UN Report Warns Worst of Global Warming Yet to Come

climate_changeOn the one hand, we have a UN report telling us that the effects of climate change are only going to get worse. On the other, we have “end times” expert Anne Graham Lotz, Billy’s daughter, blogging that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, “a small snapshot of what the entire world will experience the day after the rapture of the church.”

The two incidents would seem to have little to do with one another, but serve as an example of how differently those on the religious right interact with our shared reality. The supernatural trumps science each and every time.

Appeal to the supernatural not only insulates the so-called “believer” from the consequences of the uncongenial and unwanted reality of climate change, but if allowed to become policy, this belief removes the barriers between us and the effects of that change.

And this appeal to the supernatural has also shielded believers from the reality of climate change.

The report, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warns that “Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems.” Bad as things have been, the report says the worst is yet to come.

Ironically, this is exactly what “prophetic” voices on the Religious Right tell us. The Religious Right warns that God is angry and getting angrier, and that this anger poses risks for human and natural systems.

Right Wing Watch reminds us that as recently as 2011, “when a series of tornadoes ripped through several southern states and killed more than 300 people, we were told that this was just “a little taste” of what God’s judgment upon humanity was going to look like.”

No, it was “just a little taste” of what our future is going to look like as a result of anthropogenic global warming, the same global warming believers insist is a liberal hoax.

Obviously, these are two very different problems. To combat the former, we must reduce our impact on the planet and find more sustainable ways of doing business. To combat the latter, we must eliminate sin. Presumably, if extremists have their way, by burning books, returning prayer to public schools, teaching Creationism instead of evolution, stoning gay people, and banning all religions except Christianity.

The UN report tells us that climate risk management will mitigate against the effects of climate change. The Religious Right, on the other hand, touts God’s wrath risk management. They are not worried about the human impact on our climate but about the human impact on God’s temper. Science goes out the window and under the bus. “Don’t you think it’s odd that a volcano erupts in Chile at the same time one erupts all the way across the Pacific Ocean, in Asia?” they ask.

Why no, in fact, I don’t. It’s called the Pacific Ring of Fire, which, as National Geographic informs us, is “a string of volcanoes and sites of seismicactivity, or earthquakes, around the edges of the Pacific Ocean”:

The Ring of Fire isnt quite a circular ring. Its shaped more like a 40,000-kilometer (25,000-mile) horseshoe. A string of 452 volcanoes stretches from the southern tip of South America, up along the coast of North America, across the Bering Strait, down through Japan, and into New Zealand.

Reducing our carbon footprint will reduce the risks associated with global warming but it will, presumably, have little impact on God’s good will. Reducing sin, on the other hand, will not prevent the oceans from rising up above our necks and submerging much of the low-lying regions of the world any more than will prayer return the price of gasoline to $1 a gallon.

The New York Times reports that Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Association says, “Now we are at the point where there is so much information, so much evidence, that we can no longer plead ignorance.”

But if people can no longer plead ignorance, they can plead religion. They can, like self-proclaimed expert on everything, David Barton, claim that abortion is causing global warming:

If you are like me, you will be chilled when you compare the UN report (or watch the video at Vimeo) and Barton’s video. One presents the facts and what we can do in response to those facts. The other presents belief and what one can do in response to those beliefs. And we cannot simply dismiss Barton, whose claims are repeated by many Republican politicians. The Religious Right insists that their beliefs trump science facts. They want our policies to reflect their belief.

But if abortion were outlawed today, the pace of climate change would not be slowed and folks in Florida will still, one day soon, see their mansions best from boats floating above their rooftops. The problem is that facts won’t change a thing in a believer’s head. Cognitive dissonance will neutralize the glaring difference between expectation and reality.

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11 Replies to “UN Report Warns Worst of Global Warming Yet to Come”

  1. The idea of Snoot Row in Palm Beach being awash is somewhat piquant, to say nothing of Fisher Island, Amelia Island, etc., but Florida is on the brink of tragedy for quite ordinary people…and other living things. By no means are all the coastal communities wealthy. Mainland Daytona Beach and its ajacent communities are mostly inhabited by working poor, both white and (largely black) minorities. The city of Jacksonville, coterminous with Duval County, would be easily flooded by quite a modest rise. The agricultural Redlands would be salted, and the unique ecosystems of the Everglades and the Keys destroyed. Any Floridian who denies global warming is an idiot. Unfortunately, we do have ’em.

  2. The 1% and their lackeys could care less about global warming. They will make a profit right up until they cant, and then they will always have food anyways.

    The really funny part is people like Barton think they will be rubbing shoulders with the very rich. They will be nobodys.

    The thought that by banning sin you save yourself is as old as primitive history. And it works every time. Threaten the current life and afterlife of the stooges and they will go along with you. People have got to learn to be smarter then these idiots like Barton

  3. A few weeks back at the doctors office the tv in the lobby was showing people in China walking around with masks on and the report was about their air quality. The guy sitting next to me commented about how bad it was over there. I commented that pollution doesn’t have borders and we all need to be more responsible, which I could sense he instantly took offense. We both went to our doctors and we both were leaving at the same time. I watched as he drove off in his Ford Expedition, meanwhile I waited for the bus.

    The christian zealots can choose to believe that it is “Our Father” bringing his wrath. I choose to believe it’s mother nature, and she’s pi**ed. You know the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody’s happy”.

  4. The republicans refusal to make a stand on global warming, is at the top of the list of the stupid things they do.

  5. Get the Republicans out of office. They don’t care about people and they certainly don’t care about the earth. Vote Democratic and get the extremists out of our lives, bedrooms, kitchens, relationships, schools and governments.

  6. Please, EVERYBODY. Please take the time to read this Energy Renaissance Bill that Ted Cruz is proposing to foist on us.

    Among the items

    -drilling on Native American Land
    -excluding coal comma pies from EPA standards
    -Leave fracking regulation in state hands
    -drilling in protected wildlife reserves in Alaska.
    -further weakening what little protections we have against Koch industries.

    It’s scary stuff. PLEASE stop this.
    http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1071

  7. Climate change denialists are like fundies. You can’t reason with them and they are totally self absorbed. They listen to Limpballs on the way to work and throw their trash out the window as they go. They have their Cruz 2016 bumper sticker pasted on the back. They secretly sexually fantasize about Palin, and Blackburn. After that hard day at work they come home for their daily dose of Faux news and play cheer leader.

    Trying to reason with them is impossible. If you bring up facts and science they get this glazed look on their face and resort to name calling. They bitch about the government trying to destroy their world and get in their business. They are the ones you see on the news after a natural disaster screaming for FEMA.

  8. You were on to something then you went off course. Look at the population difference 350 million vs billions of Chinese and as you noticed in the show the air in China….Not so good. Some days they have 3ft of visibility.

    That being said their is NOTHING America can do to change what China does other than not buy so much stuff from China. Don’t shop at Walmart.

    Throwing taxpayer money at it will only create another hole to shovel endless dollars into that will produce no results. They would kill more trees running the bureaucracy then they would ever save.

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