Religious leaders should stop bleating about global warming

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley sends this article by Grant Goldman, a popular radio host in Sydney, Australia.

In July 1937 when the Marco Polo Bridge incident launched Japan’s aggression against China, that was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against Japan.

In March 1939 the German occupation of Czechoslovakia was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the Nazis.

In November 1956 Soviet troops overrunning Hungary was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the USSR.

In October 2013 the massacre of Syriac Orthodox Christians and destruction of 14 churches in Sadad in Syria was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the Jihadis responsible.

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The likelihood that there are more slaves in the world today than at any previous time in human history is not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the slave trade.

Three terrible genocides were perpetrated in the twentieth century.  By the Turks against Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians in 1915, by the Soviets against the Ukrainians in 1932-1933, and of course by the Nazis against the Jews from 1939 to 1945.

None of these horrible events prompted Australian religious leaders to act with one voice.

Why am I telling you all this?

What is important enough for Australian religious leaders purporting to represent Anglicans, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews, to get together and write to the Government and the Opposition demanding action?

Well, a person named Thea Ormerod, representing a numerically insignificant outfit called Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, drafted a letter for them all to sign, calling for a 40% cut in the level of carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990 levels by the year 2025, and an 80% cut by 2030.

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We are talking here about the comprehensive economic destruction of Australia, with mass unemployment, grinding poverty, widespread hunger and disease, shocking child mortality and truncated lifespans for everybody who is not amongst the elite.

Thea Ormerod is likely related to Neil Ormerod, who is Professor of Theology at the Australian Catholic University.  Oh yes, this is the educational institution which a month ago awarded two scholarships, each for full tuition fees for four years, to honour executed drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

This leads me to observe that the worthy goal of getting Australia to lead a worldwide campaign to abolish capital punishment is not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action.   But strong action against carbon dioxide is what they want.

The Church of England has been pushing the anti-energy barrow for some time. They actually ran a Global Divestment Day on February 14 this year.  It attracted little attention because St Valentine’s Day is the day when most people are busy chatting each other up and eating chocolate.

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What issues do you want your Church to concentrate on?  World peace? Ending poverty?  Defeating disease?  Combatting crime?  Protecting minorities? Saving children from sexual abuse?  Helping the homeless?  Maybe, just maybe, even campaigning against sin?

What about preaching forgiveness?   That is what churches used to do.  Or do you want your church to act like basically a subsidiary of the Greens?

It’s your Church, and it’s your money that pays the bills.  If the Churches do forget that, then people will get baptised, married and buried online.  It’s cheaper.

The Church of England is part of a push to reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990 levels by the draconian figure of 80% in the next fifteen years, which would make Australia unable to feed, house and clothe Australians.

In Britain, North America and Australia the Church of England has declared war on coal, through a combination of divestment programs and propaganda from the pulpit.

Time for some facts about coal.   The gerontologist and evolutionary biologist Caleb Finch tells us that since the early 1800s life expectancy in Europe has doubled.  The single greatest factor in the longevity revolution has been coal.

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Beginning in the eighteenth century and accelerating into the nineteenth century, coal made possible stunning increases in productivity.  Coal saved from destruction the forests of Britain which by the mid eighteenth century were rapidly disappearing.

Coal dramatically reduced pollution caused by cooking and heating with wood and animal dung.  Coal permitted large scale smelting of metals. Coal made possible modern medical science and modern agriculture. Coal opened the way to commerce and freedom of movement on a scale never before imagined.

Thanks to coal, for the very first time ordinary workers who were not members of the aristocracy nor of the clergy had leisure time.  Life was still tough, but thanks to coal life rapidly improved.

Instead of being permanently enslaved to tasks like collecting wood to heat and to cook, women had the opportunity to learn to read and become educated or musical or artistic or political or charitable as they wished.

Coal made possible the growth of democratic institutions and, vitally important, the abolition of slavery.   Nineteenth-century Britain saw the flowering of culture with bands, orchestras, choirs, drama societies, literary societies, trade unions, and, of course, the flowering of the Church of England.

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I’ll mention some of the great hymnists of the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century.  In chronological order (top left to bottom right): John Wesley (1703-1791); Edward Perronet (1726-1792); William Cowper (1731-1800); John Newton (1725-1807); Reginald Heiber (1783-1826); Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886); Matthew Bridges (1800-1894); Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940).

Thanks to coal, hymn books could be printed cheaply and thanks to coal there were trees left in the land to make the paper.

In Britain, by 1860 around 400,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 175 tonnes of coal in a year for an annual total of seventy million tonnes of coal.  In 1913 around 1,100,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 264 tonnes of coal in a year for a total of 290 million tonnes.

This great increase in coal production coincided with wonderful progress in every aspect of society.  People lived longer, ate better and their purchasing power increased year by year.

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As the twentieth century dawned, coal was already popularising the wonderful blessing of electricity.  The former major disadvantage of coal-fired power – sulphur dioxide emissions – was overcome with fluidised bed combustion using limestone, and coal has continued as the world mainstay of electrical power.

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Tragically, 1.3 billion people – eighteen percent of the world’s population – have no access to electricity and so are deprived of all the wonderful things we take for granted.  Expansion of coal production is vital as part of the energy mix necessary to offer the poor and disadvantaged of the world an escape route from poverty, misery and short lifespans.

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By declaring war on coal, people who purport to represent the Church of England are committing a terrible crime against the world’s poorest people.

My suggestion to the people purporting to lead the Church of England is re-read the Parable of the Talents.  It’s still there in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14-30.

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The Parable of the Talents (etching): Lucas van Doetechum (floruit 1554-1572)

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241 thoughts on “Religious leaders should stop bleating about global warming

  1. The titular word “Bleating” is absolutely perfect for this posting, with ALL of its implications!!!

    • There really is only one thing that can be done, Business as usual for the rest of the world, while allowing for Australia to totally decarbonize and prove that it can be done without causing the associated widespread poverty disease, and death that has been repeatedly predicted by so many
      Sorry Ozzies but you get to be the Lab Rats

      • Australia could suck every molecule of CO2 on the continent and put it in a bottle and the world would neither know or care. Nothing against OZ (I’ve chosen to live there) but 25 million people out on the corner of the world just don’t matter to the rest of the population who’s main concern is eating and getting laid.

      • Australia is one continent that is definitely a net carbon source. Well the place is so flat, that the winds go whistling right across it, without hitting anything important; except may be the sails of the Sydney opera house.
        So with the water vapor carried all the way across and back out to sea, nothing green grows there now; so how did they get all that coal to burn ?
        Well despite being an overall carbon source, Australia still doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the CO2 effluation listings. There’s not that many people there, so on a per head basis, the Aussies are NOT the bad guys.
        And they do have more coal than Newcastle does, so they should burn it, and sell it to others.
        The USA is the only land based net carbon sink of any size (The Shaky Isles is another but much smaller one)
        In both cases, the intensive agriculture including forest farming is a big contributor, and both countries are good at that and have suitable climates.
        So the big island to the North-West is not the problem. And if I was their PM, I would be telling the UN to “shove it.”
        Just my opinion of course.

    • We could then allow the UK to be Test Case part 2 (lab mice). If Ozzies fail to decarbonize into a healthy state, perhaps the Brits could prove it out on a smaller scale.
      Lets face it, If the Brits can’t make it work without killing off half their populace, then It can’t be done.

      • No Abbott is the star he actually has his sights set on this madness.
        Let all the religions congregate in one party so we can identify where they are, perfect.
        I think the UK is yet to turn the corner and are well eligible for the lab rat roll. More representative economy.

      • It does not kill off half the population. It only kills off more than all accidents and murders combined so its not that bad really. And after all remember that those killed are only the old or weak so its not all bad as it saves NHS costs. Lets not be guilty of exaggeration.

      • David Cage overlooks what happens when people are under threat. They panic and so if they see some (or lots) of their peers starting to die of cold and starvation will start killing a few themselves to create a better chance of ultimate survival. One great truth, however, is that the elite who assume they would be among the survivors would be among the first to starve as they are the least capable to actually work and none of them are farmers. In fact the elite despise the lower classes, the workers and producers, even though they are totally reliant on their labour.

    • tomwys1,
      Well there is one religious group that doesn’t bleat about climate change and doesn’t believe its flashy media campaign or a flashy president:

      • PS – And whilst the above video may be a spoof – it’s still not half as funny as the the attempts to fool the rest of us into believing climate change propaganda.

      • When he talks of Global Warming being a threat to national security, Obama is confusing it with Global Warring. Somebody should tell him that’s another of his files.

    • …and truncated lifespans for everybody who is not amongst the elite.

      tomwys1,
      I would add that this is the titular quote of the posting. The ultimate goal of the green movement seems clear.

  2. Stunning integration of many different strands I’ve never seen before in one article. Love the list of “great hymnists of the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century”. Halleluyah! Very well done Grant Goldman – and to Christopher Monckton for spotting. This should make anyone of good conscience in today’s churches sit up.

    • @ Richard Drake, ‘This should make anyone of good conscience in today’s churches sit up”
      Sorry and a big NO , they should stand up and leave..
      One of the main reasons I left “The Church” many (48) years ago. The hypocrisy even today as it was then is still mind boggling.

      • asybot: It’s one valid reaction. As a teenager I heard a preacher called David Watson liken our experience of church to finding an old jewel case in the attic, opening it and finding it empty. Three options: 1) throw it away as useless. 2) keep on mantelpiece, as it’s not too ugly really. 3) search for the precious jewel that must once have been there.
        Christ is the only one that makes sense of so much silliness. But it’s a dangerous quest!

      • Agreed. In fact, that’s likely one of the only ways to combat this nonsense.
        Start a countermovement/alternative church in Aussie for churchgoers that says “If you want your church to solve real issues and do something that actually has an impact on people’s lives, helps the poor, etc., then quit and join THIS church.
        The only way to have an impact would be for tons of churchgoers to quit and move. Only then would the church get any kind of message, and even that is unlikely.

      • The fact is that 70% or more Australians consider themselves to be Christians. Very few go to church. Australians are still generous donors to help the needy and the sick, they send increasing numbers of children to religious schools and they will volunteer when the need arises but they don’t go to church. Those religious leaders who signed the letter are leading smaller and smaller flocks toward a poisoned waterhole and people are getting off the bus in droves.
        The C of E must have shares in renewable energy.

  3. Coal dramatically reduced pollution caused by cooking and heating with wood and animal dung.
    The smogs caused by coal combustion greatly increased the death rate due to respiratory disease, in the ‘Great London Smog’ of 1952 when there were ~900 deaths/day due to the smog.

    • Most of that was from domestic hearths, not power stations. Coal can be burned much more cleanly in modern power stations, with exhaust gases scrubbed.
      If we deny this possibility to developing countries as a stepping stone to a better life, then that in my opinion would be a crime against humanity.
      The modern “Disneyfied” Church of England, is indeed run by the most appalling misanthropes.

    • in the ‘Great London Smog’ of 1952 when there were ~900 deaths/day due to the smog.
      =============================
      cars kill more than 3000 people a day worldwide, thus we should also ban cars.
      HEADLINE: The UN is calling for a 40% cut in the number of cars compared with 1990 levels by the year 2025, and an 80% cut by 2030.

      • ?
        Alternatives to coal quite often have the same issues as alternatives to cars: more expensive, inadequate, or no advantages. Hydro and geo – often unavailable. Wind and solar – inadequate and more expensive. Nuclear – more expensive and an environmental issue. Natural gas – more expensive if not local and no transport infrastructure. Other fossil fuels – no advantages.
        There are huge coal deposits in Nigeria and South Africa. It would be much cheaper to use coal in a large area of Africa than any other alternative.

      • Chris,
        The relevant issue is really the net loss or benefit. Coal allowed millions of people to stay warm, who otherwise would have been cold all winter long, every winter of their short, miserable, freezing lives.
        To make any sense the 100s of thousands or millions of lives saved by that coal must be set against the losses. There is no technology, and no ideology, and no laws that is perfect. It is always cost vs benefit.

      • fred
        Who do you suppose will get to keep their cars [20% of the 1990 numbers in 2030]?
        our patrician elite, for example?
        And a cut from 60% of the 1990 number in 2025 to one third of that number – 20% – just five years later is quite a cut; not circumcision, more below nipple amputation.
        Have the Chinese and Indians agreed to this?
        Auto, running one car in the family

    • Phil.
      Point of order:
      “The smogs caused by coal combustion greatly increased the death rate due to respiratory disease, in the ‘Great London Smog’ of 1952 when there were ~900 deaths/day due to the smog.”
      The smog was not caused by the combustion of coal, it was caused by not combusting the coal. The emission of uncombusted materials, largely condensed volatiles from the incomplete combustion of brown coal, is what that smog 'was made of'.
      Properly burning that same brown coal (which is high in hydrogen and oxygen) is easily accomplished in a small and appropriately designed combustor. The fact that they banned the fuel instead of using well-known (British) technology available at the time is an accident of history or perhaps the victory of the ignorant who thought that 'smoke' is an inherent property of 'coal'.
      About three weeks ago an air quality agency in the most polluted and coldest capital city in the world, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, released a chart showing that there has been a 65% drop in 'smog' in only 3 years achieved directly by the replacement of traditional stoves with modern ones selected specifically for their ability to efficiently burn the local brown coal. The new stoves reduce smoke emissions by 93-99% so obviously the problem in London was not the burning of coal, but rather the not burning of it.

      • Phil, I lived in London in 1952 and the coal that kept us warm was definitely not brown coal, it was hard, shiny black coal. I doubt that much brown coal was ever sold in the UK for domestic heating. After the Clean Air Act, we used coke, which was great, once it was well alight. And the open fireplaces that were in almost every pre-war house continued to be used to burn the coke, probably until Thatcher closed down the coal mines. Maybe you are Irish and are thinking of peat?

