its’ control over the proles (Al Gore, aka Elmer Gantry, and the Beautiful People can of course, buy themselves out of the restrictions they wish to place on ordinary people by purchasing carbon credits. That the sale of carbon credits happens to enrich Al Gore, is, I am sure, just a concidence.)

    The very idea that “the science is settled, so shut up” is in and of itself profoundly unscientific. So is “hiding the decline” and jiggering data to come up with the results you want.

    It’s all utter rubbish. And I believe the snake-oil salesmen who have been peddling it know that very well. They want more power over human beings, that’s all. Unfortunately, the well-meaning and creduous are taken in, but fewer and fewer with each passing day (she typed, as she listened to winter storm warning reports on the radio predicting 10-12 inches and a bad commute tommorrow morning.)

    Brian, you are so quick to suspect corporate wrong-doing (and there are certainly corporate wrong-doers). Why do you frequently seem to assume that those who wish to expand the power of the state are driven by warm and fuzzy altruism? History says otherwise.

  • Hargrave,

    Yes it is sad. CO2 may or may not be a greenhouse gas working its effects according the Arrhenuis theory. That does not bother me, what struck me was the alactrity and insousiance with which the EPA made its pronouncement. There surely was someone there thinking “Hang on a minute, I myself am breathing out carbon dioxide every few seconds. Let us put this to the public in a different way.” No, they were bold enough to expect no contradiction from the public. It encapsulates for me what the bureaucrats really think about the proles.

  • Donna,

    History certainly states otherwise. Usually, the misanthropes that perpetrate government and corporate wrong-doing are the same ilk. Not just cut from the same cloth – they are the same ilk.

    Look at the Goldman Sachs-NY Fed-Treasury Dept incest that has been going on since the meltdown, actually since 1910 – but that’s another story. What about Imelt from GE, who stands to make trillions when we are forced to use crappy ‘green’ technology.

    Corporatism is alive and well in America. Funny how they pit the right against the left because of the left’s love of government, and the left against the right for the right’s love of big business – the enemy is the same. AGW is the perfect tool for the Big Government/Big Business club to rule us little people. Fools.

  • Donna,

    I’m sorry that I or others gave the impression that the “science is settled”. That seems to be a very misleading way of putting things. It is my understanding that science is never “settled” as a legal dispute might be. The way we look at things is constantly expanding or being revised by new discoveries, new data, and the way that the peer review process exposes ideas up to the critique of others.
    While we can talk about a “theory of global warming”, to be accepted or rejected, the reality is that there myriads of separate theories that attempt to explain climate data from various fields. When we speak of a consensus, we are not saying that somehow the majority of scientists have said “yea” in some kind of informal vote, if that were even possible. Consensus means that there some basic correlation between many different and independent attempts to explain the data. Kind of like Newman’s cumulation of probabilities. Some explanations are stronger than others, but the bigger picture, the paradigm, remains strong.

    Speaking of Newman, think of religious belief. When I ask you the reason why you or another believe in Christian revelation, the answer, I suspect, cannot be reduced to one idea. There are many ideas or reasons for why we believe what we do. Some, perhaps, are stronger than others.

    Many so called climate skeptic scientists question certain theories involved with global warming, but do not necessarily doubt the consensus, which seems quite strong.

  • “A few decades ago the EPA would have hesitated in classifying CO2 as a hazardous gas. By the time they are fourteen most youngsters would have learnt that for plants, CO2 + water + sunlight = oxygen + plant substance, and that CO2 is a byproduct of the respiration of almost all living things.”

    I’m not impressed with this argument. Nitric oxide is a hazardous waste and yet is essential to life. So what. It’s context that’s important. CO2, like anything else I suppose, become hazardous in the wrong context.

  • “… do you know what we call climate change?”

    AK, you’ve made the basic error in high school earth science, confusing weather with climate. Back to ninth grade, my friend.

  • Todd,

    I’m just curious – have you ever changed anyone’s mind about anything?

  • I had the course in climatology thirty years ago. I read the scientific literature. There is no discussion among scientists on warming trends. They’re happening.

    You missed this one:

    Sagan, Carl, Owen B. Toon and James B. Pollack
    “Anthropogenic Albedo Changes and the Earth’s Climate” Science, New Series, Vol. 206, No. 4425 (Dec. 21, 1979), pp. 1363-1368

    The money quote is on page 1367, second column:

    “All changes except for urbanization produce an increase in the Earth’s albedo and a cooling of the planet.”

