Monday, December 10, 2007

Jesus and climate change I

Why Jesus cares more about climate change than you do and what he's doing about it, or "What on earth is God doing on earth?"
Last week I mentioned that I was giving a seminar at St John's Ashfield on this wordy topic (another suggested title was Why Jesus cared about climate change before it was trendy). I thought I'd post at least some of my notes here.

Scepticism: an introductory caveat
I don’t really want to talk about scepticism here tonight. I believe the debate has moved on so I’m assuming you’re basically on board. Although various details continue to be adjusted in the light of new research,* the broad claim of alarming anthropogenic climate change is almost universally agreed upon by experts in the relevant fields. That is, the global climate pattern, which includes precipitation and extreme weather events, not just temperature, has begun to change rapidly in recent decades and will continue to do so. And these changes are anthropogenic, which means human activity has been a crucial part of the cause. And they are alarming in scope and implications. We face a world that is not simply getting a little warmer on average, but which, taken as a whole, is significantly less hospitable to human society and life in general as we know it. We’re not just talking about hotter days, or more heat waves, but also rising sea levels, increased erosion and flooding (particularly of densely populated areas such as the 60 million people in the low-lying country of Bangladesh), changing patterns of precipitation, with a significant net decline in global agricultural output, stronger and perhaps more frequent extreme weather events, broader distribution of deadly tropical disease, more environmental refugees, loss of unique ecosystems and significantly increased threat of species extinction. Climate change is much more than simply global warming.

So I’m assuming we’re all familiar with and broadly in agreement with the concept of alarming anthropogenic climate change. In fact, until recently, there was only one significant scientific body in the world that was officially sceptical about it, namely, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. But even they have now changed their position.
*Given the enormous volume of ongoing research and the complexity of technical detail, I make no promises about being entirely up to date and accurate on every point. I'm interested in these debates, but am not aiming to generate more of them here.
Five points for the city. Five more for each link to other images of the same city posted on this blog (I think there are thirteen apart from this one). No more than five points per person.
Series: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; IX(b); X; XI; XII; XIII; XIV; XV.

8 comments:

BHUVAN CHAND JUYAL said...

Now a day global warming controversy is very hype. NASA sciencetists completely work on global warming research. According the sciencetists after 30 year earth is completely effected by global warming.

Anthony Douglas said...

As the resident Venice-photo recogniser, I'll put my hand up for this one too.

One of the more obscure shots from Venice is this one.

byron smith said...

Yes, it is indeed Venice. Five points for that. And you did pick one of the slightly more difficult Venice images (there are at least two that I think will be much more difficult) - five more. But since I said no more than five points per person, I will have to penalise you for trying for ten and so will take away fifteen points. Total: minus five. Sorry - since you're so far ahead, you ought to know better...

Anthony Douglas said...

Oh well. I'd interpreted the 'five more to restrict the 'no more than five' to refer only to the photo links.

Actually, I've just got this pathology about unclaimed points. It's like a tic. I should get it seen to...

byron smith said...

Yes, fair enough, that's a reasonable reading of the instruction as it stands. But I'm not returning your penalty because I think you've read enough of my offers of points to realise that the spirit of restricting guesses is to allow more people to participate by preventing one person from taking all the points. You're just too good and need a handicap.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

There is a Venetian photo here.

byron smith said...

Well done - five fairly easy points. I'm surprised more people haven't had a go on this one. There are plenty more readily available images (and some trickier ones) - plus, the pool (might) continue growing as the blog continues.

This means you have now passed Anthony for highest number of points scored in a single month.

byron smith said...

You've also just passed the half-way mark to catching him overall. He's no longer twice the score of his nearest rival.