Because taking care of the Earth isn't just for hippies!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Conservative voices on Global Warming

More and more conservative voices are expressing concern regarding the need to address the global warming issue seriously. Two examples I have come across recently have been Pat Robertson and blogger Fr. Jim at Dappled Things.

From Reuters via Grist:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said on Thursday the wave of scorching temperatures across the United States has converted him into a believer in global warming.

"We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels," Robertson said on his "700 Club" broadcast. "It is getting hotter, and the icecaps are melting and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air."

Fr. Jim has recently posted his opinion of Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth."  I was going to post just a snippet, but a snippet just doesn't do it justice:

I really had very little interest in seeing Al Gore's new film, An Inconvenient Truth. I have always been skeptical of claims that we were catastrophically altering the climate. I have always been put off by the weirdo-factor (for lack of a better word) of the more hard-core environmentalists I have known. And I really dislike Al Gore's politics -- pretty much across the board, not just on climate-related issues.

But, a friend wanted to see it, and I don't like to be left out of a conversation that everyone else was starting to have, so I went to see the movie earlier this week.

All of that having been said by way of preface, I think this may be one of the best films I've seen in quite a while. It's not kooky. It's not boring. It backs up its claims with science. And even Al Gore comes off in a sympathetic way. I have to say that this documentary has readjusted my own views in some significant ways. Besides all the dramatic numbers related to carbon dioxide and temperature changes, two things stood out to me.

First, like many people, I had rested much of my own skepticism on the skepticism of many other voices. But the film pointed out something: An analysis of 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles on climate change looked for the percentage of articles disputing the consensus opinion that global warming is occurring and is driven by human activities. Of those 928 articles, not a single one disputed the consensus. That amazed me. A similar study of articles in the popular press showed significant numbers of articles claiming that there was in fact no consensus. The second thing that stood out is that, in the wake of An Inconvenient Truth's release, there has been next to no serious attempt at a scientific debunking of the movie. Even Fox News has praised the film!

So, I encourage you to see the movie. There's also a blog that accompanies it and continues the conversation that the movie provokes. If this issue really is as serious as the experts in the field think it is, we really do have a moral obligation to act.

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