Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Thu Dec 03 2009 - 12:25:13 EST

Heya all,

I'm going to come down in the middle on this one.

For one thing, I think "Gaia Theory" isn't some New Age religion in and of
itself. It is, from what I read, largely an idea about how the planet
"maintains itself" and corrects imbalances, and is an interesting
perspective on nature. I do not doubt that there are some people
(particularly New Age types) who give a very different rendition of Gaia
Theory and speak about it / describe it as if it WAS a component of New Age
religion. But one has to be very careful there - we all know how easy it is
to misuse an otherwise plain and merely interesting scientific theory.

That said... I think some people may be letting Gore off too easily. Let me
point out that I'm a big fan of Aquinas and others, who in turn made heavy
use of greek philosophy, islamic philosophy, etc. So I certainly would not
be one to argue that any thought pertaining to religion must come straight
out of the bible, or at least from a fellow Christian, lest it be discarded
as dangerous nonsense. Far from it.

But there are still problems here.

1. Talking about the importance of a "panreligious perspective", the
importance of having people "open their minds to teachings first offered
outside their own system of belief" should at least be controversial to a
christian, and required some additional defense and qualification. Please
note that Gore, in this quote, is talking about the "teachings" of these
faiths. The problem here is if Gore is saying something as simple as "be
responsible with the earth's resources", then christians do not not the
"teachings" of other faiths to justify this view. In fact, I'd love for
anyone here to give me an example of a teaching that christians would need
to absorb from other faiths.

2. The whole "green" movement does have some weird echoes of a religion
itself. I'm not just talking here about those New Age types who take that
more spiritual perspective on "Gaia", mind you. I'm talking about the entire
tendency to talk about "going green" and making some weird, stand-alone
moral system out of environmental concerns - sometimes complete with dogma
of its own. Ironically, James Lovelock had some problems with exactly that
dogma, being the booster of nuclear power that he was and is. Personally,
while I have great interest in conservation questions, etc, I have zero
interest in the "green" crap. I have a God already, one a bit more grand
than our lively chunk of rock.

So I'm not going to immediately condemn Gore as some kind of
crypto-Gaia-worshipper. But I'm not going to discard what he wrote as
obviously unproblematic for christianity either.

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 10:44 AM, Michael Roberts <> wrote:

