Pope Francis Demands Immediate Action to Halt Global Warming, Save Environment

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Marxie:

MonsterCrit:
the most Whitiest Angloiest Saxoniest Personiest Christian

He's from Buenos Aires. And is of Italian roots. And most American Christians are not Catholic anyway. Just saying.

So much like with the abolition of slavery and the metric system America will lag behind the rest of the world for about 40 years :p

Cowabungaa:
No

Not a word about human factor.

Cowabungaa:
respectable

>This experimental data should effectively end the argument
No it shouldn't. It's a correlation they found, not a connection. Those are not the same thing.
Correlation_between_the_amount_of_pirates_and_the_climate_change.jpg

Cowabungaa:
publications?

And that's just statistics on the extreme temperature. Where's the human input?

And where are the methods? The data? The technologies used? THAT'S what constitutes a publication, not a "We found X using our methods, trust in our ability!" blubbered at some echo-chamber conferences. That's not science, that's a grant-sucking circlejerk.

If you were citing those as arguments for human involvement at a serious conference, you would get slapped with "IRRELEVANT!"

Cowabungaa:
And sadly, you'd be surprised how many people (not saying the dude I quoted before is one of them) do deny all that evidence.

Because it's hard to accept a claim when 95% of evidence are related to it only via having word "Climate" in the title.

Cowabungaa:
Which is not true, if one would actually pay attention to what the contents of that article and its references say. Us having a large hand in causing that is what fits the models

And the behavior of electromagnetic waves and subatomic particles fits the models of the M-theory. Yet scientific community somehow find some reason in itself to question it rather strongly. Because jumping to conclusions helps nobody. I already said that human involvement is a completely possible factor for climate change. But however comforting is the thought of you already having All The Truth Needed - it is still to be proven or discarded. Simply embracing it at the current stage will easily lead to employment of absolutely inefficient methods to counter the effects, which will cost governments hundreds of billions of dollars with no measurable effect. This could ruin the authority of environmentalism for decades. Additional research on the matter of strong connection between the climate change and our industrial efforts is the preferred course of action if we are actually looking forward to control our climate.

Reading the comments I find it interesting that some people criticize the Pope for speaking on a topic of science, saying he should leave science to scientists or that a man of religion is not able to be a man of reason at the same time (remember, Descartes, father of modern mathematics and philosophy, was a Christian), even though Pope Francis actually has scientific education in chemistry.
I wonder how many of you have any education on the topic of religion, as the consensus seems to be "thou shall not speak of a topic you do not know jack shit about". And no, having a religious grandma and flipping off Jehova's witnesses does not count.

Anyway, OT: Good on the old guy. I've known for some time that he's a science fan, but such a public gesture of support is a step in good direction. Hopefully some of the stubborn conservatives will follow suit.

dangoball:

I wonder how many of you have any education on the topic of religion, as the consensus seems to be "thou shall not speak of a topic you do not know jack shit about". And no, having a religious grandma and flipping off Jehova's witnesses does not count.

There is little to "qualify" in religion other than listening to the story once or actually following the rules of your religion if you've got nothing else in life to do. So this pretty much validates everyone.

Went to a Christian school, went to church for 8 years every week and tried my best to read the bible and it was even worse waste of my time than learning a subject for a possible career.

Hopefully some of the stubborn conservatives will follow suit.

Conservatives aren't ignorant just apathetic.

mad825:

dangoball:

I wonder how many of you have any education on the topic of religion, as the consensus seems to be "thou shall not speak of a topic you do not know jack shit about". And no, having a religious grandma and flipping off Jehova's witnesses does not count.

There is little to "qualify" in religion other than listening to the story once or actually following the rules of your religion if you've got nothing else in life to do. So this pretty much validates everyone.

Went to a Christian school, went to church for 8 years every week and tried my best to read the bible and it was even worse waste of my time than learning a subject for a possible career.

Hopefully some of the stubborn conservatives will follow suit.

Conservatives aren't ignorant just apathetic.

I'm sorry, but I'd rather listen to a theologian or someone with a PhD. in Religious Studies over a guy who went to Sunday school. Believe it or not, religion is a complex phenomenon with so many permutations you might not even realize, just like any subject dealing with humans. You are just as wrong in this assertion as if you said that economics is ONLY supply/demand. Sure, for the basic user that's enough, but there's way more to it than that.

And I didn't call conservatives ignorant, only stubborn. "All it takes for evil to prevail is for the good men to do nothing." - who said that? Their insistence on passivity is what I see as harmful.

