Is James Inhofe Shilling For God, or Oil? The Correct Answer is “Both”

Wed, 2012-03-14 09:04Chris Mooney
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Is James Inhofe Shilling For God, or Oil? The Correct Answer is “Both”

Last week, we were treated to one of those facepalm moments that make those of us who care about the future of planet intensely frustrated. Or worse.

Senator James Inhofe, climate conspiracy theorist, was on a Christian radio program talking about his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. And here’s what he said (audio at link):

Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in [the book] is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” 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, forget about the biblically-based climate denial for a moment. I’m kind of fascinated by Inhofe’s statement that God is still “up there.” Really? Like, in the sun? Directly over our heads?

Is Inhofe a pre-Copernican as well as a global warming denier? Does he not realize that while “up” might have meant a great deal to Ptolemaic Christians, it has no real significance in the context of modern physics and cosmology?

What’s most frustrating, though, is this bizarre invocation of Scripture to justify the idea that we don’t need to worry about climate change. For those of us who are secular in outlook, it’s not just that this makes no sense. The idea that such sectarian notions—arguments or motivations that cannot be proved by rational argument or discussion with those who do not share Inhofe’s religious premises–could be influencing U.S. policy is, frankly, shocking.

But there’s something weird going on here too, when you think about it. I mean, usually, we tend to think of climate deniers like Inhofe as not driven by religion, but rather, by money or corporate influence. And indeed, reporting on Inhofe’s latest remarks at Think Progress Green, Brad Johnson helpfully added that “In the interview, Inhofe did not mention he has received $1,352,523 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, including $90,950 from Koch Industries.”

So when he denies global warming, is Inhofe trying to appease his campaign funders and the oil and gas industry? Or is he shilling for Jesus? Or are they interchangeable?

This tends out to be an area of endless confusion in U.S. politics, so I want to take this opportunity to address it.

In a prior post here, I wrote about why evolution deniers and climate deniers might be “natural allies,” despite the fact that one form of denial has a religious motivation, whereas the other presumably springs from economic or free market convictions. Now, let me go farther.

In my new book The Republican Brain, I discuss in detail the odd phenomenon of the economic and social right pairing up together, again and again–just as they do in James Inhofe, and just as they do in Rick Santorum. Many have remarked on this strange bedfellows allegiance, which is, after all, the backbone of the current U.S. Republican Party. But it is usually treated as an oddity, a strange contradiction: What do pragmatic businessmen have to do with Bible thumpers? Why does Big Pharma want to be in bed with people who are anti-contraception and anti-stem cell research? And so on.

My contention is that we need to stop thinking of this as a mystery or contradiction, and instead come to view it as psychologically normal. Stop listing all the rational reasons why the allegiance shouldn’t exist, and start thinking about the psychological reasons why it should.

And what are those? Well, start with this figure from a recent paper by Yale political scientist Alan Gerber and his colleagues. Gerber et al are studying the relationship between personality and political views, and what they find is that economic and social conservatives alike are more conscientious, and less open to new experiences. Economic and social liberals alike, meanwhile, are less conscientious, and more open to trying out new ideas and new things.

In other words, economic and social liberals are just as okay with new adventures and experiments in their personal lives as they are with sociopolitical and economic change. Their opponents on both fronts, meanwhile, are much more wedded to stability, in social structures (“the family”), in economic norms (the “free market”), and day to day life alike.

This is, admittedly, only a brief gloss on this issue, and there is much more unpacking in the book. But my contention is that we need to give up on this odd and incoherent game of sometimes describing climate change denial as driven by money, and sometimes as driven by religion—usually fundamentalist.

The two aren’t nearly as distinct as you might think. And the thing that unites us global warming accepters (and separates us from many of our foes) is our willingness to believe that traditional authorities in society—industry, the free market, the church—are just plain wrong about a lot of things….and really could have led us to this desperate point of planetary emergency. 

Comments

Nice article. I think Inhofe is indeed a corporate guy protecting oil and gas companies rights!

I Live in Greece and we had the worst winter for about 30 or more years….a lot of snow…extremely low temperatures….a lot of rain…i mean tropical rain…

It is the first time of my life that i see this kind of weather in Greece….i mean tropical rains can’t be explained….

