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Yes, Limbaugh, Christians Can Accept Climate Change

Yes, Limbaugh, Christians Can Accept Climate Change

You can learn so much from right-wing radio. For instance, did you know that you can’t believe in God and accept that climate change is happening and is human-caused? At least, that’s what Rush Limbaugh thinks:

“You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create,” he continued. “The vanity! These people — on the one hand, ‘We’re no different than a mouse or a rat.’ If you listen to the animal rights activists, we are the pollutants of this planet. If it weren’t for humanity — the military environmentalist wackos — the Earth would be pristine and wonderful and beautiful, and nobody would see it. According to them we are not as entitled to life on this planet as other creatures because we destroy it. But how can we destroy it when we’re no different from the lowest life forms?”

“And then on the other end, ‘We are so powerful. And we are so impotent — omnipotent that we can destroy — we can’t even stop a rain shower, but we can destroy the climate.’ And how? With barbecue pits and automobiles, particularly SUVs. It’s absurd.”

Fascinating. I had no idea Limbaugh was such a nihilist. I’m interested in hearing his rationale for getting out of bed in the morning. Surely, if God gave us our own lives, then by Limbaugh’s reasoning, we should be able to do nothing to affect it. Maybe we are just God’s puppets, with no will of our own. Am I writing this post because I want to or because God is forcing me to? What is the point of it all?

He is, of course, wildly wrong. There are many Christians who believe in God and human-made climate change. For example, there is a movement within the evangelical community called creation-care. The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good fully accepts the human cause of climate change and argues that Christians have a moral obligation to combat a phenomenon that will hit the poor the hardest. Furthermore, groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network are dedicated to being good stewards of the environment.

That’s not all. A lot of Protestant denominations are recognizing the seriousness of climate change. As reported on Think Progress:

What’s more, scores of religious institutions have responded to our shifting environment in ways that fully acknowledge humanity’s role in creating the crisis. The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have all issued statements or launched initiatives aimed at acting on global warming, and the United States Council of Catholic Bishops has an entire section of their website dedicated to combating climate change and its disproportionate impact on the world’s poor.

In addition, a 2012 Pew poll shows that a majority of Catholics and half of white evangelical Protestants accept that climate change is happening and making the weather worse:

Nearly 7-in-10 (69%) religiously unaffiliated Americans, 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics, and half (50%) of white evangelical Protestants agree that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence of global climate change.

That same poll found that a majority of Americans believe that humans have a responsibility, given by God, to take care of the Earth:

A majority (55%) of Americans agree that God gave human beings the task of living responsibly with the animals, plants, and resources of the planet, which are not just for human benefit. Nearly 4-in-10 (38%) Americans disagree, saying that God gave human beings the right to use animals, plans, and all the resources of the planet for human benefit.

Hmmm. It seems as though millions of people have managed to reconcile their belief in God with acceptance of human-caused climate change. Shocking.

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156 comments

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11:52AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

Cletus,
#1 - There is no embarassment on my part, as my credentials speak for themself.

#2 - The website is immaterial. The website is simply a source of information. The scientists behid the source of the infomation is what matters. You seem to have a big issue with a reknowned biologist being referenced on websites to which you object. Basic agreement in the basics of a field does not imply agreement throughout. Just like most data, scientific agreement occurs in a bell-shaped curve. In climate science, roughly 3% feel that mankind has not contributed to the observed warming, and that no warming will occur this century. Conversely, another 3% feel that mankind is completely responsible for the warming, and that the warming will double (or more) this century. That leaves the remaining 95% accepting that man has contributed to the observed warming, and that temperatures will rise between 0 and 1.2C this century. The median value is appoximately equal to the 0.6C/century trend which has been in place for 130 years. Yes, there is a significant debate as to the actual warming expected to occur. You seem to watn to deny that this exists.

#3 - Really? You seem to think that your opinion is of greater importance than mine. You have spoken authoritatively and claimed the opinion of others to whom you agree are likewise so. The field of climate science is so broad, that no one can speak authoritatively on even half the issues.

#4 - Your definition of REAL CLIM

9:17AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

-- cont. --

.....It is disingenuous to claim to laymen that there is a significant debate in a scientifc field when 95% of the relevant scientists are in agreement with the basic findings in the field. You would not get that much consensus even in the field of gravitation, yet we do not stoke the flames of a "debate" about gravitation in the public. Now, perhaps that is only because the energy industry is not so heavily invested in gravity.

#3 -- I would merely note that, unless your environmental chemistry work is in support of specific climate science issues, you do not have the professional bona fides to speak authoratatively on climate science. I also do not have those bona fides. But then again, I never claimed that I did.

