Scientists Identify Possible 'Tipping Point' of Global Warming


#1

“Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push the Earth’s climate system past a “tipping point,” and a new study from Oregon State University (OSU) may have finally identified that threshold. According to the research, synchronization of climate variability in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans is that tipping point - where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible. This is what happened a few hundred years before the rapid warming that took place at the end of the last ice age about 15,000 years ago…”

AGW is serious stuff, and we shouldn’t be like kids playing with matches near a huge gas leak on this issue. It’s not a matter of opinion on blog sites. The science is quite settled that AGW is happening and a grave threat to civilization as we know it and could be quite costly in terms of human harms and lives. Read top science journals for definitive clarification on it, not blog sites.

And read papal messages about it for the Catholic Church’s response. Our Church requires that we respond with prudence and mitigate AGW, even if we have doubts. We shouldn’t be delaying action by debating AGW. If we truly love God, at least as a poor response to and reflection of the love God has for us, we should be mitigating AGW in every sensible way we can.


#2

Therefore, we shall treat it as religious dogma and will punish all heretics by sequestering their carbon content (we would burn them at the stake if it wasn’t for the CO2 emissions.

And read papal messages about it for the Catholic Church’s response. Our Church requires that we respond with prudence and mitigate AGW, even if we have doubts.
Really?
So must it be embraced with Divine and Catholic Faith? Or is it merely something we must accept with Religious Submission of the Intellect and Will?

Please provide me with citations from Sacred Scripture, (big T) Tradition, or the Papal Magisterium (I would vastly prefer infallible declarations from the Holy Father, if you must resort to the latter).

Thank you.


#3

The Old Testament also says something about “Thou shalt not kill.” Since it doesn’t provide loopholes for means of killing, that includes we shalt not kill through our contributions to AGW. It’s a very basic part of our Judeo-Christian religion and of many other religions. Killing innocent people is wrong. One just can’t make it right by denying he or she is participating in the killing or saying they know nothing about it, like Cain tried to do.

People are suffering and dying from AGW, which will get much worse in the future, esp if and when we reach that irreversible tipping point of greatly accelerated harms. We are contributing to the problem and we need to do the needful to mitigate it. It’s quite within our Church doctrine that we should not kill or harm innocent people.

Here are some Church writings specifically about AGW (AKA “greenhouse effect” and “global climate change”):

[LIST]
*]“Today the ecological crisis has assumed such proportions as to be the responsibility of everyone… The…‘greenhouse effect’ has now reached crisis proportions…” --Pope John Paul II, “Peace With All Creation,” 1990 vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/peace/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19891208_xxiii-world-day-for-peace_en.html
*]If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation…Man’s inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace…Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect – if not downright misuse – of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us…Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change… attention also needs to be paid to the world-wide problem of water and to the global water cycle system, which is of prime importance for life on earth and whose stability could be seriously jeopardized by climate change” – Pope Benedict XVI, “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” 2010, vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20091208_xliii-world-day-peace_en.html
*]“We believe our response to global climate change should be a sign of our respect for God’s creation” --U.S. Bishops, 2001, “Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good,” U.S. Conf. of Catholic Bishops, usccb.org/sdwp/international/globalclimate.shtml
*]“Even though energy resources literally fuel our economy…we need to ask about ways we can conserve energy, prevent pollution, and live more simply.” --U.S. Bishops, “Global Climate Change”
*]"…our response to the challenge of climate change must be rooted in the virtue of prudence…[M]ost experts agree that something significant is happening to the atmosphere. Human behavior and activity are…contributing to a warming of the earth’s climate…Consequently, it seems prudent…to take steps now to mitigate possible negative effects in the future. – U.S. Bishops, “Global Climate Change”
[/LIST]


#4

As for the issuance of the USCCB, please allow me to point out the following:

Art. 1. – In order that the doctrinal declarations of the Conference of Bishops referred to in No. 22 of the present Letter may constitute authentic magisterium and be published in the name of the Conference itself, they must be unanimously approved by the Bishops who are members, or receive the recognitio of the Apostolic See if approved in plenary assembly by at least two thirds of the Bishops belonging to the Conference and having a deliberative vote.

John Paul II, Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos

I sure don’t see that this document was granted a “recognito”.

As for the two messages from the Holy See, let me give you a quote, also from the Holy See:

If the Church’s magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the “dignity” of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms.

The AGW movement, as a whole, is opposed to the teachings of the Church, if the Margarita Declaration is any indication of their beliefs.

The point is that if you choose to make a statement like “we are to be good stewards of God’s creation”, I will 100% agree with you. You want to start embracing the neo-paganist AGW hoax, no thanks.


#5

Given your concerns are quite genuine what do you propose we do? All the major polluting countries are doing nothing. The science is now being debated with more fury across all fronts as the world’s temperatures have not risen for the last two decades in spite of a massive increase in Co2 gases. Some scientists say that the extra heat is being hidden by changes deep in the seas whilst others are saying the computer modelling is flawed.