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  • “All changes except for urbanization produce an increase in the Earth’s albedo and a cooling of the planet.”

    If only we had listened to science back in the 70s!

    We could have prevented this global ice age we are in the midst of, and worldwide famine that caused billions of deaths!

    When will people learn to trust the “settled science”!?

    Seriously, there were mainstream scientists calling for the building of CO2 FACTORIES to head off a coming ice age! Imagine if we had done it! Why should we ever listen to these people?

  • Back in the 60s and 70s there were papers that predicted cooling and papers that predicted warming (far more of the latter). The science behind cooling was weaker and was discredited by other scientists even before those predictions could play out. That is not inconsistency, that is how science works.

  • The inconsistency is in the alarmism. If they had just made their predictions quietly, that would be one thing. But with these predictions always come hysterical calls for drastic action.

    That is why this science is suspect. Because, as you rightly say, science is constantly being revised and updated. Yet if the science today is predicting a dangerous trend, then in the minds of some people, it is dangerous to wait and see if further developments will disprove today’s theory – we must “act now”, we must scare the children with stories of cute cuddly animals dying because of disaster X.

    Our “science czar”, hardly some backwater nobody, and his colleagues were among those who predicted the cooling and called for massive increases in CO2 emissions. Now they call for the opposite. The problem is with their alarmism and their draconian politics.

  • Joe, thanks for the question. Happy to respond: yes; I once talked a friend out of having an abortion. Amazing, but true, and apologies to my stalker who prefers to bring up my voting record.

    Art, the Sagan-Pollack paper addressed albedo, not atmosphere. Albedo is the reflectivity of planetary surfaces and cloud cover. The money quote basically says that except for small slivers of pavement and some buildings, human beings have no effect on the Earth’s albedo. Farms pretty much equal forests. The key piece here is that Sagan was an astronomer, not a climatologist.

    Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless gas. It prevents heat reflected from the earth’s surface from radiating out into space.

    Also, it might be that the result of climate change would be an ice age. Climatologists agree that atmospheric temperature trends will not gradually cool or heat the planet. At some point there seems to be a feedback mechanism to restore a certain equilibrium. If Greenland ice were to melt, for example, not only would shorelines be inundated around the world, but the infusion of cool, low salinity water in the North Atlantic might be enough to send the Gulf Stream to African instead of Europe. Nice for Algeria, Libya, and Egypt who might get grasslands to replace desert. Not so good for Europeans who might be crunched under glaciers.

    Most scientists are not alarmists. The alarmists I see are those like the bloggers on this site.

    Once the people in the discussion can concede the temperature trend is warming, and that human industry is the most likely reason for the accelerated uptick, then people can sit down and start getting serious about solutions.

    People who insist there is no warming or that it’s not their fault and we can’t change it anyway: these people have no place at the discussion. The tide (not to mention rising ocean levels) is against them.

  • Art, the Sagan-Pollack paper addressed albedo, not atmosphere. Albedo is the reflectivity of planetary surfaces and cloud cover. The money quote basically says that except for small slivers of pavement and some buildings, human beings have no effect on the Earth’s albedo. Farms pretty much equal forests. The key piece here is that Sagan was an astronomer, not a climatologist.

    Thanks for your explanation. The thing is, I know what albedo is. I read that paper 14 years ago and inspected it again last night. Sagan et al. were concerned with a number of factors which effect the earth’s albedo, most saliently the expansion of deserts, which they did attribute to anthropogenic factors. Dr. Sagan was an astronomer. He was also relentlessly topical, and the advance of deserts and global cooling were the anxieties du jour. A few years later, it was nuclear winter.

  • Thanks, Art.

    One important thing is that we need to separate the science from public policy. Scientists can bring facts, and some “relentlessly topical” scientists may decide they can suggest or promote solutions. I would say that the public policy addressing climate change will need to be carefully discerned with significant input from outside the scientific community.

    And nuclear winter, yes. I’d say that was a more likely outcome than a new ice age or melting ice caps on a few days in the 20th century.

  • Todd,

    “Once the people in the discussion can concede the temperature trend is warming, and that human industry is the most likely reason for the accelerated uptick, then people can sit down and start getting serious about solutions.”

    I will do no such thing, until the well-presented arguments of skeptical scientists are clearly and plainly, in a manner a layman such as myself can understand, are debunked. I want to see a serious engagement, a serious debate. I do not want to have a “consensus” rammed down my throat.

