Friday, March 30, 2007

Global Warming Debate

Al Gore's film has sparked considerable debate on global warming. This has surprised many people who had not heard the arguments of the other side. If you are interested in this subject, listen to this podcast of a debate held on NPR (PDF transcript also available) to be exposed to the arguments of experts on both sides. I also recommend Michael Crichton's book State of Fearfor a more biased view. I believe that Christians are called by God to take care of this planet. The planet has warmed by half a degree celcius. CO2 levels have increased, which should increase global temperature, but no one knows by how much, since other factors play a large role: the sun, urbanization, water vapor, clouds, and thousands of others. Global temperatures have been either rising or falling since creation. Sea levels have been rising since the last ice age. Is the current global temperature optimal? Do we have the power to keep the earth at a constant temperature? Is trying to (when we know so little) worth the trillions it would cost in slowing the global economy? I would argue that tackling poverty and disease is a better use for our money (click here to do that). In the NPR debate, Sheik Yamani, the Saudi oil minister is quoted as saying "the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones." Pollution is bad, but technology will advance, lowering our CO2 emissions, without the Kyoto Protocol demanding it.