Southern Baptists Go Green

Jonathan Merritt, an M.Div. student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has spearheaded an effort to raise the awareness of Southern Baptists concerning global climate change. The name of the effort is the “Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initiative” (SBECI). The website for the effort has a declaration outlining SBECI’s beliefs about climate change and how Southern Baptists should respond to it. Several prominent Southern Baptist leaders have signed on to endorse the declaration, including two former SBC Presidents.

As you might imagine, the effort has sparked some controversy among Southern Baptists. For instance, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, led by Dr. Richard Land, did not sign-on to endorse. Last week, the Baptist Press ran a series of stories clarifying that SBECI does not speak in behalf of the entire denomination (see here, here, here, and here).

Nevertheless, the effort has gotten a significant amount of media attention, including a story in the New York Times. Last week, Al Mohler interviewed Merritt about the initiative and the controversy. You can listen to it below.

[audio:http://www.sbts.edu/MP3/totl/2008/AMP_03_11_2008.mp3]

NPR also had a brief story including statements from SBC President Frank Page and former President James Merritt: “Climate Change Prompts Debate among Baptists.”

49 Responses to Southern Baptists Go Green

  1. Geoff Baggett March 17, 2008 at 6:52 am #

    This “declaration” is a step too far … an embracing of anthropocentric climate change. That is simply a leap that many of us are not willing to make. There are many folk who claim that this “declaration” is simply a call to greater stewardship of the environment. I think they need to pay more careful attention to the text.

    Good intentions, but not-so-good execution.

    I wrote a couple of responses here and here.

  2. John March 17, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    I just wish someone would tell Richard Land that he doesn’t speak for the entire denomination either!

  3. Jason March 17, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    I think we’re called to subdue the earth, not respect it.

  4. Denny Burk March 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    Okay, fellas. I’m trying to suck out the poison from these comments. I’m hereby declaring a moratorium on the following:

    1. Name-calling
    2. Biting sarcasm
    3. General incivility

    I know those standards may sound subjective, but I’m going to try to have some nevertheless. So play nice, or I’m going to icksnay your omments-cay!

  5. Denny Burk March 17, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    I will not necessarily delete comments for displaying the following characteristics:

    1. Disagreement with me
    2. Disagreement with another commenter
    3. Spirited rhetorical flourishes
    4. Good-humored ribbing of me or another commenter
    5. Serious tone
    6. Illogic

    And maybe a some other things that I can’t think of right now.

  6. Trent G. March 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Just for the record, I apologize to Denny and to other(s) (you know who you are) for stepping over the line. If I have offended you I do sincerely apologize and ask your forgiveness. Thanks Denny, I probably needed that.

  7. Paul March 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    Denny,

    sorry for my part in the poison making.

    Now, back to the debate…

    Jason,

    subduing the earth and respecting the earth aren’t as far apart as you’d think.

    If I’m supposed to subdue you, that means that I’m supposed to make sure you can’t hurt me. It doesn’t by a long shot mean that I’m supposed to keep punching you in the face until all of your teeth fall out.

    My fear is that BP/Exxon and many others are actively working towards punching the earth until its teeth fall out. And in that regard there should be a little respect paid towards God’s creation.

  8. Darius March 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    Just so we’re clear, “useful idiots” is a reference to a term (usually attributed to Lenin) that referred to Soviet sympathizers in the West who, through either ignorance or willful blindness, enabled and supported the Soviet cause. Similarly, there are such people today in the Christian community who are enabling the evil spread of global warming hysteria. I meant no offense to any commenter on here, and apologize if I did offend anyone.

  9. Mason Beecroft March 17, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    Now I know what happened to some of my posts on other discussions! I thought I made a computer error, but it was my wicked, sinful heart. Well, at least I can find comfort in the fact that I know computer basics. Man, sometimes you just have to think positive.

    I won’t get started on this issue. It is just so now and I am not.
    +Mason

  10. Paul March 18, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    “evil spread of global warming hysteria?”

    come on, dude.

    Just because you don’t share someone’s view on a particular subject is no reason to mock them for not agreeing with you.

  11. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Paul, it may sound like hyperbole, but considering the dreadful effects on the world (especially the third world) that policies like the Kyoto Protocol will have if implemented, and it’s not so hyperbolic. As Lomborg’s book “Cool It” lays out, if we go down this road, hundreds of thousands of people will die needlessly. As he points out, it’s actually BETTER for this world to warm up a degree or two.

