False: ‘It’s Cold, So Science Is Wrong’

Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: 2014.11.17

Please Stop Saying This
Saw this on Facebook today

A person I haven’t seen in 20 years, but who asked to be my “friend” on Facebook recently, posted the above today.

I understand why oilmen, coal magnates, and their paid politicians would say this (because “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” I Timothy 6:10), but I don’t understand why anyone else would say it.

Let’s think about the mental hurdles you have to leap here:

1. It’s really cold here, today, which means thousands of thermometers around the globe aren’t measuring correctly, or thousands of climate scientists are incorrectly interpreting the data, or the majority of these scientists are just flat-out lying to us.

2. Scientists don’t agree with my largely uninformed opinion, so they are now “so-called scientists”.

It reminds me of the sarcastic Twitter meme:

“Plot idea: 97% world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis but are exposed by plucky billionaires and oil firms.”

And perhaps worst of all, at least for the reputation of religious people everywhere:

3. “God is in control of the weather!!”

This echoes Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who said in his book that humanity can’t possibly affect the climate because God controls it: “My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

Okay, so the logic is: God doesn’t allow our actions to have consequences. Think about it; that’s what Inhofe is saying. It doesn’t matter how many particles of heat-trapping gases we puff into the atmosphere, God will keep the Earth’s climate from changing.

By the same logic, God is in control of rivers and groundwater, so it’s okay to dump all the crap you want into them. God controls your health, so there’s no need to watch what you eat or ever visit a doctor. God controls species extinction, so it doesn’t matter what you hunt or why, how how many shopping malls we build in animals’ habitats. God controls people’s brains, so there’s no need for education.

If our actions cannot possibly have consequences because “God is in control”, then why did God issue the Ten Commandments? Just for fun? Go ahead, pick up a weapon and head for your fellow churchman; comfort him by reminding him that God is in control.

(Most) religious people don’t accept that flawed logic in other parts of their lives, but they’re accepting it when it comes to climate change.

Scripture is very fat with the theme that actions have consequences — not only in the spiritual world and afterlife — but here and now in the physical world.

More: 13 Poor Excuses to Deny Anthropogenic Global Warming

  1. 1. I thought you were out of Facebook and
    2. Did you call out this person? Unfriend them?

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      1. I rejoined in early 2014 (and noted it on my “why I’m not on Facebook page” : http://wilcfry.com/fb/ ), in order to communicate with The City Of Killeen — it turned out to be much more efficient to ask them questions on Facebook than to waste my phone’s battery while on hold. Since then, many family members and old friends have “friended” me.

      My account: https://www.facebook.com/wilcfry

      I still don’t post anything on my “timeline” other than links to my blogs, etc., but occasionally comment on or “like” other people’s post.

      2. I did respond, in the hopes that this person still had any brains:

      “Eh? Definitely getting warmer as a global average. We just had three months in a row set records, with 2014 on track to be the warmest year since records began.”

      And I linked to my October 2014: Hottest Ever blog entry.

      In all likelihood, I will unfriend the person eventually, but will give them multiple chances to take up facts (I myself required several years for the facts to set in on this subject).

  2. Shari says:

    Like you mentioned om the blog, I used to say “so much for global warming” as a joke, but have since heard people say it seriously.
    I’m still undecided on this topic, so at least I’m trying to not argue about it until I can research more. The frustrating thing is when I look at people who say it’s no longer warming, they either claim records have been changed (with no proof) or only look at data for the US. But I haven’t spent a lot of time with it overall (especially considering the amount of misinformation and high tempers on the subject).

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      Shari, I was certainly “undecided” about it for several years. (I mentioned this in my position paper on global warming.)

      I wish there was some giant Truth-O-Meter machine, into which we could feed competing viewpoints, and it would just pop out the answer. Is the Earth warming or not? Bam, the screen would light up with “Yes. Yes it is.” Is mankind at least partially responsible for this? Again, a lit-up screen with the answer.

      The closest we have to this in real life is science (though clearly not everyone agrees on everything and various scientific “truths” have changed over time as we learn more), since the goal is (simply put) “to find out with as much certainty as possible”. And the farthest thing we have from a Truth-o-Meter is politics, where the goal is to get elected and stay elected.

      I realized there were only three groups of people who continue to push either the “it’s not warming” or the “it’s not our fault” arguments: politicians (usually on the right), people who stand to lose huge profits (coal, oil, etc.), and people who are generally distrustful of science on every subject (often fundamentalist religious folk, though not always).

      I can see why a religious person might shy from science on the creation front (because the two are directly at odds), but there is no contradiction on the environmental front, nothing in the Bible to indicate that humans can’t have an adverse effect on the Earth — in fact, quite the opposite from my reading.

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