Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Global Warming for Christians

Somewhere in Genesis, God tells Adam and Eve that they would be stewards of the earth. In some circles, it is common to conclude that generally speaking, Christians have forgotten this rule (I think a more compelling argument would be that most humans have forgotten this rule). My climate studying friend reminds me of the Christian duty to the Earth, which is of course to make sure we don't ruin it. She even tells me that a retired member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has devoted himself to admonishing Christendom in hope of raising awareness of our collective Christian ecological footprint.

All this is in response to my posting that the Canadian government has spent 6 billion dollars on global warming research in the past decade. Canadians, we're told, are amongst the worst polluters as far as greenhouse gas emissions go. And while the government was spending on 'cc' research, Canadians were polluting more and more. Infamously, the former Liberal government spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars during this period; not on research, but on propaganda aimed at convincing Canadians that they were in fact doing something.

So anyway, do I think it was wrong of the government to spend so much money on such a contestable and poorly understood issue as Climate Change? I don't think it was. I am happy to live in a country that is willing to spend billions of dollars on an essentially conservative issue. What I do have trouble with, is that by spending so much money, the Canadian government has in effect created a niche-economy-market-whathaveyou. There is no so much money (and so many professional reputations) tied up with debating climate change, that the basic honest principles of inquiry are being trampled in the name of the dollar. Plus, with the media playing such a massive role in promoting the profiles of 'cc' politicians (Gore) and scientists (Prior), we have in effect a terrifc leviathan which is placing severe limitations on boundaries and depth of the global warming conversation.

And as a post-script, I've long believed that a society which rejects social conservatism will reject environmental conservatism as well.

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