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  1. Anonymous
    26 June 2014 @ 3:10 pm

    What we are not told is why it is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Water vapor constitutes 95% of greenhouse gases. How should we go about reducing that greenhouse gas, and by how much? CO2, which is what the study is referring to, constitutes about 3% of greenhouse gases. The notion that reducing CO2 produced by human activity by even one-third will significantly impact climate change (whatever that includes) is supported by much government grant-driven theory and little evidence.

    Widely accepted proxies across the geologic timescale demonstrate no pattern of correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures. In fact, CO2 is, historically speaking, at all time lows. CO2 levels have been much higher when temperatures were much lower. And in recent non-proxy dependent history, temperatures have been at least as high, and higher, when CO2 levels were lower. It is well-known, though not well-accepted, that global climate models predicting AGW have spectacularly failed over the past 25 years. Climate science is in its infancy. CO2 levels have continued to rise over the past 17 years, while global temperatures have remained flat or fallen over that time period. What makes anyone, in 2014, qualified to say what the temperature and climate should be for the entire world for all time? Climate and temperature change are facts of history, minimally impacted by human activity. Changes harmful to some populations are a boon to others. And freedom-loving, freedom-practicing humans, notwithstanding the persistence of neo-Malthusian, neo-Luddite Henny Pennys, have always demonstrated a remarkable capacity for creativity and adaptation.

    So what's wrong with the LLU researchers touting the correlation between a vegetarian diet and reduction of human produced CO2? After all, factually they are correct, even if they are deceptive in the significance they attach to CO2 as a driver of climate change. The problem is this: What we eat should primarily be a choice of free people making land use and health decisions at a local level. To the extent that scientists try to fuel their research, or infuse it with moral imperatives, by plugging into political agendas, they compromise their objectivity and independence. 

    It's great that Adventist researchers have vindicated the type of diet practiced and advocated by most Adventists. It's unfortunate when Adventist researchers try to add moral clout to their research by invoking the tropes of pagan scientism – i.e., science created and advanced to support non-theistic religious/political agendas.

    • William Noel
      26 June 2014 @ 7:00 pm

      Nathan,

      Outside the Left Coast bubble of political correctness there is major skepticism about the basic science claimed in support of the global warming theory and it seems every day that addition evidence is unveiled showing the numbers used to support it have been doctored, a new ridiculous claim is made about potential impacts, etc. 

      Yes, eating a vegetarian diet contributes to longevity.  Research at Loma Linda has been telling us that for decades.  But counting farts to support the theory of man-caused global warming?  Give me a break!  Please tell me they're still doing research on serious topics like heart disease and cancer. 

      I've learned a few things about CO2 over the past couple years that I've had a greenhouse in my back yard.  It is tiny by conrast with farm-sized operations, but I still buy supplies from the same companies that make the structures covering acres.  Guess what I got in the mail the other day from one of them?  An ad for a sale on CO2 generators!  That's right, machines to increase the CO2 level in greenhouses.  What are they used for?  To make the plants grow faster because the plants consume the CO2 and use photosynthesis to give us oxygen to breathe.  The more CO2 the plants have, the faster they grow and the more the oxygen the produce for us to breathe.  If you buy one of those beautiful baskets of flowers in bloom that are in the garden centers these days, there's a very good chance they were grown in a greenhouse with enhanced CO2 levels higher than what environmentalists complain about.

      Something else I've learned about CO2.  Greenhouses where higher CO2 levels are used must consume more energy in the winter to maintain the same temperature than an identical greenhouse without CO2 enhancement.  That's because CO2 doesn't hold-in heat, but causes it to be released more quickly.  (Shhh, Don't tell that to any of our environmentalist friends because they won't believe it.  They think CO2 holds heat closer to the earth and is driving the temperature up.)

      Now, consider the impacts from reducing the global CO2 levels.  The ratio of CO2 levels to grain production is approximately 1:1.  In other words, change the CO2 level by one percent and you change the amount of grain that grows by about one percent. How many people will starve to death if we reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the grain crops around the globe shrink by one or two percent?  What about the 15% that some environmentalists claim must be cut to save the planet?  Are we ready to suffer the large-scale starvation and economic disruption that will result because the affluent are competing for the diminishing supply?

  2. tqm144000
    26 June 2014 @ 4:13 pm

    Well this is not new. Modern science is just catching up unfortunately.

    The Spirit of Prophecy has been saying this since 1863.

  3. Elaine Nelson
    26 June 2014 @ 6:55 pm

    It's not just Adventists who tout the best and most efficient use of resources are found in vegetarian diets.  It is public knowledge, widely disseminated, that 1 lb. of beef requires enormous amounts of water and food (grain, usually) than 1 lb. of edible plants.  If only to conseve the earth's resources, plants are the best food for humans, along with oily fish.  

  4. tqm144000
    26 June 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    @Elaine That is true – (minus the fish). My point was that Adventists have been saying this for over 150 years when the concept is only becoming mainstream now.

    The SOP is increasingly being affirmed by science today when its stipulations were considered quackery by the health establishment of the day in which they were written. Such unasailable evidence for the truthfulness of the SOP is unwelcome to some who claim to be Adventists. But notwithstanding this the facts stand as they are.

  5. Anonymous
    27 June 2014 @ 4:20 pm

    Apparently, my colleague Nate, a highly intelligent, distinguished member of the legal profession, has now become a specialist in the science behind climate change research. In his acquisition and expression of his newly-acquired expertise, he has also outdone himself in, for example, his definition of “pagan scientism”!  And what is “pagan scientism”?  According to Nate it is “science created and advanced to support non-theistic religious/political agendas.”  Climate change science is “pagan scientism?”  Wow!  

    Let’s see if we can employ a little rationality and current scientific data to shed some light on Nate’s diatribe. I know that this will be hard for Nate, since he knows that he has the “Truth” about climate change and the role of CO2 emissions in it.  We can only speculate from where he is getting his misinformation.

    I’m not an expert on climate change science.  Fortunately, I have several colleagues who are and have published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals on carbon cycle and climate studies.  (I know, I know, Nate would probably dismiss such information as coming from “pagan scientism.” (Is this the same as “Science, so called?”)  But the rest of us are a little less philosophically committed to a particular type of ideology and so can appreciate what the current scientific evidence can tell us about some of the causes of climate change.

    I should preface my comments about his ideological rant with congratulations about one of his statements.  He did note that much research on climate change involves the study of the climate proxies which can document changes over the last several hundreds of thousands of years with some precision and the last few million years with less precision.  At least Nate accepts the reality of that time frame in the study of history of earth’s climate.  

    But let us consider several of Nate’s statements to evaluate their degree of factuality.  I read several of them to a colleague to his great amusement as to how anyone could get things so backward. For example, Nate stated that: “Widely accepted proxies across the geologic timescale demonstrate no pattern of correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures.” This turns out to be totally counter factual statement, i.e., completely wrong.  There is a clear correlation with high confidence intervals between CO2 levels and global temperatures at least over the last two glacial cycles, i.e., over the last 200,000 years or so.  One wonders how Nate could be so wrong in his assertion. It was suggested that perhaps his source is an article in the National Inquirer.  That might explain it.

    Another one of Nate gems is: “The notion that reducing CO2 produced by human activity by even one-third will significantly impact climate change is driven by much government grant-driven theory and little evidence.”  Driven by “government grant-driven theory”?  What might that be?   The National Science Foundation is a Federal government agency that funds basic U.S. science.  The National Institutes of Health includes a number of Federal government agencies that fund U.S. biomedical science. 

    And, where did Nate get the idea that there “little evidence” about the role of greenhouse gases on climate?  It can’t be from the hundreds of papers in a variety of scientific journals published on this topic. 

    Fnally, Nate says: “[F]reedom-loving, freedom-practicing humans, notwithstanding the persistence of neo-Malthusian, neo-Luddite Henny Pennys, have always demonstrated a remarkable capacity for creativity and adaptation.   “Freedom-loving: freedom-practicing humans.” Who might these be?  These are probably people who share Nate’s libertarian political philosophy who were against the establishment of the Social Security System, Anti-poverty programs, and civil rights legislation.  But I digress.

    What might be one take-away message?  When ideology trumps scientific evidence, all kinds of counter factual statements become the norm, especially in the hands of someone with rhetorical writing skills.  Regretfully, Adventists already know about where religious ideology trumps scientific evidence when it comes to the age of life on our planet and the reality that there was a recent worldwide flood. Regretfully, Nate adds another example.

     

     

     

    • Jim Hamstra
      27 June 2014 @ 4:44 pm

      Until someone can show me where in the Bible it says that everything material was created 6,000 years ago, I see no contradiction between studying the history and mechanisms of climate change, and belief in God as the Creator. 

      In the Reagan administration James Watt, a Christian fundamentalist, served for a time as Interior Secretary.  Once he answered a question regarding his responsiblity for stewardship of God's creation with his enviornmental policies, by stating that he believed Jesus was coming back soon so he did not worry about taking care of the planet.