I remember back in the sixties meeting up with a hippie friend who called herself “Moth” sitting in the University Union crying her eyes out because the seas were dying.
Let us drink to lost friends and lost hopes and sing until the morning.
We must pray for our planet, just as we pray for world peace; the death of poverty; and universal brotherhood; just as we have done with useless vigor over the centuries.
What other measures would you have Mother Church take?


#6

I agree with Mark (yes, I am being sarcastic)…it’s a matter of free will…if we chose to take no responsibility in the stewardship of what God created for us, then nothing anyone says can change our minds.


#7

I wouldn’t mind a few more degrees to the daily average temperature. :shrug: :o


#8

The science is not “settled” in the manner GW alarmists have politicized. There are plenty of scientists with competing studies, including those which describe the phenomenon transcending earth, which would neutralize GW activist claims that this is “man-made” and also historically cyclical. It’s not hard to find scientific articles to the case.


#9

The struggle with global warming debates is that there has been a lot of cases of fabrications regarding evidence, as well as scientists preaching the ‘worst-case scenario’ as almost a certainty on an accelerated timeframe.

I remember reading an article several months ago about the location of DC’s monuments and their endangerment by global warming. They even showed a graphical representation of what would happen if the sea levels rose 15 feet, putting most of the steps up to the Lincoln underwater (not covering the monument, by any stretch). It was a huge picture in the article.

Then, at the very bottom, they cited that at, the fastest-projected rates, scientists predicted sea levels to rise up to 4-5 feet in the next 100-200 years. But, they still felt it necessary to include a very serious graphic over something that could potentially be 600 years from occurring.

These types of instances make a joke out of very serious discussions on the way humans interact with the environment, and all the falsehoods only discredit the honest, moderate work that is being completed in areas that really can make a difference.


#10

So some see the science as flawed.

They don’t concern me, their following an ideology that doesn’t match the facts.

That being said, cleaning up our environment is a good thing regardless of what you accept from the current science.

We need to stop polluting the atmosphere.

We need to reduce the amount of trash we produce and to curve our consumption of resources, so they’ll be something left for future generations.

How anyone could be opposed to these things is perplexing. :shrug:

Jim


#11

You know, I am one who believes that the climate is warming and that humans have contributed to the increasing temperatures. The part of your statement that I bolded, though, is part of the problem that we have when it comes to doing anything. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with the science, not based on ideology but based on their interpretation of the data. There are also plenty of scientists who are playing Chicken Little based on their ideology. We have to get beyond silly political statements like the one you so easily threw out there if we are ever going to be able to address this issue. Quit blowing off those who disagree by calling them zealots for their ideology.

That being said, cleaning up our environment is a good thing regardless of what you accept from the current science.

Of course it is. Does anyone argue the opposite?

We need to reduce the amount of trash we produce and to curve our consumption of resources, so they’ll be something left for future generations.

What are we going to run out of, Jim?

Peace

Tim


#12

Exactly! We have these doomsday scientists who want us to abandon everything and live like the Essenes, ‘embellishing’ data to increase their grant money and give a rallying cry against big business, but their motives are not purely environmental. Then, you have people who call those people out on their falsehoods, but then think that excuses them from caring at all.

There is a middle ground, and you hit the nail on the head with it. Be considerate, be aware of the fact that humans have the ability to affect the environment, and help preserve the natural beauty that God surrounded us with.


#13

This is exactly the point (the bolded).

From a 1975 Newsweek article:

*There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”*

There was massive scientific consensus back then, too. And panic generated by this “consensus”.

I would think that these scientists, if they truly want to do something constructive, could come up with some viable alternatives. For example hydrogen fuel cell technology. Why, again, did Obama cut the funding for that research almost as soon as he came in office?


#14

How are people dying from warming? Warmer temperatures lead to longer growing seasons, more food production, and more people who live instead of dying of hunger.


#15

I just wonder who they blame for the medieval warm period?


#16

Bush :wink:


#17

Of course, silly me. :blush:


#18

Of course the chart is the natural cycle.

Now add in global warming caused by man-made pollution and you have the extreme climate events taking place in our world today.

Jim


#19

Jim, your comment is spot-on! I have issues with calling C02 “pollution”. Its what plants breathe, its what humans exhale. However, I have no desire for air to be tainted with sulfphur dioxide, or to have ground water contaminated with chromium, or to see people dump their trash on the roadside or in the ocean. We should be making better use of our resources (reduce consumption, reduce trash, etc). I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that.


#20

The problem with guestimations is that you can’t really be certain you’re right until you go past the tipping point, but then once you’re past that point, knowing is kind of pointless. :ouch:

I do find it highly amusing that those who are the most stringent in their defense of evolution are also the ones who don’t want things to change.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.