Recently i’ve read an article from Φαψεβοοκ that claims that the melt of North Pole ice is creating this extreme weather condition…and as far as i see…i can’t doubt it...

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

But I recommend that you read more from the IPCC.

http://www.ipcc.ch/

As with many things in Climate Change its not always obvious what is going on and it is best that you use good sources for information. I believe that the following article would be close to what you are talking about;

http://www.skepticalscience.com/declining-arctic-sea-ice-record-snowfalls-are-they-linked.html

manoskiamos,

“oilman” is inviting you to join the Church of Climatology cult.

Why go with a failing pale imitation?  Check out these guys:

http://www.dianetics.org

At least they’ve got a “free personality test” and Tom Cruise.

PJ, you are really cementing yourself as the new troll of this forum. Nothing but fail & desperate to derail.

As did PJ.

:-)

Never mind PJames.  PJ is merely our resident climate science denier.  Everybody should have one.

Illuminating post Chris, I’ve come across similar fundamentalist Christian views in deniers I’ve had long arguments with on the blogosphere, who deny the possibility of any human influence on God’s creation in the face of overwhelming evidence.

The psychology of climate science denial is really important to understand, and I look forward to further reports of published work in the field.

Meanwhile, perhaps what we really need is some footage of the Imhofe - Pat Robertson Tornado Prevention Prayer Squad in action? 

oil is God.

:-)

Siri is God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UpmQN55q2g

Some of the accounts of Inhofe that I have read suggest that his main motive is hostility to regulation. Given this his alliance with oil producers is to be expected. I would think that the religious justifications could be rationalizations to support his other motives. After all it is hardly the only way to interpret the verses that he quotes.

Yes, indeed Lloyd. The research indicates a lot of bad stuff, including mass extinctions, crop failures, flooding - it sounds positively apocalyptic!

But even in the worst scenarios, the sun will still rise and harvest will still occur (somewhere). (Can you see a straw man argument set forth by Inhofe?)

But, Inhofe’s grandchildren may have to take in the poor refugees from Miami who bought his book, once the city is submerged by the century’s end.

I thought that God’s charge to man (Adam) was to fill the Earth and subdue it, not to kick it into a fury and make it more hostile to life.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, for example, we find many who follow the church’s teachings as conditioned as children to the best of their imperfect sinful souls, & others who pretty much realize, sooner or later, that the Trinity & BVM are merely a peculiar post-Classical blend of Olympian & Messianic traditions, all hell be damned.

The fervent fall more easily into line, although imperfectly, & appear less likely to challenge the status quo of most any authority, ecclesiastical or temporal. The latter seem to thrive, even revel in serendipitous novelty & perhaps a bite of rebellion.

Of course, there are all those shades-of-greyers betwixt & between.

Perhaps, it’s the way our brains are wired genetically & familially & educationally that gives us our propensities towards either bent. Perhaps, the more compliant found their path early on by keeping their crayolas within the lines for a favorite teacher’s warm fuzzy, while the unsettled others were busy passing around naughty notes at the back of the class.

On either side & all along the spectrum, there also appear those who are particularly astute at calculating their demeanor, you know, like attorneys-at-law, hired-guns, & Mother Superiors.

Republican U.S. Senator James Mountain Inhofe of Oklahoma strikes us as one of these calculators. Whether or not he truly believes in global warming hoaxes or the authority of scriptures or laissez-faire government may not be what propels his theater of the absurd; rather, his adamant denial of climate science may be driven more by money & reelection campaigns, & how best to seduce & indulge his constituency & benefactors many of whom just happen to be religious fundamentalists & fossil fuel magnates.

and prefers stability, then the message should be expressed in those terms. That is, if you want the climate, the harvests and the coastlines the way they are, here’s how to make sure of it.

I don’t think the conservative mindset is averse to action. The case must be made that change is inevitable. There is a choice: change your energy sources or accept a less hospitable Earth.

Change your energy or Extreme Mother Nature will change your entire world.  Your choice.

I saw a list of Biblical passages that urge people to preserve the environment. Should have kept the bookmark.

 

“I saw a list of Biblical passages that urge people to preserve the environment. Should have kept the bookmark.”