    • And yet that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t have been worse if they were burning wood and shite. It’s also worth mentioning that the deaths were largely pneumonia or bronchitis *on top of* ‘chronic bronchitis.’ That latter being a longstanding euphemism for pertussis — the whooping cough. I’m not doubting the statistics involved here or the severity of the pollution, but folks with those sorts of ailments will keel over from a brisk walk. That makes it a bit hard for me to get up in arms about; especially when it was only their 4th year embarking on national healthcare.

    • ~900 deaths/day compared to what?
      What was the death count from burning wood and dung?
      Without that, your 900 number is worthless.
      Most likely, the previous number was thousands, or tens of thousands.

    • @Phil.
      Thank you for pointing out the number of deaths caused by coal combustion.
      I will only like to add to Phil’s comment that, then as now, these deaths were entirely frivolous. This is crucial. Coal combustion did not and does not serve any purpose whatsoever. The people that then and now burn coal do so for no reason. None. Coal combustion was and is carried out in order to: first, slave us to the rich and, second, kill us all in the process.
      Thank you Phil for your contribution. Enlightening stuff.

      • @brute , growing up in the 50’s we heated our house with coal and cooked with it ( I remember one chore was to go to the coal shed and filling the chute to our house twice a day) your statement is at best BS at worst you are just uninformed.

      • The main point to me was that since the early 1800’s, life expectancy has doubled, coinciding with the modern era of cheap energy. This allowed even commen men to use energy to do work which had previously been done by hand. This drove the rise in the economic status of the common man from impoverished to middle-class (in those countries that indeeed have cheap abundant energy.)

    • …….The smogs caused by coal combustion greatly increased the death rate due to respiratory disease, in the ‘Great London Smog’ of 1952 when there were ~900 deaths/day due to the smog…….
      Not actually true as if the same heat had been from open wood fires the smog would have been even more frequent and thicker. As a young junior engineer, in the acid rain opposition way back in the sixties I did some measurements on various sources to compare the power station effluent with other forms of heating. A properly equipped power station heating about thirty thousand houses was about the same as around fifty coal fires or forty wood fired homes.
      This was after electrostatic precipitators and scrubbers were fitted to the power stations. Even before this the accusations had to be more political than justified as the alternative would have been more open fires.

  4. The Church has always been hypocritical, from its failure to deal with child abuse by its own priests, to owning large and expensive buildings while the people who live nearby are in abject poverty with absolutely no hope of aspiring to better themselves. Without reliable electricity not only will these people continue to suffer, but so will the West who will be unable to provide aid because our economies will crash.
    The only glimmer of hope must be that the Church are seen to be as right about CO2 as they have been over other scientific developments including the earth centric universe.

    • Sorry, typo meant to say:
      The only glimmer of hope must be that the Church are seen to be as right about CO2 as they have been over other scientific developments including their belief in an earth centric universe.

  5. I would tend to agree with every word. However, I would be more impressed with your sincerity if you did not try to slip Catholic Christianity into your many articles. This is simply the obverse of what these Religious leaders are doing, in trying to hitch religion to newsworthy bandwagon, and simply distracts from the important scientific message you make.
    Regards the list of genocides that were not metioned, you forgot the burning of Greek Smyrna by the Turks in 1922, and the genocide and exile of some 1/2 million Greeks. (Which was quite separate to the Armenian genocide, because it was perpetrated by Karmel Ataturk’s new government). This genocide was probably worse than the Armenian Genocide, because the navies of the West sat in Smyrna harbour and watched it happen – and did nothing.
    George Horton, the US ambassador, wrote the most harrowing account ever of the annexation of Greek Anatolia in 1922.
    http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/HortonBook.htm
    Ralph

    • I didn’t detect anything narrowly Catholic – though lots deeply Christian – in the article, which, in case you didn’t read the first paragraph carefully, is by WUWT newbie Grant Goldman. It’s very much to Christopher Monckton’s credit that he saw the worth in this piece from Oz. He certainly wasn’t pushing anything partisan in recommending it to Anthony.

      • It is there if you are looking for it…. But then again, it is every where by that measure.

      • Nor Rwanda, nor the mass murders of Mao, nor the rape of Nanking. “Three terrible genocides were perpetrated in the twentieth century” and what followed seemed to imply there were only three. And that Stalin’s mass murder was only of Ukrainians, not kulaks generally and many other races too.
        Nevertheless, the punch line

        None of these horrible events prompted Australian religious leaders to act with one voice.

        is a vital point very well made.

    • Ralph. There are numerous examples where the Church sat on it’s collective hands while innocents suffered but Grant can hardly mention them all in a short essay. BTW I listen to Grant each morning on my local radio station. He is a good and fair man.

  6. And regards the parable of talents, I don’t see the connection with the import of this article. The moral of Jesus’ parable was (as it says):
    For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.
    So what Jesus was saying here, is that the rich should support the banking system and get ever richer through extortionate interest rates. While the poor should have what megre belongings they have taken from them, and be cast out onto the streets as beggars.
    So if the modern Church is seeking to make the poor poorer, by making energy more expensive, then they are following what Jesus said. Jesus said that the poor shoul be made destitute and kicked out onto the streets, and that is exactly what the Church is doing.
    R

    • Er, talents mean our talents and using them for the kingdom of God. (Translation of a Greek word for coin that gained Jesus’ meaning in the parable in English over time, after the King James Bible used it.) Once this is understood greedy bankers are not off the hook for their treatment of the poor in 21st century and the reference makes a great ending to the piece.

      • What have talents (coins) got to do with talents (skills)? You sound like that labour person Brown.

      • In which case: how can you bury a talent? How can you multiply one? How do you increase your talents?
        A metaphor has to have some properties in common with the underlying reality. What have coins got to do with skills?
        The ‘greedy bankers’? The guy who multiplies the start capital by five gets the praise – surely just a greedy banker?
        One servant put a talent on the Lotto – and lost it. Another put one talent on the Lotto and gained 50 million talents.
        What do the servants get out of this? We are not told that the geezer who gave back five talents actually made 500 and kept 495 for himself – seems just, somehow.
        My point is: what has this garbled rubbish of a parable got to do with energy provision, use of fossil fuels etc.?

      • In the New Testament, “talent” comes from the Greek “τάλαντον” (talanton), which literally means a balance or scale, from the root “τλαω” (tlao), “to bear”. Thus, a “talent” is a weight of silver or gold. It’s used in the same way as a comparable Hebrew word in the OT.
        The Modern English word “talent”, ie an ability, skill or gift, comes from the Greek via Latin, but already existed in Old and Middle English as “talente”.

      • That the English word is derived from the Latin plural suggests to me that its origin is in the parable. Latin took over “talanton” from Greek as “talentum”, the plural of which is “talenta”, used by Jerome in the Vulgate Bible.

    • Ralph, the connection to me is in the fear of the future the third servant showed. if you’ll read the version here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025:14-30
      it is quoted from the NIV and refers to bags of gold coins. the incompetent third servant said:

      ,,,I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

      This I believe refers to the precautionary principle and divestment from provident resources prematurely, thereby depriving your fellow children of God basic needs of life.
      I see the first servant as exemplifying the choice of using all that has been provided in the planet to bring the third world up to industrial affluence, thereby reaping the profits of shrinking global population while adding talented individuals to the pool of those who make discoveries that further enrich mankind. That is the kind of interest that God would want on his investment in the eyes of Jesus.
      Earlier, in chapter 6, Jesus states:

      26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

      I find Eric’s use of this parable meaningful as we apparently share a rather thorough religious education.

      • “stymied by fear” is an excellent choice of words, Richard. It sums up what this whole detour of science and philosophy is about. The crux of the new testament is that God cares for us and provides that we may do so for each other. To focus on temporal things is to lose focus on eternal things, or so religion tells us. I think the proper theological approach would be to trust God, and follow (John 13-34) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” I don’t see “love the earth first” anywhere in the bible or any commands to hold it’s upkeep in higher priority than that of our fellow “children of God”.

      • How can you hold 6:26 and 25:14 in you head at the same time. They cannot both be right! ‘they toil not, neither do they reap’ (from memory). What’s so wonderful about the serf who mutliplies the stake by five?

      • George, from the perspective of my clergyman ancestors, It all goes together like: “Use your resources wisely but don’t hoard them. Provide for others as He provides for you, with no fear that providence will expire. I however, am “the devil quoting the bible” anytime I interpret it differently than others, I know. That is why scripture makes poor argument for or against scientific theory. My comments on this are not based upon my own beliefs, but are observations of what has been told to me by clergy. I don’t care to convert anyone here as I attempt to give alternate perspective for thought. To me science trumps faith, although I do see some evidence of intelligent design in nature.

    • In Swedish there is the idiom “som fan läser bibeln”. It literally means “like the devil reads the bible”, and it means deliberately misreading something to make it suit one’s own argument or needs. The parable of the talents has probably never been mangled thus thoroughly: “…what Jesus was saying here, is that the rich should support the banking system and get ever richer through extortionate interest rates.” Wow.

      • In the Luther bible in German it is ‘fünf Zentner Silber’ – no mention of ‘Talente’, As Gard points out, this is just an example of people seeing what they want to in the story.

      • I’m reminded of a televised panel discussion of Islam, in which a young Muslim woman sought to defend her religion against ridicule of the 72 virgins awaiting martyrs in paradise.
        She declared that the virgins existed only as a mistranslation of the word ‘hur’, which means ‘white raisin’.
        She neglected to note that the following verses in the Koran alluded to the fine quality of the white raisins’ breasts and their humble demeanour, as they averted their raisiny eyes.

    • >>Gard
      >>The parable of the talents has probably never been mangled thus thoroughly:
      It is not myself mangling thee parables, it is the Church that does that. There are three main monetry parables:
      Vinyard Workers. Math 20:15
      The ‘company boss’ hires workers at different wage rates, and when they complain he says: Its my money and I can do what I want with it.
      Wicked Tenants. Math 21:41
      A landowner has some wicked tenants who refuse to pay their rent. And the moral of the story is that if the tenant does not pay the rent, they should be killed.
      Master wants Interest. Math 25:27.
      The boss has a worker who was so dim he did not get interest at a bank. And so the moral is tha the stupid worker should be kicked out onto the streets. In fact, the boss wanted usury, which is idefined as an exorbitant interest rate.
      Quite clearly, Jesus was a rich capitalist, to be so interested in rents, interest and wages.
      And yes, these are parables, but not in the manner that the Church teaches them. The second parable, for instance, was a bitter complaint about the Roman rule in Judaea. The Romans (the tenants) were living on Jewish (the landlord’s) lands, and they were refusing to pay rent. So the landlord (the Jews) said that if the tenant (Romans) did not pay rent, they should be killled. And this is exactly wat happened in AD 68 at the start of the great Jewish Revolt.
      So these were political parables, not social parables. And you can see exactly when this parable was written – in the late AD 60s.
      Ralph

      • Yes. You’re still reading the bible like the devil does. I guess I heard the parable of the talents when I was about seven? Eight? Anyway, I was old enough to get then that the story was not about monetary gain, but that there was this metaphor thing going on.
        Basically, reading the Bible with your main motivaton being to describe the Christian religion as some kind of a wacky proto-capitalist rebellion against Romans (I apologize for not really getting what you seem to be pushing) is a bit like looking at temperature proxies only to try to prove that there is some nasty global warming going on. Reading tree rings like the devil reads the Bible, if you will.

      • >> You’re still reading the bible like the devil does.
        I see you are a polytheist. So what religion is this? Mithras? Sabeanism? Atonism?
        Ah, I know, you must be talking about the good god Osiris, and his evil brother Set (Setan).
        R

      • I am sorry. I was already made aware that you don’t seem to like metaphorical speech. You seem to insist on homing in on the literal meaning of everything, so I’ll wish you good luck with that. You will probably not, however, have much success in understanding religion that way, but that might not be your ambition anyway.

      • *Sigh*
        The context of the parable goes back to the beginning of chapter 24 and continues to the end of 25. Jesus was asked about the his return. This was just a part of his answering about what happens “then”, not “now”. It’s got nothing to do with endorsing banking or monetary systems. It has more to do with the judgements at the end of the book of Revelation and what leads up to it.
        The figure of speech known as a parable is a comparison which uses something from real life to illustrate/communicate something. Generally the comparison is on a single point or to make a single point. “And the moral of the story is…”
        A parable is similar to a fable. The difference is that a fable uses something that is not from real life. (Talking foxes, talking grasshoppers, “The Little Red Hen”, Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, Peter meeting people at the Pearly Gates, etc.)

    • Just to clarify the meaning of the parable! The talents represent everything God has given us (body, mind, soul, spirit). If we use those gift’s to seek and do God’s will (love God and love our neighbour as ourselves) we will be rewarded with heaven (eternal presence with God, the ultimate reward). The increase of talents to the faithful servants represent’s heavenly increase, not earthly increase. Those who focus on earthly things and ignore God (not using our gift’s to worship and please God) will not get the ultimate reward and actually lose everything (hell).
      Direct intervention is not necessarily God’s will for all (individual decisions to act could ultimately be pleasing or displeasing to God) including church leaders, and prayer is not a recognisable response for most.

    • Jesus was referring to our God given talents and His despising of those who failed to use those talents for the benefit of all. Consider how you would feel if after giving your child a great education and a loving family they decide to be a drug addict and join a commune. You would be rightfully disappointed.

  7. The parable of the talents has never made any sense to me whatsoever.
    What has it got to do with coal?
    Why is the bible the go-to guide to energy provision in the 21st century?
    I thought this contributions to this blog were – as a minimum – supposed to have some basis in FACT. The last thing we need now is religious nuts swarming over it.

    • I suppose if you read Dawtgtomis clarifications above, you might get a good idea what the author was aiming for by ending off with this parable. The greenies usually wants us to leave resources “in the ground”. We are for some reason not supposed to use our God-given “talents”, and that is a bit like the bad servant in the story. No other literary work has had such a profound influence on Western society as the Bible; it makes great sense to quote it since so many people are familiar with it. I don’t think you have to assume that there’s religious nuttery going as soon as someone quotes the Bible.

