Facts often overlooked in global warming debate
April 16, 2007
The debate over human impact on global warming is one that should be decided by facts and debate, not "trust" in one position or another, a theologian said April 16 during a Bryan College chapel service.
Dr. Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance
, said the debate over global climate change "isn’t entirely scientific; there are important theological, economic and sociological issues involved as well."
Dr. Beisner suggested that key points in the global warming debate are either misunderstood or misrepresented. For example, the idea that there is a scientific consensus that climate change is largely man-made is not supported by facts. He said that in 2003 a survey of 530 climate scientists found 9.4 percent who strongly agreed with the statement that climate change is largely man-made, while 9.7 percent strongly disagreed.
He said a correct theological understanding of creation would lead Christians to believe that God created a world that would not be easily thrown out of balance. In addition, the promise on Genesis 8: 21-22, that the seasons, "seed time and harvest, day and night" would not cease "should make Christians skeptical that manmade greenhouse gasses have catastrophic results."
Dr. Beisner said that solar output accounted for about 83 percent of all global warming during the 20th Century, and that "the correlation between solar wind (variations) and global warming is so strong it can explain practically all climate change."
He pointed out that during the Roman Empire period and during the middle ages earth’s temperatures were warmer than they are today, and only in the last century did the earth emerge from a "mini ice age."
"Human contribution to climate change is real, but it is minimal," he said.
He said that predictions of catastrophic climate changes are not supported by science. For example, scientific studies projecting increases in sea levels of between 5.5 and 23 inches have been exaggerated to predict increases of as much as 40 feet by global warming activists. And projections of crop failures fly in the face of records of crop production during earlier "warm" periods.
He said fully implementing provisions of the Kyoto Protocol would result in a temperature reduction of approximately .36 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 at a cost of $200 billion to $1 trillion per year.
On the other hand, developing technology to adapt to future climate changes would produce both economic benefits for even underdeveloped countries.
He said a $200 billion investment would be sufficient to provide clean water and sanitation facilities to the world’s poor, prevent 2 million to 3 million deaths each year and a half-billion illnesses per year.
"The best scientific evidence is that recent climate change is natural, not man-made."