      I immediately thought of the verse in Revelation 11 where it says that God is coming to destroy those who destroy the earth.  I know that theologians limit the application of this verse to the spiritual realm.  However as an Adventist I take a holistic aproach to these questions.  The same God who is my Creator is also my Redeemer.  I have a hard time imagining saying to God – I hope you do not mind that I trashed your creation while I was waiting for you to come and save me, and that I used Your bounteous blessings to gratify myself rather than to bless others.

      I have previously written to both Nathan and Earl that the Bible is hardly the Libertarian manifesto they seem to find there.  It is chick-full of notions of stewardship, responsibility to God and our fellows, loyalty to goverments, etc etc.  Arguably a very "socialist" agenda.

      That is quite a mouthful coming from someone (namely me) who has voted for my fair share of Libertarians in both local and national elections 8-).

      • William Noel
        27 June 2014 @ 11:54 pm

        You and I have some different memories of James Watt.  I remember when the environmentalists who were vehemently opposed to sustainable timber harvesting in the American West too umbrage to a statement he made about God having given people dominion over the earth and expecting us to manage it.  He wanted to require the immediate replanting of trees in harvested areas so the forest would regrow.  The environmentalists would have none of it and went ballistic.  But they embraced what he proposed after he was gone.

        • Jim Hamstra
          30 June 2014 @ 4:48 am

          Sorry William, I did not intend to slight your libertarian views.  I do happen to believe in sustainable yield.  But I heard the James Watt sound bite with my own ears.

          • William Noel
            30 June 2014 @ 8:51 am

            Jim,

            We're not disagreeing.  James Watt said a lot of things and people said a lot of things about James Watt.  He was one of those rare people in a public role who seem to have the ability to become a lightning rod for everybody to attack.  

    • William Noel
      30 June 2014 @ 8:48 am

      Erv,

      Ideologues love to say the evidence is conclusive, the issue is settled and all reasonable, thinking adults agree that it is whatever way they are stating.  So they shout everybody else down and tell them to go away because they are just plain wrong. 

      Except that's what we've been hearing for years from the folks teaching about man-caused Global Warming.  Are they willing to consider apparently conflicting evidence?  No! 

      I happen to have a professional acquaintance who is a professor of atmospheric science at a university closely connected with NASA and who has worked on a number of research projects for NASA dealing with the observation of weather and collection of weather data.  According to him, global temperature data collected by NASA satellites from the first one launched to today shows NO GLOBAL TEMPERATURE RISE. 

      As for those folks at the National Science Foundation, they're not perfect.  Some years back when the polar bear became the poster critter for global warming they claimed that the population of the polar bear was declining.  So they funded researchers to go out and count them.  What did they find?  Their population is not declining, but growing.  Large numbers of them are not drowning because they are having to swim farther across open water because they are very good long-distance swimmers.  Then, just this last week, they were forced to admit that their starting estimate of polar bear populations were just a guess because nobody had done a census! 

      Then there are those good, reputable folks over at the National Weather Service.  (Where else could someone be wrong more than half the time and still get a pay raise?)  Again this past week, it was revealed that they had gone back and changed the temperature records to show a recent year as the hottest in their records when the actual hottest year on record in the US was 1937 and temperatures have been declining ever since.  Turns out they changed the records to match their computer modeling used to support the teaching about global warming.  That was discovered when independent researchers compared the historic, hard-copy records to what was posted on the NWS website. 

      Then there is my co-worker who used to be a senior researcher at the National Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  She quit because of political correctness in their policy, specifically the pressure from the Obama Administration to stir-up public panic by claiming that minor disease outbreaks were the start of epidemics and pandemics. 

      Yes, you have to trust those folks at those reputable foundations and institutions where scientists needing employment meet public funding provided and overseen by politicians with agendas.  We have to trust them to be political in the pursuit of their agendas instead of truth.

      • Edwin A. Schwisow
        30 June 2014 @ 3:29 pm

        As I think back in history to the Adventist proclamation of cataclysmic global catastrophe by fire at the return of Jesus, I am reminded that a "false scare" isn't always such a bad thing. I'm not here to compare William Miller with Al Gore, but Brother Miller turning out to be "on to something" if only perhaps too early, too soon. I cannot predict the future, but I believe there are indeed "fundamental facts" floating around conspicuously in the global-warming scenario on the collapsing ice caps of Greenland, in the newly melted waters of the Arctic. There is great reason to study this matter deeply…. This isn't just the latest Clive Cussler novel…. I applaud those who take its study seriously and honestly, such as Loma Linda University….

