Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?

By Richard Lindzen April 2017

I am an atmospheric physicist. I have published more than 200 scientific papers. For 30 years I taught at MIT, during which time the climate has changed remarkably little. But the cry of “global warming” has grown ever more shrill. In fact, it seems that the less the climate changes, the louder the voices of the climate alarmists get. So, let us clear the air and create a more accurate picture of where we really stand on the issue of global warming or, as it is now called—“climate change.”

There are basically three groups of people dealing with this issue. Groups one and two are scientists. Group three consists mostly, at its core, of politicians, environmentalists and the media.

Group one is associated with the scientific part of the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change or IPCC (Working Group 1). These are scientists who mostly believe that recent climate change is primarily due to man’s burning of fossil fuels—oil, coal and natural gas. This releases C02, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere and, they believe, this might eventually dangerously heat the planet.

Group two is made up of scientists who don’t see this as an especially serious problem. This is the group I belong to. We’re usually referred to as skeptics.

We note that there are many reasons why the climate changes—the sun, clouds, oceans, the orbital variations of the earth, as well as a myriad of other inputs. None of these is fully understood, and there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor.

But actually there is much agreement between both groups of scientists. The following are such points of agreement:

1) The climate is always changing.

2) CO2 is a greenhouse gas without which life on earth is not possible, but adding it to the atmosphere should lead to some warming.

3) Atmospheric levels of CO2 have been increasing since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 19th century.

4) Over this period (the past two centuries), the global mean temperature has increased slightly and erratically by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit or one degree Celsius; but only since the 1960’s have man’s greenhouse emissions been sufficient to play a role

5) Given the complexity of climate, no confident prediction about future global mean temperature or its impact can be made. The IPCC acknowledged in its own 2007 report that “The long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Most importantly, the scenario that the burning of fossil fuel leads to catastrophe is not part of what either group asserts. So why are so many people worried, indeed, panic stricken about this issue. Here is where Group Three comes in—the politicians, environmentalists, and media.

Global warming alarmism provides them, more than any other issue, with the things they most want: For politicians it’s money and power. For environmentalists it’s money for their organizations and confirmation of their near religious devotion to the idea that man is a destructive force acting upon nature. And for the media it’s ideology, money, and headlines. Doomsday scenarios sell.

Meanwhile, over the last decade, scientists outside of climate physics have jumped on the bandwagon, publishing papers blaming global warming for everything from acne to the Syrian civil war. And crony capitalists have eagerly grabbed for the subsidies that governments have so lavishly provided.

Unfortunately, group three is winning the argument because they have drowned out the serious debate that should be going on. But while politicians, environmentalists and media types can waste a lot of money and scare a lot of people, they won’t be able to bury the truth. The climate will have the final word on that.

I’m Richard Lindzen, emeritus professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, for Prager University

Questions for Christians who support “Same Sex” marriage

Rainbow Flag

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

July 1, 2015

For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s US Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

  1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
  2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?
  3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?
  4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?
  5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in a committed relationship?
  6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?
  7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?
  8. If some homosexual behaviour is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?
  9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?
  10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?
  11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?
  12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?
  13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?
  14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?
  15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?
  16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?
  17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfilment?
  18. How would you define marriage?
  19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?
  20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?
  21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?
  22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?
  23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?
  24. If not, why not?
  25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?
  26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?
  27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?
  28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?
  29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?
  30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?
  31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?
  32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?
  33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?
  34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?
  35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?
  36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?
  37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctness like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?
  38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?
  39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?
  40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?

Food for thought, I hope. At the very least, something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.

Not a Single Homer— Wrote Iliad and Odyssey

A photo of the bust of Homer

Dating to about 750 B.C., this bust is said to be of the Greek poet Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey—epic poems passed down orally by bards long before they were written down.

