Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Global Warming - An Inconvenient Truth?

I went to see the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" last week, and found it quite stimulating and challenging. Al Gore's film about Global Warming talks about how the climate is having crisis, and the environment is being destroyed. All the things that go into our air from our cars & machines cause CO2 emmissions. Therefore record highs, record droughts, record floods, storms, and melting polarice caps result.

According to Gore, the USA is presently ruled by people who would rather serve monied interests than the people. He said that we have entered a period of consequences, if we don't do something about it, the environment of our next generations will be totally destroyed.

What do you think about this issue?

11 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Personally, I am a little sceptical about global warming and attempts to solve it. There are a huge amount of complex scientific calculations involved in it all.

There are a lot of vested interests in the climate change lobby too. The more they present it as a problem, the more funding their organasations can get and the higher their salaries.

And as for Al Gore, has he not got any reasons to dislike the current US adminsistration?

I think we have to keep a level head about this issue.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Anonymous said...

Matthew, have you seen the movie?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am afraid I have not. But I doubt it gives a very balanced perspective on the whole thing.

There are enough people panicking about global warming without me getting worried as well.

God Bless

Matthew

fletch said...

Hi Matthew,

I just wanted to say that you offer a lone voice in the wilderness here. :-) Few people are willing to speak up and say that. The scientific data that is being used is VERY similar to the data that was used a few decades back to predict another ice age....HMMMM..... And as for the popular catch cry of "If we wait until data is conclusive, it'll be too late!" ... well, it is too bad Chicken Little didn't think of THAT one!

I am not a scientist, and I don't know how to read the data....but then again I doubt that Al Gore could either. Good advice you gave there....keep a level head...

See ya,

Greg

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Greg.

Kc said...

You guys should have more respect for the man that invented the Internet! ;-)

Okay, sorry for the disrespectful joke. I seem to be able to resist everything but temptation!

Aarrrgh! I can’t stop!

All kidding aside, I think we should be good stewards of all that God has given us for the sake of our testimony but we can surely trust in His continued providence and the earth will last as long as He pleases.

Oh, and Hi sis! Been missing you! ;-)

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Matthew & Greg, I think keeping a level head is a good advice, but I also believe that we are stewards of God's creation, and need to be aware of issue like this one and what effects global warming can have for our environment. I must admit I have learned a lot more about the issue since watching Gore's movie, and have committed to taking certain actions to reduce the effects of CO2 emmissions at home. Most emissions from homes are from the fossil fuels burned to generate electricity and heat. By using energy more efficiently at home, we can reduce our emissions and lower our energy bills by more than 30%.

In addition, since agriculture is responsible for about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, we can reduce our emissions simply by watching what you eat.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Energy efficency is definitely a good idea.

You are absolutely right about being stewards, Kitty. That means being wise about how we use resources.

The majority of carbon emissions are mechanical in origin. To make a significant reduction in these emissions would cost billions of dollars.

If we were to spend that money, as wise stewards we have to be certain that it will actually make a difference that would be beneficial. Otherwise, the money would be better spent on other things such as healthcare in the Third World, for instance.

This calls for careful calculation. At present it is not certain that there is sufficent evidence to make it advisable to make the kind of carbon reductions that the environmental lobby is calling for. Calculating the effects of carbon emissions is extremely complicated.

It is a balancing act. If we do nothing, we may have to pay a lot later. But if we spend too much trying to reduce emissions and little changes, then we will have waste huge amounts of money.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Energy efficency is definitely a good idea.

You are absolutely right about being stewards, Kitty. That means being wise about how we use resources.

The majority of carbon emissions are mechanical in origin. To make a significant reduction in these emissions would cost billions of dollars.

If we were to spend that money, as wise stewards we have to be certain that it will actually make a difference that would be beneficial. Otherwise, the money would be better spent on other things such as healthcare in the Third World, for instance.

This calls for careful calculation. At present it is not certain that there is sufficent evidence to make it advisable to make the kind of carbon reductions that the environmental lobby is calling for. Calculating the effects of carbon emissions is extremely complicated.

It is a balancing act. If we do nothing, we may have to pay a lot later. But if we spend too much trying to reduce emissions and little changes, then we will have waste huge amounts of money.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

m said...