    You can scoff at this all you like; I don’t trust the institutions that are bringing me the “consensus.” They are human beings, not data-producing androids, with motivations and agendas, with careers and egos to protect.

    The secular environmentalists behind this movement have a vicious anti-life agenda. They are pro-abortion, pro-sterilization, and are now tying it all in with reducing carbon emissions. I’ve seen articles quoting scientists claiming that having children is bad for the planet, and the Chinese government claiming that its one-child policy has resulted in lower carbon emissions than it would have had – significantly lower.

    I don’t care how clearly the scientists see things – when the stakes are as high as they are politically, you are absolutely, completely wrong to say:

    “People who insist there is no warming or that it’s not their fault and we can’t change it anyway: these people have no place at the discussion. The tide (not to mention rising ocean levels) is against them.”

    The tide is not against them. In light of the climategate scandal, revelations of outright deceptions in Al Gore’s film, and other blunders by the global warming crowd, the skeptics have actually gained ground.

    A sound theory has nothing to fear from debate. The argument that the “science is settled” means nothing to me. How could I possibly know that? There are these people who say it isn’t, and who make convincing arguments in their own right.

    So, I mean, you can try as hard as you like to make people here feel stupid for not slobbering all over the mainstream scientists shoes as we kiss and venerate them, but its going to take a little more than ridicule from you to make the grade.

    I’ll make this offer: show me a good website or paper or something that takes on the main arguments of the skeptics from the standpoint of the mainstream, and I will diligently and happily read it.

  • Todd,

    my stalker who prefers to bring up my voting record.

    Interesting that I am the author of this article that I am now a stalker of your voting record.

    I enjoy pointing out that you are only a “self-identified” Catholic that is a Pro-Abortionist that voted for the most Pro-Abortion president in the history of America.

    Your points are pretty much mute since you’ve compromised your faith for the Democratic Party platform.

  • Joe,

    If you look, you will find plenty of material out there that addresses the skeptics point by point, as there is plenty of material that attempts to cast doubt on the idea of global warming. The question is, and I think you yourself brought this up on another post – how do we come to trust our sources?

    For me, methodology as much as content (of which I have a necessarily limited grasp) makes me tend to trust the findings of the IPCC or National Academy of Sciences for example, over some group or person that sets out with the sole purpose of trying to debunk global warming (or promote it!).

    Right off the bat, I would distinguish between scientists who have discovered flaws in the current understanding of some aspect of global warming and those who actively seek to present the strongest case against global warming. There is a big difference here, but unfortunately the two groups are confused. Scientists bring their findings under the critical review of others and try to make sense of their findings with the accumulated knowledge of their field and even beyond. Unfortunately, those with an agenda to promote or disprove the idea of global warming take specific findings out of their original context – that dialogue with the broader scientific community with its respective disciplines. That is not science.

    The IPCC on the other hand is very conservative (not necessarily always correct, btw) with its use of data. If a specific claim is in an IPCC report, you can almost guarantee that it is not simply one stand alone observation supporting it. This , in my view, puts the burden of proof on the skeptics to refute the massive case for global warming across many fields point by point. To this date, I have not seen this. Rather, you tend to get a list of what I mentioned above – random pieces of data taken out of their original context.

    That is why I will not recommend a site that takes on the augments of skeptics one by one..but rather point to one that looks at the bigger picture of what’s going on out there: http://www.realclimate.org/

  • Brian,
    The linked site doesn’t seem overly helpful. Doesn’t seem to present overwhelming evidence against what skeptics raise. Only slightly more scientific than this site:

    http://www.climategate.com/

  • Tito, you may be a blogger, but you’re still a stalker. Your last post also reveals you to be an untruthful stalker. Feh. It’s your site. You can behave however you want to I suppose.

    Joe, as long as the discussion about climate change stays informal, you’re absolutely okay taking the position you take. I have no problem with it. If, however, you expect to be part of a serious debate, your own insistence on conspiracy theories will sideline you, not to mention your unwillingness to engage the topic broadly and seriously.

    The bloggers on this site have already conceded their willingness to tackle a disputed topic (example: liberation theology) but without the requisite knowledge and background. That’s okay too. Like LT, we know that we can expect a lack of curiosity and expertise when it comes to climate issues on this site.

    If you want to e-mail me with a specific request of literature I could suggest, I’m happy to find something suitable. Last word, gents: you’ve earned it.

