Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Global Warming, Evolution, and Intellectual Debate

Have you noticed how many items in the stores are now labeled as "Green" or "Environmentally Friendly"? I was looking on the local craigslist yesterday for an easy chair to replace the decrepit one in our living room, and I came across these furniture ads:

"Really cute blue velvet club chair with mustache back and contrast welt. Down seat, very comfortable. Well made and environmentally friendly"


"White, red, sage & butter yellow Floral chair; Reversible seat cushions Made with bioflex hybrid foam for a smaller environmental footprint More Earth-friendly than conventional foams, using more renewable resources "

Wow. So as a conscientious consumer who doesn't want to DESTROY the Earth, I had better make careful choices and only buy those products - everything from laundry detergent to cars to easy chairs - that tell me they are FRIENDLY, and not spend my money on those other MEAN, BAD, UNFRIENDLY products.
It all just seems a bit opportunistic to me - jumping on the bandwagon, to benefit from the fear and hysteria being promoted by politicians and media.
According to TIME Magazine , USA Today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. John McCain , and of course Sen. Al Gore , there is no scientific debate on the issue of global warming, and everyone with an ounce of sense and credibility agrees that a disaster is imminent unless WE STOP IT! ( by buying earth-friendly products?)

But there is scientific debate on the issue.

Climatologists Reject Media Claims of Global Warming Consensus

31,000 scientists reject 'global warming' agenda

Global Cooling Is Coming!

The Tempest

I'm not a terrible person nor am I a stupid person. I read a lot. I try to listen to both sides of a debate and make informed decisions. I do care about having clean air and clean water, and I teach my children to be good stewards of our resources. But I'm not convinced that human beings are killing the earth. And the lock-step, group-think mentality that surrounds polarizing issues such as this is very troubling to me. I resent being characterized as a terrible, stupid person because I don't necessarily agree with the proclaimed "consensus".

It reminds me of the debate over Darwinian evolution versus Intelligent Design. If you only listened to mainstream media ( admittedly left-leaning) and spokesmen for the "academic community" (unquestionably left-leaning), there IS no debate and critics of Darwinian evolution are quacks, religious fanatics, wierdos, and of marginal intellect. Just read the criticism aimed at the recent movie "Expelled; No Intelligence Allowed". Likewise, in reading some of the comments and remarks aimed toward the critics of Global Warming, I found no lack of vehement name-calling - "Republicans", "Christians", and the worst thing possible, "fat & happy white American males".


Anonymous said...

As a believer in evolution I do also believe in falsifiability. Natural selection can be falsified and so can the progression of species.

The big failure of consensus science is when it comes to abiogenesis where there is no falsifiable hypothesis. Honestly at this point the notion that Xenu or Yahweh planted the first lifeform has as much evidence as the primeordial ooze.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Yes, it is really something how marketers are seeking to turn this to their advantage whether the "greenness" of their product is real or imagined!

Isn't it something the way one point-of-view becomes the accepted one, regardless of contradictions. Sort of like the emperor in his new clothes.

I was thinking along these lines last September (before the primary season) about "creation care." One reason I love teaching TOG is because it does such a good job of teaching kids to see God's hand in history and see the long view, not just the latest trendy idea.

Also, your post about your graduate encouraged me greatly! I have four kids in the grammar stage or younger and prayerfully intend to graduate them all from our home school. Thanks for the inspiration that it can be done! And congrats to your graduate!

(I found you on the TOG blogroll. Thank you for your blog.)
Mrs. Edwards at Veritas at Home

My "Creation Care: A Worthy Cause?" post: