Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

IPCC chief resigns over scandals, declares global warming “is my religion”

Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri

Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri

This is from the pro-global-warming Scientific American.

It says:

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), resigned today following accusations of sexual harassment by a former employee at the energy think tank he heads in New Delhi.

The United Nations’ climate science body, which is currently meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, will now be headed temporarily by Vice Chairman Ismail El Gizouli.

Pachauri, 74, did not travel to Nairobi this week for the IPCC meeting due to a police investigation into a complaint filed Feb. 13 by a 29-year-old employee. According to to the complaint, she accused Pachauri of sending text messages and emails since September 2013 that were inappropriate (ClimateWire, Feb. 19).

Since then, at least one other former employee has leveled similar accusations at Pachauri through Indian media.

[…]Pachauri’s term as chairman of IPCC was due to expire in October 2015. He has served as head of the panel since 2002, and in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

“For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission,” he wrote. “It is my religion and my dharma [duty].”

It’s his “religion”. That apparently means you can believe anything you want and it’s untestable, and completely divorced from evidence. This guy would make a lousy Christian if that’s his view of what religion is.

Remember when he lied about Himalayan glaciers, as the radically leftist UK Guardian reported:

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the international body which produces key reports to advise governments on climate change, today defended the use of “grey literature” which is not published in scientific journals.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come under fire after a high-profile mistake was exposed in its most recent assessment of the scale and impacts of global warming — a claim the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

The claim came from a report by charity WWF and was based on remarks made by an Indian scientist which were never published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.

Here is a reaction to the news from climate skeptic Marc Morano:

If Pachauri had any decency, he would have resigned in the wake of the Climategate scandal which broke in 2009. Climategate implicated the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists in attempting to collude and craft a narrative on global warming while allowing no dissent. Or Pachauri could have resigned when he wished skeptics would rub asbestos on their faces or conceded that the IPCC was at the ‘beck and call’ of governments. There were so many opportunities to to the right thing and fade away. But it took the proceedings of the Indian court system over the allegations of sexual harassment to finally bring Pachauri down. Things can only be looking up for the UN IPCC now that it has ridded itself of this political and ethical cancer.

Pachauri couldn’t be brought down for lying about the science, because that’s what the whole thing is about – that’s his job. He would have been fired by the UN if he had started to tell the truth about global warming nonsense.

So global warming is his religion, and guess what? This religion comes complete with witch-hunts!

Check out this article from the Daily Caller. (H/T Joshua P.)

Excerpt:

An investigation by Democratic lawmakers into the sources of funding for scientists who challenge details of the greater global warming narrative has already forced one scientist to call it quits.

University of Colorado climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has been targeted by Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking liberal on the House Natural Resources Committee, for his research challenging the claim that global warming is making weather more extreme.

This investigation, and other attacks, have forced Pielke to stop researching climate issues. He said the “incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues.”

“I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject,” Pielke wrote on his blog.

Pielke is one of seven academics under Grijalva’s investigation for allegedly taking money from the fossil fuels industry in exchange for research. Pielke says he’s never been funded by fossil fuels interests — a fact to which Grijalva already knows since Pielke disclosed as much when he testified before Congress.

[…]So what’s Pielke’s connection to all of this? Grijalva’s staff wrote that Pielke “has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on climate change and its economic impacts.” One “2013 Senate testimony featured the claim, often repeated, that it is ‘incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.’”

Why is Pielke a target? Because White House science czar John Holdren has “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke,” according to Grijalva’s letter to the University of Colorado.

“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” Pielke wrote. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony – which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the US taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren’s incorrect views).”

Holdren said Pielke’s views were “outside the mainstream.” Pielke presented evidence to the Senate that global warming is not causing weather, like hurricanes and floods, to become more frequent or extreme. Holdren, disagreed, and singled out Pielke in a six page statement saying that global warming was making the weather worse.

The main problem with Holdren’s argument is that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which Holdren himself often defers to — has said the evidence favors Pielke’s argument that weather has not gotten more extreme.