  • “Last word, gents: you’ve earned it.”

    Promises, promises Todd. You would be much more effective as a commenter on this site if you would contribute something more than your trademark sneer and condescension which are always a poor substitute for reasoned argument.

  • “The linked site doesn’t seem overly helpful. Doesn’t seem to present overwhelming evidence against what skeptics raise.”

    Fair enough. I have found the site helpful to keep up to speed on what’s going on in climate science right now, but it certainly won’t answer everyone’s questions. I can’t resist one more recommendation – that presents the evolution of climate science bruises and all – without getting partisan: The Discovery of Global Warming (2003) by Spencer Weart.

  • Todd,

    You are so unbelievably smug.

    I expect to be a part of serious debate – for serious debate to exist – because the political stakes are unimaginably high.

    “Like LT, we know that we can expect a lack of curiosity and expertise when it comes to climate issues on this site.”

    I see. So in Todd’s world of Newspeak, a request for literature reflects a lack of curiosity. I asked MI for literature on LT, and I asked you for literature on “climate change” – but we’re not curious. Ok.

    Why do I have to email you? Just drop a title or a link. Is that hard?

    And I do not “insist” upon conspiracy theories – I accept their reasonability, their plausibility, because of the human propensity for evil and the historical record of proven conspiracies. In the case of global warming, we have already seen scientists con-spi-ir-ing to conceal data they didn’t like, block skeptics from the debate, and even express a hope that their critics didn’t know that there was a Freedom of Information Act.

    How can you look at all that and wave it away? At what point is it more crazy not to believe that something fishy is going on than to believe that there is?

  • Exactly Brian.

  • Very well …

    “Why do I have to email you? Just drop a title or a link. Is that hard?”

    That something might be hard is irrelevant. I don’t mind putting extra effort out there for a friend or colleague–if that person is serious. Why would I bother making suggestions on one topic when you’ve pretty much dismissed input on another?

    I’d recommend the Weart book. He has a web site, and apparently a revised 2nd edition of the 2003 book I read. It’s a good place to start.

    “You are so unbelievably smug.”

    Well, I do know what I’m talking about. I had a science background before I studied theology. I still keep up with serious science reading, including climatology. I think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to science, and I think I’m on safe ground in dismissing the so-called climategate.

    You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.

    And to be serious, I can’t tell with some of you AC bloggers if you’re serious or not. You post on LT and you participate in very long threads. Same with climate. You say you’re willing to review information, but you treat a scientific discussion as if it were some kind of political event. Either global temperatures are warming faster than they should be or they’re not. Human beings contribute to all, some, or none of that. Once the determination is made that planetary climate change is a problem, the focus shifts to solutions. It seems pretty clear that the politicians are struggling with public policy solutions at this point, and scientists are back to monitoring conditions.

    Look, I’m not going to fill up your comboxes with the science of climatology. You want me to write up a “reasoned argument?” I’ll be happy to write a guest post for you.

    If you want to continue discussing with me; send an e-mail. It’s time to move on from this thread.

  • “You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.”

    So we should all be grateful that you’ve decided to lower yourselves down into the pit and commune with us lesser beings?

    Yes, I think you’re smug. I think that I couldn’t imagine a better way to completely turn people off from a cause than to have you as its spokesman. And I think you are incredibly naive if you think science is immune to politics.

    You really, honestly think you are above having to explain yourself, that it is a “waste of time”, that we should all see that, because of your “science background” we should all just shut the hell up and accept what you have to say, and be grateful for the condescending insults that accompany it.

    Please, I beg you, do not waste another second on us. You haven’t moved anyone’s mind an inch, if anything, you’ve moved people in the opposite direction. You really are wasting your time.

  • As for this:

    “I don’t mind putting extra effort out there for a friend or colleague–if that person is serious. Why would I bother making suggestions on one topic when you’ve pretty much dismissed input on another?”

    When did I do that? I’ve never dismissed input on anything.

    And really, its “extra effort” to find me one thing to read? Two minutes of your precious time? Are you serious? Please, don’t bother. We’re done.

  • You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.

    Among the doubters is Richard Lindzen of MIT. He is one of only about two dozen scholars in meteorology and climatology who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Realclimate? This Mann-Briffa-Jones outfit? You are surely kidding me.

  • Hahaha…Captain Todd strikes again…the guy who has a science background extending from embryology to climatology…

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