      • Thank you Gard, I think the author was trying to reach the theologians on a level that their philosophical perspective could comprehend, and that parable was the punchline, successful or not with the critical thinkers or literalists out there, not to mention the AGW zealots, who have a religious faith in man’s ability to predict and affect future conditions which blocks out all other consideration when interpreting reality.

      • Yes, the author was trying to provoke both groups’ thoughts with that ending, wasn’t he…

      • Why should a point need interpretation before it makes sense?
        Nothing useful can be gained from referring to a book written in riddles.
        Look how many differing interpretations we have received about the ‘talents parable’ on this thread alone.
        It was for a good reason that the Catholic church _banned_ the Catholic laiety from reading the Bible until the beginning of the 20th century. Protestants had translated and read the bible for 500 years by then. Left to themselves without priestly guidance just look what an amazing range of interpretations they came up with.
        I, a non-Christian – and there are a lot of us in the world, discount anything that refers to a biblical text in the furtherance of an argument. Some people look on the Bible as an important source of truth. Others like me think that most of the book is no source of truth at all, whether viewed as real, metaphorical, allegorical, poetical or any other kind of revelation. Referring to this book just gives us ‘others’ a bad feeling: for me this article’s invocation of the Bible sabotaged all its arguments about the connection of coal with economic progress.
        NB: This is a climate blog. The point I am trying to make relates to a climate (sort of) article. I am not trying to kick off a religious debate.

      • Here’s a humorous song I’ll bet few have heard. Ray Wylie Hubbard is known for his skepticism of religion and wit in expression of it.

    • George Meredith
      You say

      I thought this contributions to this blog were – as a minimum – supposed to have some basis in FACT. The last thing we need now is religious nuts swarming over it.

      I strongly agree but – unfortunately – it has proven impossible to stop proselytizing atheists from doing it.
      Richard

  8. Religious leaders are clearly attempting to promote the worship of both God and Man(n).

  9. From an earlier article on WUWT I recall this from the end of the article.
    “The most fanatical greens, in my opinion, have no intention of accepting any form of industrial activity whatsoever. They will not be satisfied, until they have completely dismantled the modern world, and restored the endless toil, disease and brutal misery of the pre-industrial age.”
    That inspired me. The following comes from an email I wrote making use of that statement. As you will see I had some fun with it.
    “The last sentence reminded me of a conversation Jesse and I had not long ago about what “electrification” has meant to middle American and surprisingly what it has meant to the feminist movement, believe it or not. The last one might have caught you by surprise but I will explain.
    When I was just a young lad back in the 50s one of my friends did not have the typical washer and dryer we now take for granted. His mother washed the clothes in the kitchen in an open machine with a wringer. I don’t know whether she had to manually agitate the clothes while they were in the tub being washed but after washing she had to manually run the clothes through the wringer to remove the soap. Then, I am sure the tub had to be drained and refilled with plain water. So she would rinse the clothes and wring them before going outside to hang them. That works in the Spring through Fall. In the winter my guess is that she had a foldable rack where she could place the wet clothes over the central floor vent for the coal fired furnace since she did not have central air conditioning.
    Regardless of the season, the clothes had to be ironed after drying. I bet she had an electric iron for that. But let’s take this back in time just a bit more before electrification. I am sure there were irons but I bet they had to be heated over the wood fired stove.
    I am sure we can find other such examples of what it was like to run and operate a household before we had the convenience of electric appliances. Think of what it might have been like for a family to get its first electric refrigerator instead of an ice box and the ice delivery man.
    If you can’t see where this is headed I will summarize. Running a house and caring for a family was truly a full time job not that many years ago. Women must not thought much about careers in those days. There were simply no opportunities unless you could hire a staff to run the house.
    For the feminists out there if you have the opportunity thank an engineer when you meet them for they are, in many ways, responsible for giving you the opportunity to have a career. BTW, if circumstances dictate, you can thank the lawyer too. Trouble is you will have to wait for another email on that one. I am sure given sufficient time for thought I can give you a reason to thank the lawyer.”
    Just to add from my own experience. My father died when I was five. She remarried a farmer who lived about a mile outside of town while we lived in the house in town.
    When I got home from school when I was about seven I had to walk a mile out to the dairy farm to bring the cows in for milking. Once they were in their stalls it was my job to place belts over the backs of the cows to which the electric milkers would be attached. One day I went past the head of a cow who had just been separated from her calf. She flicked her head and horned me on the chin. I have the scar today. In any case imagine a dairy farm today without electric milkers.
    The bottom line is that until we had electrification, motor cars and other benefits of industrialization the lifestyles of the elites and the middle class were far different. They are much closer today thanks to the benefits of coal and technology.

    • charplum
      May 30, 2015 at 8:47 am
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Your post really took me back – to the days before electricity on the farm and all the milking was done by hand; irons were heated on the top of the stove; we had an “ice box” cooled by ice we cut ourselves; we had “sock stretchers” to hang our woolen socks on the line so they didn’t shrink; in the winter clothes were still hung on the line and they “freeze dried” (although we had a couple of wooden slated drying stands, one on a pulley that went up over the wood stove for drying wet socks and clothes for quick reuse); I STILL have a wringer washer in the basement (the wringer swung about so you could wring clothes from the washing machine to a rinse tub, then out of the rinse tub to a second rinse or to the laundry basket to take to the clothesline); and I still have the old glass scrubbing board that predated it; I only recently threw out the “wash and rinse” tub that was used on a wheeled folding table for rinsing clothes and before that, for working the wash tub and Saturday baths; I remember the luxury of our first “crank” party line telephone; and the day we got our first refrigerator (that lasted 35+ years) … and many more.
      You are so right. We have it unbelievably good now compared to our forebearers.
      Our children have no idea (though Grumpa has certainly told them and shown them 😉 )
      Thanks for the post.

    • @charplum, It sure as hell was not that long ago was it? I remember the coal days in the 50’s and the miracle of natural gas in the early 60’s when the Saturday wash went from a coal heated galvanized tub (also used for laundry etc) to an actual shower and hot water came out of a “Geiser” instantly. The warped info that is being fed to these pampered fools is truly amazing they do not know how good they have it with their ipods, internet etc, let alone their food supply, sometimes I wish for them to have a real calamity so they understand how truly dependent we are on each other.

      • I have appreciated the replies to my original comment. Perhaps, it might be appropriate to bring this to an overall conclusion which I think can be further expanded upon with the help of the readers at this site.
        Industrialization and all its benefits have done more to equalize lifestyles, not income, between the classes. Middle income and lower folks can now enjoy much the same lifestyles as the wealthy.
        If I could further motivate skeptics I would simply remind them that they are preserving the gains that have been made and keeping in place the opportunity to further equalize lifestyles. That is it isn’t it. It is not income it is lifestyles that need to be protected and enhanced. We have all benefitted from what has happened over the last few centuries.
        I have a few more enjoyable items to relate that might be enjoyable.
        .
        My Mom grew up in western Kentucky. I believe she married my Dad in 1939. They decided to visit my Mom’s family in Kentucky around Christmas when it was cold and snowing. They were all chatting when my Dad finally asked where the bathroom was. My cousin or aunt pointed to the back door. My Dad had to put on his overcoat and galoshes to go outside to the bathroom.
        Here is a story that gave me a chuckle.
        Tammy Wynette, the country singer, lived in rural Mississippi in a house without running water. She had two young daughters. When she had to go to the well to get water she would place the dresses of her two young daughters under the bedpost so they could not get in trouble while she went to get water.
        A few years ago I got into a discussion at work with one of my associates. I had watched the “Grapes of Wrath” the night before and I was remarking about how dreadful those people had it. He shot back that they had a truck. His parents had escaped communism in Europe and they had all their possessions in an oxcart.
        Recall that Henry Ford made automotive transportation available to the masses. Besides that benefit think of what our streets would look like if we were still using horses.
        One thing I do to irritate my liberal friends is to remind them that Rockefeller saved more whales than Greenpeace.
        Poverty is constantly talked about in relative terms. I think we should talk about poverty in absolute terms. The poor in this country have a roof over their heads, indoor plumbing, refrigerators, microwave ovens, flat screen TVs and cell phones. I recall a Trivial Pursuit question from years ago that made an impression on me. What animal kills the most people in Africa? You might think it is lions or something like that. No, it was crocodiles. Maybe the women were going down to the river to wash their clothes. That is poverty in the absolute sense and I think it is the better measure.

    • They’re actually listening to the voices in their heads, that’s what’s worrying. But their views are an irrelevance.

  10. Might I suggest the religious leaders along with Obama and his minions move to North Korea and they will have achieved everything they preach.

  11. There is a complete disconnect between the productivity that many of us enjoy and the “what” that makes it possible among most of the public. I ask people all the time, “Fine, phase out coal/oil/gas and replace it with what?” I usually get some vague nonsense about solar panels, etc. The scary thing is that not even our national leadership can answer the question with something that evenly vaguely resembles a plan even as the phase-out of coal has begun. And then it dawns on you…there aren’t any grown ups in charge.

  12. The chemists reading this website might be surprised by the lack of reference to the other major benefits from coal – coal tar . This gave rise to the modern field of organic chemistry , the discovery of benzene and the aromatic compounds , dyestuffs and the early synthetic pharmaceuticals amongst other industrial chemicals of benefit to humankind.

    • In reply to Mikewaite, you are quite right to mention the non-fuel benefits of coal. Grant Goldman did touch on the matter with the statement: “Coal made possible modern medical science and modern agriculture.” He delivered a couple of radio editorials which Lord Monckton artistically combined into one article. Radio editorials suffer severe time constraints.

  13. No need to cloak it in religion, just call it what it is, the latest attempt to accumulate wealth by misinformation/guilt/ignorance/or any other means.
    It’s in our nature.
    But, lets rein it in a bit ???

  14. “We are talking here about the comprehensive economic destruction of Australia, with mass unemployment, grinding poverty, widespread hunger and disease, shocking child mortality and truncated lifespans for everybody who is not amongst the elite.”
    And if spread across the world, the same. Starvation for all, including food animals–less CO2, less food for plants and the animals that eat them, effecting reduction of world population. Who could be hoping for that?

  15. “Say, there’s an out-of-control, apparently driverless bandwagon with its wheels falling off. Let’s hop aboard!”

  16. When the world’s religious leaders see the U.N. pushing a new CAGW religion with potentially more adherents than any religion ever, and the selling of indulgences (aka carbon credits), of course they want to get in on the game. Don’t call me a ‘denier’, call me a ‘CAGW protestant’.
    And when it comes to the life enhancing derivatives of coal, don’t forget that one word son, “plastics!”

    • Hoyt, and Pharmaceuticals too… them long chain carbons are mighty handy Mrs Robinson.

  17. Reblogged this on Climate Change Sanity and commented:
    I am rebloging WUWT posting of Grant Goldman’s “Religious leaders should stop bleating about global warming.” Goldman begins by citing major atrocities that religious leaders did not demand governments have strong responses to the perpetrators but inexplicably demand strong action to prevent “man-made global warming.” Goldman also discusses coal’s benefits to humanity. He also says preventing the world’s poorest people to have access to coal, is a terrible crime.
    cbdakota

  18. Re the reference to talents. Luke 19 is a better illustration of what Jesus’s point. Ten servants were intrusted by the master with his assets before he left on a long journey to receive his kingdom. Seven rebelled, one was lazy and two were productive. Because they proved that they were both faithful and productive the were entrusted with leadership when the master returned. It may be prophetic or merely a guilding principle but these verses have less to do with money than charactor. I would put the big E greens in either the nonproductive or rebellious group.
    Max

    • I rather thought the point of using the talents parable was the servant who buried the talents—which is analogous to proponents of leaving coal in the ground or storing CO2 underground (as per CCS).

  19. We are talking here about the comprehensive economic destruction of Australia, with mass unemployment, grinding poverty, widespread hunger and disease, shocking child mortality and truncated lifespans for everybody who is not amongst the elite.

    Sad to say, quite often the religious leaders — be it Christian or Muslim or any other faith — are among the elite. For Christians, this is especially reprehensible. Jesus was a carpenter until he was 30 years old and began his ministry. His disciples all had jobs. Peter was a fisherman. Paul was a tent maker. In fact Paul worked hard so he wouldn’t need money from others. He wrote: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-11)
    Although Jesus had a very nice garment, he certainly was not elite. The apostles were considered uneducated and ordinary but the Jewish religious leader. The religious leaders were elites, and very wealthy. It is funny how old the love of money is. Before Jerusalem was destroyed by future emperor Titus, the family of the high priest had a very successful business in the temple. Your temple tax had to be paid in a specific currency, and the family of Caiaphas controlled the money changers, at a high markup of course. And the sacrifice had to be just right or the priest would not let you offer your sacrifice. But an animal bought in the temple was always guaranteed to be blessed, at a high markup of course. The family of Caiaphas controlled that too.
    Do you see any difference in the religious leaders today? Some, but not all, churches require tithes — even though though Jesus said you receive free, give free. I am a very religious person and it makes me sad to see people using religion to make themselves rich, make themselves part of the elites, and to manipulate people. My God says I should make my own educated decision of my free will. (Exodus 30:19, Acts 17:11) My God says to leave matters up to him to solve and don’t mix religion and politics. (Romans 12:17-21)
    To me, these religious leaders are trying to remain relevant and so are getting involved in politics. Maybe if they spent more time studying and asking questions and less time trying to be relevant, rich, and elite they wouldn’t be losing so many members left and right. I am not trying to say all religion leaders are hypocrites; I am saying far too many are.

    • alexwade
      May 30, 2015 at 10:48 am
      “Sad to say, quite often the religious leaders — be it Christian or Muslim or any other faith — are among the elite.”
      The same mind set as politicians.

  20. “Religious leaders should stop bleating about global warming”
    Why? Global Warming is a religion.

  21. This is an excellent article, with two very important points, one about hypocrisy, the other a reminder of the crucial role played by coal in fueling the Industrial Revolution, which by any measure is one of the most significant events in the history of mankind.
    So, let’s not forget to dance wit’ de guy wot brung us.

