Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Global Warming "Hoax"

At the risk of making a huge generalization, I must ask this:

Why do so many religious conservatives doubt that humans are causing global warming?

Seriously, I peruse many conservative websites, many of them religious in nature, and I notice an odd trend. In the midst of the expected articles regarding marriage, family, "homasexuls," and the baby Jesus I often find articles about the global warming "hoax."

It seems strange to me that people who so readily believe in a literal interpretation of the alleged word of a supernatural being are simultaneously very quick to dismiss a phenomenon for which there is scientific evidence.

They chalk up the facts that the scientific consesus is that humans are responsible for climate change and that no scientific bodies of national or international standing reject the basic findings on human influence on recent climate as some sort of liberal conspiracy.

(If you're wondering about the switch to the phrase "Climate change," according to the National Academy of Sciences, "the phrase 'climate change' is growing in preferred use to 'global warming' because it helps convey that there are [other] changes in addition to rising temperatures.")

The term "climate change" is broader than the phrase "global warming." Thus, no national or international scientific body rejects the findings that humans are creating global warming in addition to other climate changes.

So, what's the deal? Are global warming deniers ignorant? Stubborn? Do they trust faith more than science?

Somebody help me out here.

Reading a few of the hoax articles, I found a few sort-of explanations:

1. "Environmentalists are not only working to keep America from developing new sources of oil, they are also blaming this unusually active hurricane season on global warming."

Ah. The oil. Could, perhaps, some people be profiting by claiming that global warming is a hoax?

2. More "unbiased" research is needed. Yes. Clearly, more objective research is needed when no national or international scientific body rejects the findings that humans are creating climate change.

3. "Radical" and "extremist" environmentalists dominate the discussion. Hmm. Note how calling anyone with whom you disagree a "radical" and "extremist" automatically connotes "crazy person who is out of touch with the common man." In other words, it automatically discredits your opponent and distracts the readers away from the content of his or her argument.

4. Global warming is occuring, but it is not due to humans. The world has just been "continually decaying since the fall."

In the end, however, I think the denial of global warming is about keeping dollars in somebody's pocket. Somebody being oil companies or those in the Jesus biz.

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