  12. D. Taylor Benton March 18, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    I’m not going to get much into this conversation but the only thing I have to say is that when the head of the Weather Channel and NOAA says that Gore should be sued for his rhetoric about global warming….that sends up red flags to me. also given the fact in the early 80’s these same type of folks were talking about the imminent global “cool down” its hard for me to take them seriously.

    I’ll do my part and not litter and use recycled products, use those new more expensive (and actually more harmful to the environment) Fluorescent light bulbs and let the media fight this out because as far as I’m concerned, there just isn’t enough outright evidence to prove the whole theory of Global warming. statistics on a global scale can be deceiving when you start comparing them because in any type of research you can only have so many variables and still be accurate. I think in this situation there are simply too many variables to truly analyze and determine if this is really happening or not.

    in the end God is Sovereign, he created it, ill live in it, I’ll let him determine what happens to it.

    If this theory does turn out to hold some water, God knew this long before we did so I’m not too worried about it. do you part and trust the Lord…

  13. Darius March 18, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Great comment, D. Taylor!

  14. Bryan L March 18, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    The problem I have is that I am not a scientist and so don’t feel adequately informed or knowledgeable to go against something that seems like a consensus view.

    Even if I read a book like “Cool It” I know there are probably plenty of other books or journal articles that counter the claims in “Cool It”. Even if 200 scientists get together at a conferences I know there are probably a 1,000 more getting together at another conference down the road saying just the opposite.

    So for someone like me it’s hard to know where to come down in this discussion. Is it better to err on the side of caution? Perhaps. Maybe not considering the potential harmful effects.

    But honestly I’m not gonna come on here and act like I’m really charged up about the environment and that I do all I can to help save the planet. I don’t. I live much like the average American when it comes to the environment.

    But I do know that little steps we all make can make a big difference and hopefully each one of us will start making those little steps.

    D. Taylor Benton,
    I am a little concerned about your last comment. This idea that we’ll continue to do whatever we do living the way we do on this earth and let God worry about it because he’s sovereign and he’ll determine what happens to it is not that wise nor biblical. And it doesn’t get us off the hook if we destroy this planet which he gave us to take care of. Maybe I misunderstood what you were getting at and if that’s so please clarify what you meant. But I think it’s pretty clear biblically that God will hold us responsible for what we do with the things he gave us and not just chalk it up to what he determined to happen.

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

  15. Darius March 18, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    Bryan, this isn’t an issue on which we have to commit intellectual hari-kari because we’re not scientists. Just look at the evidence and facts. The earth’s temp has stayed steady since 2000 (though the media won’t tell you that), and this past January was one of the coldest in decades throughout most of the world. Some of the PREMIER scientists throughout the world are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or of the ill effects that it could bring. Skepticism used to be the hallmark of science, now it appears to be a badge of shame. The rhetoric from Al Gore and his scientists is in itself proof that they don’t have there facts straight. After all, if they were right, why would they avoid all opportunities to debate the issue?

    “Cool It” actually doesn’t deny AGW (though I do), but that makes it even the more credible. Bjorn Lomborg is a world-renowned economist who has studied the economic effects of programs like the Kyoto Protocol and found them to be disastrous. Furthermore, as Lomborg points out in his book, some warming would actually SAVE lives (since winter months will warm more than summer months, thus lowering cold-related deaths).

  16. John Mark Inman March 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/

    To veterans of the Climate Wars, the old 1970s global cooling canard – “How can we believe climate scientists about global warming today when back in the 1970s they told us an ice age was imminent?” – must seem like a never-ending game of Whack-a-mole.

  17. Scott March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm #

    I follow Brian L. in that I find it difficult to wade through this issue with any sense of sanity or insight, because I have to rely so heavily on data that is entirely second-hand. Nevertheless, I can at least speak to some of the comments made here.

    First, with regard to Al Gore, and I can’t speak for the man personally, but I find his activism and the commitment to his cause rather breathtaking. Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, the simple fact is that he believes we are facing a crisis, and he is taking rather radical, personal steps to address his belief. If only more of us would more often meld belief with action.

