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

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 23:27:43 EST

"My point is that all energy mining, drilling, etc. have been extractive industries where the power balance between those on the land where the resources are vs. those trying to get them have generally been very uneven, at least since the Spanish began mining silver in Mexico."

So then how would God have had us handle this more equitably?

This issue of natural physical resources goes all the back to Eden and Abraham and Lot and most of the wars throughout history up to the American Indians and gets to the core of the theology of AGW. I am curious what response any on this list would have to what the proper "Christian" handling would have been to any of the above examples?

As we have discussed on other threads, in a world where nature is red and tooth and claw, I contend this applies to human nature as well, and as a result human affairs are as messy as the animal world. I am not sure why on a list of TE's and EC's, we apply ideals to humans when we accept messiness from nature in general.

As a case in point, as a contrast to how the colonists handled the Native American Indian population, I happen to know that when New Zealand was settled, the English took a different, more peaceful tact and signed a treaty with the native Maori population (Treaty of Waitanga),  which shares taxpayer wealth with then in return for their land and that has resulted in them coexisting in peace for nearly two centuries, and is still binding between them today. While on the surface this appears to be a simple, obvious, morally superior solution to the issue of resources, under the surface there lie some curious complicating issues. Don I invite you to correct any inaccuracies here.

A little known fact is that before the Europeans got to New Zealand, there was another indigenous population there called the Moriori, and the Maori invaded them from other Polynesian isles and wiped them out. So are the Maori's the rightful owners of the resources of NZ to justly negotiate the Treaty of Waitanga? Or should they in turn be required to sign a similar treaty with the few remaining descendants of the Moriori's to make their claim legitimate? And if not and might makes right, then why should the English be required to sign a treaty with the Maori's and just wipe them out instead like they did the Morioris?

This scenario has been repeated all throughout history for all the valuable resources everywhere on the planet.  How far back do we go and where do we draw the line between Western Civilization's view of morality and nature?  Is it conceivable that maybe this is just the way God works? It appears to be that way in the OT when he gave the promised land to the Israelites and commissioned them to go and kill the inhabitants.

So if our Christian faith is based on scriptures that reveal a God commissioning His chosen people to go and take natural physical resources from other peoples at the point of the sword, are we not presuming some ideal of human behavior that we are applying to nature not unlike the YECs?  I see the same thing in the more strident and alarmist responses to AGW. If we believe God gave us the earth to "replenish" and to subdue, then that includes all the natural resources like coal and oil. And if there are byproducts from consuming those resources, then we need to adapt to mitigate them, but I reject the negative "judgment" hysteria of "raping the planet" and the like.

This crosses the line to worshiping the creation instead of the Creator in my mind, and where I part ways with with the AGW movement, even though I will accept Randy's assessment of the science and his predictions of the ultimate fate of the earth. I think there must be some middle ground response between denial and alarmism and why there should be room at the table for skeptics like Lindzen to consider calm and rational, non-religious, doomsday type solutions.

John

 

----- Original Message ----
From: David Randall Gabrielse <r.gabrielse@att.net>
To: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Cc: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>; asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Fri, December 4, 2009 10:31:48 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled

At 12/2/2009 05:39 AM, John Walley wrote:
> Should we have left all that coal in the ground? That coal saved the lives of many a generation I think it is fair to say.
From the perspective of a historian I would note that the coal may have saved the lives of many in several generations, but that it also cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of coal miners who were not enjoying its benefits.  Look back to the 1940s mine wars in West Virginia and elsewhere,  where much of the restrictive labor laws that have defined America in the postwar era emerged.  We see similar, and often more draconian policies affecting people who live in areas where oil has been drilled are not enjoying its benefits, or at least not a "fair share" of them.  The resistance of the people of one region of Nigeria, who have not enjoyed the benefits has amounted to near-civil war at times.

My point is that all energy mining, drilling, etc. have been extractive industries where the power balance between those on the land where the resources are vs. those trying to get them have generally been very uneven, at least since the Spanish began mining silver in Mexico.  The latest area this extraction has occurred is in agriculture, where financially rich but resource poor nations (eg. Saudi Arabia) are taking over land in financially poor but resource rich nations of Africa through purchase and less reputable means in order to feed their people.

In coal production, such labor intensive practices have been replaced by Mountain-Top Removal mining, which has its own implications for the residents of Appalachia and other places where coal happens to be.

Peace,
Randy Gabrielse

      

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri, 4 Dec 2009 20:27:43 -0800 (PST)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 04 2009 - 23:28:20 EST