A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute has shown that nearly four in ten Americans blame severe weather on the end-times, as predicted in the Bible. While the findings show that over 60% of Catholics and white Protestants of non-evangelical denominations believe such weather is due to climate change, more than 60% of white, evangelical Protestants believe that weather events such as Superstorm Sandy are in line with Biblical end-times prophecy.
People who tend to take the Book of Revelation literally tend to look at the way that God has purportedly controlled the weather in other ways, bringing droughts, floods (Noah’s Ark, anyone?), hail and more, and believe that the extreme weather of late, including Sandy, Katrina, the drought that the Plains and Midwest went through over the summer, all the wildfires that have been destroying homes and towns, etc., are also the result of God’s control over the weather.
Science, as is commonly known, points to increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions as a major source of climate change. Since 1950, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere went above 300 parts per million for the first time in history, according to studies of ice cores from various glaciers around the world. We have also known about carbon dioxide’s ability to trap heat since the mid-19th century, according to NASA. John Tyndall, a mid-19th century scientist, found that certain gases, including water vapor and carbon dioxide, absorb heat far more strongly than the atmosphere as a whole.
With more carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere through industrial emissions, it’s inevitable that the planet’s temperature will warm beyond natural levels.
However, if that’s not enough evidence that people are capable of damaging the planet, the Antarctic ozone layer hole should suffice. That was caused by the widespread use of chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) as propellants and refrigerants. Though virtually gone from use today, the hole in the ozone layer will not reach its 1980 levels until the year 2060.
Since scientists admit there’s a lot they don’t understand about climate change, Evangelical Christians and the anti-science crowd cling to that admission as proof that scientific theories are merely hypothetical, and there is no actual proof that climate change is caused by man and his pollution of the planet.
That’s the difference between the two groups: a scientist bases theories on empirical evidence. Religious nuts, on the other hand, don’t.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Congress’ most outspoken opponent of climate change science, believes that it’s arrogant for humans to think that they can control the climate when God is still around.
He has gone so far as to say that scientists have manipulated climate data in order to further their own agenda and that of the U.N. and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and that the U.S. agencies that have evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change are tied into the IPCC and, of course, are going to work to push the “massive hoax” along.
In March, Inhofe admitted on The Rachel Maddow Show that he believed in climate science until he found out what the cost of fixing it would be. Just the cost alone, at least according to what he said, turned him into a denier of climate science.
This is at the heart of the issue for the anti-climate/anti- science crowd though, the reality behind Al Gore’s calling his popular environmental film, An Inconvenient Truth. It is an “inconvenient truth” for them that climate science is legitimate, but since they don’t like what it will cost, they’d rather blame it all on God and abdicate responsibility than search for real solutions.
Only 2% of people who participated in the survey believe that extreme weather is due to the popular belief that the Mayan calendar ends on the 21st of this month…though there’s evidence that the Mayan civilization itself was destroyed by extreme weather such as bad droughts and nasty storms.