Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Jay Richards: what should Christians think about global warming?

Here’s a lecture Jay Richards did for the Acton Institue.

And here is a related article from Boundless.

Excerpt:

The big environmental issue nowadays is global warming. Anyone who watches or reads the news even occasionally has been told that humans are causing global warming through all the fossil fuels we’re burning. They’ve also been told that this warming process eventually will prove catastrophic if we don’t reverse course as soon as possible.

As thinking Christians and good stewards, how should we respond?

The short answer is, we should respond thoughtfully. Thoughtless stewards are rarely good stewards.

Notice that my brief summary of the global warming controversy bundled together several distinct claims. To think clearly about this issue, we have to tease apart this bundle of claims and consider each one. For each claim, there is a corresponding question we need to answer. And it’s only after answering these questions that we can be in a position to determine what, if anything, we ought to do about global warming.

Here are the four central questions:

  1. Is the earth warming?
  2. If the earth is warming, is human activity (like carbon dioxide emissions) causing it?
  3. If the earth is warming, and we’re causing it, is that bad overall?
  4. If the earth is warming, we’re causing it, and that’s bad, would any of the proposed “solutions” (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol, legislative restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions) make any difference?

It’s important for us to think carefully about how best to achieve the goals set out by the Bible. And that means undertaking a close study of how the world works and how best to affect change for the good.

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New study shows that the medieval warming extended far and wide

From the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during medieval times the whole of the planet heated up.

It then cooled down naturally and there was even a ‘mini ice age’.

A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that contrary to the ‘consensus’, the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn’t just confined to Europe.

In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica – which means that the Earth has already experience global warming without the aid of human CO2 emissions.

At present the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Europe – therefore that the warming we’re experiencing now is a man-made phenomenon.

However, Professor Lu has shown that this isn’t true – and the evidence lies with a rare mineral called ikaite, which forms in cold waters.

‘Ikaite is an icy version of limestone,’ said Lu. ‘The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature.’

It turns out the water that holds the crystal structure together – called the hydration water – traps information about temperatures present when the crystals formed.

This finding by Lu’s research team establishes, for the first time, ikaite as a reliable way to study past climate conditions.

The scientists studied ikaite crystals from sediment cores drilled off the coast of Antarctica. The sediment layers were deposited over 2,000 years.

The scientists were particularly interested in crystals found in layers deposited during the ‘Little Ice Age,’ approximately 300 to 500 years ago, and during the Medieval Warm Period before it.

Both climate events have been documented in Northern Europe, but studies have been inconclusive as to whether the conditions in Northern Europe extended to Antarctica.

Lu’s team found that in fact, they did.

What that means is that the Medieval Warming Period was not local to Northern Europe, but extended all the way to Antarctica, as well. Now you might be asking yourself “how could medieval knights riding around on horseback cause global warming? Wouldn’t they have to be driving SUVs and drilling for oil and generally do nasty capitalist things like that?” Yes, they would. But they weren’t. And so this clearly shows that the warming and cooling of the Earth has nothing whatsoever to do with CO2 emissions. Whatever will the socialists do now to trick people into voting for higher gas prices?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How good a job is Obama doing running car companies?

Investors Business Daily explains.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s electric car vision is off to a hot start. First the heavily subsidized Chevy Volt started catching fire. Then government-backed Fisker Automotive had to recall all its cars due to a fire hazard.

Late last month, Fisker, the electric car startup that is busy spending its $529 million in Department of Energy loans, announced a recall of its entire fleet of luxury Karmas because of a faulty battery that posed a fire risk.

The battery maker at fault — A123 Systems — is another Obama grantee, having gotten $380 million in taxpayer support to make advanced car batteries.

Fisker says it’s already fixed the problem, but this is just the latest in a series of troubles plaguing the new car company.

Although it once promised to be profitably churning out 1,200 cars a month by now, Fisker has so far sold only about 240 — at a price almost 14% higher than promised. And the more moderately priced electric sedan it says it will build in an abandoned Delaware plant is still nowhere to be seen.