PHOTOGRAPH BY HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY

Continue reading “Not a Single Homer— Wrote Iliad and Odyssey”

History of the Calendar

The purpose of the calendar is to reckon past or future time, to show how many days until a certain event takes place—the harvest or a religious festival—or how long since something important happened. The earliest calendars must have been strongly influenced by the geographical location of the people who made them. In colder countries, the concept of the year was determined by the seasons, specifically by the end of winter. However, in warmer countries, where the seasons are less pronounced, the Moon became the basic unit for time reckoning; an old Jewish book says, “The Moon was created for the counting of the days.” Continue reading “History of the Calendar”

Quotations of Isaiah in the New Testament

The bible Book of Isaiah refers more fully to the times of the Messiah than any other of the prophets. It is natural, therefore, to expect to find his writings often quoted or appealed to in the New Testament. The frequency of the reference, and the manner in which it is done, will show the estimate in which he was held by the Saviour and by the apostles. It may also contribute in some degree to the explanation of some of the passages quoted to have them convenient for reference, or for examination. The meaning of Isaiah may be often determined by the inspired statement of the event referred to in the New Testament; and the meaning of a New Testament writer likewise by a reference to the passage which he quotes. Continue reading “Quotations of Isaiah in the New Testament”

Biblical definition of idolatry

1. Dictionary definition

The Merriam Webster online dictionary gives the following double definition of the word “Idolatry”:

1 : the worship of a physical object as a god

2 : immoderate attachment or devotion to something

The fact that the author(s) of this entry had to split it in two underlines the difficulty of using a word whose meaning has shifted in our language and is therefore no longer precise nor easily understood. In the following, I shall endeavour to show that only the first meaning is Biblical while the second is a relatively recent addition which has arisen in our language largely because most of us have lost track of the original Biblical notion. Continue reading “Biblical definition of idolatry”

Idolatry – Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (1:28 ).

The forms of idolatry are,

Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.

Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.

Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes. Continue reading “Idolatry – Easton’s Bible Dictionary”

Idolatry In the Torah or the First Five books of the Bible

This article was extracted from Wikipedia’s definition for Idolatry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idolatry

Image worship existed in the time of Jacob, from the account of Rachel taking images along with her on leaving her father’s house, which is given in the Book of Genesis. According to the midrash Genesis RabbaAbraham‘s father, Terah, was both an idol manufacturer and worshipper. It is recounted in both traditional Jewish texts and in the Quran that when Abraham discovered the true God, he destroyed his father’s idols.

Continue reading “Idolatry In the Torah or the First Five books of the Bible”

The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today Part 2

The Social Gospel does not address peoples hearts which are wicked and evil.
The Social Gospel does not address peoples hearts which are wicked and evil.

The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today Part 2

In the first part of this study, we examined together the history of the social gospel as it presented itself in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and then documented a resurgence of the social gospel agenda as found at the present time.  The original social gospel movement began as an appendage to the emerging liberalism that started in Germany and ultimately swept through the Western church.  As the growing liberal movement matured, it left behind most doctrinal distinctive held by earlier Protestants and eventually came to be defined by social action.  Today a new wave of social involvement, as a major tenant of church ministry, is flowing through evangelical churches, changing the very nature of church dynamics and outreach.  The issue at hand is not whether Christians should be involved with their culture, but to what extent attempting to solve the injustices and problems of the culture is the mission of the church.  This has become one of the more hotly debated concerns (some believe the hottest) within evangelism today.  Has the church been commissioned to proclaim the gospel of redemption and to disciple converts, or has the church been called to improve society, or both?  Liberalism would almost exclusively emphasize social causes.  For example, the National Council of Churches states, “The central moral imperative of our time is the care for earth as God’s Creation.”[1] Post modern liberalism, as found in the emergent movement, would agree. Emergent leader Brian McLaren believes that Jesus’ message has everything to do with “poverty, slavery, and a social agenda – it is not about justification from sin.”[2]
Continue reading “The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today Part 2”

Synagogues in the Bible

The synagogue was the place where Jews gathered for instruction and worship in the New Testament period. The Greek word synagoge [sunagwghv] means “assembly” and can refer simply to the gathering of people itself ( James 2:2 ) or to the building in which they gather ( Luke 7:5 ). The origins of the synagogue are obscure, but they probably extend back at least to the period of Ezra. At the time of the New Testament, synagogues were found throughout the Roman Empire as local centres for the study of the law and for worship. As such, they served a different role in the life of the Jewish people than did the Jerusalem temple, with its focus on the sacrificial cult.
Continue reading “Synagogues in the Bible”