#4 -- Your recent allegations that I have referenced propaganda websites for my facts, and that I have mis-quoted or ignored the real climate scientists is blatantly FALSE. I can only assume those childishly innaccurate and false charges were made as some sort of futile retaliation against my displeasure with your "opinionation". In fact, I have NOT specifically referenced a particular path to any website; but I have mentioned the existence of the NSF, NASA, NOAA websites as a font of scientifically based information about climate change. Are you attempting to label these respected organizations and their websites as "propaganda sites"??!! Seriously?

8:53AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

OK, Dan. I take you at your word.

#1 -- So I conclude that you were merely embarrassed to come forth with your bona fides, because -- despite your recent retreat and claims otherwise -- the FACT is that you HAVE cited "denialist" websites here on Care 2 to stoke the fake embers of a scientific debate about whether the climate is heating and about whether human activity is a significant cause of it. There is NO question that you have done this.

#2 -- On the other hand, I never claimed that these denialist websites were the ONLY information that you have cited; you clearly do have some familiarity with the basic science....some of your comments, or opinions, on climate science are thoughtful and some are in general agreement with the now STRONG consensus. If I recall correctly, you yourself recently stated a statistic that 95% of climate scientists agree that human activity is the major cause of the warming over the last century; the source you quoted led me to believe that that particular survey likely queried just TRUE climate scientists, as opposed to any number of broader-swath surveys that have diluted importance because they have included the likes of energy industry engineers, self-acclaimed experts and wanna-bes, members of denialist organizations, and scientists in other fields (like environmental chemistry). It is disingenuous to claim to laymen that there is a significant debate in a scientifc field when 95% of the relevant scientists are in agreement with

3:47PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Well Cletus,
Since you seem to put credentials above research, maybe this will help you. I am an environmental chemist: U. Mich - '82, U. Detroit - '86. Since you make no claim to bring a scientist, I presume you are not, buy rely on the word of others. Apparently, the only ones to which you listen are those you think like you - non scientist that you state. To make matters worse, you make false accusations towards those to which you disagree.
Do you think their is no scientific debate, because you do not understand it or because it means you could possibly be wrong? As a scientist, I understand that I could be wrong. I am just following the current scientific data. What about you?

11:46AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Dan B.....just more stock opinionation from you. Again, no real scientific debate to be found.

Just you with your record for quoting your cherry-picked climate factoids, mis-quoting well-respected scientists, and quoting some specially contexted results that can only find the light of day within non-peer-reviewed media....drumming up fake discord, a fake debate.

So, more important than me not being -- or being -- a scientist (something which you are clearly in no position to judge), just what lead you to not become a scientist, and yet have the gall to claim some special insight into climate science? You have run from your claim like a scared little child ever since I challenged you for your bona fides.

Two possibilities for this:
(1) You are a climate charlatan
(2) You do have some connection to climate science, but are embarrassed by your own non-scientific denialist mis-behavior

Embarrasing mis-behavior either way, I'm afraid.

2:28PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

... misguided. I have read your posts, and they are not based on the peer-reviewed scientific literature, but rather propaganda sites. I suggest your read what scientists say instead. If you re-read my posts, you will find that there are all based on or referenced to well-respected scientists. I know that you refuse to believe any research that does not support your narrow viewpoint. That is too bad, and likely why you never became a scientist. You can the research whatever you like, but that does not diminish its credibility one iota. I find it rather humorous that you think so highly of your own posts, and that they are somehow more representative of the scientific world.

2:18PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

Ah Cletus!
You are truly delusional. To think only those who think like you are right, and everyone else is

1:09PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

OFF TOPIC - FOLLOW-UP: After you've signed care2's petition - "thank you" Emily & Elayne for doing what I did not know how to do - to have this sorry excuse of a human being removed form office; Google G. Todd Baugh; click on "Protesters Call for Resignation . . . . "; go to paragraph 4, click on MoveOn.org and PLEASE sign their petition also. With "thanks" and "appreciation", Don and I CAN! :-))

1:05PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

And there's your problem, Dan B., you seem to think that there is a **debate**. But there is NO real debate; in any case, no debate of any scientific importance that you can materially contribute to here on Care2.

Your so-called scientific "debate" is a contrived one, instigated amongst the layman, and using as one side of the so-called "debate" a bunch of psuedo-science and partisan-based dogma that is sustained by politics and the denialist organizations and websites that do their bidding.

IF you think you have something meaningful and scientific to DEBATE, then publish it in the peer-reviewed scientific literature -- and by all means do let us all know where we can find your published record. OTHERWISE do not dare think for a moment that your BELIEFS or your OPINIONS, one way or the other, on any scientific topic, constitute a component of a meaningful debate.

You are, of course, welcome to opinionate away on any topic you like in the public forums, but it will have not one iota of impact on the REAL science being conducted and reported by the real scientists. To think or claim that your public "debate" on climate science is somehow of importance is merely a sign of: (1) the devious purposes behind the contrived debate, and (2) your misguided arrogance.

Once again, by what bona fides do you presume to conduct a meaningful climate "debate"?

3:31PM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

Don S.,
That is just appalling! That jusge needs to go.

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