The bible is contradictory. It has one stance, but within a page or two has a contradictory position. People manipulate the text to suit their own confirmation bias and personal agenda’s. Same with the Quran/Koran. They were written for people several hundreds of years ago that have no relevance at all in todays world. Many still have a limited understanding of the world around us today. Let alone several hundred years ago.

The only passage I remember from my religious teachings was:

“Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful (do what you need to do to get ahead)  and multiply ( have 7 children) and fill the earth (with rubbish) and subdue it ( destroy as much as possible for personal gain) and have dominion over the fish (leave only things you cant sell) of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves (kill those who oppose your views) on the earth.””

 

but in South Africa they claimed that the Bible told them it was OK to oppress blacks.

I’m sure its stuff like this that prompted XTC to write Dear God;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk41Gbjljfo

If GingerLadySlipper is all for preserving our inhabitable climate & irreplaceable biodiversity, our majestic mountains & life-giving running waters & life-teeming oceans, our spectacular natural resources & our awe-inspiring natural heritage for our children & grandchildren & all posterity on this pale blue dot, then it’s alright by us wherever she finds her inspiration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M

As far as we’re concerned, anyone can believe whatever they want so long as they don’t try to force religion of any flavor, in any disguise upon our public schools, our health care, our local, state, or federal governments, or any of our basic human rights & constitutional liberties.

Among the wisest things JC is supposed to have said is:

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Clearly an enlightened Hellenistic plug for separation of church & state, echoed many centuries later by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802.

“Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qjeffson.htm

btw, some of the most educated & smartest, savviest &, yes, delightful people we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing are people of faith, including a few Jesuit priests who did their god-darnedest to educate yours truly in the ways of the world long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

of Genesis 1:28, Phil.

I always read it as:

And God blessed them (spoke well of them). And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (populate the earth, fill it with the image of God) and subdue it (take charge to make it habitable for your descendants) and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves (consider all living things and exercise your powers to manage them responsibly for God) on the earth.”

The word “dominion” merely means “supreme authority” and that implies nothing about the quality of that authority. But those of the Jewish and Christian faiths will understand that the charge follows “in His image” indicating that Adam and Eve were God’s representatives, God’s expression on earth. Thus, they should constantly be reflecting God’s nature in their behavior.

So, you can ask your denier friends of faith, “Okay, let’s presume that God won’t let man go extinct no matter how much we foul our nest, does that give us the justification to do so? Isn’t it the same as forgiveness not justifying a life of crime?”

Further, the fact that Adam and Eve’s sin caused more misery for them and their children (pain in childbirth, man’s got to sweat to get food, they were expelled from their comfy home) shows that God allows consequences and suffering to follow bad behavior.

Regardless of our political or religious affiliations, we should be trying to build bridges and build consensus to build momentum and to foment action.

Won’t that be more satisfying than scoring points?

 

Dug into both Hebrew & Christian traditions time & again & never found any mention of extracting & burning gigatons of Alberta tar sands to totally pollute the planet, although Athabasca certainly does sound more Babylonian than Cree.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0101.htm

However, upon a closer reading of Genesis 1:29-30, the taking of herbal supplements by both man & beast is clearly part of the Her plan for all of creation.

So Yahweh is a Shaklee distributor? Damn!

“And God blessed them (spoke well of them). And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (populate the earth, fill it with the image of God) and subdue it (take charge to make it habitable for your descendants) and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves (consider all living things and exercise your powers to manage them responsibly for God) on the earth.”

Had I have still been religious, that is the way I would have taken it also. I was being sarcastic. It was a facetious attempt at showing that there is many interpretations of the same words. Many who advocate turn the other cheek also advocate bombing ‘terrorists’.

“Further, the fact that Adam and Eve’s sin”

What fact? I regard the bible as a work of fiction, so it’s hard to me to reconcile any facts there. There is no fact that Adam & Eve existed. Their story is a metaphor, afterall, who did their kids have kids with?

“Regardless of our political or religious affiliations, we should be trying to build bridges and build consensus to build momentum and to foment action.”

