Global Warming? Go Nuclear!

Posted: Feb 04, 2007 12:01 AM

Claim 1: "Human-Induced Climate Change is Real" – The first of four claims made by the Evangelical Climate Change Initiative (ECI) in a document entitled “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action” (pdf).
Counter-punch: “The ECI’s "Call to Action" rests on the following four assumptions…(then listed)…All of these assumptions, we shall argue below, are false, probably false, or exaggerated." – The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance responds to the above in a document entitled "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Pro-tection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming" (pdf).

In the fight between the Christian Left and the Christian Right over man-made global warming, I suggest another Christian option: Look to the end game and just go nuclear.

No, I'm not talking about dropping bunker-busting tactical nuclear devices in Iran (at least not yet), but about pursuing an energy policy that would actually solve our energy problem rather than just postpone it.

Why aren’t we building any more nuclear reactors, especially now? Why do we--almost eagerly--fund our worst enemies? Why are we still so economically--and therefore militarily--vulnerable to Islamofascists like Ahmadinejad?

Answer: For the very same reason we aren’t doing more off-shore drilling or drilling in Anwar, or building more refineries. Because the very same people who are now screaming “The globe is warming! The globe is warming!” don’t want them. They’d prefer having their fear-mongering political wedge issue than actually solving the problem. And because the Democratic Party depends upon such malcontented special interest groups for its political power, we don’t have a solutions-oriented energy policy.

Something is terribly wrong when Brazil, who has achieved energy independence by growing and running its own ethanol, and France, who is getting 80% of their energy from nuclear power, are ahead of us.

Just think: Why do you never hear any real solutions from the Greens other than things like "cap greenhouse emissions" "ratify Kyoto," "institute a windfall profits tax on Big Oil," "use alternative energy," "flush less often," "use different light bulbs," "lower the thermostat," "take a bus to work" or some other proposal that will only end up raising gas to a Euro-pean $5.00 a gallon (or more), hurt the global economy, and leave the world’s poor in worse shape?

As with Iraq, I want to ask these people, "Where’s Your Plan?" I, like most Americans, am interested in solutions.

This is not to say the Greens could not serve some instrumental purpose to good ends. If they succeeded in allowing/persuading their Democratic Leadership to "go nuclear"” drill in Anwar, build more refineries, and offer more tax in-centives to venture capitalists in new technologies like hydrogen and fuel cells, then I wouldn’t mind their “The Globe is Warming” eco-terror mantra.

As Tony Soprano might say, "Deez people might be useful." I’d let them have their means as long as it achieved my political ends. Right now, I'm interested in results. The quicker we can become more independent and less reliant on foreign oil, the sooner we will be less likely blackmailed by some Islamofascist dictator, Kim Jung Il, or the victims of eco-nomic warfare from China, the EU, or India.

In the simplest terms, I support an ecological multiple modus ponens (see, I went to grad school):

If P, then Q "If global warming, then less fossil fuels."
If Q, then R "If less fossil fuels, then nuclear energy."
P "Global warming."
Therefore, R. "Therefore, nuclear energy."

Not surprisingly, though, this ain’t going to happen.

So, we have to challenge the mythology of man-made global warming, change minds and thereby votes, and one day pass legislation that would actually solve our energy problems rather than maintain the status quo and merely complain about them.

In that spirit, here’s my brief cheat-sheet on the issue of global warming.

  • Get perspective. Yes, its warmer today than in the 1970’s, but its cooler now than it was in the 1930’s. We’re warmer, but not progressively so–it’s not getting "warmer and warmer, faster and faster.”\" Since 1970, the decadal rate of warming has averaged roughly 0.17C–it’s basically flat. And besides, since 1940, we've only talking of a total increase in temperature of about half a degree Fahrenheit.
  • There aren’t more natural disasters. Our equipment is more sensitive today so we’re able to detect smaller storms. If you consider only F3’s and larger, there’s actually been a downward trend since the 1950’s. The death tolls are higher because people are just like you, they like living next to the water and in remote areas where they can “get away from it all.” There aren’t more storms, there are just more people around when they hit.
  • "The Antarctic is shrinking." Alarmists love to cherry-pick their data. Yes, the Antarctic ice mass shrunk in the three years between 2002 and 2005. But, they forget to tell you it grew for the previous eleven years from 1992-2003.
  • Cycles are normal. Just check out the covers of our most popular periodicals over the past century. We worried about a coming Ice Age from 1895 to 1930, then it was the threat of global warming till the 1960’s, then another Ice Age through the 1970’s, and now we’re back to global warming again. Our great-grandkids will likely worry about another Ice Age.
  • The hockey stick is broken. Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” temperature graph was thoroughly discredited in 2006. It purportedly showed flat temperatures for 900 years then a sharp spike upward in the 20th century due to “man-made greenhouse emissions.” Conveniently (or intentionally?) ignored was the Medieval Warm Period from 900-1300 and the Little Ice Age from about 1500-1800. This is like forgetting the Cold War and WWII in a history of the 20th century.
  • It’s warmed without C02, and cooled with it. How did the Medieval Warm Period start and the Little Ice Age end without C02? More precisely, how did North American temperatures rise from 1850 to 1940, before the effects of C02, and then suddenly decrease from 1940 to 1970, when the alleged effects of C02 would have been at their highest? Who said Ph.D.’s in the hard sciences were faithless rationalists who detested religion? They love their Leftist religion, though they still detest Christianity. And they criticize people like me for believing in things without any evidence and for taking things on faith? Pa-leese.
  • Most Christians correctly remain skeptical, contrary to what Old Media is reporting. As with almost anything involving Christianity, the MSM only report on it if it reflects badly on us, or if it will advance their agenda. They love cov-ering the Christian left who have bought into the whole global warming thing only because it advances their anti-capitalist agenda too. Every Christian understands stewardship. But, don’t believe all the hype. There’s lots of us not on board: James Dobson, Chuck Colson, D. James Kennedy, Richard Land, David Barton, and Cal Beisner–who, by the way, has got excellent material at the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance.

(While I’m mentioning websites, Senator James Inhofe has an excellent pdf on the ruse of global warming here.)

So, here’s my point: If you think man-made global warming is happening, you’ve got environmental reasons to support building nuclear power plants. Others of us have primarily military, economic, and political reasons for doing so. We’re fellow travelers to the same destination; different paths, same goal. Either way, let’s go nuclear. The sooner the better.