        • William Noel
          30 June 2014 @ 4:37 pm

          If all you read is the stories found in the main news outlets you could easily believe in global warming.  But there is too much being reported to not consider the claims with a significant amount of skepticism.  For example, you mentioned the "newly melted waters of the Arctic."  Well, this past winter the arctic ice cap expanded by some 2 MILLION square miles to cover the greatest total area on record.  You can download NASA photos of it.  If you ever watch the Discovery Channel Series "Deadliest Catch" you can find that those crab fishermen in the Bering Sea were blocked by sea ice farther south than anyone in the fleet could remember.

          Yes, there are changes taking place on the Greenland ice cap.  Records from the ancient Vikings tell of them growing crops in areas now covered by ice. 

          New stories have told of record-sized icebergs breaking off from the antarctic ice sheet.  What the don't tell you is that the antarctic ice sheet is the largest and thickest since explorers first set foot on the continent and those breakoffs are in areas that a few years ago were open water.

          There is plenty of noise being made about the drought in the Western part of the US being "proof" of global warming.  Wrong!  Meteorologist and weather historian Joe Bastardi is quick to point out that there have been at least two prior droughts that were similar or more severe since settlers first reached California.  It's all cyclic.  The weather patterns in the northern hemisphere are pushed eastward by the prevailing westerly winds and in the in the southern hemisphere they move in the opposite direction.  Depending on where you live, if you want to see what the weather will be like next year, just look back 50-70 years in weather history. 

          Yes, the weather wherever you does change from year to year, but it's a long-term cycling that is driven by forces far larger and more powerful than anything man does.

          By the way, do you know what puts the largest amount of CO2 into the atmosphere?  An amount more than 20 times greater in a single month than the total annual man-produced CO2 volume? Volcanoes. A few weeks ago one of the many volcanoes in Indonesia started a new eruption and was estimated to be pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere in a day than the combined production from India and China combined.  Yet some people want you to believe we're still the problem.

  6. Anonymous
    27 June 2014 @ 6:19 pm

    Actually, Jim, I don't see the Bible at all as a libertarian manifesto. I see it as a Kingdom manifesto. To the extent that it prescribes rules for theocratic societies on earth, it contains far more about duties and obligations than rights and entitlements – duties and obligations that challenge all of us, regardless of our political leanings. It really doesn't tell us very much at all about what values or policies we should advocate or legislate in a constitutional republican democracy. What it clearly does tell us, at least in my view, is that Kingdom living is not about laws, rules, and regulations, but about covenant relationships in surrendered obedience to Christ. 

    Stewardship, patriotism, responsibility to God and fellow man – socialist agendas??? Wow! Only if you decide that educated elites in society should form a political class to legislatively define what those mean and use police powers to enforce their will. I don't think you'll find too many socialist regimes that tout responsibility to God. Virtually all socialists I know of would see that as an egregious violation of church/state separation.

    Erv, I choose not to respond to your counter-rant because you did not refute a single point I made. Do you dispute that, on the geologic timescale of tens and hundreds of millions of years, CO2 levels are near all time lows? Do you dispute that on that timescale temperatures have been relatively much lower when CO2 levels were much higher? Do you dispute that in recent non-proxy dependent history temperatures have been at least as high or higher with minimal anthropogenic CO2? Do you dispute that CO2 levels have risen over the past 17 years, while temperatures have remained stable or decreased? Do you dispute that the climate models have failed miserably when it comes to predicting temperature increases, natural catastrophies, etc.? Those were my points. You have lampooned and personally insulted me for points that I did not make with assertions that I did not address, all the while not reponding to a single point that I made. You are truly amazing!

    You come across as such a fundamentalist. In predictable, Pavlovian style, you resort to attacking, ridiculing, and denigrating the person you disagree with as being unqualified and uninformed. Then, admitting that you are no more informed, you go to secondary sources who reach back a mere 200,000 years for proof texts, a blink in the geologic time scale. You build an argument with the fragmentary reasoning of your esteemed "colleagues," as if knowing them and having spoken with them infuses your opinions with more authority and credibility than mine.

    The overwhelming fact that you and your colleagues are having a hard time accepting is that the recent reality of stable temperatures in the face of rising CO2 levels is an inconvenient truth. The response must be either confession – "We were wildly wrong in our predictions of what the climate would do over the past nearly two decades; therefore we are going to move forward with greater caution and a higher degree of uncertainty" – or contempt, ridicule and angry denunciation toward those who dare point out the reality that the scientific establishment has no clothes when it triumphantly mounts the steed of climate change. You have obviously opted for the latter. If you were willing to honestly look at all evidence on both sides of the debate, I think you would be more open, as is Chris Barrett (cb25), to the probability that catastrophic AGW theory is right now, scientifically speaking, only slightly more plausible than catastrophic global flood theory.