I apologize if I sound over militant in opposition to religion. As they say, reformed smokers are the biggest critics of smokers & smoking. I agree though, that we should be trying to build bridges. I do try.

 

Hot weather is hurting Canada’s Natural Gas Exports;

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=5410

“The vast majority of U.S. natural gas imports arrive via pipeline from Canada (see chart below). Significant increases in U.S. natural gas production have led to decreased U.S. demand for Canadian natural gas. Imports from Canada for 2011 were significantly below the previous five-year range, and have been lower for much of 2012 so far (some of this decline, however, can be attributed to warmer-than-usual weather across much of the United States).”

 

On Friday, March 16, 2012, the famous paleoclimatologist Dr. Michael Mann spoke to all the students and faculty at Bishop O’Connell High School, a very large Catholic high school in Arlington,VA. Dr. Mann explained the science of climate change and the possible consequences of not addressing the problem. He showed pictures from his book “Dire Consequences: Understanding Global Warming.”

The students, who are studying climate change in science, asked a lot of questions that impressed Dr. Mann. The science teachers were really proud of the thoughtful questions the kids asked.

The Ecology Club all had their pictures taken with Dr. Mann. They were smiling like they were standing next to a rock star!

Just so everyone knows, Catholic educational institutions teach the peer-reviewed science and follow the lead of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which includes scientists who have helped write the IPCC Assessments.

Thanks  to Dr. Mann, Bishop O’Connell students will be able to study peer-reviewed science should they choose to continue their studies at a secular state university in Virginia. 

Galileo was probably quoting the Vatican Librarian Cardinal Baronius when he said, “The Bible teaches us how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go.”

This means that the Bible is not a science book. 

I don’t like it when Mr. Mooney attributes Inhofe’s so-called “religion” to all religious people. This is dividing scientists and believers who should be working together. It is playing into the hands of the denialists who are also attacking churches. 

Some of the astroturf “religious” organizations such as the Cornwall Alliance are connected to the Dragon Slayers and Monckton. Really, they are trying to bully and confuse Christians.

They really represent Christians about as well as those 1000 scientists represent scientists.

The Cornwall Alliance is disparaging Christians who accept the peer-reviewed science as adherants of a “new belief system that is not Christian.

Here is a fake religious site called “Real Catholic TV” that tries to make it appear that “real Catholics” don’t believe in global warming, although the Vatican says officially that there is global warming.

The “Real Catholic” site is nothing to do with the Vatican and even confuses people with a big logo that says CIA at the top. The site exploits the Central Intelligence Agency acronym by calling themselves the Catholic Investigative Agency (CIA), though they have a tiny disclaimer at the bottom saying they aren’t the real CIA.

They aren’t the real Catholics, either.

The Vatican says there is global warming. Children and college students learn about global warming in Catholic schools. Global warming is viewed as a social justice issue that needs to be addressed by real science, not swept under the rug by energy industry propaganda. The Vatican supports the UN report on climate change, so that’s the real Catholic position.

Here is another fake organization that claims to be made of Evangelicals—the Cornwall Alliance. The stupidities of the British religious bigot and global warming denialist Lord Christopher Monckton, who disparaged the University of St. Thomas as an ignorant “Bible college” are posted on this so-called “Evangelical” site.

One of the religious leaders of the Cornwall Alliance, Dr. James Tonkowich, also denigrates Christians who believe in global warming when he makes this bigoted, anti-religious allegation:

“Global warming is the central tenet of this new belief system in much the same way that the Resurrection is the central tenet of Christianity. Al Gore has taken a role corresponding to that of St Paul in proselytizing the new faith …. My skepticism about [anthropogenic global warming] arises from the fact that as a physicist who has worked in closely related areas, I know how poor the underlying science is. In effect the scientific method has been abandoned in this field.”

If you only read the home page, it seems that Dr. Tonkowich is claiming that he said these words and that he is a trained physicist, but if you click on the link, Dr. Tonkowich is actually quoting another person: “So wrote Atmospheric Physicist Dr. John Reid, quoted in a new report on more than a thousand scientists who dissent over the claims about man-made global warming.”

That seems a very deceptive to me. Also, these one thousand scientists do not represent the scientific consensus. Almost all climate scientists say there is global warming. The National Academy of Science says that global warming is happening.

