HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 16, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Case for global warming is weak

Pastor Robert Hellmann, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Montrose

“The debate is over. There’s a consensus. We must do something to save the earth from man-made global warming.”

Wait a minute. When you hear talk like that, you can be sure that the debate is not over. Let’s take a look at the other side of the issue before we jump on the man-made global warming bandwagon.

God’s Word tells us that God created this universe, including the earth (Gen. 1-2, Ex. 20:11). God upholds and sustains the universe with His almighty power (Heb. 1.3, Col. 1:17). God provides us with daily bread (Acts 14:17). God is the Creator, Owner, Sustainer, and Operator of the universe.

God created man and gave him the right to rule over the world as a steward (Gen. 1:26- 28). As stewards we are to use the world wisely for our good and for the glory of God.

Since the fall into sin, we have often abused God’s world and used it in sinful ways. Ultimately, God is still in control.

Now, let’s look at some of the evidence against man-made global warming.

Climate scientists say that the earth has been going through warming and cooling cycles for a long time, including the Medieval Warming (A.D. 900 to 1300) and the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850). It warmed from 1850 to 1940, then cooled until 1975, warmed from 1976-1978, and since then has warmed only slightly, according to satellite measurements.

The Medieval Warming had average temperatures 2 to 4 degrees C. higher than today. The warm periods have been much better for humans than the cold periods.

The warming in the Medieval and earlier periods could not have been caused by man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning oil and coal. Most of the present warming occurred before 1940, but most of the man-made CO2 emissions have happened after 1940.

However, climate scientists have observed a direct correlation between small variations in the sun’s output and the cooling and warming cycles on earth. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere seems to be the result of warming, rather than the cause of warming.

What about the climate models that predict catastrophic warming for the earth? Models are not facts; they are only predictions. These models don’t fully factor in the effect of clouds and precipitation (which cool the earth). Neither do they include the earth’s natural thermostats.

For example, a certain place in the Pacific Ocean vents massive amounts of heat out into space when the ocean gets too warm. The climate models simply are not reliable.

The debate is not over. Many top-notch scientists reject the idea that man-made global warming has been proven to be true. To learn more, read “Unstoppable Global Warming every 1500 Years” by S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery. Or enter “William Avery” or “Roy Spencer” into your favorite Internet search engine and go from there.

Since the case for man-made global warming is so weak, it would be foolish to make drastic changes, such as trying to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent in 10 years. Such a drastic reduction in energy use would derail our growing economy and send us into a severe recession or worse.

The poor, the middle class, workers, and retired people would suffer the most. Contributions to churches and charities would plummet. Such drastic changes would be mismanagement, rather than good stewardship.

God has placed coal, natural gas, and oil in the earth as a blessing to us. Modern technologies make it possible to use them with a minimum of pollution. Using them will not disrupt our economy and will give us time to discover and develop other cheap energy sources that will serve a growing world economy and benefit all people, including the poor.

In the meantime, let us give thanks to God for the gift of salvation that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ and pray for the wisdom to use wisely the world that God has created for us.

This column was published in the July 2007 Metro Lutheran, an independent Lutheran newspaper in the Twin Cities. Their web site is MetroLutheran.org.

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