    “I’m Gonna Dance Wit de Guy Wot Brung Me
    Harry Reser and the Six Jumping Jacks
    Harry Reser (1896-1965) is something of an unknown musical genius. Said to have perfect pitch, he was performing with guitar as a child, and was first cousin of Wilbur & Orville. I can’t find credit for this song, so I’ll have to assume that it was Reser’s.
    And you talk about rhythm!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Reser

    I’m very strict with etiquette,
    Some things I won’t allow boy.
    So all my p’s and q’s I’ll bet
    You’re just a drugstore cowboy.

    Cue toe tapping…

  22. {bold emphasis mine – JW}
    “My suggestion to the people purporting to lead the Church of England is re-read the Parable of the Talents. It’s still there in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14-30.”, said Christopher Monckton in the final paragraph of his WUWT post entitled ‘Religious leaders should stop bleating about global warming’

    – – – – – – –
    I suggest to Christopher Monckton that he add another paragraph after the one I cited above. I suggest the following additional paragraph which would become the final paragraph,

    [JW suggested additional paragraph which would become the final paragraph to Monckton’s article]
    “And finally, it is suggested to the people purporting to lead religious bodies, such as the Church of England, to stop the current train of thought and start thinking as an independent/ critical/ objective scientist would in the matter of the Earth Atmospheric System (EAS).”

    John

    • There was no link provided, but my understanding is that this post by the host was inspired by a tip from Christopher Monckton of Brenchley about an article by Grant Goldman.
      This understanding is based on the italicized part hidden away at the very beginning. I see no point where either the host or C. Monckton chimed in, and I think the whole thing after the first sentence was penned by G. Goldman.
      Your curious use of the b-l-o-c-k-q-u-o-t-e tag creates a reality distortion field that makes it seem like a dialogue has taken place somewhere, and perhaps it has, otherwise, you’ve lost me.
      Whatever the case, I admire your confidence in suggestion to CM what he ought to say.

      • The entire text, aside from the italicized paragraph crediting the author, is indeed by the splendid Grant Goldman, edited very lightly to combine two of his recent hard-hitting editorials and also illustrated.
        Mr Goldman’s two points, that religious leaders were culpably and serially silent about events squarely within their remit but for partisan political reasons are speaking out about the non-problem of global warming, and that coal has been and will continue to be of great net benefit to Man, are worthy of wider circulation.

      • Steve P on May 30, 2015 at 11:54 am
        – – – – – –
        Steve P,
        You are correct. I did not make it clear that the article by Monckton was almost entirely the content of an article by Goldman; especially the final paragraphs in Monckton’s article were by Goldman. Monckton was quoting him in the final paragraphs that I referenced. Thank you for pointing that out. I should have made it more clear that either I was asking Goldman to add my suggested paragraph or instead that I was asking Monckton to add my suggested paragraph after the quoted Goldman final paragraph.
        John

  23. The church of England would have withered on the vine long time ago if not supported by taxpayer money, just as it’s sister churches (Episcopalian) are withering on the vine in the U.S. Their leaders are christian in name only most of them don’t believe the Bible was inspire by God and is only a “product of it’s times”. Some of them even have announced that that there is no god! As one commentator has stated “if you don’t believe in god you will believe in anything,’\” and I think that explains the bleating quite well. I don’t think you will find the churches that are on the front lines fighting sin diverting their attention to this nonsense.

  24. Could we please stop the religion bashing on this website. More ministers are not signing climate change declarations than ones that are.
    Also, it would be nice if people would notice that science came into exist in Christian Europe. It came into existence there because unlike Eastern Religion/Philosophy it requires that the universe be real and unlike Islam it requires that the universe be independent and self-sustaining; Islam believed laws of nature were an insult to Allah. We have science precisely because there was Christianity in Europe.
    The “war against science by religion” is a myth created by Marxism to conceal that fact that it’s scientific materialism was bad economics, bad social policy, and usually bad science. The current corruption of science by government funding–bogus science used to justify more government regulation–is a result of this war against science myth.
    A few more benefits of Christianity in Western culture: the idea that everyone is equal before the law, the rights of women, the rights of children, the end of slavery (which exist today in most of the world that has not been influenced by Christianity), the idea of war crimes, freedom of conscience.
    So instead of the knee jerk I’m-for science-and therefore-against-religion silliness, how about an intelligent and tolerant treatment of religion, or at least, an end to the anti-religion rants that have nothing to do with the issue of whether human created CO2 emissions can really effect the Earth’s climate. Real science tries to understand the mechanisms that allow the Earth to be a stable life-sustaining planet–and that is exactly what Christianity has always allowed science to do.

    • tgasloli on May 30, 2015 at 11:26 am
      – – – – – –
      tgasloli,
      Show me.
      Show me the ‘bashing’.
      I am very critical of your perceptions.
      John

      • Paul Westhaver on May 30, 2015 at 12:12 pm
        – – – – – – –
        Paul Westhaver,
        Critical evaluation of every aspect of statements made by commenters wrt someone initiating religious discussion at WUWT is consistent with critical evaluation of any topic introduced at WUWT.
        Remember the old saying,

        “Sauce for the goose . . .”

        John

      • Read below… they have arrive in full glory. Also I do not know of the “sauce for the goose” saying. Nver heard of it.

      • Paul Westhaver on May 31, 2015 at 3:54 pm,
        “Read below… they have arrive in full glory. Also I do not know of the “sauce for the goose” saying. Nver heard of it.”

        Paul Westhaver,
        I did indeed “[r]ead below”. So, Paul Westhaver, please show me the ‘bashing’ in the ‘below’ you are referring to.
        The full quote that the expression “sauce for the goose . . .” refers to is,

        What’s good (sauce) for the goose is good (sauce) for the gander

        The condensed version “sauce for the goose . . .” was made famous by a line spoken by the Spock character in a Star Trek movie.
        John

    • Tgasloli, I could cite other reasons for being critical of religions. I for one suffered under a religious regime in a primary school because I dared to say (not understanding the consequences) that the doctrine that was being force-fed to us did not make sense to me.
      Since one is compelled to attend school, the government has a duty to ensure that one may do so free from ‘grooming’ by any cult, religion or other group of self-interested and possibly unsavoury individuals.
      Of course, the problem for religions would be that without the grooming of a captive audience which takes place in schools, most of their followers would disappear after one generation.

      • Well…now the students are groomed by a whole new set of religious doctrines, like the Green Movement, feminism. occupy… etc etc.

    • tgasloli
      May 30, 2015 at 11:26 am
      “…..and that is exactly what Christianity has always allowed science to do.”
      ===============
      “allowed” ??
      You might want to work on that sentence.
      It seems rather………constraining.

    • Also, it would be nice if people would notice that science came into exist in Christian Europe – because…..
      ____________________________
      It came to exist beause of the Reformation – a century-long war againt the tyranny of the Catholic Church, in which Britain endured a civil war and Germany lost1/3 of its population. (The Wars of Religion.)
      The result was a victory for the League of Augsberg and the Protestant Church (incl the Church of England), and the beginning of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason – which would not have been possble under Catholic control. This allowed the Invisible College to come out into the open and be renamed as the Royal Society, the world’s foremost scientific institution in that era.
      Thus science only blossomed once the Catholic Church had been defeated.
      R

    • Modern science arose in Christian Europe because of a revival during the Renaissance of pagan science, which had laid largely dormant for about 1200 years after the Late Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its state religion.
      The Reformation was not unimportant, but the first two leading lights of the scientific revolution, Copernicus in physical science and Vesalius in life science, were northern European Catholics. However Copernicus waited until the end of his life, in that annus mirabilis 1543, to publish “On the Revolutions”, at the urging of a Protestant and by a German Lutheran printer. Vesalius’ “On the Fabric of the Human Body”, was published the same year by a Swiss Catholic printer.
      As Copernicus broke with Aristotle and Ptolemy, so did Vesalius dare to disagree with Galen and the Muslims, for which he was ridiculed and reviled. Both scientists elevated observation over adherence to the authority of the ancients. After the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, producing refugees to the West, and the invention of movable type printing a few years earlier, pagan scientific texts became available in their original Greek, without the need for Arabic translations, and more students, such as Copernicus, learned Greek themselves.
      Many important scientists have indeed been devout Christians and some still are. But the fact remains that Copernicans were persecuted and prosecuted by the Catholic Church. Even the Unitarian Isaac Newton had to keep his heretical beliefs secret in relatively tolerant late 17th and early 18th century England.

      • Some interesting facts on Copernicus. When he printed his “On Revolutions”, he included a letter from the Vatican begging him to publish his ideas, the papal imprimatur for the book, and a note of thanks to the pope. Regarding his wait to print his until his death, that is not true. A preview of his work,the “Narratio Primo” was published a few years before his death. Immediately after Copernicus’s death, the church decided that it was more appropriate to bury him right inside the Cathedral instead of a regular cemetery because of his long service to the church.
        P.s. Another interesting fact is that, statistically, the Copernican model doesn’t perform any better than the Earth-centered model (because of the use of circles instead ellipses).

      • Joe,
        Narratio Prima was published three years before Copernicus’ death. To me, that’s near the end of his life, and it took a lot of urging from his Protestant pupil to get him to agree to it.
        Yes, even Galileo was loathe to give up on perfectly circular orbits. But Kepler’s analysis of Tyco’s observations was accepted by the next generation and finally explained by Newton.

      • Sturgishooper,
        Copernicus’s Protestant student, Rheticus, was critical to the final publication of “On Revolutions”. The other major player was the Catholic bishop, Bishop Giese. After Rheticus arrived, Giese hosted both Copernicus and Rheticus for several weeks while they ironed out what must be done. Copernicus wanted to publish only his tables, trusting that the wise would be able to read between the lines. It was Giese who convinced him that he had to publish his theory as well. Giese even warned him to expect pushback from astronomers. Speculations on his delay in publishing being due to fear of the Church reaction is just that, speculation.

      • DB,
        Not bad.
        Copernicus got to study astronomy because medicine then included casting horoscopes and the distinction between astronomy and astrology was not hard and fast. Although his doctorate was in canon law, he also studied medicine at the University of Padua and probably previously.

      • Actually, the Heliocentric model of the Solar System has been known for thousands of years. Copernicus was known in Masonic circles as the Great Liar, for pretending that he invented it. And he did not even dare challenge the Catholic Church, until he was on death’s door. Some hero, huh?
        Here is the 1st century Jewish zodiac, from Hamat Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. As you can see, Helios the Sun holds a blue-green spherical Earth in his (gravitational) grasp, demonstrating that the Heliocentric model was well understood. This is also a favourite motif on coinage, in this era.
        So yes, the Enlightenment was in many cases rediscovering the lost knowledge of the Egyptians and Greeks. But this would not have happened without the Reformation and the destruction of the dead weight that was tied to the ankle of humanity, otherwise known as the Catholic Church.
        http://i1053.photobucket.com/albums/s462/locuster/Hamat-zodiac2_zps062d0e84.jpg

      • Ralph,
        Some ancients did indeed argue for heliocentrism, but they were dismissed as impious even by their fellow pagans.
        Copernicus was not a liar. He did not claim to have invented or discovered heliocentrism himself. That is a false accusation. In the introduction to his book, Copernicus credited ancient Greeks such as Aristarchus and Philolaus with the heliocentric hypothesis. He mastered Greek and had access to copies of surviving original works of ancient science.
        What he achieved was a mathematical exposition of the sun-centered system hypothesis, challenging the prevailing Ptolemaic geocentric model.

      • Silver ralph
        May 30, 2015 at 10:50 pm
        You are confusing the mostly 18th century Enlightenment with the 14th to 17th century Renaissance.

  25. At one time it was thought that lifespans in the Stone Age were so short because of disease, hunger and violence. IIRC new evidence suggests it was more likely a consequence of lung damage caused by smoke from unflued wood fires in a confined living space. The problem apparently still exists in some parts of Africa. The best thing we can do for such people is to provide them with commercially-generated energy so they don’t have to burn fuel in an improper manner and hence ruin their health.

  26. Great Article Lord Chris.
    Since science doesn’t really yield the justification for massive wealth transfer based on carbon credit market, the only other justification is either political and religious. I maintain that the left is populated by a breed that rejects mainstream religion and submits to a more ancient and primitive earth worship that has also percolated into their politics. I think that this is an artifact of the socialist mind and therefore, wherever you find the lefties you ultimately will find a coven of earth worshipers even if they hide within the larger more established religions.
    I think when you hear climate-related commentary from religious types, you are hearing from the “socialists” in seep into and abuse the religions to carry their agendas.
    I wish the socialist would pipe down in their respective religious affiliations, but I wish every day was sunny and that there was a cure for the common cold too.

  27. For those who think Christianity had anything whatever to do with the origin or success of science in Europe: Andrew D. White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom , should forever disabuse you of such ideas. Science recovered in Europe — recovered not originated, because it originated during the Greek Enlightenment — despite, not because of, Christianity. The same is true of Islamic societies; such science as was there existed despite, not because of, Islam.
    The war of religion against science isn’t a ‘Marxist myth.’ It’s a fact of history.

    • While pointing to an interesting discussion, that is a ridiculously categorical statement. The list of devout, deeply religious scientists from the last two thousand years can be made pretty extensive. Are they not Christian to you then? Would you say that Johannes Kepler was not Christian? What about Leibniz? Or Nicholas of Cusa? What about Copernicus? Pascal? Carl von Linné? William Herschel? What about Ampere or Dalton? What about Gregor Mendel? I will stop there.
      i think you will find that while organized Christianity, or the “Church”, might have been anti-scientific, or even exceedingly so at times, there is still a myriad of scientists to choose from who considered themselves devout Christians. They would rather claim divine inspiration than lamenting that they were held back by religion, wouldn’t you guess? Christianity is not only the church, but also the personal relationship to God of all the people who call themselves Christian.