It is hard to believe that this dishonest clergyman was once a leader of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Dr. Kent Hill, who led the IRD in the 1980s, would never have misrepresented himself like Dr. Tonkowich does.

Christians who believe in global warming are not cultists who have embraced a “new belief system;” rather, many Christians are educated people who read what our scientists and our religious leaders are learning about global warming. Educated Christians follow the discoveries of modern science and don’t swallow the stupid lies of the denialist “scientific” and “religious” organizations.

We know they are often just the mouthpieces of the fossil-fuel industry.

In my opinion, the Cornwall Alliance is really a bigoted, anti-religious site that shamelessly disparages Christians who are concerned about global warming by comparing them to the members of a cult who have replaced the central tenet of Christianity with the belief in global warming.

Characterizing Christians as extremist members of a cult is a tactic the communists used to denigrate and persecute Christians. Since Dr. James Tonkowich used to work at the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), he should know that. It is hard to understand how this Dr. Tonkowich was able to work for an organization that used to defend Soviet and East European Christians from religious bigotry.

It should be obvious that if religious organizations were really against global warming, the denialists would not need to make up FAKE religious organizations that deny global warming.

These denialist organizations that masquerade as religious organizations slander both scientists and Christians. They seem to have forgotten what the Ten Commandments says about bearing false witness.

Plenty of religious people look to religion for moral guidance while also maintaining a scientific outlook. Global warming is a moral issue, and educated Christians look to great scientists for guidance about how to solve this problem. I don’t think that the great scientists who are researching global warming are trying to “trick” people. I think that the fossil fuel industry, politicians who take their money, and the Russian petrostate are trying to trick people.

Here is what the Vatican says about global warming:

God created our world with wisdom and love and when he had finished his great work of creation, God saw that it was good.

Today however the world is confronted with a serious ecological crisis. The earth is suffering from global warming as a result of our excessive consumption of energy. The extent of forested area on our planet has diminished by 50% over the last 40 years while the deserts are spreading ever faster. Three quarters of ocean life has already disappeared. Every day more than 100 living species die out and this loss of biodiversity is a serious menace for humanity itself. With the apostle Paul we can affirm: creation has been delivered into the power of destruction, it groans as in the pains of childbirth.

We cannot deny that human beings bear a heavy responsibility for environmental destruction. Their unbridled greed casts the shadow of death on the whole of creation.

Together Christians must do their utmost to save creation. Before the immensity of this task, they must unite their efforts. It is only together that they can protect the work of the creator. It is impossible not to notice the central place which natural elements occupy in the parables and teaching of Jesus. Christ shows great respect even for the smallest of all the seeds. With the biblical vision of creation as affirmation, Christians can contribute with one voice to the present reflection on the future of our planet.

Prayer

God our Creator, the world was created by your Word and you saw that it was good. But today we are spreading death and destroying our environment. Grant that we may repent of our greed; help us to care for all that you have made. Together, we desire to protect your creation. Amen.

LINKS: http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/02/astroturf-religious-organizations-deny.html

Without a doubt, Snapple, we have full agreement with Jon Stewart & Colbert Nation that the bible, in any of its varied versions & translations, myriad manuscripts, or arbitrary apocrypha, is not a science book & should never be treated as such.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-march-14-2006/bart-ehrman

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/224128/april-09-2009/bart-ehrman

However, while your cite is probably intended primarily for the ears & eyes & souls of the Catholic faithful, we find it an unfortunate & willful mash-up of religious doctrine with science.

God created our world with wisdom and love and when he had finished his great work of creation, God saw that it was good. [Pure unadulterated religious doctrine, without a hint of science]

Today however the world is confronted with a serious ecological crisis. The earth is suffering from global warming as a result of our excessive consumption of energy. The extent of forested area on our planet has diminished by 50% over the last 40 years while the deserts are spreading ever faster. Three quarters of ocean life has already disappeared. [???] Every day more than 100 living species die out and this loss of biodiversity is a serious menace for humanity itself.  [Science without a hint of the divine].

