Global Warming is being promoted as the next likely doomsday scenario. Like many other good doomsday scenarios they all have one common theme, e.g. human beings are contributing to the destruction of mankind by polluting the environment. While there are many factors that are driven by the human dynamic, some fundamental truths must be stated before a level headed strategy can be developed to handle the so-called Global Warming crisis.
What is the fundamental overriding factor controlling global warming?
That depends on which expert you choose to ask. What drives the explanation for global warming is more politically and theologically motivated than you might initially think. Those who see mankind as the measure of all things, the primary force of cause and effect in their worldview, see man as both villain and savior in the global warming account.
Man is seen as the villain in terms of being the major source of the problem, e.g. the chief contributor in the production of green house gases. Man is seen as savior or the only hope for mankind, because only a drastic change in human activity can reduce these evil green house gases and save the earth from certain death. The remedy may come in many forms, ranging from alternative energy initiatives and the changing of our lifestyles, e.g. anything from hand-raking leaves to the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones, to the calculation of your Carbon Footprint and the planting of trees to offset your gluttonous appetite for fossil fuel.
If we are to have a positive impact on our environment and be the good stewards of God’s creation that He ordained man to be, e.g. And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, Genesis 2:15, we will have to study the problem and discern fact from fiction, truth from hype. The first order of business should be an unbiased evaluation of the alleged problem from a variety of sources, evaluating only the factual evidence.
Dr. Larry Vardiman has a B.S. in Physics from the U. of Missouri at Rolla, a B.S. in Meteorology from St. Louis University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University and is a member of the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Vardiman goes to the root of the issue of global warming by noting that evidence continues to mount that some type of warming is occurring, maybe temporarily or of longer duration. But, is it caused by man and can anything be done about it?
Dr. Vardiman notes, ‘it is still unclear if the conclusions are valid that this increase in carbon dioxide is due to man’s burning of fossil fuels and that it is causing the apparent recent warming trend which is melting the polar caps. Several questions continue to nag researchers in the climate community. Is the globe really warming? Are the polar caps really melting? How much of the increase in carbon dioxide is due to man’s influence? If man were to attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions would it actually do any good? And finally, are there any other possible explanations for the apparent global warming? These are not simple questions and it will require a much longer period of record to be confident in any conclusions.’
Is the environment getting warmer?
Yes it is. Is this warming due to man’s influence on the environment coupled with the natural processes of the interaction of the sun and the earth’s variables? Yes it is. How much is due to man’s use or misuse of natural resources and how much is beyond human control? That is the 64,000 thousand dollar question. The answer is clearly “it depends on who you ask.” While Dr. Vardiman acknowledges a 50 year trend in increased global warming, the impact of this trend and the fact that no one knows if this is a temporary cyclical and/or long-term reversible trend, only serves to inform us that weather patterns change and trends and shifts continue to evidence the somewhat lumbering fluctuations on our climatologically varying planet.
What is known about the history of science should give us pause when we are looking for simply answers to complex problems. If the sciences have taught us anything, it is that yesterday’s observations, coupled with new information, often change our view of what really happened in the past, or is happening in our present. The history of science is rather erratic and what is understood is very rarely set in stone. The Heliocentric solar system replaces Ptolemy’s view of the solar system that had dominated European astronomy for over 1000 years. The Newtonian Universe gives way to the Einsteinian Universe. Pluto is demoted from the 9th planet in our solar system to a Dwarf planet. The sun is shrinking and the Himalayas’ are getting taller. What is today’s fact is tomorrow’s footnoted correction. We are told that the universe is 13 to 21 billion years old, give or take a couple of billion years. All of these pronouncements are spoken with a straight face, once they look up from their Big Bang driven calculations, they speak as if they were really there to observe that allegedly seminal event.
What we do acknowledge is that there was only one eye-witness to the creation of the universe and thankfully, He is talking. The very First Cause of all was God and that fact was recorded for us in opening sentence of the book of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, “In the beginning God created…” We also realize that the actual underlying reason for the exclusion of this eyewitness account is not so much the lack of evidence for a young, specially created and designed universe, but rather the implications of said specially created and designed universe. Most of the Big Bang theorists would agree that the Big Bang theory itself implies that the universe had a beginning.
If the First Cause in the Law of Causality (Max Born 1882-1970) is God, then all those scientists who ascribe to a naturalistic worldview are ducking the obvious and living in a state of logical denial. The Laws of Cause and Effect are supported by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The First Cause of the universe must be greater than the effect or so the First Law of Causality tells us. Therefore, we come back to the initial premise of this essay. What is driving the data and the interpretation of that data among the scientific community? Are these scientists so self-centered that they see man as the ultimate being in creation and thereby paint mankind into the villain/savior mold? Following this reasoning, man is truly the measure of all things, consequently he must be the cause of our problems as well as the solution of those problems. Hence, man must be the cause of this global warming and therefore, he alone holds the solution.
Other explanations are not always given serious consideration because they too go against the mantra that man is the source of, and the solution for, this problem. What we are not being told is that many scientists, both creationist and evolutionists, proclaim global warming is not caused by carbon dioxide. They agree that the cause of global warming is oceans heating, not greenhouse gases, as always occurs at the beginning of ice ages.
Offered in proof of such a hypothesis are the actual readings of ocean temperatures over time. We must note here that these studies are being done by scientists who embrace the evolutionary timescale of millions of years. Still, there observations are striking. They use several unrelated sources to confirm the dates via an evolutionary timescale and they were able to extrapolate the variations in the temperatures of the oceans of the world since the last Ice Age. What they tell us is that there have been constant fluctuations in the temperature of the oceans indicating that Earth has undergone major swings in warming and cooling at approximately 100,000 year intervals, interrupted by minor warming cycles at shorter intervals. This represents periods of glacial expansion, separated by distinct but relatively short-lived periods of glacial retreat.
The lesson from recent history is that we are going to see changes in the overall climate of the earth. These changes can be traced back to many probable sources of which human activity is just one variable. The actual impact of human beings on the problem of global warming will depend on who is crunching the numbers and the particular worldview they embrace.
As creationists, we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater just because we do not agree with the worldview of the particular scientific information source. We examine the same data and often come to different conclusions. Who will be proven correct is not just a matter of time; it is a matter of how well your worldview reflects the overall truth of the subject being studied. Unlike our Secular Humanist counterparts, we have the long standing indisputable and verifiable Word of God as our standard for axiomatic truth.
Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)
Chief Technical Advisor
Creation Studies Institute