      • Something that people who have not been exposed to religion don’t understand… good points.
        Religion isn’t blindly following the “leaders”. The Catholic church did horrible things over the years, which is the reason Protestants even exist. But the religion is not what the church says it is, it’s what is in one’s soul.
        Being told what religion is by atheists and anti-religion types is ridiculous. Many of these people think that Christians believe God is a “man” who “lives in the clouds”. Some even believe that islam is a “religion of peace”.

      • Great response to Pat Frank, Gard. The consistency of the philosophical underpinnings of Christianity with modern science continues to be demonstrated by people like Francis Collins (Director of the National Institutes of Health and sequencer of the human genome).

      • >>The list of devout, deeply religious scientists
        >>from the last two thousand years
        The most specious argument ever.
        Since being a Christian was compulsory, on pain of death, it is hardly surprising that early scientists were Christians. And those who would not bow to Catholic supremicy, like Tyndale and Bruno, were burned to death. A great incentive for calling yourself a Christian, eh?
        Its a bit like the USSR claiming that all scientists were good Communists. Anyone surprised by that? Or Islam claiming that all Eastern scientists were Muslims, when the penalty for becomming an Apostate was (and still is) death. Anyone surprised that they found a few ‘Muslim’ scientists?
        Do get real, folks, science reinvented itself despite Catholic Christianity, not because of it.
        R

      • As I said, while the relationship between faith and scientific knowledge might provoke enormous clashes, and that this is a very interesting discussion, you can’t go off from the starting point that “Christianity had [nothing] whatever to do with the origin or success of science in Europe”. Categorical statements like that will most obviously be untrue, as it directly contradicts what a whole school of scientists say about themselves. When scientists like Kepler, Leibniz, von Linné and others claim that they their belief that God created an orderly, knowable universe helped them to make their discoveries, I see no reason not to believe them. While organized, centralized religion many times have prosecuted and tormented their “apostates”, personal religious faith has inspired thousands of researchers and scientists, by their own account. Claiming that they were all afraid of religious persecution and ldecided to lie about where they got their inspiration is so silly that I am not going down that road. A certain Monty Python sketch comes to mind.
        You know, I’ll make the (not-so) controversial statement that several processes might be going on at the same time? Repression by religious dogma and inspiration by faith in the divine? There are always several processes at play at the same time in history. And in climatology, too. That’s what is making climate modelling incredibly difficult, among other things.

      • Pat Frank
        Andrew White’s book was debunked long ago. But there will always be people who prefer to believe in junk history rather than real history. It’s rather like some people preferring to accept Archbishop Usher’s claim that the world is only 6,000 years old. They prefer the original rather than the debunking.
        Gard R Rise
        Apart from the perennial bleating about Galileo can you give us any other examples of the ‘organised Church’ being anti-scientific?
        One problem with any reference to the ‘organised Church’ is that since the Protestant Reformation any Tom, Dick or Sally thinks that he or she can set up their own organisation and call it a ‘Church’. The consequence is that there are now several thousand Protestant denominations. There is a fair chance you will find one or more of these Protestant denominations promoting examples of any notion you can think of.
        But the leaders of such denominations speak only for themselves. They have no authority to speak on behalf of Christianity. It might also have been more accurate in the article by Mr Goldman to have referred to Anglican Churches. The Church of England does not exist outside of ……well, England!

      • Alba:
        Well, when it comes to religious persecution of not only scientists, but any public figure, the Spanish Inqusition in general does rather spring to mind, doesn’t it? Other than that, I am not really that much of an expert on the issue of religious suppression of science. I do, however, have a passing knowledge of religious adherence to dogma and suppression of differing views in various Lutheran sects. But I suggest you go to Pat Frank, he seems to be the expert on that side of the issue.
        You point to both the biggest benefit and the biggest fault of the Protestant movement: it provides religious freedom but also fragmentation of the church. While, in the pursuit of truth, it is sometimes necessary to take a different way than the “main” church, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to reconcile the sects at a later point in time. The church remains fragmented.

      • Alba, contested is not “debunked.” None of White’s factual references to instances of oppression or stupidity have been disproved. Contested is the warfare idea.
        The rest of your comment to me, about Bishop Usher, etc., is mere manufactured dismissal. Ironic, though, that you’d choose an example of religion-inspired nonsense to dismiss a history of religion-inspired nonsense.

    • Pat, although it’s about much more than science Larry Siedentop’s acclaimed Inventing the Individual: The Origins Of Western Liberalism last year rethinks the relationship between western liberalism, ancient Greek thought and some little known thinkers of the late Middle Ages. From the evidence, including a distinct lack of what became western values in the Greek and Roman world. This is relevant to the growth of science in the West though I’m sure there are still arguments to be had!

      • Richard, it’s very difficult to countenance that “belief in individual liberty derived from the “the moral revolution carried out by the early church,” as the Amazon write-up has it, when slavery and serf-bondage persisted universally within Christian societies from the earliest days right up through the 19th century (in Russia at the last).
        Slaves were owned and serfs were bound over by the churches themselves, including the Catholic Church, throughout that history. While some religious thinkers and early movements criticized slavery, their ideas never gained official or widespread acceptance. Those institutions were never denounced from the pulpit or by canon law, certainly, until among the Quakers on the entrance of Enlightenment thinking.
        The history of heresy and the large body of laws violently restricting personal and private behavior argue strongly against any Christian tradition of personal freedom.

      • Hi Frank, it’s possible for Amazon blurbs not to do full justice of a text like this. In similar vein I feel the need to apologise to William of Ockham for my description of him as a little known thinker of the late Middle Ages. Such are the dangers of summaries. 🙂
        I think the dynamism and commitment to radical righting of social wrongs like slavery in the first three hundred years of the church can hardly be underestimated. But I wouldn’t be interested otherwise so I can also understand your scepticism. The evidence is incomplete.
        Siedentop makes quite clear that what became western values had a ugly fight with the established churches before they prevailed. To the extent they did. (Hypocrisy or failure to live up to past ideals isn’t limited to Russian churchmen or anyone else of course.)
        Beyond that, I simply recommend the book. The UK political philosopher John Gray certainly wasn’t calling himself a Christian last term I heard and thinks it ain’t half good, as do others. Mind-expanding.

    • Probably should choose your sources more carefully. White’s book is considered a joke by modern historians.

      • “Joke” is hardly a fair description, joe.
        Ronald Numbers is a historian leading the charge against White’s combat thesis, but even in his critical “Religion and Science” article [(1985) Osiris 1, 59-80], Numbers finished his criticism by stating, “I do not wish to suggest, however, that Christianity has generally fostered science, as some would have us believe, or that conflict never arose — only that we carefully define the nature of the interaction and clearly identify the participants.”
        Regardless of revisions, or references to this or that benignly disposed church official, one cannot erase from history the persistent attacks of religious authority against the scientific thinkers who threatened a sacralized nature, nor the persistent and official mortal threats against them. Nor can any revision remove from history that the rise of modern science only followed the loss of police power by religious authority.
        Nor can any historical re-thinking remove the fundamental opposition between revealed absolute truth and contingent knowledge, between faith and demonstration, or between ideology and methodological empiricism.

    • Gerd, the fact that someone is religious does not at all imply that the religion, itself, was the source of that person’s accomplishments.
      It is as much a non-sequitur to suppose that Catholicism was the source of Copernicus’ heliocentric theory or Newton’s physics, as that paganism was the source of Archimedes’ Physics or Euclid’s mathematics.
      Religion is about accepting on faith the untestable and the indescribable. This is the opposite of science.
      Absolutist religions — those that claim an absolute god-given truth — must necessarily regard all dissent as absolute error. There is no room for independent thought in such religions. The history of heresy demonstrates this. That is, the history of heresy demonstrates the necessity for dissenters to leave their original religion. The invariable persecution of heretics demonstrates the intolerance of independent thought fundamental to absolutist religions.
      Throughout the pre- and early-modern history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the value of an individual has been determined solely by acceptance of the truth-canon. Those who confessed the canon — the pious — were reckoned good. They were given humane standing and received some protection of law. Those who denied the canon — the disbelievers — were reckoned evil. They were denied humane standing and received the indictment of criminality.
      After the Enlightenment (1650-1800), humans attained value by virtue of their humanity, not by their beliefs. The Enlightenment grew strictly out of the rediscovery of classical Greco-Roman thinking; notably the De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things) of Lucretius Carus. The rationality promoted by the Enlightenment did not come from Christianity or Judaism. This is demonstrated by the fact that these religions existed for some 2500 years or 1500 years, respectively, without ever producing any thread of independent rationalism or notion of human value apart from belief. Logical elaboration of dogma and theology, as by Thomas Aquinas, does not constitute independent rationalism because it is entirely a derivative of religious ideology.
      To bring home this point, the conflict today with Islam solely rests on the fact that of the three main religions, only Islam has been untouched by Enlightenment values. It retains all the absolutist intolerance of the past. At its bottom, Islam is just Arabist triumphalism; a racist element the other modern religions now reject in its entirety and on principle.
      So, if one wishes to contemplate the reality of living among the religious societies of the European past, one need only look at Islamic societies of the present. The details are different, but the attitudes are similar.
      It is to their extreme credit that both Judaism and Christianity have responded positively, in the main, to Enlightenment humanism. So far as I know, these are the only examples of ideological believers voluntarily changing their stance on rational principled grounds. Marxists, for example, and Muslims, have so far signally failed this test.
      So my hat’s off to all you humane Christians and Jews out there, for your moral strength, intellectual courage, and flexibility of mind. You’re historically unique. You have commendably modified your belief system in light of science. But your belief system did not originate science nor, initially, tolerate it.

      • I’d hate to restate my point; but I really see no other way. I am talking about Christian scientists’ belief in a knowable, truthful, beautiful universe in enveloping creation. This belief makes them confident that they can indeed understand and know the laws of the universe. This firm belief in the lawfulness of the universe is supposed to be non-scientific? I am a bit at a loss there, really. There is also the issue of inspiration. Who are you to say that they don’t actually mean it when they claim divine inspiration, when they certainly say so themselves? It doesn’t really matter what you or I think about their way of being inspired, when we do have written sources to rely on. Start out with Johannes Kepler, for instance, he is very communicative on the subject.
        Thank you for the explanation of your views, but you are still making categorical statements about two thousand years of European history. What seems to be your version of the history of culture, religion and science is not at all wrong, but only one side of the story. It looks more like a critique of the monolithic, dogmatic organisation of centralized religion and all of the power struggles and agony that ensued from this. This is an old discussion, really, but still very much relevant.

      • Gerd, the origin and existence of science in ancient Greece, and in Greco-Roman society, removes any necessity for a “belief in a knowable, truthful, beautiful universe in enveloping creation” as a prerequisite for, or element of, any impulse toward scientific thinking or regular (what you term “lawfulness”) physical behavior.
        The fact that some scientists living in a Christian context also maintained Christian beliefs is a scientific epiphenomenon.
        Please note that nowhere did I write that, “they [scientists] don’t actually mean it when they claim divine inspiration, when they certainly say so themselves?” Where you got that from is anyone’s guess.
        You’re right that my post is, “a critique of the monolithic, dogmatic organisation of centralized religion and all of the power struggles and agony that ensued from this.” That’s been my point all along (and A. D. White’s).
        Individual religious people have run the usual gamut of wonderful to horrid and productive to corrosive (with a majority nearer the wonderful and productive, as gifted to us by 50 million years of primate social evolution). The issue at play is that inflexibility and intolerance are encouraged by the religious ideology of revealed absolute truth. Judaism and the religions derived from it make absolutist claims. As a consequence, their history is replete with oppressive authoritarians, wrecked lives, and stunted intellectual growth.
        It was with the seductions of religious ideology in view that Steven Weinberg wrote that, “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” These days, one should add that it also takes political ideology, e.g., Marxism.

      • It’s Gard, with an ‘a’.
        Intellectual exercises of the “what if” type may be interesting when it comes to history, but not much more. The exceedingly hypothetical “what if there were no Christianity” is not something I want to spend a lot of time on. Suffice it to say that Christianity has influenced European history in such a profound way that very little can be said to have happened for two thousand years that has not been influenced by Christian thought. That goes for the good ideas, and that goes for the bad ideas as well. If you want to go into how Greek philosophy has influenced Christian thought, there are volumes written on the subject and it is a very fascinating study.
        I am not sure what you mean in your first paragraph, though. Do you assume, then, that the Greeks and the Romans had no firm, dogmatic religious beliefs? If anything, I would suspect that they were even more dogmatic than the Christians? And again, are you trying to say that belief in the beauty and truth of the universe would not be a powerful incentive, and indeed, a prerequisite and an impulse to new discoveries and scientific thought? That seems very, very strange.
        I will clarify once more what I meant so you won’t have to guess. English is not my first language, so I might be involuntarily opaque on some issues. I will try to state it in as simple terms as possible:
        When a scientist states that he/she was inspired by God in his/her work, I assume that he or she means it, and that this inspiration was essential to the completion and success of the work. You seem to claim that religion was really only a hindrance to his or her scientific work; that is where you in fact state that they don’t really mean what they say. Or at least that they didn’t know what inspired them, even though they claim they did. That is pretty arrogant of you, even though the people you are talking about are long dead.

      • Ah, here it is, as I remembered Freeman Dyson had something to say about your Weinberg quote:
        “Weinberg’s statement is true as far as it goes, but it is not the whole truth. To make it the whole truth, we must add an additional clause: “And for bad people to do good things—that [also] takes religion.” The main point of Christianity is that it is a religion for sinners. Jesus made that very clear. When the Pharisees asked his disciples, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” he said, “I come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Only a small fraction of sinners repent and do good things but only a small fraction of good people are led by their religion to do bad things.”
        Dyson has a couple of interesting things to say about global warming too, although he doesn’t seem to go full skeptic:
        “I’m not saying the warming doesn’t cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I’m saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.”
        (Not that I necessarily agree with all his religious and climatological views, but thought it might be of interest anyway.)