With the apostle Paul we can affirm: creation has been delivered into the power of destruction, it groans as in the pains of childbirth. [Groaning with religious doctrine]

We cannot deny [in the sense of ”should not”, since there are clearly those who can & do deny the science] that human beings bear a heavy responsibility for environmental destruction. Their unbridled greed casts the shadow of death on the whole of creation. [Creation is a religious doctrine which inserts a divine creator] .

Together Christians must do their utmost to save creation. Before the immensity of this task, they must unite their efforts. It is only together that they can protect the work of the creator. It is impossible not to notice the central place which natural elements occupy in the parables and teaching of Jesus. Christ shows great respect even for the smallest of all the seeds. With the biblical vision of creation as affirmation, Christians can contribute with one voice to the present reflection on the future of our planet. [Chock-full of religious doctrine & sermon, but with a rational call to action].

We find our rational selves much more impressed by & supportive of the “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene” by the Working Group Commissioned by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences where they lawyerly present the scientific consensus & wisely limit any usage of the word “create” to acts of humanity & any supplication to the supernatural to acts of the faithful.

“We call on all people and nations to recognise the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home. By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life. We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.”

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdscien/2011/PAS_Glacier_110511_final.pdf

Amen, brother!

IANVS, I think you’re missing the point of Snapple’s comment. Snapple is merely reporting the position of the Catholic Church regarding global warming.

The Church is entitled to consider the universe as God’s creation. That’s basically the whole point of Christianity, and religion in general. So why complain about, for example:

God created our world with wisdom and love and when he had finished his great work of creation, God saw that it was good. [Pure unadulterated religious doctrine, without a hint of science].

Yes, I agree, pure unadulterated religious doctrine…, but so what? Is there anything wrong with the Church’s statement, in itself? God saw that it was good. Why shouldn’t he? Why shouldn’t we also agree wholeheartedly? Is there really anything offensive in the statement?

As to: God created our world with wisdom and love… Why not? Until we started screwing it up, the world seemed to work just fine, so obviously, *if* God created the world, it was certainly with more wisdom and love than we (man) are capable of.

I’m a scientist. I accept the laws of physics, mathematics, chemistry etc. I believe life evolved along the lines proposed by Darwin, and I don’t expect to go to hell for these beliefs. As far as Creation is concerned, is it really going to change the world in any way if I believe that it could have been God who lit the fuse that set off the Big Bang? However, as a scientist, I can’t prove that there is a God, anymore than you can prove there isn’t. So why make such a big deal about it?

As two people who both believe that man is causing global warming, which in the end will totally screw up the planet and just about everyone living on it, can we not both simply be happy that the Catholic Church, and mainstream Christianity, are on our side?

Senator Inhofe to the effect that he believed in global warming until he saw how much it costs.

That’s faith for you.

@ 4:08 in, Inhofe said:

“I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENZM29Cl8ho

I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

Perhaps he meant political cost through his funders threatening to withdraw funding.

Bashing religion antagonizes people by forcing them to choose between their faith and science. This sort of bullying undermines our ability to work together to solve the problem of climate change. Remember, the denialists are also trying to bully believers and tell them that Christians can’t believe in climate change.

All you do when you bash religion is stoke the culture wars, and that is a diversion that will get us exactly nowhere. Lord Monckton bashed the Catholic Church when he desparaged John Abraham’s Catholic university as a “Bible college.”

You may not believe in God, but religion is very real and powerful; and religion is playing a role in getting out the word about climate change. 

Fake “religious” denialist websites are trying to undermine churches because the denialists fear religion just as they fear science. The denialists realize that religion must be neutralized lest it become a formidible opponent.

Why are some journalists who write about science more interested in bashing religion than making a coalition to fight climate change? All they do is alienate the majority of Americans. Scientists and churches all need to work together. 

 Catholic schools teach climate change. They can’t be undermined by politicians who deny climate change and persecute teachers like Dr. Mann. Dr. Mann spoke as a scientist when he visited Bishop O’Connell H.S. Nobody asked him anything about his religion.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is non-sectarian. The head is Werner Arber, a Protestant. There are other scientists who are atheists, but they still work with the Vatican to help them learn about climate change so they can give people accurate information.