    And, by the way, the arguments about his so-called hypocrisy are rather silly. If I say that we need to develop new ways of cutting grass, but I use a lawnmower until that new technology emerges, am I really a hypocrite? Gore is making the case for global, systematic change. The call for personal energy asceticism is more about changing our perspective on energy, and less about actually putting a dent in carbon emissions. The real change will only come with a global re-imagination of how we produce and use energy.

    Second, the references to global cooling is also a poor argument. Just because science was wrong at one point doesn’t mean it’s always going to be wrong. Even though physicians used to practice bloodletting doesn’t mean I won’t go to a doctor when I’m sick now. Argue over the veracity of the science as it exists, fine, but don’t dismiss it simply because you don’t like the findings, and by all means avoid arguments that blur the matter rather than clarify it.

    -Scott

  18. Darius March 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Are you serious, Scott? Gore’s home uses like 10 times more energy than the normal American, and his flights all over the world produce literally tons of CO2. Gore owns the carbon credit company from which he buys carbon credits, so he’s merely in it for his own pocketbook. The Bible calls us to be wise as serpents, so let’s try to do that. Don’t fall for snake oil salesmen like the Goracle. Global warming is just the latest religion, it will pass.

  19. Darius March 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    I can’t entirely blame you for falling for this scare, since the media never bothers to report the other side of the story (or the truth). Did you know that NONE of the last 10 years are in the top 10 for warmest years on record? That was discovered last year by some scientists who found a bug in the software. Yet, the media didn’t really bother to report that, just the initial hysteria that the last decade was hotter than ever. For those who are willing to learn more, here is the premier scientific website that debunks global warming.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

  20. Scott March 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    Darius,

    I haven’t fallen for anything, and I’m open to both sides of the issue, but you haven’t responded to the substance of my post.

    Assume, for the sake of argument, that global warming is a real thing and is in fact caused by mankind. One possible response to the problem would involve individuals changing their personal behavior, which is what you seem to suggest Gore should do. He should change the kinds of light bulbs he uses or buy a smaller house.

    But if global warming is really a problem, then it doesn’t matter what personal steps he or anyone else takes. If he has to burn some gas in a private plane, and in traveling across the world he actually convinces the world, as a whole, to change, then the means would justify the end. There is nothing hypocritical in this behavior.

    Again, none of this has to do with the validity of global warming. But seeing as neither of us are scientists, we can only deal with each other at the level of argumentation and logic. Currently, I have a problem with the logic behind your arguments.

    Best,
    Scott

  21. Bryan L March 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm #

    I understand what you’re saying Darius but the problem is that none of the data (evidence and facts) is self interpreting, and I don’t have any training or real knowledge in this field to be able to tell who best interprets the data and who is misunderstanding it. I don’t understand their language and I don’t read on both sides of this issue.

    Do you see the problem I’m having? Are you a scientists? Do you have professional training in this area? Do you read journal articles and books on both sides of the issue (and those that are just neutral)? What is your relationship to this field?

    If it is just interested or informed layman then what is the difference between you and those who believe Al Gore instead (or some other scientist since Al Gore didn’t invent this, he just put the apocalyptic spin on it)?

    If you are in the field of science then what makes you not just some biased scientist on one side with something to prove or win?

    Do you see the perspective I’m coming from?

    Thanks,
    Bryan L

  22. Paul March 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    what Bryan said…

  23. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    Scott,

    Ok, for the sake of the argument, let us assume ANTHROPOGENIC (man-made) global warming is happening (if it’s not man-made, then it is even more unlikely that we can do anything about it). With that out of the way, let’s look at the UNDISPUTED facts. The Kyoto Protocol, if COMPLETELY implemented and ratified, would only lower the global temperature for the next century by .08 degrees C. That is statistically insignificant. And that is the number given by the global warm-mongering camp. Meanwhile, the money spent on Kyoto would cripple the world’s economies’ ability to help with other pressing global issues. As Lomborg says in his book and Chris Horner in his (the essential “Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism”), it would only take HALF the price tag of Kyoto to eliminate or at least significantly dent most of the BIG problems in the world (AIDS, malaria, unsafe drinking water, etc.).

    So if a massive program like Kyoto has little effect, how could a few million people changing their light bulbs possibly make any difference in the grand scheme of things?

    Furthermore, if we look at the FACT that a little warming is beneficial to humanity, then why are we even considering fighting it? After all, as everyone acknowledges, global warming will affect winters more than summers, which means the decrease in cold-related deaths GREATLY outdistances the increase in heat-related deaths.