      • Gard R. Rise
        May 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm
        Greek and Roman pagans weren’t generally dogmatic.
        As the Apostle Paul noted, the pagans in Athens were always ready to hear new things. They didn’t buy what he was selling immediately, but they didn’t get all dogmatic on his posterior.
        The Romans sometimes required residents of their cities to sacrifice to Roman gods as a civic virtue. Christian martyrs refused to do so, hence provided entertainment for the masses at the games or were burned as human torches to light dinner parties.

      • Ah, but they pretty much got “all dogmatic” on poor Socrates’ “posterior”, wouldn’t you say? And then Christians fed to Roman lions? You are cracking a joke or something here. People dying for their faith is seldom funny, though.

      • Gard, you wrote, “…that is where you in fact state that they don’t really mean what they say. Or at least that they didn’t know what inspired them, even though they claim they did. That is pretty arrogant of you, even though the people you are talking about are long dead.
        In fact, I never wrote that, nor anything like that. I’d corrected your misrepresentation once already before you wrote that. But you’ve persisted. Once may be a mistake. Twice looks deliberate. So, is it “arrogant” to persistently falsify another’s position, or just a habitual carelessness?

      • Since you don’t seem to understand yet, I will try to explain a third time, in even simpler terms if possible:
        Your claim (as far as I have understood it):
        Christian religion was always a hindrance to scientific thought. Scientific progress happened despite of Christianity.
        Christian scientists’ claim:
        Christianity was a great help and inspiration in their scientific work. Progress in their scientific work would not have happened without their faith in God.
        Both statements can’t possibly be true if we are to take your argument the least bit seriously. That is because you are ridiculously categorical in your claim. You are (as far as I can tell) saying that the first statement is always true, therefore the second statement must always be false. Calling the second statement false is saying that what the scientists claim about their own work is a lie. That is extremely arrogant, and it would be offensive to the scientists, were they still alive.
        Now for the main point of the discussion: if you were to moderate your initial statement it might become a different argument, but you (wrongly) stated:
        “For those who think Christianity had anything whatever to do with the origin or success of science in Europe: Andrew D. White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom , should forever disabuse you of such ideas. Science recovered in Europe — recovered not originated, because it originated during the Greek Enlightenment — despite, not because of, Christianity.”
        Read your words again and think twice about what you are really saying there. You are in essence removing the individual from history, you are by implication removing the individual expression of faith from history by viewing Christianity as a monolithic whole. It is a Marxist view of history (as you correctly pointed out), and it’s a falsehood. And please, try to read up on the history of religion and science until the next time. If you believe that science existed in some kind of religious dogma-free Elysium before Christianity, you need to think again. Religion and science have co-existed and interacted for good or worse since the Egyptians and Babylonians and probably as far back in history that we know of. That certainly goes for the Greeks and the Romans as well. The dichotomy between faith and scientific knowledge has been a source of both anguish and inspiration for scientists for ages, and it still continues. You are taking the reductionist view that Christianity (and you throw in Islam there also, which you probably know nothing about) was always contra-productive to science, I call that nonsense in the extreme. Think again, moderate your initial statement and you might come up with a theory that is closer to truth. Good luck with that.

      • Gard, none of my posts include speculation about “what if there’s no religion.” Nor do I anywhere dispute that Christianity had a very large influence on European history. You’re making discursions that have no particular reference to anything I’ve actually written.
        Regarding my first paragraph, I inferred from what you wrote about, “Christian scientists’ belief in a knowable, truthful, beautiful universe in enveloping creation” that you meant Christianity, as such, inspired European scientists. Otherwise, why specify that religion?
        Given that specificity, of what relevance is it whether, “the Greeks and the Romans had … firm, dogmatic religious beliefs,” or not? The Greeks and Romans were pagan. Did paganism also lead ancient scientists to believe in a “knowable, truthful, beautiful universe in enveloping creation?
        Are you suggesting that mere belief in some religion, any religion, will inspire scientists to their vision of a “knowable, truthful, beautiful universe in enveloping creation“? If so, then what is the particular value of Christianity?
        In the context of our conversation, the point of referring to the Greek Enlightenment is that it obviously does not take Christianity to inspire people to a life of science. yankwanker (strange name, that), has already pointed out that Greeks and Romans were not particularly dogmatic. This is shown by their tolerance of an almost bewildering variation of beliefs and gods among pagan sects, and the virtually complete lack of evidence of violent contests among them.
        The very first sentence of my very first post in this thread, began with, “For those who think Christianity had anything whatever to do with the origin or success of science in Europe…” The capitalization references the religion itself, not anyone’s personal religious sentiment. Your focus on personal sentiment, i.e., “inspired by God in his/her work,” misses the critical point.

      • Gard, your first statement about my claim is categorically distinct from your second about scientists.
        You are supposing that personal religious sentiment is identical with the religion itself. It is not; any more than one’s personal sentiments about science are identical with science itself.
        Religion itself is the body of beliefs, declarations, deductions, and regulations of personal behavior that make up the system to which the religiously believing individuals submit themselves.
        Personal religious sentiment is the subjective response of the believer to the belief.
        Your first recapitulational statement concerns the religion itself. Your second concerns personal religious sentiment. As these are categorically distinct statements, your conclusion that, “Both statements can’t possibly be true …” is not correct.
        Following that baseline error, all of your further deductions fail. It seems you’ve consistently imposed your own meaning onto my words. Following from that you then reacted to your own supposed meaning, rather than to the meaning of what I actually wrote.
        You wrote that I have viewed, “Christianity as a monolithic whole.” Rather, I described Christianity in terms of its invariable claim of absolute god-given knowledge. There is no dispute that claim is universal and central among all Christian sects. It has been the source of virtually all of the religious warfare that has scarred European history.
        There is also no dispute that the same absolutist claim is also the central organizing factor of Judaism and Islam; a point also made.
        Noting the obvious centrality of absolutism to Christianity has nothing to do with Marxism. Noting that science originated among pagan Greeks does not imply anything about a religion-free Elysium. It does, however, reference the fact that science originated before any historical hint of religious absolutism. It is almost self-evident that an absolutist stance must necessarily be mortally hostile to the contingent novelty of scientists and scientific thinking.
        You wrote that, “You are taking the reductionist view that Christianity (and you throw in Islam there also, which you probably know nothing about) was always contra-productive to science, I call that nonsense in the extreme.
        Rather, I take a holistic view that Christianity, at large and as such in its beliefs, declarations, deductions, and regulations of personal behavior, has been institutionally opposed to independent thinking, and to science as a subset of that thinking. And why should it not be? Christian authorities, especially prior to 1800, claimed a monopoly on truth. Dissent was not brooked. That history is not gainsaid by the personal sentimental constructs of individuals.
        There’s nothing wrong with reductionism, by the way. It’s the program of science and has been nothing but successful.
        About the extent of my knowledge, you have no knowledge. Your label of “nonsense in the extreme” is no more than unsubstantiated opinion. You’re welcome to it.

      • You were the one that singled out Christianity (and Islam) in your incompetent and fallacious initial hypothesis/rant. Yes, I most certainly believe that some of the “pagans” as you call them had elements in their religions that made them believe in a knowable, truthful universe. We could probably discuss the religion of Socrates for several hours. Some “pagan” religions were completely different, however, and perhaps anti-scientifical in their nature. Christian philosophy inherited many of its best ideas from Jewish philosophy, naturally (and then by extension, Egyptian philosophy), but also a whole set of ideas that is connected to Greek, both Platonic and Aristotelean thought. The Roman contribution to the history of ideas is rather more focused in the direction of organization of society than philosophy and science (which they in a large degree inherited from the Greeks), so I don’t think we need to delve too long on them. The Babylonian influence on the Bible is likely also there, but not necessarily for the benefit of either the Christian or the Jewish religion. Christianity has elements of many different philosophies along with its own perfectly unique elements.
        “The capitalization references the religion itself, not anyone’s personal religious sentiment”
        This is exactly what you can’t do. I don’t really care how you try to rationalize this reduction in your extended discussion of this point. You can’t separate anyone’s personal sentiment from the process of history, especially not when it comes to such a fundamental aspect of a person’s life as faith. That is exactly where you display incompetence; not so much in any of your individual arguments, but exactly there. I have tried to explain that to you several times, but you refuse to listen.
        For the nth time: It doesn’t matter whether you believe that Christianity (and Islam, which I still suspect you know very little about, not many people seem to do nowadays) was detrimental (or at best, didn’t contribute at all) to the development of science, when the people who actually did the science disagree with you in countless books, private letters, treatises and any written document we may have at our disposal. Please, please get this. You can’t maintain an argument that requires several “special conditions”; one of them being that we cannot take into account people’s private, religious sentiment in order for it to be true.

      • Gard, you wrote, “You were the one that singled out Christianity (and Islam) in your incompetent and fallacious initial hypothesis/rant.
        I refer you to the posts of tgasloli, of Silver ralph, of sturgishooper, again of Silver ralph, all of which discussed the influence of Christianity on European science before I posted.
        You labeling of my original post as “ incompetent and fallacious” is merely a pejorative dismissal, because your view is unsubstantiated in any of your responses. The content doesn’t support your claim of “rant,” either.
        You wrote, “Yes, I most certainly believe that some of the “pagans” as you call them had elements in their religions that made them believe in a knowable, truthful universe.
        And the evidence of that in their writing is . . .?
        Quoting my, “The capitalization references the religion itself, not anyone’s personal religious sentiment”, you wrote, “This is exactly what you can’t do. I don’t really care how you try to rationalize this reduction in your extended discussion of this point. You can’t separate anyone’s personal sentiment from the process of history, especially not when it comes to such a fundamental aspect of a person’s life as faith.”
        I distinguished between the structure of a religion itself, and an individual’s subjective response to that religion. You then decide doing so separates personal sentiment from the process of history (whatever that means).
        Nevertheless, in your objection against my distinction, you necessarily deny that a religion can have any structural existence independent of personal sentiment.
        It’s very clear, however, that religions do exist apart from personal sentiment. The beliefs, declarations, etc., etc., are all bodies of text that have existence independent of any person. These texts all allow the belief sets of various religions to be compared without reference to anyone’s sentiments.
        The information represented by those bodies of text are actualized into society and history by the interpretative activities of the religious authorities and believers. This actualization produces the institutional existence and historical trajectory of every given religion.
        My posts consistently referred to this independent existence. You insist on revising them in terms of an irrelevance of personal sentiment.
        There’s no intellectually coherent connection between what I wrote and your interpretation of it. How you suppose any logical or semantic connection exists is anyone’s guess.
        Implicit in your interpretation, is that, e.g., Catholicism has no independent structure apart from an arbitrary someone’s subjective sentiment about Catholicism. But then, how can anyone internalize a subjective sentiment about Catholicism, unless Catholicism has some sort of perceptible existence outside the subject? The same is true of any given religion.
        The very basis of your thinking is self-contradictory.
        You wrote, “That is exactly where you display incompetence; not so much in any of your individual arguments, but exactly there.
        So, for you, it is incompetent to distinguish between the structure and content of a religion, and the variable and personal religious sentiments of arbitrary individuals. And yet, every single prelate who argues religious orthodoxy against the mistaken beliefs of coreligionists, makes exactly the same distinction.
        You wrote, “I have tried to explain that to you several times, but you refuse to listen.
        It’s not that I refuse to listen, Gard. It’s that you’re making no sense. There is no rational reason to accept your impossible premises.
        You make the argument that, “ Christianity (and Islam, … [contributed] to the development of science, [because] the people who actually did the science [said so] in countless books, private letters, treatises and any written document we may have at our disposal.
        This purported testimony seems to be your proof positive. Is that about right? Suppose we grant the documentation, then. . .
        The basis of Christianity is that Christ existed in history, saved humans from sin, and is both god and son of god. The basis of Islam is that Muhammad existed in history, is the final and best prophet of god, and is pretty much infallible. Judaism, the original variety, says that Abraham existed in history, made a contract with god, and that all Abraham’s descendants are beneficiaries and obligates to that contract. (None of the historical claims are verifiable on the available evidence.)
        So, ignoring the ancient Greek accomplishments, you’d have it that the personal sentiments arising from belief in one or another of those claims were a sine-qua-non for science. Or maybe that belief in the creator-god posited by all of those religions induced sentiments about order and continuity that gave people the courage and inspiration to do science.
        Of course, the notion of order came from the observations of order. This must be true, because there are no observable properties of god that imply order, or anything else. Believers must then have referred those observations back to god. That is, the observed order was sentimentally assigned to be a derivative property of god, after the fact of observation. Assigned, because there are no observable or knowable properties of god. Absence of knowledge means it could not be objectively known that god produced order.
        So, the informational route was necessarily, from observed order — then to god — and then back to created order.
        We are left with noticing that the early scientists must have been making empirical observations first, i.e, doing something like science, then noted the existence of order, and then assigned the order to god. Only after that, could they sentimentalize the whole thing into a rhapsody of inspiration by god-produced order. To construct that rhapsody of inspiration, they’d have had to forget that the observations of order preceded the assignment of order to god’s creative benignity.
        Let’s notice that the assignment of a property to a construct about which nothing can be known, i.e., god, is irretrievably irrational.
        The conclusion of the lawyer, that personal memory and testimony is very often untrustworthy with respect to the factual sequence of events, also here, is reasonably assigned to historical sentimental rhapsodies about god’s inspiration to science.
        The extensive written testimonials may exist, Gard, but your causal thesis lacks merit.

      • *Sigh*. I am not trying to separate the “structural existence independent of personal sentiment” of a religion from the same “personal sentiment”, I am trying to account for both and keeping them intact as a whole. You are the one desperately trying to separate the two. Until you get this, there is no point in continuing this discussion.
        I replied and objected to the following ridiculous statement, and I quote it here in full for one last time:
        “For those who think Christianity had anything whatever to do with the origin or success of science in Europe: Andrew D. White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom , should forever disabuse you of such ideas. Science recovered in Europe — recovered not originated, because it originated during the Greek Enlightenment — despite, not because of, Christianity. The same is true of Islamic societies; such science as was there existed despite, not because of, Islam.
        The war of religion against science isn’t a ‘Marxist myth.’ It’s a fact of history.”
        I have tried to explain why that is a simplistic, reductionist, incompetent view, bordering on bigotry. It is needlessly categorical in the absurd and revealing a lack of understanding of the processes behind the dynamics of history.
        Summary:
        Your theories are (at their best) important for one side of the discussion of the history of science and religion, but you present them as if they were representing the single truth or at least by far the most important aspect. That is what I heavily object to. You are drastically over-simplyfying a dynamic process and choosing to disregard aspects of a problem that don’t suit your argument (a common practice in climatology as well as it evidently is in the study of history).

