I Believe In Stewardship Not Global Warming

In January 1989, while out in Los Angeles preparing to transfer colleges, I interviewed actor Ted Danson for my college newspaper because he was an alumnus.  During that interview, Danson discussed his passion for the American Ocean’s Campaign (now Oceana), which he’d  founded as an environmental-focused nonprofit to educate the public on saving our damaged oceans.  He recalled the time he’d been on vacation with his family and saw such pollution on a beach that he felt uncomfortable letting his daughters swim.  I recalled times I’d witnessed similar sludge in the Rocky Mountains.  I recalled driving through the Alps and being shocked how well preserved they were by comparison.  That was the moment I first believed mankind’s habit of damaging the environment without concern for the future was a major problem.

So, in a sense, I believed one of the tenets of Global Warming long before that theory existed.  Which is one reason I find it easy to say:  I don’t believe in Global Warming theory.  I believe God created the Earth and gave it to man as a home.  I believe we are here as stewards and we have a responsibility to take care of the gift of our planet and preserve it as a gift to be shared with future generations.  I remember hearing about the destruction of Mangrroves by New Orleans and over in Asia as hurricanes hit and realizing the damage had gotten worse than I’d realized.  And thinking we have to stop this.  And I believe we do.

But that doesn’t mean I believe in all this peudo-science used to justify Global Warming.  Climate changes?  Well, Hammartan winds have been causing strange shifts for decades, so why is it all of a sudden Global Warming?  One of my biggest issues with science as a whole these days is summed up in the article http://slate.me/fo8yGr.  Science has become dominated by people with one dominant worldview and ideology.  How can it truly call itself unbiased, how can the methods truly be subjective when the people asking the questions start from such a similar place?  As a science fiction and fantasy writer, I have marvelled how people who can be so creative and open to endless possibility in their writing can be so close minded in their real world attitudes toward God and other subjects.  Is it really so easy to write off a higher being as the iniator of the Big Bang, when one is so convinced a big bang actually occurred?

And the arguments I’ve heard and data I’ve read on Global Warming just prove this to me.  Anyone who even remotely questions the theory is labelled “irrational” or “ignorant.”  What happened to healthy skepticism in science?  Some legitimate questions have been raised about the data and I don’t think true, dedicated scientists of integrity would discount them so quickly.  There’s no doubt, in my mind, that mankind’s activities are harming the environment.  Corporations and governments and others have built for years, destroying habitat and natural resources, without any regard for long term impact.  We’ve known most of my life that oil was not unlimited, that it one day might run out.  The fact that it hasn’t yet, doesn’t change my concern that our dependence on fossil fuels is a long term concern.  In the same way, I can believe that the Earth’s other rich resources have limits. And one has only to read the Wildlife Foundations endangered species lists to figure out  the damage done to the animal kingdom.

Is it really possible for anyone to believe significant damage hasn’t been done to the environment by man?  Not a rational person, no, but rational people still don’t have to believe in Global Warming to be rational.  Sorry folks.  The very suggestion that they do is completely irrational.  This is science, remember?  It’s based on hypothesis which form theories.  In essence, educated guesses, at least until definitive proof exists.  And while definitive proof exists of environmental damage by man, Global Warming theory has not been definitively proven.  So I remain skeptical.

The need for stewardship, however, is obvious.  It occurs not only in personal finance or use of office supplies (particularly witnessed by those responsible for the relevant budgets) but in the face of rising gas prices.  It’s not really a big stretch to apply the concept to other areas as well, such as the environment.  As farmers, my family often spoke of good stewardship of their land.  Land is valuable and to survive, farmers must make the most of every parcel.  Perhaps city folk have a harder time grasping this prospect, but I don’t think it’s that hard.  We have to take care of everything we own if we want it to last.  I learned that every time a childhood toy broke and couldn’t be repaired.

So here I am, proponent of stewardship but Global Warming skeptic. And I am a rational person, despite being a science fiction and fantasy writer.  I have great faith in science and great faith in religion, and I have great faith in human kind.

For what it’s worth…

7 thoughts on “I Believe In Stewardship Not Global Warming

  1. I've read that Slate article and frankly, owing to my personal knowledge of people in science, I think it's hogwash. Scientists, by and large, are excited to buck consensus. That isn't to say there aren't those that are concerned with pushing ideology as well, but I most of the commentators I see doing this are people peripheral to science. A very large record of published, peer reviewed and respected science leads to the AGW hypothesis. May I ask what specific part of AGW science leaves you skeptical?

  2. All due respect, I'd say it's irrational to call the Slate article hogwash when you believe in Global Warming.I know many scientists. Of them, all are Liberal or Agnostic except one. I have read many scientific books, all but a few written by scientists who were Athiest/Agnostic Liberals. I have read other studies pointing to this discrepency. As for GW, charts showing climate changes over the past 15000 years document 10 significant changes, almost all of which are significantly (up to 20 times) warmer than the present warming. The period after the last ice age was the warmest on record.The earth was cooling from roughly 1940-1976 despite the fact that widespread industrialization was occurring during that 30 year time period. In fact, temperatures dropped so much that there were claims we were going into a dangerous period of "global cooling." If global temperatures are tightly bound to man-made greenhouse gasses and those gasses were being rapidly introduced to the atmosphere, then the earth should have been warming, not cooling during that period.

  3. I'm not saying it's irrational one way or the other to "believe" in AGW. Facts are things that do not require our belief. They certainly don't require that we be of one political mind or another in order to perceive them. I can respect someone telling me that they aren't convinced by the evidence that AGW is occuring. To say that the majority of climate scientists are only barking up an ideological tree, though, is precisely the kind of hearsay clap-trap that non-scientists use to "prove" some point or another. Either the evidence stands, or it doesn't. It looks for all the world like AGW is occurring. The predictions of the hypothesis are observable.As for 1940-1976, see <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_science_is_missing_from_ia.phphttp://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_scien… />As for paleoclimatology, It is well known that there have been warmer times on record on the planet earth. The mixture of atmospheric gases in prehistoric times had been upset by a great number of cataclysmic geological events, none of which have been the precursor for the current bout of unprecedented warming.I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other. I'm just trying to say I don't think it's up to our instincts, politics, or religion whether AGW is happening or not. There is a science being applied to the question of AGW. I don't believe in scientific liberal bias. It's just not good science. That said, I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm not going to call you irrational or ignorant that you aren't a subscriber to the AGW hypothesis. Aiming for sustainability is a worth goal regardless of climate change.

  4. Fair enough. I appreciate that respect. What I'm saying is that our political, religious and other such affiliations shape how we view the world whether we want them to or not. They help determine which questions we ask and how we ask them, and thus they influence our scientific endeavors. Scientists can try to be neutral or unbiased. Many do. Most I hope. But I know from experience it doesn't always work, especially when you are surrounded in your lab and field by people of a similar mind. Those biases just come to roost and effect you. And I'm saying that plays into science.I am also saying that the science is not good science enough to convince me. They are making blanket statements that GW is fact when there are still plenty of unanswered questions which make it possible they don't have the facts right.

  5. Between wireless internet failing, keyboard sticking, etc. I am so not even worried about typos. Heck, the first post went up three times because I got error messages saying it didn't. So I erased two off them when I figured that out. Hope if you were following comments you didn't get all three.

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