Recently, the editorial page of the Herald-Standard carried a guest article posted initially in Washington County's Observer-Reporter. The jeremiad warned of the effect of this "certain" calamity that will harm every person and business here in southwestern Pennsylvania.
When President Trump a few years ago, decided to withdraw America from the Paris Climate Accord, the decision ignited a veritable firestorm of protest that continues to the present hour. I have read and listened to the non-stop, dire and ugly commentary by not only news pundits, college teachers, the United Nations, science writers, and our own liberal politicians, but even more so from many entertainment celebrities.
There is a fundamental point that I feel should be asked about this matter. Most of the media [including the Herald-Standard] often interchangeably use the terms "global warming" and "climate change." I would like to ask a trained meteorologist if these terms are indeed identical? "Climate" seems to mean the average weather conditions present in a specified location at a particular time of the year. A "climate" is measured and determined by data that is recorded over many, or at the least, several decades. "Climate change" then would refer to long-term changes in average weather conditions in a given or defined area. Sometimes the difference is marked by warmer weather. Sometimes the change may be toward cooler weather.
"Global warming," on the other hand, is the current assertion that the entire earth's surface is warming simultaneously. But is the scientific conjecture always right? I wonder how many remember the 1960's and 1970's? Science teachers and climatologists issued dire warnings to us all. The difference between then and now is elementary. The claim back then, "the earth is rapidly cooling, and our planet will surely enter a new "ice age."
Contrary to what "global warming" advocates claim, a consensus does not exist on the scope of "global warming," and especially whether it is manmade or caused by nature. Renowned physicists such as S. Fred Singer claim that there is a growing number of skeptical qualified scientists who doubt anthropocentric global warming. Singer, in an interview with the National Association of Scholars [NAS] given in 2011, claimed that the actual number of doubters was nearing 40% of scientists and meteorologists. Singer consistently urged that the public look upon global warming as just another scientific controversy. He opposes any public policies until the significant issues, such as the cause, are settled. To me, that seems like a sensible point of view.
But allowance for honest disagreement and principled reasoning has not been the nature of this debate. There are proponents of global warming, many of whom have no more academic or professional claim to climate "expertise" than the rest of us. But still, they imply that all knowledge abides with them, and any further discussion is needless or is downright dangerous.
The day after America's withdrawal from the Climate Accord, I viewed on television a very assertive activist environmentalist as he discussed global warming with a sympathetic interviewer. This particularly irate professor became nearly hysterical when asked regarding his thoughts on the President withdrawing from the Paris Accord became roughly hysterical. He fumed that "The President is a complete moron and is nothing more than a criminal for doing this. Anyone who supports him or denies global warming is a total idiot and should be locked up or put away."
Well now. I don't desire to be carted off to a padded cell just yet. So, I want to assure the professor that many biblical Christians are firm believers in a future "global warming." PLEASE, don't put us in the "loony bin," for not holding the current view of the consequences of global warming.
The truth is this. Many Christians believe that the "warming" will be much worse than all the current "experts" predict. Let's cut right to the chase. You don't know it "Doc," but all you guys are no more than a "Johnny come lately'" on global warming.
"Global warming" is a historic Christian doctrine held since an early "earth scientist," the Apostle Peter, taught it in the first century. But biblical "global warming" if of another sort. The cause of this coming calamity will not be related to humanity's carbon emissions, the over-harvesting of forests, or the excess usage of fossil fuels. Put simply, the blame for this ultimate "global calamity" is not to be found simply in humanity's abuse and pollution of God's earth, oceans, or atmosphere. Instead, it is the divine retribution for worldwide societal moral and spiritual corruption.
It is the ultimate consequence of humanity's utter disdain of all moral restraint, the universal and unrepentant wickedness of the human race, and mainly, the continued and determined rejection of God's offer of mercy and forgiveness.
2 Peter 3:10-12: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT, THE EARTH ALSO and the works that are therein SHALL BE BURNED UP." Seeing then that all these things shall be DISSOLVED, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens BEING ON FIRE SHALL BE DISSOLVED, and the elements SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT. . . ."
William "Ed Nicholson is pastor of the Grace Baptist Chapel at Little Summit in Dunbar Twp. He holds graduate degrees in both Bible and Education and is a life member of the amputee chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. or on Facebook at "The Grace Baptist Chapel."