      • Gard, you wrote (following your mannered “*sigh*”), “I am not trying to separate the “structural existence independent of personal sentiment” of a religion from the same “personal sentiment”, I am trying to account for both and keeping them intact as a whole. You are the one desperately trying to separate the two. Until you get this, there is no point in continuing this discussion.
        And yet, following my very first post which pointed out that Christianity had nothing to do with the origin or success of science in Europe, your immediate response was that, “The list of devout, deeply religious scientists from the last two thousand years can be made pretty extensive. … there is still a myriad of scientists to choose from who considered themselves devout Christians. They would rather claim divine inspiration…,” etc., etc.
        I spoke to Christianity as the religion, you answered with personal sentiment, as though they were identical. You leveraged this supposed identity to propose that personal religious sentiment contradicted the point that Christianity, as such, opposed science. This has been your argument throughout.
        As evidence of this, you ended your initial post with, “Christianity is not only the church, but also the personal relationship to God of all the people who call themselves Christian.
        Personal relationship to god” is a sentimental regard that any religious believer can have with their deity of choice. Such a fantasy is not unique to Christianity. It could just as well describe the internal sentiment of believers toward their god in any ancient mystery religion. Given the universality of that sentiment, there is no reason to think that Christianity can at all be equated with, or specified by, the existence of those same feelings among Christians.
        Further the “personal relationship to god” sentiment didn’t stop with early scientists. It was present in the inquisitors, the witch-burners, the torturers, and every pettifogging dogmatic cleric who could each and all reference their “personal relationship to god” to justify and sacralize their oppression and murder of believers and non-believers, both.
        A sentiment that is not unique to Christianity, nor unique to religious scientists, cannot be used to specify Christianity, nor used as a uniquely causal agent of inspiration toward science.
        The failure of your entire argument is co-extensive with the universality of human sentiments. You offer a standard of the Christian apologetics that attempts to remove the verdict of history: that religious absolutism produced oppression and tyranny.
        The contested claim of absolute truth is the only unique property that distinguishes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam from other religions. Absolutism is the property responsible for their unique history of oppression and murder. Intellectual stultification is the goal of absolutism’s imposed religious peace.
        Absolutism is intrinsically and necessarily hostile toward science and its novelties. Hostility toward the novel intellect is obvious and manifest in the history of absolutist Christianity and Islam, wherever they had control. Judaism is saved only because it has never attained state-level police power.

    • Pat Frank on May 30, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Pat Frank,
      I suggest your “war of religion against science” idea is better expressed in non-military terms. I suggest instead of military terms, it can be better expressed in terms such as the fundamental eternal intellectual argument between the tribal shamans and the independent individual achievers.
      John

  28. Fantastic— and, as always, well-written with crystal clear logic and facts.
    The hypocrisy of the misguided religious zealots and the limousine crowd is beyond the pale.

  29. I’m afraid that the global warming that the certain churches are feeling is the result of their ever closer approach to hell.

  30. “By declaring war on coal, people who purport to represent the Church of England are committing a terrible crime against the world’s poorest people.”
    ————
    C of E, like warmunists and malthusians in general, want to outsource death to the 3rd world.

  31. Probably a lot of these religious leaders–half, maybe–have been pressured to “say something” by green-activists in their congregations. It was similar factional pressure that, I presume, nudged scientific societies into lining up behind IGPOCC.

  32. I think Sir Christopher is on a collision course with his holy father here with his message that “Coal saves”

    • Science demonstrates the many advantages of coal, which is primarily under attack because traditionally the coal-owners were the big donors to the Republican Party in the United States – and some still are. It is not the business of the Pope to make pronouncements on scientific questions: nor do I expect him to be silly enough to do so. The Marxists in charge of the two Pontifical Academies are pressing him to say daft and anti-scientific things about the climate, but the Curia are resisting – and there are one or two indications that the Pope is resisting too.
      Expect a more balanced statement on the climate question from the Holy See than from most mere secular governments.

      • there are one or two indications that the Pope is resisting too

        You’re going to be better connected than me on that but that’s been my ‘gut feel’ too.

  33. Why is it that the POVs expressed on this forum are have zero effect on:
    1) University Science Education and Research
    2) Secondary School Science Education
    3) The Positions of The World’s Science Academies, all of which conclude AGW
    4) The Positions of the World’s Scientific Professional Societies, all of which confirm the same
    5) The findings of Peer Reviewed science journal papers
    6) The authors — none from WUWT
    6) The exhortations of Religious Leaders
    7) The positions of nearly all World Leaders
    Has WUWT has formed its own closed religious monastery, with no influence over Education, Science, Religion, Policy, or Government?

    • The truth is often unfashionable. It is all too easy to drift along with fashion: I could make large amounts if only I switched sides and told lies for profit.
      Warrenlb, a serial blubber and bedwetter, is also – as usual – careless with his facts. Several of us here have had papers published in the reviewed journals and in academic books.
      Nor should Warrenlb assume that we have no influence. Despite a funding disparity put at 5000:1 against us, we are winning the debate among the public and are gradually shaming the scientific community, one by one, into realizing they are putting the integrity and reputation of science itself at risk by taking a one-sided and increasingly insane viewpoint.
      I advise several governments on climate, and many of them are far less amenable to the extremist nonsense of the official position than the media would like to make out. Same goes for scientific academies, who are by no means unanimous on the question, though the Party Line is that they are unanimous, because all the Party Line has left is the now-collapsing notion of a scientific “consensus” that does not, in fact, exist.

      • @Monckton
        And just where are ‘you winning’?
        1) NO University courses in ‘Monckton Science’. ALL consistent with AGW.
        2) Secondary school science does not reflect your anti-AGW ‘opinions’.
        3) NO Science Academy anywhere in the world disputing AGW.
        4) NO Scientific Professional Society disputing AGW.
        5) NO Peer reviewed papers from an ISI listed Science Journal rejecting AGW
        6) No Monckton University Science Education, peer-reviewed science journal publications, nor record of Climate Research.
        7) Essentially all religious and world leaders accepting AGW and most advocating action.
        8) Nor has the H of L reconsidered your membership claim

      • Warrenlb continues to be serially inaccurate, and to be obsessed with the notion that scientific questions are settled by “consensus”. They are not. They are settled by observation, then by measurement, then by thought, then by the application of pre-existing theory to the results so as to refine the old theory or develop a new one. Consensus plays no part whatsoever in this process.
        And contrary to WarrenLB’s assertion that there are no university courses in “Monckton science”, I have had numerous approaches over the years from both undergraduate and postgraduate students writing theses on climate skepticism, often from a sympathetic standpoint.
        There are also numerous reviewed papers in ISI-listed journals that dispute the true-believers’ position on global warming. The Chinese Science Bulletin is one such: read our paper of January 2015 there at scibull.com. Dick Lindzen, Pat Michaels, Ross McKitrick Mike McIntyre, Fred Singer and many, many others have published skeptical papers in the reviewed journals. Saying that it is not so does not make it not so.

    • Warren, most of your points are demonstrably factually inaccurate. Many peer-reviewed papers express POVs similar to those expressed on WUWT. In fact, a number of people who post here have published peer-reviewed papers (Lindzen, Soon, Curry, Michaels, McIntyre, Mckittrsick, and others, as well as dozens of climate scientists in papers which trying to explain the “pause” acknowledge this phenomenon, which was highlighted by many posts on WUWT years before most climate scientists were finally unable to DENY the data). Effects on University Science Education and Research are also easy to identify. Interestingly they include attacks trying (with complete scientific incompetence) to link appropriate scientific skepticism with psychological disorders (see Lewandowsky and colleagues), when, in fact, skepticism about CAGW is based on scientific evidence, not psychopathology. I will risk a predication that WUWT will someday be quite favorably regarded when historians and philosophers of science objectively analyze the climate science in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Not all the world’s academies or scientific societies support CAGW. Some take no official position, and if you did a legitimate poll among non-climate related societies that use methods similar to those of climate science (e.g., modeling) such as epidemiology, you would find that they have a low opinion of climate science and of the evidence in support of CAGW. World leaders have positions based on politics; science plays little role in the decision-making of most of them. Religious leaders are by no means united in their positions on CAGW or the best response to the minor warming that has been observed since about 1980 (but not in the most recent 18 years or so). When they realize that plans to reduce CO2 emissions that involve substantial increases in energy prices and the fact that cheap energy saves lives by the thousands or millions in the developing world, I suspect they will more carefully weigh the uncertainty of climate predictions and the failure of many, many predictions in the past 20 years or so against increased numbers of premature deaths among the poorest of the poor. It is possible that AGW will cause adverse effects and that humans will have to adapt or to decrease CO2 emissions over the next century. However, real, quantifiable current adverse effects (not based on unvalidated climate models) are minimal, if they exist at all, and crop yields as well as overall plant coverage have increased as CO2 has increased. WUWT was one of the first web sites on which questioning the “consensus” based on scientific inconsistencies in the CAGW narrative was not only allowed but encouraged. Finally, Warren, your point that WUWT has no influence is just a little suspicious, when one considers that WUWT has many times the number of readers compared to any other climate blog, and many of the them (such as myself) are scientists, engineers, and computational geeks in other fields of research and are not following WUWT due to conspiracy theories or political affiliation.

      • @Stephen Pruett
        “Many peer-reviewed papers express POVs similar to those expressed on WUWT. ”
        False. Less than 1%. Go here for one of the many counts of peer reviewed journal papers concluding AGW: http://www.jamespowell.org/Piecharts/styled/index.html
        “Not all the world’s academies or scientific societies support CAGW.”
        False. Not one of the science academies, or scientific professional societies disputes AGW (the term ‘CAGW’ isn’t used in science). All academies maintain an official published position concluding AGW.
        The rest of your post seems to be opinion: “I expect” or “they will realize”, etc. So far there’s little evidence that your wishes are intruding on reality.

      • Warrenlb continues to be obsessed by consensus. However, science is the process by which the consensus is repeatedly proven to be in error. There was once a consensus that the Earth was flat. The consensus was flat wrong. There was once a consensus that cholesterol is bad for you. Now that consensus has been abandoned, like the consensus that salt is bad for you. There was once a consensus – near-unanimous, and persisting for 300 years – that Newtonian celestial mechanics were all that needed to be said on the matter. Then a single third-class patent clerk, in a single non-peer-reviewed paper, disproved that consensus too. Likewise, the evidence of little or no warming since the IPCC’s first ASSessment report in 1990 shows the latest fashionable but misguided consensus to have been wrong. Get over it.

  34. What will they replace the paraffin-based candles with?

    Paraffin wax is a white or colorless soft solid derivable from petroleum, coal or oil shale, that consists of a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules containing between twenty and forty carbon atoms.

  35. Not a very important issue. Most Australians only pay attention to religious leaders when they are trying to deny their child abuse.

  36. I became an irreverent Protestant and stopped going to church because the Christian churches in the USA lost their way and stopped focusing on their real mission. Instead, they got caught up in the fad (flavor) of the month.

  37. Do you really think that the Church of England – or any other church – cares about the poor? They mouth platitudes but in reality they really do not care at all. Often because they have not got the intellect to see the dystopia their simplistic approach would lead to,

      • Thanks George for demonstrating that no amount of letters after a person’s name is any guarantee of any sense coming out of that person’s mind.

  38. Although I am willing to be persuaded by this polemic, there is one respect in which it is misleading, or at least invites me to mislead myself. The author writes:
    “Time for some facts about coal. The gerontologist and evolutionary biologist Caleb Finch tells us that since the early 1800s life expectancy in Europe has doubled. The single greatest factor in the longevity revolution has been coal.”
    This paragraph is followed by several more that claim to explain the connection between coal and life expectancy. Knowing something about history, I find these claims to be about as plausible as the claim that the Syrian revolution was caused by global warming.
    When I read the paragraph cited above, the doubling of life expectancy is clearly attributed to Caleb Finch, a very distinguished scientist. Is the explanation that follows also Caleb Finch’s, or is it the babbling of a radio host? A quick look at Caleb Finch’s cv shows him to be a pure scientist who has never dabbled in social science, so I would guess the latter. But the modern extension of life expectancies is well established, so why mention Caleb Finch at all? I suspect, only to give the author’s own speculations a veneer of scientific authority. And I find that annoying.

  39. To be fair to Christian religious leaders, their position is intellectually consistent. If you believe that God made the world some thousands of years ago and that it was ‘good’ and that it only became bad when man sinned then it makes sense to believe that any change from normal (it is a common human failing to judge normal by ones own experiences) is ‘bad’ and must be the result of man because man is the only part of creation that is bad. That the world is warmer today than it was when many of the current crop of religious leaders were teenagers (the ’70’s) is all the evidence that they need.
    What I have difficulty understanding is why people who would laugh creationists to scorn believe and behave like creationists. Nature is not good. If it were up to nature we would all die before 40. Civilization is not bad. It allows many more of us to live longer healthier lives. There was no ideal time in the past that has been ruined by man. If there is ever going to be an ideal time on earth it will be a result of man looking to the future not to the past.
    Even in the Garden of Eden story Man was put in a garden not a jungle. It is implied that the ‘natural’ state of the world is not as good as the state of the world that is cultivated for man’s benefit. Environmentalists often try to garner the support of creationists by using the ‘take care of the garden’ argument. Taking care of the garden means something very different from what environmentalists pretend it means. To an environmentalist a dam is bad because it is not natural. To a gardener a dam is just a way of putting a lake in a place where a lake may be useful, good or bad is determined by utility. To an environmentalist anything more than 260-290 ppm of CO2 is bad because it is not natural. To a gardener CO2 is just another gas, good or bad is determined by utility.