Bad as this is, Fisker’s troubles are just a taste of the expensive and dangerous mess in store for car buyers should Obama succeed in forcing the industry to bend to his green dreams.

In May, a Chevy Volt caught fire three weeks after a government crash test of the car. In follow-up tests in November, a second Volt caught fire after a test crash, and a third began to smoke and emit sparks.

[...]Volt sales came in about 30% below GM’s forecast for 2011 — in a year when overall retail car sales beat industry analyst forecasts by almost 12% — earning the Volt third place on 24/7 Wall Street’s list of worst product flops of 2011.

And that’s despite the substantial tax break to Volt buyers and the hundreds of millions in grant money to its suppliers.

Obama is spending a lot of taxpayer money on his Solyndra-style boondoggles. Taking money away from employers and families and just throwing it in the trash. We are now officially over 100% debt-to-GDP. We are entering a Greece-style debt situation and this dingbat is throwing our money away on Peter Pan energy policies.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jay Richards asks: what should Christians believe about global warming?

From Boundless.

Excerpt:

The big environmental issue nowadays is global warming. Anyone who watches or reads the news even occasionally has been told that humans are causing global warming through all the fossil fuels we’re burning. They’ve also been told that this warming process eventually will prove catastrophic if we don’t reverse course as soon as possible.

As thinking Christians and good stewards, how should we respond?

The short answer is, we should respond thoughtfully. Thoughtless stewards are rarely good stewards.

Notice that my brief summary of the global warming controversy bundled together several distinct claims. To think clearly about this issue, we have to tease apart this bundle of claims and consider each one. For each claim, there is a corresponding question we need to answer. And it’s only after answering these questions that we can be in a position to determine what, if anything, we ought to do about global warming.

Here are the four central questions:

  1. Is the earth warming?
  2. If the earth is warming, is human activity (like carbon dioxide emissions) causing it?
  3. If the earth is warming, and we’re causing it, is that bad overall?
  4. If the earth is warming, we’re causing it, and that’s bad, would any of the proposed “solutions” (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol, legislative restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions) make any difference?

If you like this article, you download a video of a lecture on this same topic, or listen to the audio from the lecture. The lecture was delivered at the University of California, Davis.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sarah Palin crushes cap-and-trade in the Washington Post

Sarah Palin’s op-ed in the Washington Post is called “The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End”. (H/T Watts Up With That, Gateway Pundit, Stop the ACLU)

Excerpt:

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

…The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, “poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity.”

Meh. It’s merely excellent. Somewhat superlative.

Not nearly as good as Michele Bachmann could do, and Michele is conservative on vouchers and illegal immigration, unlike Sarah. See, Sarah writes about supply-side economics once in a while, but Michele gives passionate speeches about supply-side economics every day:

And Michele likes Christian apologetics more than Sarah! Sarah probably doesn’t even know who William Lane Craig is! Michele should be President, Sarah can be Secretary of Energy.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air comments on Sarah’s article:

We need to make all of this clear.  Cap-and-trade rations energy production, which means there will be less of it for a long time.  Alternatives are not ready for the kind of mass production that would allow a complete replacement of energy, and probably won’t be for decades, if ever in some cases (notably wind power, as GreenChoice showed and as T. Boone Pickens finally realized).  That means a lower standard of living that will impact America regressively, with the lowest income earners getting hit the hardest.  The drain on the economy from high energy prices means less jobs and higher retail prices for goods and services, again a regressive consequence of energy rationing.

Obama and his Utopian allies promise that government will help close the gap by offering more services to the unemployed and the poor at the expense of the “rich”.  What will that do?  It will further handicap the economy by keeping capital out of the markets.  Even worse, it will vastly expand the dependent class in America who have to go on the dole to survive.  And many of those ardent liberals will be pretty happy with that outcome, too.

We need to stop this thing. It’s good that Sarah came out against it.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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