I was going to make a snarky remark about them putting solar panels on the Vatican if they were so keen on the idea, but I checked before I did so and they've actually done that, which really limits my options to be critical.

You look like Jim Bowen! Give me my bus fare home!

ShermTank7272:

The infallibility thing isn't entirely true. In encyclicals like this, the Pope is held in high moral regard and is probably right, but is not infallible. Papal Infallibility is only possible if the pope is speaking 1) with the Holy Spirit, 2) while wearing the papal crown, and 3) while on the throne of Peter.

Recusant:

The Pope is considered infallible when making what's called an "ex Cathedra" ("from the Chair") declaration. There's a long history of dispute over what exactly both this term and all its requirements mean; the only widely accepted ex Cathedra proclamation was one made about Marian doctrine back in the 1950's. Two thousand years of Catholicism, and it's happened once; hardly "what the Pope says, goes".

Thank you for correcting me! I've edited the news post.

Fuck the pope.
I mean what he's saying is right but no religious leader in the civilized world should have that much influence in this day and age.
So fuck the principle of the position of a pope, even though this one is kinda alright sometimes, the next one could be an old white bigot with a funny hat yet again.

As for everyone saying the pope shouldn't comment on science, how about staying true to that principle when trying to institutionalize creationism as something that should be taught in schools on equal grounds with "evolutionism".

TallanKhan:

Recusant:
The exertion of religious influence was what broke tribalism's hold on much of the world and allowed rational thought to gain a widespread foothold.

To start with, no it isn't. The emergence of nation states, a system which endures to today was the evolution of tribalism and this came about largely though conquest and the establishment of ethnic identities in addition to geographically local identities. Nothing ever "broke tribalism's hold", the system just developed further.

Religious practice of varying forms existed for centuries before tribal social structures were seriously challenged, and a number of significant civilisations pre-date the emergence of current major religions.

Recusant:
The increased centralization often lead to better intergroup communication and the exchange of ideas,

Again, you correctly identify an advance and then erroneously attribute it to religion. Increased centralisation did indeed bring all the benefits you describe, but centralisation didn't have anything to do with religion. Centralisation occurred as as larger geographic areas fell under the control of single states. The need for communication and the ability to move troops quickly necessitated the development of better roads which allowed for trade and the movement of people, the need to defend and area gave rise to fortifications, around which towns and cities grow. It was this concentration of people that created the conditions for a freer exchange of ideas.

Recusant:
and the Catholic church in particular has been a frontrunner in the field of advancing science. Have they fallen from this perch in the last century or so? Sure. That doesn't mean they shouldn't try to climb back on;

No, it really hasn't. The Catholic Church in particular has been a frontrunner in the field of repressing science. Yes they may have founded schools and universities, and I will grant that these did provide access to a basic level of education. However, the fact that these institutions taught religious doctrine as fact, directly impacting the way research was conducted, leading people to build theories on false assumptions more than offsets the benefits here. Beyond this, when you look at events such as the Condemnations, the suppression of Copernicus or the Inquisition, to claim that the Catholic Church has been any kind of net positive for scientific endeavour is laughable.

Recusant:
Further, the Pope is not a propaganda robot controlled by a secret cabal of supervillians; even if you assume he doesn't communicate directly with God, he's a human being capable of logic and reason. His essential nature is not changed by being the head of a religion.

His central nature is being the head of a religion. Whether or not I assume he does or doesn't communicate directly with God is irrelevant, he believes that he communicates directly with God, so while he may on one level as a human be capable of logic and reason, he isn't exercising it, he is parroting what he believes God wants him to say. He isn't a propaganda robot, no, he's much worse, because unless God really is talking to us through him, he's delusional.

In addition, the pope speaks as a religious authority, and as such, those who obey him, are doing so because of his status. He didn't present evidence, or make an argument, he got up and made a speech that amounted to "climate change is ruining the planet, if you're a good christian do something about it". This isn't encouraging people to make an informed choice, this is demanding obedience, "do it because I say so".

Recusant:
On the other hand, claiming that a person shouldn't instruct anyone to do anything is assuming that the contents of a person's speech are completely irrelevant; the only thing that matters is that person's job/religious affiliation. There's only person I see being dogmatic here, and it's not the Pope.

I never claimed "a person" shouldn't instruct anyone, I said very specifically "the pope", although I will meet you half way and offer an expansion to Anyone who thinks they speak for on behalf of a deity. And the reason this is a negative thing is that a person's reason for doing something has a fundamental bearing on it's nature. Lasting solutions to the problems we face as a society can only be achieved through understanding and awareness. The pope saying "x is bad so don't do it anymore" doesn't provide that, there has been no development or growth, and society isn't positioned to move on.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
To that end, regardless of how worthy or unworthy the individual cause he chooses to speak about, to my mind, the pope telling anyone to do anything is of itself an overwhelmingly negative thing for society.