    As for Gore… he tells everyone to change their personal lives yet doesn’t do ONE thing to change his own. He purports to believe that global warming will be fixed on the individual level, yet lives like a king in his mansion. Instead, he buys these “credits” to “off-set” his carbonic opulence. Funny thing is, he owns the company that sells the credits. It’s an ingenious scam, I will give him that.

  24. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    My field is engineering, I am not a scientist. I merely have done a significant amount of reading on the subject that is readily available to anyone with an interest in getting beyond the rhetoric. I would heartily suggest Lomborg’s book for more information on a rational approach to global warming, and for those who would like to further understand the science behind the issue, go to the website I mentioned earlier. And let me repeat: Bjorn Lomborg believes AGW is real. He merely calls for sanity in combating it.

  25. Trent G. March 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    I gotta say I totally understand where Bryan L. is coming from. I’m not saying I am for or against any view, but I just don’t know enough to say I agree with any opinion. Sure one book may say one thing, but I’m not informed enough to say that book is the truth.

    Darius,
    I guess what I’m looking for is, what makes your opinion more than just that (your opinion), other than the fact that you like “Cool It”. Why is your “evidence” more substantial than their “evidence” (considering I’ve seen “An Inconvenient Truth” and read the book “Cool It”)? I’m not trying to be snarky, just asking. Thanks.

  26. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Bryan, I understand your skepticism. However, if anything should make you skeptical, it should be the proponents of AGW who claim that discussion is finished and will not debate the issue with the skeptics. This happens time and again, a complete avoidance of dissenting views. That should make you wonder. That and the fact that people like George Soros are financially supporting the scientists. Meanwhile, the skeptics have to battle political and peer pressure, as well as the lack of federal grants. It is NOT in their best interest to go against the flow. That in itself should tell you a lot about who is most likely right.

    Honestly, it doesn’t take a ton of research to get behind the rhetoric. Just a book or two, and not listening to the mainstream media.

  27. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    Trent, “An Inconvenient Truth” has been completely proven wrong… BY THE PRO-GLOBAL WARMING CROWD. The IPCC (UN’s climate change panel) found that, at MOST, the oceans will rise a few inches in the next century. In his video, Gore says they will rise 20 FEET.

    Recently, in England, the video was approved for use in public schools. However, after a lawsuit, the courts said that a disclaimer had to be added acknowledge the myriad mistakes and exaggerations found throughout the movie. Horner’s “Politically Incorrect Guide” does a fantastic job of further disproving Gore’s points. Any serious scientist (even if he generally supports Gore’s agenda) would admit that the video is mostly bunk.

  28. Darius March 18, 2008 at 7:43 pm #

    One other thing… some of you are likely skeptical of the “evil” that is represented in the hysteria of global warming. That’s understandable. This is why I call it evil: politicians are using it to undermine the sovereignty of nations and to grab massive amount of control (and thus freedoms) from individuals and businesses. As Jacque Chirac said, a program like Kyoto is “the first component in authentic global governance.” Elsewhere, intellectuals and scientists are calling for limitations on the amount of babies that a couple can have. Anyone see fascism’s ugly head in all of this?

    For example, just look at the recent bill that went through the Senate that raised the gas efficiency of new vehicles to 35 MPG. That will cripple what is left of the domestic car market; adios Ford and Chevy.

  29. Paul March 18, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    I’m not going to debate the global warming stuff, as I’m not equipped to handle myself properly.

    That said, this statement…

    “For example, just look at the recent bill that went through the Senate that raised the gas efficiency of new vehicles to 35 MPG. That will cripple what is left of the domestic car market; adios Ford and Chevy…”

    is bunk.

    It won’t mean the end of the domestic car market, unless the domestic car market decides to be the same pathetic market that it’s been for the last 30 years. Chevy’s volt is a start, as is the Escape Hybrid (even if it’s a Mazda…I own the Mazda version). Why isn’t the domestic market looking into low sulfur diesel, except for one Jeep? Why is Ford being so lazy about hybrid technology that they simply leased Toyota’s hybrid drivetrain instead of coming up with their own? Why hasn’t GM gotten the Volt to market yet?

    If the domestic car market goes belly up, it’s their fault, not the government’s, and not the buying public’s.

