Below, Wichita Geophysicist Dennis Hedke explains the problems with the beliefs held by radical environmentalist Rev. Richard Cizik. This is the unabridged version of a letter that appeared in the Wichita Eagle.
I was in attendance Wednesday evening where Rev. Richard Cizik spoke to an audience largely supportive of his view of “Creation Care” (Wichita Eagle, May 28, 2009). I too, am an Evangelical Christian, and I take issue with a number of his suppositions. I would immediately cite Genesis 1: 26-29, wherein the Creator gave man specific dominion over every creature in the animal kingdom, as well as that of the entire plant kingdom. He certainly charged man to be a good steward of all that He assigned for man’s dominion, and we must not take that responsibility lightly.
Rev. Cizik mentions the “snake oil of climate skeptics”, and I will oppose any notion that mankind is largely responsible for earth’s dramatic decline, because the scientific evidence is far and wide in dispute of such a proposition. We have real problems and real pollution to clean up. However, the current drive to legislate fossil fuel-based emissions control is utterly out of touch with scientific reality. The legislation (HR 2454), which has now passed out of the House Committee on Commerce and Energy for Senate consideration, would strive to achieve the following: more than 80% reduction of “anthropogenic CO2”, as compared to 2005 benchmark
levels. It is projected that if they could accomplish the feat, which I suggest will be impossible, the net temperature “savings” by year 2050 would be about 0.18 degree Fahrenheit. By some estimates, the price tag would exceed $11 trillion (Science and Public Policy Institute, May 19, 2009).
Rev. Cizik writes that major segments of Earth are dying as a result of these emissions issues, yet he provides no facts, nor any data to support his contention. You need to know this: the CO2 concentration in earth’s atmosphere is 385 parts per million (ppm), less than 0.04%. The CO2 concentration in US submarines routinely reaches 8,000 ppm, and no officials are rushing to rescue the American sailor “enduring” that terrible climate. What the actual data tells us is that the hoped for “greenhouse signature hotspot” over the Tropics related to CO2 is nowhere to be found. That’s right, it does not exist, and it has been hunted for years.
Rev. Cizik also stated, via James Hansen, a NASA scientist who is unfortunately becoming well known for making outlandish, unsupported statements, “carbon dioxide that we put in the air … will stay there … more than 500 years”. That simply is not true, in reality it dissipates in 5 years,or less, according to some 50 independent researchers.
The population of this planet now exceeds 6.6 billion people. Does man have influence on climate? Yes, but a substantial body of data tells us the influence is minimal. The approximate 100 ppm increase in CO2 in the atmosphere over the past 150 years is dominated by oceanic and land-based carbonate (limestone) sources, which are very specifically derived from the sun’s enormous influence on heating the entire planet. We have been experiencing a warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1750 AD.
I would respectfully recommend that all mankind pay special heed to 2 Timothy 4: 3-4. We have no more room for myths, and the truth is scarce, indeed.