Please, we are all in the same boat. Instead of bashing Inhofe for his apocryphal “religious” views, confront him with the evidence of the Catholic and Protestant churches that accept climate change. Have religious leaders on TV who will tell you the position of the churches.

Yes, Snapple, we are all in the same lifeboat together, tossing about through the same troubled waters, & the strong hand of every able body & willing soul is needed to man the oars of science & technology to propel us safely to the other side of these self-inflicted, extreme changes in climate.

So let’s not fall overboard here.

re: “There is no contradiction between what we know through faith and what we learn through science. There may be tensions or conflicts, but we should not be afraid. The Church must not fear science and its discoveries.”

Yes, tensions & conflicts we have with us always, & no, there exists plenty of contradiction between what religion pretends & what science tells us. Science reveals to us the evidence of the natural world for evolution & anthropogenic climate change & beyond, where religion often requires that you suspend your disbelief, along with your reasoning powers, in favor of the supernatural, some might say, the magical or the superstitious. In particular, catholic doctrine & authorities require that you accept with your whole being, sometimes under pain of sin & excommunication – though, thanks to human progress & the sciences, no longer under the pain of torture & death – that priestly incantations transmute sanctified unleavened bread into flesh incarnate & consecrated wine into the blood of the divine, that holy spirits & unholy demons inhabit, sometimes possess our temple bodies, if no longer the skies, & an executed activist of Jewish heritage & questionable parentage arose from the dead &, sans jetpack or hovercraft, arose into the heavens above. (We’ll save the angel annunciations of virgin-birth, along with all the Cinderella stories, until after March Madness.)

To many adult men & women who rely on reason & reasonableness to earn their daily bread & solve real world problems, that might sound no less cultish than what Mormons or Heaven’s Gate or Branch Davidians would have us believe & accept with all our hearts, & much of our money, as the infallible word of a supernatural supreme authority, compliments of self-anointed intermediaries & inerrant, holier-than-thou books.

For hundreds of years, as you may recall, early christianity was considered, even persecuted, as a cult by the mainstream Roman people & authorities. In the written words of Pliny the Younger, a Roman governor around 110 AD, Christians were a “degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths.” And even today, many christians still consider Mormonism a cult, never mind Scientology.

So when is a cult no longer a cult? When it’s established as the state religion?

Nevertheless, we can all agree to act on what the science tells us about mother nature & her extremes. So let’s all get with the program, put the sweat of our brow to the oar, & all pull in the same direction, all at the same time, to renew our human civilization & preserve our planet, with the rebirth & rapid deployment of clean energy technologies, for our children & our grandchildren, & all of posterity’s sake.

On May 14, 2008, Jesuit Father Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory and a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences gave a really remarkable interview to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (LOR):

  “I believe that the [Vatican] Observatory has this mission: to be on the frontier between the world of science and the world of faith, to give testimony that it is possible to believe in God and be good scientists.”

  “[I]t is necessary [for the Church to dialogue with men of science.] Faith and science are not irreconcilable…Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI [have said]: faith and reason are the two wings which elevate the human spirit. There is no contradiction between what we know through faith and what we learn through science. There may be tensions or conflicts, but we should not be afraid. The Church must not fear science and its discoveries.”

  The interviewer responds, “As was the case with Galileo.” http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/interviste/2008/112q08a1.html

Vatican PR & papal encyclicals notwithstanding,

Where religious faith contradicts scientific evidence, they are irreconcilable, unless of course, the religious belief is nullified & superseded by what the science reveals.

And whenever science & its discoveries threaten religious doctrine & authority, as history & heretics bear witness to time & time again, ecclesiastical authoritarians & their faithful flocks often display fear & hostility & sectarian prescriptions & remedies.

So whether agonizing or not, parents & children of any society should be educated to recognize & acknowledge the scientific evidence over contrary religious doctrines & beliefs.

[x]
Citizens of Lafayette, Colo., have filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Colorado, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and Governor John Hickenlooper requesting immediate enforcement of Lafayette's Community Rights Charter Amendment to ban fracking. 
 
In November 2013, 60 percent of Lafayette voters approved the Community Rights Amendment, which allows citizens to prohibit harmful activities, such as fracking. Following the passage of the Lafayette...
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