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…