  7. Truth Seeker
    30 June 2014 @ 2:28 am

    Climate may be changing in some areas but many scientists believe that any such change is cyclic and not infuenced by man made activities. I tend to believe they are correct.
    Pollution of our air and water is largely man made and efforts should be made to mitigate it.
    Marnatha

  8. Edwin A. Schwisow
    30 June 2014 @ 4:22 am

    During my high school and college years, a great deal of skepticism about the believability of the academic world in the US became fashionable, in large part because eminent academics were said to be behind the prosecution of the miserably untenable Vietnam war. Though we young people were signing up in droves to attend college, we had serious reservations about the honesty and reliability of the intellectual and highly educated corporate community, and we felt ourselves listing a bit to the right, in the manner of good old populists of old. I voted for Richard Nixon; my good Republican friend voted for George McGovern, as a protest against Nixon's Watergate adventures.

    I think that reservation about the veracity of the intellectual community remains, and may be re-emerging. Having lived in various parts of the world, noting temperatures well-risen in mission areas of the world where we lived and the recent emerging of diseases long dormant because of formerly colder temperatures in various regions, I am convinced that temperatures rose a great deal during the 1990s and are on a short maintenance program with fairly stable temperatures for a few years because of astrophysical factors, but ww'll soon again feel the full force of renewed warming toward end of this decade. Anybody want to buy some waterfront land on the Oregon Coast?

    As a Christian I share these convictions with others and live an environmentally friendly life, and enjoy in this state a fairly uniform congenial environment that believes with me that we are facing a crisis, but that not a great deal can be done globally until things really heat up and the tides begin to rise precipitously. Human society seems slow to respond to latent problems; but they often over-react when those problems begin to show up mixed with salt water in their own back yards.

    • Anonymous
      30 June 2014 @ 4:22 pm

      Ed –

      Your history is fascinating. Watergate did not become "Nixon's Watergate" until well after the 1972 election. I do not believe that your friend was really a philosophical Republican if he voted for McGovern in 1972. Now if you told me he had a low draft number, and was afraid of being drafted under a Nixon administration, THAT I would believe.

      All wars are miserable. Whether a war is "miserably untenable" – i.e., unwinnable – depends largely on how it is prosecuted. Would the Korean conflict have been miserably untenable if it had been waged on television, narrated by Walter Cronkite? And how miserably tenable was our vacation of Vietnam to the millions of Cambodians slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge? Or the South Vietnamese people murdered and imprisoned by North Vietnam after Congress so cruelly refused to provide funding for the South Vietnamese people to even defend themselves after we left? Or the Vietnamese Boat people who risked their lives to escape the "peace" we left them? Peace feels very different to those who get to go home to a warm hearth, jobs, and political liberty than for those who are left to the peaceful clutches of tyranny.

      I am astonished that you seem to feel that the '60's movement was a reaction against academia, and even more surprised that you think academia was behind the prosecution of the Vietnam War. It is too obviously ridiculous – and off topic – to merit careful analysis. Suffice it say that even at Union College in the mid to late '60's, most of my professors were opposed to the Vietnam War. And the '60's movement was a rebellion against the structures of authority in general – not academia per se.

      You got off topic, Ed, because you erroneously conflated academia with science. Both get into trouble when they become elitist, and presume to have greater moral insight than past generations, or than the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory. In the '70's, scientists were prophesying the advent of a new ice age. They were facilitating the deaths of millions in Africa through DDT bans. They were warning of population explosion and depletion of natural resources. Remember the famous Simon-Ehrlich wager? They were not wrong about science. They were wrong about the inferences they drew and the moral agendas they pursued in the name of science.

      Why weren't "astrophysical factors" that you blame for the failure of science prophecies anticipated by the modelers? How long have they been present, and how do you know they won't continue? Do you think solar physics might be a factor? What about water vapor and clouds, factors that are poorly understood primary drivers of climate? Your reasoning sounds decidedly non-science. Your reasoning is something like that of the ancient Aztecs: "We've seen evidence of drought and crop failures recently since we've cut down on sacrifices to the weather gods. Time to repent, and go back to placating the gods. Put another virgin on the altar."

      There are always unintended adverse consequences to our most well-intended, apparently reasonable actions. The same is no less true of big government solutions. The problem is that when solutions are imposed on a grand scale, with limited foresight, powerful, wealthy individuals seem to develop a vested interest in those solutions, and an intractable opposition to abandoning failure. It is through the efforts of free, competitive entrepreneurial activity, which usually fails, that the best solutions emerge, and the worst outcomes are abandoned. The free market, and intermediary institutions do a much better job of experimentally finding solutions and abandoning failure than does big government.