    • “To an environmentalist anything more than 260-290 ppm of CO2 is bad because it is not natural. To a gardener CO2 is just another gas, good or bad is determined by utility.”
      To a scientist, CO2 is just another gas, good or bad is determined by its effects on humans which includes the inexorable warming of the planet, with its eventual harmful effects to our grandchildren and theirs.

      • As usual, Warrenlb is long on recitations of the climate-Communist party line, and short on data. Since we are part of nature too, our releasing back to the atmosphere some of the CO2 that was formerly there is a natural act and is not reprehensible in itself. It would only be reprehensible if it were to cause harm: but the modest warming – at a current underlying ocean warming rate of just 0.23 Celsius per century equivalent – is far more likely to be net-beneficial than net-harmful.

  40. To be fair to Christian religious leaders, their position is intellectually consistent. If you believe that God made the world some thousands of years ago and that it was ‘good’ and that it only became bad when man sinned then it makes sense to believe that any change from normal (it is a common human failing to judge normal by ones own experiences) is ‘bad’ and must be the result of man because man is the only part of creation that is bad. That the world is warmer today than it was when many of the current crop of religious leaders were teenagers (the ’70’s) is all the evidence that they need.
    What I have difficulty understanding is why people who would laugh creationists to scorn believe and behave like creationists. Nature is not good. If it were up to nature we would all die before 40. Civilization is not bad. It allows many more of us to live longer healthier lives. There was no ideal time in the past that has been ruined by man. If there is ever going to be an ideal time on earth it will be a result of man looking to the future not to the past.
    Even in the Garden of Eden story Man was put in a garden not a jungle. It is implied that the ‘natural’ state of the world is not as good as the state of the world that is cultivated for man’s benefit. Environmentalists often try to garner the support of creationists by using the ‘take care of the garden’ argument. Taking care of the garden means something very different from what environmentalists pretend it means. To an environmentalist a dam is bad because it is not natural. To a gardener a dam is just a way of putting a lake in a place where a lake may be useful, good or bad is determined by utility. To an environmentalist anything more than 260-290 ppm of CO2 is bad because it is not natural. To a gardener CO2 is just another gas, good or bad is determined by utility.

  41. When politics and religion unite to drive an agenda using ‘science’, one can be certain that the ‘science’ has been corrupted in order to fit nicely with that political-religious agenda. Fortunately, people in the western world are well educated and are free thinking. And they can determine a con when they see one. And catastrophic man-made global warming is seen as just that – a baseless con.

    • Not by enough people, not even close. The end of the scam is not nigh, though it is closer than the end of the world.

  42. WarrenLib, I don’t think this particular thread is about what you think it is about… The suggestion that what is going on here has “zero effect on” your enumerated categories reflects only your own wishful thinking. To the contrary. Go back to the top and read (and understand) WUWT’s mission statement.
    As a long time reader and occasional commenter here, I’ve seen the change in attitudes, both here and in the larger universe. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will CAGW be crucified in an afternoon, but rest assured, the evidence is clearly before us, available to all, and CAGW will shortly be seen as a greater scientific hoax than Piltdown Man. And conspicuously less convincing to begin with.
    You might want to start thinking about devising a “Plan”B.”

    • @Larry Wirth
      A mission statement is about intent, and says nothing about results, which appear to be ZERO since:
      ALL University and Secondary School Education, ALL The Institutions of Science, ALL Peer reviewed science journals, and nearly ALL world leaders accept the Scientific Consensus that ‘Earth is Warming, Man is the Cause, and the net effects are likely to be strongly negative’.
      So far the ‘wishful thinking’ appears to be yours entirely.

      • Warrenlb does not know enough science to understand that it matters not how many are said to support a supposed “consensus”: the fact of that support, if it were a fact (which it is not), would tell us nothing whatsoever about whether the proposition to which everyone is supposed to have assented is true or false.
        The facts are these. The proposition that most of the (small) global warming from 1950 to date was caused by Man is explicitly endorsed by only 0.3% of 11,944 reviewed papers on climate science published in the 21 years 1991-2011 inclusive.
        There is no need to plead consensus to the effect that CO2 emissions – all other things being equal – will cause some unquantified warming: for that fact has been demonstrated empirically as well as explained theoretically.
        The Russian Academy of Sciences privately opposes the “consensus” proposition that most global warming since 1950 was caused by Man, but was ordered by Putin to endorse it publicly in 2004/5.
        A group at the Japanese Academy of Sciences has described belief in the IPCC’s documens as “akin to belief in astrology”.
        A group of 40 influential fellows of the Royal Society persuaded it to tone down its half-baked original statement on global warming.
        A larger number of fellows of the American Physical Society has also protested at its me-too statement on global warming.
        As to the question whether the effects of global warming are likely to be net-negative, that depends on how much warming is to be expected. On present evidence – no global warming for 18 years 5 months despite record increases in CO2 concentration – there is no basis for assuming that the mild warming we may expect from CO2 enrichment of the air over the coming century will be at all harmful. Usually, warmer is better for life on Earth than colder.
        And the economic peer-reviewed literature is near-unanimous in concluding that adaptation even to the exaggerated warming predicted by the now-discredited models would be cheaper – and some papers say 10-100 times cheaper – than wasting trillions trying to mitigate it, pointlessly and futilely, today.
        If Warrenlb is incapable of thinking for itself, and can only parrot a supposed “consensus”, it is wasting its time here and should go away and do something constructive. Here, scientific argument is expected, not mere parroting of partisan political pietisms.

      • warrenlb- Just as with this latest post of yours, all you have ever offered in your statements, is a series of logical fallacies (and inaccurate claims) to support your position. Your credibility is so completely nonexistent that I wonder why you even bother posting.

  43. As an Australian fan of broadcaster Grant Goldman, and having had the privilege of meeting the admirable Lord Monckton of Brenchley, I am double grateful to WUWT for publishing this Grant Goldman article edited and illustrated by Lord Christopher Monckton. I have gained valuable information by reading the discussion which includes further valuable contributions by Lord Monckton himself. A leading mover in the Church of England’s campaign against coal is Rev Professor Richard Burridge who occupies a Chair of Biblical Interpretation and sits on the General Synod. In January 2014 Rev Prof Burridge described “Life of Brian” as “an extraordinary tribute to the life and work and teachings of Jesus”. This interested me because I had taken exception to the Government-controlled SBS television network running Life of Brian during Easter 2015. All energy comes at a cost in terms of public safety. What we do know is that the cost of lack of access to energy is much higher.

  44. J Leach is annoyed by Grant Goldman’s mention of Caleb Finch. His value to the article is simply to confirm that humans in the modern world have doubled their lifespans since the early 1800s. Grant Goldman does not enlist Caleb Finch’s support for any other proposition. Other correspondents have drawn attention to omissions – for example listing only three genocides. Grant Goldman works within the very tight time restraints of a popular radio program and Lord Monckton skilfully blended and illustrated two of Grant’s editorials. Wherever we are in the world, at http://2smsupernetwork.com/ we can listen to Grant’s editorials soon after 7am, or the whole program from 5am to 9am Australian Eastern Standard time (GMT+10),

  45. Among the many gems contributed by readers of the Goldman/Monckton article, David Cage wrote something especially worth repeating: “As a young junior engineer, in the acid rain opposition way back in the sixties I did some measurements on various sources to compare the power station effluent with other forms of heating. A properly equipped power station heating about thirty thousand houses was about the same as around fifty coal fires or forty wood fired homes.” Coal replacing wood reduced pollution, and coal-powered electricity reduced pollution by a quantum leap.

    • Continuing the progression, natural gas powered generation is reducing both particulate pollution and CO2 emissions, and nuclear will eliminate both. Coal has made its contribution and now deserves replacement with the next steps of technological progress, which will be celebrated by your descendants, in turn.

  46. Go to the Vatican web site and read the section (very short) on Social Justice. I think it starts with canon 1935 or there abouts. It started at Pope Leo and incorporated the “revolutions”. After all, the Church survived Nero, survived Kings, survived Queens, survived El Duce and even seem to be surviving the modern Progressives. The Church has always been adept at supporting the powers (sort of a doh?). Recall the originiation “steward of the land”? The Church simply amplified what the nobles wanted — the peasants and serfs to take care of the nobles property.
    The Church is “evolving”, mostly out of necessity, into just another agency of Western Government Socialism (WGS). Plus, there’s lots of money out there for the true believers of WGS. Oh, and don’t imagine it’s only the Pope. Guess who elects the Pope?
    And, as usual, large Protestant groups will comply with the theology of the Church. After all, who wrote the New Testament?

  47. When I first read that the Pope may be about to issue an encyclical on climate change my reaction was to ask hasn’t the Catholic Church done enough damage to science and its own reputation, given the last time it intervened in scientific matters it persecuted Galileo, only centuries later it had to back- track conceding it had been wrong.
    However I have re-thought my position because maybe the religious leaders are just being consistent in talking yet again about something which does not exist.
    Continued belief in climate change caused by mankind flies in face of the lack of evidence -which means it shares a lot with religious belief in a heaven that no one has seen and after- life from which no one has returned.

    • The Church erred with Galileo because the Inquisition allowed itself to be swayed by Galileo’s disagreeableness out of the proper neutral examination of the problem. The problem was that the Church wanted to remain neutral on the question of planetary motion until final proofs had been provided. Galileo and his geocentrist enemies both wanted to push the Church out of its neutrality onto their own side of the question and Galileo was put on trial because he insisted that his theory was true as a physical reality even though he couldn’t prove it and that geocentrists were theologically incorrect.

  48. Some very good points. I haven’t read all the responses, so I apologize if someone has already made this point. I would just add to your list of hymnists probably the most prolific hymn writers of all time: Fanny Crosby (1820-1915).

    • In reply to Monna Manhas, the great blind American Fanny Crosby made an enduring contribution to Christian singing with a feast of wonderful hymns including “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” and “Blessed Assurance”. It appears that Grant Goldman confined his attention to British hymnists for the express purpose of reminding aberrant Church of England clerics that their Denomination flourished mightily with the leisure time and prosperity brought to Britain by coal.

  49. Thea Ormerod is married to Neil Ormerod according to her facebook page. They wrote a book together in 1995.
    As for religious leaders, it’s perfectly appropriate to do “if/then” commentary. If global warming exists and harms the poor most of all, we need to stop it. If global warming measures are fighting a phantom and the measures themselves harm the poor, then we must be against such measures.
    What the problem consists of is when religious leaders make statements about the physical world which are incorrect and apply their theology to a world that does not exist in reality. Even the best theology will yield incorrect policy when it is informed by incorrect physical data.

  50. The Church is at its best focusing on salvation and and interior conditions of the human soul, followed by a very close second of serving the poor, orphaned, widowed, hungry and sick.
    The Church is at its worst playing in politics and its very worst playing at science.

  51. Now even the Pope has called for a reduction of CO2. So far in Germany, the german Lutheran church were the worst, I often wondered what stories they are trying to sell us, the Gospel or Global Warming and will the sorting of garbage soon be declared another of Gods Sacraments.
    Regarding your other point, about coal, when South Africa voted in 1994, the plan was cheap electrczity for all, as South Africa has known coal deposits, that should last for thousands of years. A child in Africa is about 20 times as likely to die of a lung disease before reaching adulthood, than a child in Europe and the reason is that most african children grow up in huts that have constant fires burning in them with no proper chimneys. Availability of cheap electricity would have solved many problems, also improved the quality of life significantly and made Africa competitive in many industries, instead donations coming from EU countries are subject to conditions that wind generators and solar panels are installed. The result is that nowhere in Africa a service relying on solar or wind power works reliably.

  52. Good point, though I have a remark. In my opinion, it’s ok for the religious leaders to speak (leaders, not no matter who runs a church and calls himself a leader!), since they have many parishioners, but to speak only if they are really knowing the subject. It’s better for them to remain silent despite preaching stupid ideas or push the people into error. Secondary, let’s think: global warming or climate change? The precise meaning of the terms used should be clear.This question should not be taken lightly as it means quite a lot in understanding what’s really happening around us.

  53. While I often enjoy Mr. Monckton’s contributions, I have a bit of trouble with this one. What if these organizations had taken a strong stance against CAGW policies saying that they are regressive towards the poor? Would you let their opinion stand then? If so, wouldn’t that be inconsistent logic? Either these institutions have a right to express an opinion or they don’t, and the particular opinion shouldn’t preclude that right.
    These organizations are made of individuals who have opinions, and they may use their positions of power to express those opinions, which is no different than any number of institutions including corporations. The same could be said of personalities, sports figures, and other people with the ability to get a message out. The fact that this particular institution is a church doesn’t change that. Many churches have been at the forefront of addressing political injustices, and you can’t applaud their efforts when it supports your particular political beliefs, then turn around and decry it when it holds a politically different stance.
    All that aside, the argument at its core it wrong. Once we go down the road of supporting or denying positions based upon who someone is, then we arrive at the “appeal to authority” stance which is the mainstay of the CAGW camp. This issue, as with any science issue, should rightfully be waged in the arena of ideas where facts and logic rule no matter who says it. To correctly oppose this church’s stance address the science of it, and leave aside all that noise about who they are and what their business should be.

  54. Christian Ministers of Religion customarily lead prayers on matters of concern, for example for the healing of the sick, or for the release of hostages or for the discovery of a missing person or for rain to break a drought. I have not heard any Minister of Religion pray for an end to global warming. Has any reader of this excellent site heard such a prayer, especially from one of the clergy who clamour for draconian controls on industry with the intention of slashing carbon dioxide emissions? If, as I suspect, the clerical devotees of the Global Warming Cult do not pray to God for alleviation of global warming, then there are three possibilities. 1. They do not believe in global warming OR 2. They do not believe in the power of prayer OR 3. They believe in neither, Someone please identify at least one cleric who seeks the support of the Almighty in saving the world from climate change,

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