RE: The intellectual's intellectual: "Earth is now at risk, let's save it"

From: Tjalle T Vandergraaf <ttveiv@mts.net>
Date: Sat Feb 11 2006 - 15:54:16 EST

I had not seen the pronouncements by Al Gore, so I "googled" "Al Gore",
"environment" and "2006" and that got me to the website that reported on Mr
Gore's speech in Manila (http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1
<http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=65662>
&story_id=65662). I did not see anything there about the environment being
destroyed in ten years or ocean levels rising 5 metres in the next ten years
but that website may not be an accurate representation of his actual words.
I wasn't there.

 

I agree with Pim that it doesn't matter a whole lot when an environmental
calamity occurs. The question really is what right an individual has to the
resources that, I believe, God has given us and what our individual
responsibility is to the environment. Surely we know that, no matter what
we do, we impact on the environment, be that by driving to the corner store
(or, more commonly, the bog box store) in a 1500 kg car to buy a litre of
milk or by flying to a foreign mission field to spread the Good News. To
me, the question is one of *why* we use these resources. In the final
analysis, we are accountable for our actions.

 

If there is one item in Mr Gore's speech that I take issue with it is the
following:

Gore also pointed out the threat to the environment brought about by
population explosion, especially in the developing world which includes
countries like the Philippines.

"We have to accept the moral reality," he said. "I know population is an
issue here and I don't want to meddle but the biggest increases are
happening in poor countries."

The population explosion is also causing the exploitation of valuable
rainforests which, in turn, aggravates environmental degradation.

 

Blaming an impending environmental calamity on the increase in population of
a developing country is just dead wrong. True, the environment in a
developing country may not be as pristine as that in a country where high
levels of sanitation can be maintained, but I don't think that one can
really blame global warming on the productivity of couples in the
Philippines! Perhaps Mr Gore ought to hold up a mirror. Although it may
not be politically correct for a non-US citizen to even mention this, one
has to wonder what the effect of the current US war in Iraq has on the
atmospheric [CO2].

 

As to the question if "some (often right leaning people) have such a hard
time accepting science," this difficulty is not limited to any specific
political leaning. I think that, in many cases, the cause-and-effect
relationship is, scientifically, not as strong as we would like it to be.
For example, it has been argued that increased [CO2] will lead to global
warming and that makes a lot of [scientific] sense. However, it has also
been suggested that an increase in global temperature would also lead to
increased evaporation and cloud formation that, in turn would reflect more
sunlight and that would reduce global temperatures. Thus, there may well be
a built-in thermostat in the created world that regulates the Earth's
temperature over a relatively narrow range. We do know that global
temperatures dip for a few years after a major volcanic eruption (Mt
Pinatubo is a recent example) and the link between man-made high altitude
"clouds' in the form of contrails apparently has a moderating effect on
temperature (witness the effect of planes being grounded a few days
following 9/11).

 

So, the jury may well still be out on global warming, although the shrinking
of glaciers looks ominous.

 

As for me, I won't invest in Florida real estate! :-)

 

Chuck Vandergraaf (~240 m above sea level)

 

 

  _____

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Pim van Meurs
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 12:47 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: The intellectual's intellectual: "Earth is now at risk, let's
save it"

 

Whether it is 10 50 or 100 hundred years, human impact on the environment is
real (global warming, ozone hole, animal habitats (for instance fish)). The
question that remains unanswered so far is

Did God give us the earth to take care of, or to destroy/mistreat?

Why is it that some (often right leaning people) have such a hard time
accepting science?

Chris Mooney has an excellent book on this called "The republican war on
science".

http://www.waronscience.com/home.php

Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net> wrote:

Gore says the environment will be destroyed in 10 years. No more
glaciers. No more trees. Half the current land area under water.
Human population crammed shoulder to shoulder.

I'm marking the calendar because we've only got 10 years.

By 2016 the environm ent will be destroyed.

10 years.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1575675/posts?page=14#14

At 05:41 PM 2/10/2006, Pim van Meurs inexplicably responded:

Good point. Humans are incredibly apt at destroying their
environment. Whether it be ozone layer, pollution, destruction of
fish habitats or other habitats, their impact on nature has been well
established.I find it fascinating why some people object to this
obvious fact. And even if they doubt the factual nature of it, why
they are not at least worried that there may be some truth to it. Did
God give us the earth to destroy or to take care of?

### Ding ding!

~ Janice

 
Received on Sat Feb 11 15:59:32 2006

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