March 14, 2007

Web Letters

The Adventist Review provides a News Commentary in most editions as a way to highlight believers’ response to world and national events, current issues, and developments in religion. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors: the Adventist Review seeks to identify and print commentaries that illustrate a responsible and faithful approach to the issues considered.

A number of readers have responded to the News Commentary, “Climate Change, or Just Hot Air” (Feb. 22, 2007), with the assumption that the
Adventist Review has taken an editorial position endorsing the science that points toward human activity as responsible for global warming. This is not the case. The editors believe, however, that the viewpoint expressed by the author is a responsible one, based on a credible understanding of the relevant data.

Similarly, when we feature letters from readers in either the print or Online editions, we are not endorsing all the claims the authors of those letters make, nor the facts they assert.--Editors

Cool About Global Warming
I was disappointed to read the “Climate Change, or Just Hot Air” News Commentary (Feb. 22, 2007). The author begins, “Assumptions and speculations have given way to certainty. Scientists now agree that the planet is indeed sick. Very sick. The disease is progressing, it seems, at an accelerating rate.”
Unfortunately, almost none of this is true! Many climate scientists, trying to be heard above the “GroupThink,” tell quite a different story. It’s not that global temperatures aren’t higher today than they were 30 years ago; they are. However, the popular conclusions being drawn are far from scientific. The hype that this warming is unprecedented, harmful, and man-made is unproven. Evidence to the contrary, even for lay consideration, is quite significant.
First, compelling evidence exists that global temperatures are cyclical (see Unstoppable Global Warming--Every 1,500 Years, by S. Fred Singer & Dennis T. Avery, eminent climate scientists). Cooling and warming periods lasting hundreds of years go as far back as humans can determine. How do you think Greenland got its name? Evidence shows it was far warmer there when the Norse discovered it than we know it today. The Roman (c. 200 B.C.-600 A.D.) and Medieval (c. 900-1300 A.D.) warming periods were warmer than now--all without greenhouse gases, so why consider today’s warming so unusual? If the Greenhouse Theory were valid, temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic would have risen several degrees Celsius since 1940 due to the huge emissions of CO2. The icy bad news for the CO2 alarmists is that the temperatures at and near the North and South Poles are lower now than they were in 1930.
Secondly, there is much evidence that, far from being deleterious, these warming periods were beneficial in a number of ways. History and paleontology, for example, tell us the warmings have experienced better, more stable weather than the coolings. More food was able to be grown in more places during the warmings, etc. The hysteria is that we’ll all drown under rising sea levels. But the Indian Ocean was higher from 1900 to 1970, and it has fallen today--during a warming period.
Thirdly, reliable evidence does not suggest that human activities (i.e., CO2 emissions) are causing or significantly contributing to global warming. Global temperatures in 1300 A.D., for example, were some three to five degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today. I don’t think their SUVs were responsible, do you? We know that Mars is now heating up at the same rate as Earth; again, I don’t think human activity is heating the Red Planet. Science--and common sense--suggest that the sun’s cycles are warming both of these planets in our solar system.
True science doesn’t deal in “consensus.” Science isn’t done by a vote. Note this: our planet was cooling from 1940 through the late ‘70s. Time (’74) and Newsweek (’79) magazines had feature articles warning of a coming Ice Age. Global Cooling was then the hysteria de jour; now it’s global warming. Space doesn’t permit more detail here, but much evidence suggests that politics and money are behind the “consensus” of many global warming fear mongers today. We’re getting bombarded by their propaganda at every turn. Please don’t make us read it in the good ol’ Review, as well.
Doug Woods
Auburn, Washington

What Did She Say?
I recently read the article, “Seven Sins of Dying Churches” by Thom Rainer (AR Online). I found the article interesting but was saddened to see the Review relying on this source to make the point. Ellen White had many things to say about dying churches; why not refer to this rich resource before succumbing to the “what others are thinking” syndrome.
I know many in the church think it’s cool to quote other sources, but we have lost a lot by not following information written for our admonition. Perhaps we need to have a second look at Mrs. White to see if what she wrote is relevant to the dying church issue. One might be surprised to see what she wrote. Do the research and publish what you find.
Stuart Dixon
Lenox, Massachussetts

More, More, More
Congratulations to Bill Knott, whose articles I have long enjoyed, as editor of the Adventist Review.
My sincere thanks to Lael Caesar, whose article about maintaining unity within diversity, “It’s Not About Demetrius” (Feb. 22, 2007), held my rapt attention. Let’s have more from him.
Carol Mayes
Chatsworth, California

Why Goldstein?
In 2003 Clifford Goldstein wrote a column about theistic evolutionists. In essence he said: “My way or the highway.” And recently the Review published another column by Goldstein, this time on Postmodernism, The Mother of All Metanarratives (Jan.25, 2007). Here again he set himself up as judge, jury, and executioner of anyone who has the audacity to question him.
Please, anyone into postmodernism isn’t reading the Review. And of those who do read the Review, 99.44 percent of them don’t know a thing about postmodernism and care less. If anyone reads Goldstein they either come away confused or mad. So why do you insist on publishing him?
Tom Zwemer
Augusta, Georgia