I find it ironic that John Holdren is calling Pielke “outside the mainstream”. Recall that Holdren has the bizarre view that a world police force is necessary to oversee forced abortions and compulsory sterilizations. The man’s a psychopath, in short. Exactly the kind of man who would be selected as “science czar” by Democrat Barack Obama.

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

Clinton Foundation receives millions in donations from regimes that oppress women

What difference does foreign policy make?

What difference does foreign policy make?

This is from the leftist Washington Post, of all places.

They write:

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.

Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations.

The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.

The new disclosures, provided in response to questions from The Washington Post, make clear that the 2008 agreement did not prohibit foreign countries with interests before the U.S. government from giving money to the charity closely linked to the secretary of state.

In one instance, foundation officials acknowledged they should have sought approval in 2010 from the State Department ethics office, as required by the agreement for new government donors, before accepting a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.

[…]While the foundation has disclosed foreign-government donors for years, it has not previously detailed the donations that were accepted during Clinton’s four-year stint at the State Department.

[…]Some of the donations came from countries with complicated diplomatic, military and financial relationships with the U.S. government, including Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

[…]The Washington Post reported last week that foreign sources, including governments, made up a third of those who have given the foundation more than $1 million over time. The Post found that the foundation, begun by former president Bill Clinton, has raised nearly $2 billion since its creation in 2001.

[…]Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.

[…]Foreign governments had been major donors to the foundation before President Obama nominated Clinton to become secretary of state in 2009. When the foundation released a list of its donors for the first time in 2008, as a result of the agreement with the Obama administration, it disclosed, for instance, that Saudi Arabia had given between $10 million and $25 million.

In some cases, the foundation said, governments that continued to donate while Clinton was at the State Department did so at lower levels than before her appointment.

[…]Qatar, for instance, spent more than $5.3 million on registered lobbyists while Clinton was secretary of state, according to the Sunlight Foundation.The country’s lobbyists were reported monitoring anti-terrorism activities and efforts to combat violence in Sudan’s Darfur region. Qatar has also come under criticism from some U.S. allies in the region that have accused it of supporting Hamas and other militant groups. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Now I know that Hillary Clinton says that she is very concerned about women’s rights, but then one has to wonder how well she translates those happy sounding words in her speeches into actions with these nations like Saudi Arabia. I don’t think that the women in these countries saw much help from Hillary when she was Secretary of State. Maybe a few tweets on Twitter? Twitter diplomacy? I wonder if she was quiet about the human rights abuses because of the donations she was getting. I wonder if it will work to make her President in 2016.

Filed under: News, ,

Are post-mortem visions of Jesus enough to infer the resurrection?

Lydia McGrew has written an interesting post where she argues that the minimal facts approach of Craig and Habermas is not as good as proving that the gospels are generally reliable. In particular, she says that because skeptical scholars only grant that the disciples had “experiences” of Jesus after his death, then this is not enough to infer a real bodily resurrection.

Lydia says that the only minimal fact that skeptical scholars will accept is that a variety of people had “experiences” of Jesus. Experiences of Jesus are compatible with some sort of hallucination hypothesis, except that it doesn’t explain the empty tomb. But in order to get away from the hallucination hypothesis, you have to get to a variety of experiences, from individuals to groups, friends to enemies, believers to skeptics. And that means you are going to have to use the rest of the gospels.

Here’s Lydia from the original post:

I think it is necessary to be blunt: If all that we are going to assert and seek to explain is the claim that Jesus’ disciples had some kind of visual experiences soon after his death that they took to be appearances of the risen Jesus, and if we are allowing that these experiences could, for all we know, have been fleeting, unclear, intersubjectively inaccessible (that is, invisible to anyone other than the disciples), and involving no senses other than sight, then the case for the resurrection is gravely weakened.

If one hangs onto the idea that these experiences (whatever their precise nature) came “both to individuals and groups,” and if one includes James, Jesus’ brother, among those who had an individual experience (Habermas discusses the question of whether an appearance experience on the part of James should be included as a “minimal fact”), then this will provide an interesting coincidence, and naturalistic explanations will be somewhat strained. I admit that. Why should these various people, including a former skeptic of Jesus’ ministry (his brother) have had these experiences shortly after his death, even if they may (for all we know) have been somewhat vague and visionary in nature?