> John
> You are reading into the quote. From his quote you can only conclude that
> he is recommending that every faith uses its religious resources to argue
> for the care of creation. I totally agree with him and would welcome any
> Muslim or Hindu work similar to that of Cizik etc. The quote gives no
> indication of his theology whether he is New age or a fundamentalist
> May more slip on the slippery slope.
> Michael
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* John Walley <>
> *To:* Michael Roberts <> ;
> ;
> *Sent:* Thursday, December 03, 2009 1:45 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled
> To me, the actions of some on this list defending Al Gore's Christianity
> is more of a smoking gun than the leaked emails. I simply cannot understand
> what kind of Christianity that is that people think he represents. I can
> tell you it is not Baptist Christianity. Anyone who believes that would
> believe anything.
> And whatever kind it is, I don't think I want to have anything to do with
> it. I think it should almost be an article of faith that true Christianity
> is aware of and accepts the wisdom of Paul's prescient and prophetic
> admonition of those that would come that would worship the creation instead
> of the Creator, and turn the truth of God into a lie. I just don't see how
> people can't see that we are already on the verge of that slippery slope
> with AGW.
> John
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Michael Roberts <>
> *To:*;
> *Sent:* Thu, December 3, 2009 4:16:39 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:*
> *To:*
> *Sent:* Thursday, December 03, 2009 5:55 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled
> Usually I am lurker and glance occasionally at threads here. However, Rich
> Blinne, as a committed AGW has played fast and loose (as most AGW's do, to
> my observation) with a few facts. I fact checked him on a few points and
> would like to show to all. I have snipped for brevity.
> In a message dated 12/2/2009 11:39:27 A.M. Mountain Standard Time,
> writes:
> Snip...
> Al Gore isn't a proponent of Gaia theory. That's James Lovelock.
> Al Gore's a Baptist.
> From "Earth in the Balance"
> "The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history
> is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith, who are often
> afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own
> system of belief. But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge
> moves freely and almost instantaneously through the world has ... spurred a
> renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled by all faiths. This
> panreligious perspective may prove especially important where our global
> civiilzation's responsibility for the earth is concerned." (pp. 258-259)
> This is not Baptist theology. I could quote more if you want. I would say
> the statement above classifies him as a syncretist or New Age adherent.
> Michael says; This is both a misreading and misrepresentation of what Gore
> said. He was not New Age but considering how ALL faiths will respond to the
> climate crisis from their own perspectives. There needs to be a Muslim,
> Hindu etc response and giving the arguments on how to deal with climate
> change to their own beleivers.
> I am afraid you have used the old "New age" card to dismiss others and
> wrongly accuse Christians of being New Age.
> Please correct your opinions fivefree
> Michael
> snip...
> No. But there is and was a political ploy. Starting in the late 60s and
> early 70s the tobacco companies had a problem with the science that was
> reaching a stronger and stronger consensus that cigarette smoking causes
> cancer. So, they hired people like Fred Seitz to spread the message that the
> science was uncertain to keep the tobacco companies from getting sued. The
> very same people moved into organizations like the Marshall Institute.
> During the 80s this organization focused on attacking physicists who were
> skeptical that SDI would work. After the Cold War ended the focus turned to
> environmental issues and the same M.O. of saying the science is uncertain
> and therefore we shouldn't regulate any companies and by the way CO2 is
> actually good for you. This constellation of groups started receiving money
> from the oil and coal companies, for example the Western Fuels Association
> and ExxonMobil. These organizations have interlocking boards of directors.
> Other groups closely associated are the Heartland Institute, the Greening
> Earth Society, and Friends of Science. The people that show up multiple
> times on the boards or advisors in these are include Tim Ball, Sallie
> Balliunas, Willie Soon, Pattrick Michaels, and Fred Seitz.
> All of these organizations have one goal, keep industry completely
> unregulated. Two weeks before the Nobel Prize in chemistry was issued on
> work that showed that CFCs destroy the ozone hole these groups said that the
> science was uncertain and we shouldn't be regulating any companies. The ban
> on CFCs was a smashing success which had also a little known beneficial side
> effect on global warming because CFCs are the worst kind of greenhouse gas.
> Yeah, weren't CFC ozone damage found out to be off by 60-75%? More in
> inline with established science?
> Snip...
> I also googled the WSJ article this letter inspired and found it to be
> rather tame, saying that possibly the data was being made to fit the
> conclusion, among other things. Possibly a prophetic statement the current
> scandals gong on.
> Not telling both sides is typical from the political left as I assume you
> are and an ardent AGW (technocrat?) employee who's own professional
> reputation is tied to AGW.
> I once started a dialogue with PVM sometime ago but gave up when he
> appeared to be lazy and hazy with opposing thought and documentation and
> ended most statements with positive confession assertions that made me
> believe he was trying to make it so by saying it was so.
> Quite simply AGW doesn't pass the 'smell test' for a lot of
> people...including me because of half truths, here are some, viciousness
> against skeptics and a lack of original data. This I brought to PVM in a WSJ
> op-ed by a researcher at Woods Hole, I believe, who asked Anglia for copies
> of their data when they stated that some year was the hottest on record. He
> was emailed back a statement that to me was middle finger reply. Now we see
> why.. and this was several years ago.
> One other thing. What if all of you are wrong? Are you going to go on a
> stage somewhere and publicly ask for countries forgiveness for wanting to
> cause hardship and suffering to million here not to mention around the
> world? I want to know what is the consequence should be for you if you are
> wrong.

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Received on Thu Dec 3 12:25:50 2009

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