Re: [asa] Climate change & Christianity (was: Associated Press Reporter Does Science and Peer Review)

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sat Oct 31 2009 - 19:02:46 EDT

It's great to see how active this list has become. The volume of posts while I was traveling in Colorado was overwhelming and I didn't recover till now. (no, I didn't read them all)
This thread caught my eye and I wanted to add a couple of comments. I'm in the middle of teaching a series of Sunday School lessons on the environment as part of a larger series on science and faith, so it is quite relevant.

The relevance of AGW to Christian faith and practice is very strong, as Christine and Rich point out. In my class I found the book by Nick Spencer and Robert White to be particularly helpful. Bob White is a Fellow of the Royal Society and spoke at our Edinburgh meeting. Their book has only been available in the UK until now but is being reprinted in the US and will be available on Dec. 15. I highly recommend it. See

The net is simple and I think it boils down to two things:
 1.God has given us the responsibility of being stewards of his creation and understanding all we can about AGW and mitigating it is a key part of that responsibility.
 2.Our rapid consumption of natural resources in the developed countries is risking the lives of a large portion of the world's population, especially the poor in the underdeveloped countries. Jesus' command to love our neighbor and to care for the poor is a strong mandate to do all we can to rectify that problem.

I also discovered a veritable treasure trove of information. I know this is far more than most of you want to know, but the following link contains slides and some transcripts of all the talks at the conference two years ago in Hawaii, The 50th Anniversary of the Global CO2 Record--A Celebration and Symposium. Virtually all the latest data (to the latter part of 2007) are there, just look for the topic of interest and download the slides.

If any of you are true junkies and have lots of time to spend on this sort of thing, try this blog:
In this blog, Roy Spencer (the Harvard meteorologist, and thesis advisor to my good friend ASA member Duane Stevens) who is a global warming skeptic tries his hand in early 2008 at an alternative explanation for the dC13 signature in the atmospheric carbon dioxide. A respondent Ferdinand Englebeen is a self-described borderline skeptic but responds extremely well to Spencer. Only read those two--most of the others aren't quality posts. Net: the signature is real and the increase in CO2 really is due to fossil fuel consumption.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Rich Blinne
  To: Christine Smith ; Cameron Wybrow ; Randy Isaac
  Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 5:47 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Climate change & Christianity (was: Associated Press Reporter Does Science and Peer Review)

  On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM, Christine Smith <> wrote:

    Hi all,

    Cameron wrote:

    "I would be equally impressed if he could make clear to me what he has not made clear to me in his twenty or thirty posts on the subject over the last year, i.e., what relevance he thinks the debate over AGW has to Christian faith or Christian theology, which is, after all, the focus of this discussion group. In his posts I discern statistics, claims about computer modelling, and claims of a sociological and political nature about the biases of those who express doubts about aspects of AGW, but I've heard precious little about God, Creation, the Bible, etc."

    Well, I'm obviously not Rich and can't speak for him, but this is an area of interest to me so I'll go ahead and address Cameron's request. The areas I see climate change relating to Christian faith and theology are as follows:
     [Good summary of Biblical environmentalism snipped]

  If Cameron wants to find the Biblical basis for my views (which aren't terribly original) he can see the following on the ASA web site.

  This brings to mind a Living on Earth interview with the President of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists, Cal DeWitt. He noticed a strong Biblical basis for Christian environmentalism but none for their Christian opponents. It appears that radical libertarianism rather than Biblical exegesis drives their views. Like Dr. DeWitt I have yet to hear one Biblical argument other than we don't have to worry about the planet because Jesus is coming soon. After all, you don't polish brass on a sinking ship.

  Rich Blinne
  Member ASA

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Received on Sat Oct 31 19:03:10 2009

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