But let’s be clear: The conclusion we thought we could support was that Jesus was risen from the dead. Vague, fleeting, or visionary experiences provide a weak case for that conclusion. In fact, if the minimal fact of the appearance experiences is compatible with minimal experiences, then paranormal explanations become an interesting option, which I gather is what New Testament scholar Dale Allison is exploring. Maybe there’s just “something weird” in this world that we don’t know much about that isn’t a miracle, and isn’t a resurrection, but that causes people to have brief experiences “of” a person after his death.

Eric Chabot says in the comments that when the skeptical scholars say “visions”, they don’t necessarily mean hallucinations.

He writes:

Hi Lydia,

Good post. I agree the Gospels matter. But any time I have tried to use the few points of the minimal facts material, I really have stuck with Paul. I think we can show all the scholars (both conservative and non conservative) that think the disciples had experiences. But then we need to be very detailed about what accounts for the experiences. Obviously, as you say above the visions hypothesis is the big one they punt to. But then that leads to ask what do they mean by visions. As we know, Ehrman says:

It is undisputable that some of the followers of Jesus came to think that he had been raised from the dead, and that something had to have happened to make them think so. Our earliest records are consistent on this point, and I think they provide us with the historically reliable information in one key aspect: the disciples’ belief in the resurrection was based on visionary experiences. I should stress it was visions, and nothing else, that led to the first disciples to believe in the resurrection. -Bart D. Ehrman, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (New York: Harper One, 2014), 183-184.

So here Ehrman sides with the visionary language that Crossan, Borg and Lüdemann use. The good news is that Ehrman goes onto to define what he means by “visions” of Jesus. He describes visions as something that are either “veridical” or “nonveridical.” Veridical visions means people tend to see things that are really there while nonveridical visions the opposite-what a person sees is not based any kind of external reality. It is the latter that leads to what is called the hallucination hypothesis. In other words, skeptics assert that nonveridical visions can be attributed to some sort of psychological explanation. Ehrman then punts to his agnosticism again and says he doesn’t care if the appearances can be attributed to either “veridical” or “nonveridical” visionary experiences or anything else. This is rather confusing in that Ehrman first says it is visions that can explain the resurrection appearances.

So what we see here is that when they discuss visions, they really mean ‘subjective visions’ as if they are hallucinations. I haven’t seen any exegetical arguments that visions is what they meant when the talk about the resurrection appearances. They knew the difference between the two. My experience is that no matter how much exegetical work you do to show they didn’t mean visions, they don’t care because of their metaphysical starting points.

But I discuss this in full detail here. Note the large exchange with the atheist afterwards.

Now when I was reading this, I was thinking, well, I can get away from the nonveridical visions to the veridical visions by bringing in the fourth fact that Craig uses, namely, the early proclamation of the resurrection. If the visions that people were having were not of a resurrected body, than they would not have called it “resurrection”, they would have called it exaltation, or something else. And Craig does have arguments for why he thinks that the early proclamation of the resurrection is one of his minimal facts. For one thing, no Jews thought that the Messiah was supposed to die, much less be resurrected. And the concept of resurrection was not supposed to be for an individual, but for all the righteous dead at the end of the age. So something has to be posited to explain why the earliest Christians called what happened to Jesus after he died “resurrection”. This not to even mention the work that’s been done on the word soma which clearly means body.

I think if you factor in this fourth minimal fact, along with the empty tomb, then you can get from “visions” to veridical visions – a bodily resurrection. The empty tomb requires another explanation on the hallucination hypothesis – so you have two explanations – and it doesn’t explain the early proclamation of the resurrection. The resurrection hypothesis explains the appearances, the empty tomb, and the early proclamation of the resurrection.

Filed under: Commentary, , , ,

California State University system effectively bans Christian clubs

I blogged on the stories of some of these groups when they were de-recognized for “discriminating” against non-Christians.

Now we hear from the College Fix about what happened next.

Excerpt:

This school year, CSU administrators labeled campus Christian groups that refuse to allow non-Christians to lead them “discriminatory.” As a result, Christian clubs at Cal State universities that refused to change their constitutions and check boxes saying they would allow non-Christians as leaders have been officially derecognized by their campus communities.