  30. D. Taylor Benton March 18, 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    Bryan L
    “I am a little concerned about your last comment. This idea that we’ll continue to do whatever we do living the way we do on this earth and let God worry about it because he’s sovereign and he’ll determine what happens to it is not that wise nor biblical. And it doesn’t get us off the hook if we destroy this planet which he gave us to take care of. Maybe I misunderstood what you were getting at and if that’s so please clarify what you meant. But I think it’s pretty clear biblically that God will hold us responsible for what we do with the things he gave us and not just chalk it up to what he determined to happen.”

    if you read my comment I said that ” ill do my part”(your talking to a guy that drives a compact car)..and also “trust God” but as to the science behind it, honestly as i said in my post…theres too much conflicting evidence…

    a couple of things to note….

    simple physics would tell you that the oceans wouldn’t rise too much…when you have an ice cube already in a glass of water and the ice cube melts…the displacement is still the same…now for the folks that say…what about the glaciers…they’re on land…well folks…look at the amount of water that all the glaciers hold and they would statistically insignificant contribution to the ocean if they all melted.

    also for someone to stick up for Gore on him being a hipocrite is hilarious… this guy consumes more energy in his ONE personal home than 100 average size homes do in his same area of Tennessee…that is a disgrace…and then he preaches against big gas guzzling SUVs and airplanes when he still elects to have not just one SUV…but a whole motorcade of SUVs wherever he goes….along with his privately chartered jets he rides in….instead of using the airlines which would help decrease our “carbon footprint”.

    one more thing…what are we going to do about the caribou and elk in Canada…recent studies have shown that one elk produces more carbon emissions than the standard mid size car does (annually)…we need to figure something out there because we all know there are a ton of elk!

  31. Darius March 18, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    D Taylor, don’t forget about cattle.

  32. Darius March 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    So Paul, you think it’s a good idea for more government regulation? Wouldn’t the free market do much more efficiently than what the government is trying to do through legislation? After all, plenty of people want cleaner, more efficient cars. But regulating 35 MPG is going to cost approximately $7,000 per vehicle. Who ultimately bears that burden? American citizens and the car industry.

  33. Scott March 19, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    Darius and D. Taylor,

    Both of you have mentioned that Gore is a hypocrite because of his carbon output. I have offered what I consider to be a rebuttal of your statements. You have both responded by simply restating your original statements (and D. Taylor was nice enough to mock me for mine). You, of course, are under no obligation to actually engage with me, but I don’t quite understand why you would want to put hand to keyboard only to type what you’ve already typed before.

    I say this with some irony, as now I myself will try once again, one more time, to call into question your statements. Here goes . . .

    I don’t follow Gore that closely, but I went ahead and looked up his Nobel speech. Here’s something he said:

    “We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer. They can and do help. But they will not take us far enough without collective action. At the same time, we must ensure that in mobilizing globally, we do not invite the establishment of ideological conformity and a new lock-step “ism.”

    That means adopting principles, values, laws, and treaties that release creativity and initiative at every level of society in multifold responses originating concurrently and spontaneously.”

    Again, speaking as someone who wants to take this issue seriously, it seems fair to say that if someone believes in human-caused global warming, the only way to effect real change is at a global level–which is what Gore appears to say here. This means changing minds, industries, and governments. Al Gore has had some success in raising such widespread awareness, but only at the expense of traveling throughout the world and contributing to the very problem he wants to solve. Yet I don’t see that there is any alternative, at least, not any alternative that would produce the same level of results.

    Is there an alternative for a single, influential person who wants to impact the world in a globally effective way, but without using contemporary forms of technology and modes transportation as they exist in the present? If there is, then that alternative would appear to be the start of an actual response to my argument.

    I suppose he could live in a shack, but it wouldn’t have any more than a symbolic effect on the (alleged) problem. So he’s doing something that, while immediately harmful, could nevertheless lead to a global solution. I don’t consider such action to be hypocritical. You may call it misguided, you may call it bad science, you may even call it hysteria, but “hypocritical” does not apply here–at least, not just because you say it repeatedly.

    Best,
    Scott

  34. Lucas Knisely March 19, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    Scott,

    The only thing you defended was Al Gore using lots of jet fuel to get his message out. I believe both Darius and D. Taylor have raised more issues about Gore than just him flying around the country. So they aren’t the ones ignoring points raised.