Well, may I just add, there are certainly reasons to be skeptical. We'd all be fools if we weren't. In fact, using our brains to think and be skeptical; to weigh up the pieces of information that we aquire, could, I reckon, be described as a kind of stewardship of our God-given minds.
I suppose thats one reason why I went along to see Gore's movie. I wanted to hear it from Gore; to hear for myself what his/the arguments are and to see the extent to which he backs it up with science.
To be honest, before seeing the movie, I thought it would be another anti-Bush documentary that predictably hurls up another heap of Marxist angst towards the big, capitalist governments and their allies with big captitalist multinational companies.
Well, yes, there was a bit of this (which is good because I actually don't mind this kind of 'skepticism'). But to my surprise, despite the well known and generous contributions to CO2 emission made by big oil companies, and, the 2 remaining governments that forgot to sign Kioto, the usual blame makes way for a very positivist call to action from everyone. This is quite different. And it was a different experience to leave the movie having had our own responsibilities questioned rather than of simply pointing the finger and feeling hopeless and angry for it.
In the opening lines of the movie, Al Gore re-shifts the global warming 'debate' from a political to a moral issue. Like we know, turning something into a moral issue has huge effects. This could be seen as dirty tactics, for example, like Bush's election and re-election; pulling the votes of the right-wing, gay-'loving' conservatives (and whatever else may have taken place). Maybe Gore, here, the once next-President, saw first hand the power of a moral issue over a political one? Yet, maybe he saw a reason compelling enough to warrant the introduction of morals, and, evidently, risk being branded by its manipulating association? Maybe he saw year after year of an increasing problem; one that through strictly political means was getting acutely worse? Maybe he saw this growing problem with massive consequences already having an impact? Maybe he saw the increasing global implications being backed up scientifically as he went about reaping the data? These are all questions I've had to ask myself. And after some consideration, I've come to believe that Gore's moral claim is either a very silly move, or, a very intelligent and calculated strategy to help change an undeniable situation.
As a person who endeavours to follow Christ and his teachings, its easy to see that I should not just not abuse God's creation, but be active in caring for it. This kind of stewardship is simple, but I can't avoid that it is also moral. If I contribute in any way to devalue the earth so that it is less inhabitable for future generations, I am neglecting- no, shitting all over people who God loves. Its not very Christian is it. I'm sure in any sense of Christian accountability, It would be only responsible for me to investigate what good stewardship of the earth is.
But I'm also human. When someone says that I have to give up something for someone else, my first response is 'Why?'. Of course, there is every reason to be skeptical. God did give us minds: perhaps even to prevent us from doing costly things from the heart. Maybe skepticism is avoiding being spoon-fed from all angles. Maybe it is considering what people have to say, for example, like going to a movie before critizising it? Maybe a healthy skepticism is in the reasoning to pause and weigh up the 'balance', the 'belief', to 'count the cost' of taking an idea and putting it to action? Or, maybe skepticism is an excuse for all humans; a name we put on not wanting to change our pre-disposed beliefs? Maybe skepticism operates as a funny kind of self-preservation, set up- that is, against an incoming idea which is always costly?
Given the fact that Gore has taken up the task to educate people about global warming, as well as give practical ways to offset CO2 emissions, I reckon he would be pretty aware of skeptics who can't quite see the limitations of their own vision. Perhaps a simplified presentation of the 'complex' facts, is then the work of a real and very necessary mover and shaker?
On this note, I found it interesting that in the educational material on www.climatecrisis.net, it includes the opposing arguments right along side the arguments confirming the global warming crisis. If there are clear and sweeping vested interests from Gore's point of view, for his website, he obviously forgot to delete these. However, if we are allowed to enter into real discussion about human/vested interests, I'd like to propose we all do some research and talk not about a debate, but about global warming and self-preservation. I would hope that this topic at least allows for a basic and undisclosed humanistic responsibility alongside our 'Christian' ones.
To end this comment- sure, it came from a thought about skepticism. But its refined extension: level-headedness, is easy to claim. Can I ask what the default for level-headedness looks like. My guess is that is looks just like what it looked like ten years ago.

I'd like to propose one more question coming from one of our most direct understandings of stewardship. It's a parable- we all know it: So what did 'the master' find? Maybe I remember it wrong but wasn't there a servant who said "I was being level-headed"?

m

Kitty Cheng said...

m, very well balanced and wise thoughts! Thank you for your contribution brother ;)