They’ve been scrubbed from campus websites and directories. They cannot take part in events that help campus clubs recruit new members and gain visibility. They are charged a more expensive, outsider fee to rent rooms on campus – straining their already tight coffers. They’ve lost a chance to receive a portion of student fees collected to help clubs on campuses thrive.

[…]Before Cal Poly’s Cru chapter was derecognized, student Bible study leaders normally had 10 to 20 people come to their weekly Bible Studies. More recently, only two people showed up, Cal Poly senior Courtney Shipp, a former Cru member, told The College Fix.

And Greg Jao, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s national field director, told The College Fix that Chico State’s chapter – one of the bigger InterVarsity chapters – lost 50 members due to the new policy.

[…]At Cal Poly, Cru can no longer reserve a room on campus as an organization, and must reserve rooms as an outside organization. That cost went from zero to $6,000 a year under the new policy, he said.

Josh Otto, Chico State’s Cru director, told The College Fix that the cost for them to reserve a room went from being for free for the entire year to $900 for one-time use.

[…]Leaders of Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, as well as the two other Christian clubs at San Luis Obispo that were derecognized – InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Chinese Christian Fellowship – have insisted that they couldn’t allow any non-Christians to be leaders.

“We have no issue with anybody of any kind of race, religion coming to our weekly meetings and being a part of who we are,” San Luis Obispo Missionary Leader Jamey Pappas said. “It’s a question of who’s going to be leading our students in a Bible Study, mentoring them individually, or deciding what kind of content goes into our weekly meeting, and we want people who agree with what we’re about.”

[…]At Chico, the Cru chapter used to receive $1,000 in funding from student government when they were recognized on campus. They will no longer receive that funding.

[…]“Two of my roommates are Bible Study leaders of Cru and they each have between ten and fifteen students that they are working with,” Shipp said. “Last week, Melanie Reis had no one show up to her Bible Study. Sarah Sampson only had two girls.”

[…]Making matters worse, Chico Cru also suffered a drop in attendance since they had to move their weekly meetings to a church seven blocks away from campus. Most of the losses were due to freshmen being unable to go to the meetings off-campus.

“We probably lost about 50 people,” Otto said. “We were about 160, 170 before that. Now we’re down to 120.”

Now think of this – the students have to pay the same fees to the university that are then used to fund other organizations on campus. But they don’t get the same access to the facilities. Does that seem right to you? And this is happening in 23 California State universities, according to the article. I am surprised that there hasn’t been a lawsuit yet, but it’s a bad sign to me – it makes me think that this is going to stick and even spread.

 

Filed under: News, , , ,

Barronelle Stutzman turns down deal from Washington attorney general

The attorney general offered her a lighter punishment in exchange for denying her Christian faith… and she surprised him by saying no.

Here is her full response:

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

Thank you for reaching out and making an offer to settle your case against me.

As you may imagine, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting to be at the center of this controversy for nearly two years. I never imagined that using my God-given talents and abilities, and doing what I love to do for over three decades, would become illegal. Our state would be a better place if we respected each other’s differences, and our leaders protected the freedom to have those differences. Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process. Thanks again for writing and I hope you will consider my offer.

Sincerely,

Barronelle Stutzman

The attorney general is a Democrat, of course, and Washington is a very blue state. The whole case is troubling, but it’s really troubling that Stutzman is paying Ferguson’s salary through her taxes. She is paying him to do this to her. It’s always a scary thing to me when Christians have to have their consciences trampled at the hands of a government that they pay taxes to employ. I am sorry for Barronelle. I don’t think that she should have to celebrate something she disagrees with.

If there is one thing that troubles me about her statement, it’s that she cashes out her opposition to gay marriage in purely religious terms, and I think that’s not he right approach. The right approach is to talk about how children suffer when they are denied their mother or their father or both, how same-sex marriage undermines marital norms of exclusivity and permanence, how same-sex marriage undermines religious liberty, etc. But still, it’s important that she fight this and that everyone understands how same-sex marriage changes society.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

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