Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Painful Ignorance

I dont know how familiar people may be with Joseph Farah, but he's one of the bigwigs over at WorldNetDaily, a megasite for rightwing conservative nonsense. Alot of the articles wirtten there are rife with religious propaganda and unscientific garbage, but one article written by Mr. Farah has sent my bullshit meter off the charts.

In this column, he writes about the problem of global warming, or the lack thereof. Now, I do not agree with alot of the "conventional wisdom" surrounding global warming (Al Gore and his Inconvienent Truth is bunk if you ask me) but I will not deny that the Earth's climate is changing and rather quickly (whether this is caused by us people or is more of a natural occurance I'm not quite convinced). Joseph Farah has taken an alltogether different stance. He says that global warming, or more specifically, "global cataclysmic flooding" caused by global warming will never happen. Why? Because "God said so".

"First of all, in Genesis 8:22, we're told of a promise by God never to use global floodwaters again as a means of destroying life on Earth. In that promise, the Bible explicitly states: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
In other words, no more cataclysmic floods – the result Al Gore promises in the near future as a consequence of global warming

Basically, he thinks that because "God told us that he wouldnt flood the world again", rising sea levels cannot possibly occur due to global warming. He goes on to support his argument by saying that it's pointless to even bother worrying about the climate because God is the one that controlls it, and not man:

"It is so presumptuous and haughty of believers and non-believers alike to think man is in control of the destiny of the planet God created for us.
If it were so, would he not have warned us? With all of the prophecies in the Bible, should we not expect to be told that such matters are actually in our hands? Why would we be told exactly the opposite throughout scripture?"

Of course, the only "support" he uses for his absolutely ludicrious view is taken straight from the Bible. "This verse or that chapter says this or that" should never be used as support for an argument. It's all based on one very flawed assumption - that the words in the Bible are true. The veracity of the bible is incredibly dubious and all scientific evidence points that it's nothing more than ancient fairytales - so any argument solely based on "the word of God" is void.

In fact, as has been pointed out by Ed Brayton, Farah's claims disprove themselves. As of writing this, there is extensive flooding in Mexico, with 80% of the state of Tabasco being covered in water making an estimated 800,000 people homeless. It is in every sense of the word catastrophic. If Farah is correct in saying that the Bible "promises no more catastrophic flooding" then he's proven the bible false. I guess that means the rest of his arguments fall apart since theyre based on the same book he's just shown to be rubbish.

Farah also writes one thing that points to his lack of congnitive abilities:

"It's not that the Bible tells us there are no consequences for our actions on the planet. In fact, it quite explicitly does. But it is not the production of carbon dioxide that God finds offensive. It is the commission of sin. Nowhere in the Bible does God ever suggest that producing CO2 is sinful. "

Allow me to paraphrase: "The bible doesnt say that making lots of CO2 is a sin, so we dont need to worry about how much we produce. Nothing bad could come of it!" What a load of crap. Like Brayton put it, "The Bible doesn't say that dumping toxic waste into your drinking water supplies is a sin either, but it's still a bad idea."

This idea that global warming is not a problem simply because God didnt say it would happen is absolutely insane. It's this kind of thinking that leads people to think that global warming is nothing to worry about because "Jesus is going to return in the next 50 years anyway" (Astonishingly, 25% of Americans seem to think he's going to return this year!) How anyone could ignore scientific evidence, or even direct observation, for the word of a two thousand year old book is beyond me.

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