Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Stance on the Warming

Troutsky went to go see An Inconvenient Truth again. After the movie was over, a fellow--a scientist!--got up and claimed to have debunked Gore's little theory. He writes:

[H]is [the scientist's] theory was "increased solar activity was heating the planet CAUSING increased CO2 levels which were mostly from seaweed or plankton or some such".
Man caused was insignificant, not a worry. Is this your belief?

He asks a valid question, and should be given a fair answer. Here goes. My belief is that while we know that the earth is warming, we do not know the reason why. Do I think the earth is warming? The current evidence seems to suggest as much, though I don't like to extrapolate into the future save in silly matters, such as the upcoming presidential election. Do I think that human beings cause warming? I'm honestly not sure. I wish we had more evidence. Do I think that people like Gore fallaciously lay claim to truth? Certainly. Do I think they ignore the aforesaid solar activity? Definitely.

Do I think that the government should attempt to solve the warming problem? No. Do I think that humans will be able to stop the earth from warming at all? Not really. It will sound simplistic, and even platitudinous, but the earth is bigger than we are--and I am not only talking about physical proportions. Even if I were not a Christian, I would like to think that there was something bigger than I am. It may be false, but it is a very comforting thought nonetheless. Is certainly discomforting believing that this is all that there is, and that we are the most important things on the earth.

Do I think that industrial capitalism has brought with it a disregard for the planet on which we live, and for the other creatures, who, though of less importance than the one species made in God's image, are nonetheless products of His same act of love? Emphatically yes. Do I think we need to go back to living in small agrarian communities so as to avoid doing ill toward the planet? Not exactly, though if people wish to do so than they should probably be encouraged in their endeavor.

The global warming debate has been insensibly polarized. On one side, Gore and company believe that we must scrap the entirety of the industrialized world--that which has enabled us to, for good or ill, populate the world to extents previous unimaginable; for that is the logical extension of his line of thinking--so that we do not over-heat the earth and (maybe) cause many people to die and wreck the environment for future generations. On the other, capitalism is the philosophy which allows us to worship at the throne of mammon. Environmentalists stand in the way of progress, which means strip-mining and strip malls and making man a materialistic creature.

I rarely stand in the middle on anything, but in this case it seems a practical place to reside. We should be stewards of the earth, but this earth is ultimately for our use. One perfectly good way of using it is to leave it as is, but it can also be good to clear land, especially if it is for something as essential as human homes. Ultimately, however, we are small creatures in a very big universe. We will probably never know what causes global warming. We do not even know how to accurately predict the weather a single week in advance. It seems terribly hasty to dismantle civilization for things that might come to pass. Our lives are not our own. There is something much bigger out there.

UPDATE: Troutsky, your word verification for commenting on your site isn't working for me. I had some thoughts to offer on your last post, but I won't be able to do so unless you turn the thing off. Sorry.

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