Emm. You do notice that this method is a dogma in itself?

I'm afraid not. Dogma refers to an official or accepted principal laid down by an institution or authority, which in turn underpins a system of behaviour or belief.

Actually anthropologist are beginning to say that they believe the reason people began to settle was not farming and agriculture but worship. They built complicated (For the time) shrines and didn't want to leave the shrines abandoned. There was a piece in national geographic about it.

At least, that's what the archaeological evidence is starting to show in parts of the middle east.

Anyone who's actually studied history academically, by the way, would disagree with you. The influence of religion on European/middle eastern history is tremendous. You cannot study history in the west without studying various religions, because the impact is so utter.

And while it is true that civilizations formed prior to the 'big three' in the west, they all had fairly strong religious natures; almost every, if not every, civilization that arose prior to the big three had divine monarchs. All the fertile crescent ones, and the Egyptians. That includes the Romans prior to the establishment of the republic, and the Emperor was deified not long after the republics fall.

we have far more pressing concerns that the vatican is actively fighting against the attempt to help.

like say... I dunno... the population problem? still doing your condoms and birth control thing vatican?

get your own shit together before you start demanding things of others.

You want to do this, fine by me.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
To start with, no it isn't.

Adoption of Christianity is the direct basis for switching from gravelkind to primogeniture succession in the lands of Rus, which finally allowed long-term building of a nation as opposed to constant squabbling of a thousand Rurikids who all were morally justified in the eyes of their subjects to have a claim. Boom you're already wrong.

Boom! No I'm not. Nice single example, doesn't prove the original point I was disputing. In addition there is significant evidence that suggests that the Rus people may have existed as a united or afiliated polity as early as 837 AD, with the earliest estimates for Christianity taking hold in the area being around 860. There is even some suggestion that the introduction of Christianity may have had something to do with the collapse of this entity, although this is most often attributed to Scandinavian aggression.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
Religious practice of varying forms existed for centuries before tribal social structures were seriously challenged, and a number of significant civilizations pre-date the emergence of current major religions.

Yes, because just a religion on itself is not capable of anything. It took specific religions and religion practices in their specific regions and cultures for system to "just develop further". You do understand that there were times when people lived with no newspapers, constitution and schools, and the religion was the closest thing they had to a universal system of morals and laws that lived longer that a generation? So there simply was not other way to preserve even what little the society had? And he powers that be had zero reasons to change the system?

What drivel. You talk of "the powers that be". For the vast majority of recorded history, the "powers that be" that you claim had no reason to drive change, and the religious institutions you credit for the changes that did occur were so intertwined as to be all but one and the same thing.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
Again, you correctly identify an advance and then erroneously attribute it to religion. Increased centralisation did indeed bring all the benefits you describe, but centralisation didn't have anything to do with religion.

Suuuure. Once again - a hundred different Russian tribes having a hundred different pagan cults and a hundred different cultures and moral systems growing from those cults were having no problems uniting under a centralized rule before said cults were replaced by Christianity. Oh wait, they totally were.

TallanKhan:
The need for communication

Oh, and you know another thing that Christianity brought into the Russian lands? The first common written language.

[See my first point for full details]

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
No, it really hasn't. The Catholic Church in particular has been a frontrunner in the field of repressing science. Yes they may have founded schools and universities, and I will grant that these did provide access to a basic level of education. However, the fact that these institutions taught religious doctrine as fact, directly impacting the way research was conducted, leading people to build theories on false assumptions more than offsets the benefits here.

Pffffrrrrtt. That's like saying that Lavoisier was full of shit just because he suggested the existence of caloric, which proved to be false. Gradual development.

No it isn't, you draw a false comparison and then rubbish it. You say gradual development, but in many cases no development at all, or even the repression of development.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
Beyond this, when you look at events such as the Condemnations, the suppression of Copernicus or the Inquisition, to claim that the Catholic Church has been any kind of net positive for scientific endeavour is laughable.

Copernicus was prosecuted for being a huge pain in the bishopric's ass, not for his discoveries. Inquisition was used to hunt down political enemies of the Spanish Crown (you know, like any secret police in a secular country), not scientists.

I didn't say anything about the prosecution of Copernicus, it was the suppression of his findings I talked of, which, by the way, is what drove him to make such a pain of himself. If you don't believe his ideas were deliberately supressed by the church, look up Giovani Maria Tolosanni.