  35. D. Taylor Benton March 19, 2008 at 8:40 am #

    well Scott the old adage goes “practice what you preach”…If Mr. Gore wants to be taken seriously about his environmental views, it would help if he put those things into practice himself.

    It is hypocritical that someone would call for change and yet not change themselves…

    lets put this in the spiritual realm. if I am a Christian and am a leader in the Christian movement, but still live like the world….I would not be take seriously and I would be castigated and forced out of my leadership role…to say that there isn’t good enough technology out there to change one’s ways is hilarious. there are plenty of ways that Gore himself could change his habits and show that he actually cares about the environment, I’m sorry to sound sarcastic but when someone’s house uses TEN times the amount of an average house in energy, the cause is not being limited by technology or change but that is just being wasteful. I’m sorry there are people that have just as big of a house as Gore and yet don’t use that kind of energy.

    all said and done, it really doesn’t make a big difference what he does to me…because I don’t think he really understands what he is talking about other than the bullet points he has been given by some scientists that he knows, but the reason I bring it up is because of the inconsistency that is there and how people still champion him as if he is the know all end all to the “supposed” environmental crisis when he hasn’t even changed what he does to help the environment. I respect the people at Greenpeace more than Gore just because they are consistent with their beliefs about nature. which by the way even Greenpeace has decried what Gore has espoused and taught through his movie and lectures…and believe me, if anyone knows stuff about the environment it’s those crazy people at Greenpeace…

  36. Paul March 19, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    well, Darius and D. Taylor ARE playing the time honored game of “if you don’t like the message, just shoot the messenger!”

    That said, I have to agree that Darius is making interesting points, although the proof that he’s giving to prove them is so far above everybody’s head that they could likely be a recipe for lime jello, and we’d never know.

  37. Darius March 19, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    “Recipe for lime jello”

    Dang it, how did you know?!?

    Well, like I said before, I’m no scientist but the information is out there that I can at least somewhat understand. The two books I’ve already mentioned are a great place to start; some of the facts I’ve mentioned above can be found in those two books. And if you haven’t already, you can peruse my blog for more global warming info. I’ve got links on the left side of the page from a few scientists and writers who have spoken/written on the subject, and if you click on my “global warming” posts, there is more information linked to in many of them.

  38. Darius March 19, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Paul, when the messenger is taking the message and spinning it toward hysteric levels, then the messenger should be shot.

    If I told you that some leaves in my backyard are burning and you went door-to-door screaming that the city is on fire, you should be “shot.”

  39. Darius March 19, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    oops, *hysteric* should be hysterical

  40. Paul March 19, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    Darius,

    you wrote…

    “So Paul, you think it’s a good idea for more government regulation? Wouldn’t the free market do much more efficiently than what the government is trying to do through legislation? After all, plenty of people want cleaner, more efficient cars. But regulating 35 MPG is going to cost approximately $7,000 per vehicle. Who ultimately bears that burden? American citizens and the car industry.”

    and it’s bunk.

    The real problem here is the laziness of the domestic car industry.

    Would it really cost an average of $7K per vehicle to offer every vehicle with a diesel engine? We can argue that yes, the cost of hybrids is still somewhat cost prohibitive and truly more expensive, but turbo diesel technology at this point has come a long way, and I think that if that option was available on more vehicles, that more consumers would buy them. Look at the popularity of the diesels from Mercedes and Volkswagen. I had a Jetta with a diesel, and I averaged about 40 MPG, for about 2K more than a standard Jetta. I made that 2K back in what, two years?

    Also, if all three companies made APPEALING full sized station wagons, I think that their appeal, especially in light of higher gas prices, might be larger than you might initially think.

    Granted, there are some people that truly NEED the space of a mini-van or an SUV (I am one of them. Kids and drums do not both fit in a standard sedan), but how many morons have two kids and then think that a minivan is a necessary commodity? And I am willing to go the hybrid/diesel route. Are you?

    I think that along with higher CAFE standards that there should also be higher taxes on non-commercial vehicles that don’t meet those rates. Extend that tax to the used car market as well, and tack on a fee for yearly registrations for cars that do not meet those CAFE standards, and you’ll see a return to more fuel efficient vehicles much more quickly.

    In some cases, government regulation is a necessity. And I would think that in most of those cases, you’re probably glad that such regulation exists (i.e., your phone and electric bills).

