Senator James Inhofe, (Troglodyte, Ok) defends his view that global warming is a hoax by quoting the bible:
Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.
There is no interpretation of global warming which posits that the world will not have any change in seasons. Or that global warming will lead to the earth no longer rotating causing an end to day and night. Global warming does not predict some sort of Venus-like hellscape seasonal stasis with the entire planet maintaining a uniform over heated temperature. Inhofe has set up a biblical straw-man to attack by cherry picking a scripture which he thinks buttresses his backwards outlook on the science.
Therefore the verse Inhofe quotes does not address the scientific reality of the effect of global warming on the seasons or the climate in general. The fear of the scientific community is that the seasons will generally be warmer, not that the seasons will somehow disappear. The scientists believe living in the temperate climes of the pacific northwest would shift to be like living in the modern tropical climes of the equator as global warming takes hold. The climate of the arctic circle would be like living in the climate of the temperate zones, and so forth. Inhofe’s chosen scripture could be entirely accurate (don’t even get me going on the scientific accuracy of the bible) and still conform to the scientific outlook of global warming.
Inhofe relies upon a very odd interpretation of the scripture if he maintains that mankind can not effect the environment because it’s all up to God. The entire history of mankind has been one of environmental manipulation in order to succeed where we would certainly fail if we only left it up to God. Can you imagine our standard of living if our forebears had merely cried to the sky and demanded warmth rather than bothering to master fire? Modern man levels entire mountains and stops the flow of mighty rivers in pursuing wealth and power. But according to Inhoffe’s interpretation of scripture we are captive to the whims of the creator as far as effecting the environment is concerned, and believing otherwise is “outrageous”.
Perhaps we can reach agreement on one issue however. When humans destroy a mountain, pollute a valley or level a forest that God has created we should all be outraged. Somehow though I doubt that sentiment would find a receptive audience in Senator Inhofe or those who believe like he does.
On a separate but related note, another misconception widely accepted by science deniers is on display each year like clockwork. On schedule every winter the right wingdings smirk and bloviate about global warming and Al Gore when some cold front moves across the nation. But the science does not predict that winters will not be subject to cold snaps and snow storms. Scientists predict wilder fluctuations in weather patterns, meaning bitterly cold spells and stifling hot seasons as well. The overall average temperature will be warmer according to the science, which (of course) does not mean the disappearance of cold weather. If anything the annual Fox and rightwing echo chamber anti-science smirkfest each winter is further proof that being a regular viewer of Fox can be a reliable indicator that you are less informed than people who choose not to follow the news at all.
Programming note! Senator Inhofe will be appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show this coming Tuesday. Rachel Maddow is continuously daring, cajoling, begging and otherwise imploring republicans to come on her show. I for one will have my popcorn on hand for this one. I’ll guarantee it will be a dynamite interview.