As for the Inquisition, you're just plain wrong. The Inquisition was a branch of the Catholic church charged with combating "heresy". Among their more repugnant operations, were the first witch trials, during which not only were (as is popularly depicted) they used by bored husbands to have their wives offed, but anyone found to be possessing "unnatural" knowledge or powers - read anyone who could read and write but wasn't a good little christian - was murdered.

The Spanish Inquisition you refer to was a specific branch, that didn't come about until around 400 years later. The leadership of church in Spain was overwhelmingly made up of family members of the ruling classes and the inquisition was for all intents and purposes hijacked by a number of Spanish nobles and officials for political ends.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
any kind of net positive for scientific endeavour is laughable

Literally ALL the development of medicine and herbal sciences on the Russian lands until Peter the Great - monasteries.
All the local book publishing, rewriting, translation and production until Empress Catherine - monasteries again.
Royal Botanical Gardens in Prague, Vilno and Petersberg - Christians once again.
It took the October Revolution to institute the first non-parochial schools (of which there were more than 18 thousand) for people of common birth. That's XXth century. Every common-born man in Russia before that who knew how to read or count learned it in either a parochial or jewish school. Telling that ten centuries of people learning alphabet, writing and algebra constitutes nothing solely because they also read Bible there is just plain crazy. And the Church was not imposing a monopoly on education. It was simply the only institution interested in teaching people anything at all.

Hell, and I'm an atheist for crying out loud.

Of course the church was imposing a monopoly on education. Go open a supermarket and give everything away for free, soon enough you'l have a monopoly too.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
His central nature is being the head of a religion.

No. He's human first and any sort of authority figure second. You know, human with a brain. Who's got PhD in chemistry. Capable of exercising independent thought no less than you are. One can actually believe that God wants him to be a logical and reasonable leader and example for his people. Ever thought of that one possibility?

No. If we were talking about a theoretical belief that would be fine, but this is a man who believes he communicates with God, actively engages with a spirit who's will he conveys. When he makes a statement as the pope therefore, he isn't speaking as a man making a judgement - hell he might not even believe it himself - he is speaking as someone who is saying what he thinks God wants him to say.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
In addition, the pope speaks as a religious authority, and as such, those who obey him, are doing so because of his status. He didn't present evidence, or make an argument, he got up and made a speech that amounted to "climate change is ruining the planet, if you're a good christian do something about it".

The evidence is presented by scientists. He's part as a political and moral authority is giving more power and recognition to said evidence. Scientists can't reach everyone using their resources, so people like Pope and politicians provide them with some louder voices. Al Gore also isn't a scientist and mostly was just gathering awareness through popular methods. Was he harmful as well?

Yes but he isn't acting in reference to anything. When a leader or government minister makes an announcement it's after massive work, they don't just take a publication and say "yeah, looks good, lets support it", evidence is balanced, reports are drawn up, the potential impact of everything is analysed, and even then it isn't infallible. It's bad enough when Barrack Obama points at a natural disaster and says "look, climate change" but this is 10 times worse. Have a look at his reference material if you like (skip to the end) - http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

If that had been prepared by any government or respected institution it would have been shredded.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
This isn't encouraging people to make an informed choice, this is demanding obedience, "do it because I say so".

Yep. Pretty much the way works. Or you think every man in every massive social movement made an informed choice, as opposed to being persuaded by popular political methods. A reasonable orator can gather attention a handful of people. A demagogue can gather a billion. As far as gaining awareness on the matter goes - he's doing the only good and reasonable thing possible.

He isn't raising awareness though, everyone is already aware in this instance. What needs to happen now is convincing people, and you do this by sharing knowledge, not demanding adherence. The big problem with the climate change debate, is that there has, to date, been very little meaningful debate about anything, rather, just two opposing camps each trying to shout their opinion louder than the other. The little headway that has been made has been made with evidence.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
Lasting solutions to the problems we face as a society can only be achieved through understanding and awareness

Understanding by people who need to understand it. The crowd is there for political drive. They don't need a degree to do their part. All they need for that are their votes. A society ruled by representative democracy is founded on the principle of people putting their trust on a reasonable authority. Because a human cannot be informed and educated on every relevant social issue ever and still perform his functions in a society. A farm-worker who works 10 hours a day can't be bothered to do all the Climate Change research on the internet - he believes that he already paid his due to the scientists by giving them something to eat. The only things that can grab his attention are Al Gore on the evening news and pastor at his church. And you can't make all the farm-workers read Nature and Science - there will be no one left to tend the crops.