    In other words, when Americans quit acting like morons, yes, I’d be in full favor of letting the market decide. But while the market is dumb enough to keep Hummer in business, I think the government needs to step in. Sorry.

  41. MatthewS March 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Darius,

    Back in #19 you posted a link to the “premier scientific website that debunks global warming.” Unless I am mistaken, that site is basically a one-man blog. I can’t tell if he even has Ph.D.

    He is mentioned here: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113027943843479277-5reMaU4_37mSf3Us8BhDeHITDyA_20061026.html?mod=blogs.

    The WSJ does mention McIntyre’s beef with the hockey stick model (an example of the press at least acknowledging the other side of this issue) but it leaves me with the feeling that McIntyre is just as driven against Mann as for science. My point: if this really is the premier site that “debunks” global warming, then it makes the case seem somewhat weak.

    I am not an environmentalist. I think much of it politically motivated. But I am concerned that many who are anti-global warming are just as politically motivated and just as closed-minded. I am not saying you are, but you haven’t done much to set my mind at ease, either.

  42. Darius March 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    Perhaps there are better websites out there… but as far as I know, that one is one of the best at giving (and explaining) the actual data behind global warming skepticism.

    Personally, I don’t put all that much credence in Phds versus Masters versus whatever. But since it appears you do, perhaps this letter, signed by over 85 Phds in such sciences as Climatology, Physics, Biology, Atmospheric, Geophysics, etc., will carry more weight.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164002

    Included in the signatories are the President of the World Federation of Scientists, the former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, the former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization, and the President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Also, such leading scientists like Dr. William Gray at Colorado State also have voiced strong criticism and skeptism of the whole issue. Dr. Gray is considered by most climatologists to be the foremost hurricane forecaster in the world. He stated his belief a few years ago that, just as the earth has always gone through natural, cyclical temperature swings, the earth will soon start cooling. It appears now that he might have already be proven right, since the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 7 years (and this year it actually appears to have cooled a bit).

  43. Darius March 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    I think primarily what I am trying to argue for is that the verdict is, at the very least, still very much in doubt, whereas the pro-global warming crowd (isn’t that a bit of a misnomer :)) preaches that the science is settled and that all debate is wrong. It has gotten to the point that some of the most polemic of that crowd now compare global warming denial to Holocaust denial.

  44. MatthewS March 19, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    Darius #43,

    Well said.

  45. D. Taylor Benton March 19, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    amen Darius… I’m right there with you. and Scott, I’m not trying to shoot the messenger (even if he deserves it) I am just saying that I know if I believed something as strongly as he has purported to believe in the global warming, you think his actions would reflect such strong convictions.

    just as a side note, not that i endorse mr Michael Savage by any stretch of the imagination but I happened upon WABC out of New York and he was on this evening and he was going through all kinds of stats from anywhere from the 1880’s to the early 1930’s stating records that have yet to be broken in states like in North Dakota (the one state i can remember) he quoted like a record high temp dating back to 1885 and it was 126 degrees. he stated all kinds of these stats and sited the Nation Weather Service for the statistics and it was amazing to hear how hot it was in that period of time and how the last ten years we have experienced were cooler than the previous ten we have had.

    here’s couple of articles i found to pretty good by a real life climatologist…

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming091307.htm
    http://canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm

    see this article about the Gore tragedy

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris110706a.htm
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris110706.htm

  46. D. Taylor Benton March 20, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    amen Darius… I’m right there with you. and Scott, I’m not trying to shoot the messenger (even if he deserves it) I am just saying that I know if I believed something as strongly as he has purported to believe in the global warming, you think his actions would reflect such strong convictions.

    just as a side note, not that i endorse mr Michael Savage by any stretch of the imagination but I happened upon WABC out of New York and he was on this evening and he was going through all kinds of stats from anywhere from the 1880’s to the early 1930’s stating records that have yet to be broken in states like in North Dakota (the one state i can remember) he quoted like a record high temp dating back to 1885 and it was 126 degrees. he stated all kinds of these stats and sited the Nation Weather Service for the statistics and it was amazing to hear how hot it was in that period of time and how the last ten years we have experienced were cooler than the previous ten we have had.

  47. D. Taylor Benton March 21, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    sorry for the multipost…clicked too many times.

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