They don't need the detail but they need an overview. It's like when you vote at an election, you don't need to see spending projections to the penny, but you need an outline of what the various parties are proposing. But the pope isn't doing that, he's just saying "do it because I say so".

Even Al Gore on the evening news (well, Al Gore circa 2010) used to argue his case.

Marxie:

TallanKhan:
I'm afraid not. Dogma refers to an official or accepted principal laid down by an institution or authority, which in turn underpins a system of behaviour or belief.

A rational approach would be analyzing every specific case and checking if the sum of damage that society suffers from it outweights the profits gained. You choose to simply believe that EVERY case is harmful by default. That in itself is dogmatic and close-minded.

And once again you fail to address the point I made.

However, as you seem to be struggling with it, let me make my point clear. It isn't about a balance of outcomes alone. When you tell someone "don't think for yourself, think what I tell you to think, believe what I tell you to believe" regardless of whether what you are telling them is right or wrong, you are harming them. To do so not only robs people of self-determination, it leaves them horrendously vulnerable. Blindly following the words of another because of a belief in their infallibility has resulted in some of the worst crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. Religion is now the last bastion of the unquestionable, of this sickening, twisted idea of obedience to an infallible absolute. To exert such control over people makes them less, makes them slaves, and doing so, no matter the cause, is wrong.

Marxie:

Cowabungaa:
No

Not a word about human factor.

Those three links were a response to you saying the website was lacking scientific credibility and was just being clickbait, which is sheer nonsense unless you'd like to call institutions as the Royal Netherlands Metereological Institute or the American Metereological Society, among many many other sources used in that website's articles, scientifically worthless. Not to prove the end-all-be-all of climate research.

And that's just statistics on the extreme temperature. Where's the human input?

Gee I wonder who's been putting all those extra greenhouses gases in the atmosphere? You're diving into these three small examples as if, again, they're the end-all-be-all of climate research. But they're not, and were not meant to be that either. You're overreacting.

And the behavior of electromagnetic waves and subatomic particles fits the models of the M-theory. Yet scientific community somehow find some reason in itself to question it rather strongly. Because jumping to conclusions helps nobody. I already said that human involvement is a completely possible factor for climate change. But however comforting is the thought of you already having All The Truth Needed - it is still to be proven or discarded. Simply embracing it at the current stage will easily lead to employment of absolutely inefficient methods to counter the effects, which will cost governments hundreds of billions of dollars with no measurable effect. This could ruin the authority of environmentalism for decades. Additional research on the matter of strong connection between the climate change and our industrial efforts is the preferred course of action if we are actually looking forward to control our climate.

Except that that's not what's happening with climate research, so that comparison is pointless. We do have all the 'truth', aka empirical evidence, needed to conclude that a rapid increase of greenhouse gases are causing rapid shifts in climate and that we're the ones who have been emitting those greenhouse gases.

That's all there is to it:
1: There's solid, scientific evidence that a rapid increase of greenhouse gases is the main cause (note the word "main") of the shifts in global climate that we've been noticing. Hell, we even agreed to that in previous posts.
2: We are the ones who put those greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since, roughly, the start of the Industrial Age. That's apparently where the problem lies for you, for some reason I can't fathom as measurements have shown that to be the case. Measurements that have been documented. Documents you can read yourself, documents I have given you examples of, and for the hell of it here's another. And that's just one for the past couple decades.

You speak of research that shows a strong connection between climate change and our industrial efforts and that's exactly what even those tiny examples of scientific publications referred to on that ugly-as-sin website show. And hell, there's a ton more out there you don't even have to look for to find. Here's one I found after five seconds of Google Scholar-ing, note the 49 references if you feel like having some more reading material. And here's another to keep you busy.

That additional research linking human industrial activity and the emissions of greenhouse gases is what people already have been doing for decades now, hence why I have no idea why you're being so difficult about this. There's only a few possibilities. Either you doubt that greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change, which would make our emissions relatively unimportant, or we're not the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions, which would mean there'd be some other cause of the emission increase. Neither of those options have been shown to be the case. Proof of that in scientific publications is really easy to find. And that's just on the web and not even diving into actual on-paper publications in scientific magazines you might find at your local university.

valium:
we have far more pressing concerns that the vatican is actively fighting against the attempt to help.
like say... I dunno... the population problem? still doing your condoms and birth control thing vatican?

Are Catholics a significant factor in global overpopulation? Brazil maybe? Most wealthy countries these days have negative population growth. Japan even seems determined to half their population each generation. India, Africa, Middle East seem to be the main force behind producing more population than they know what to do with.

OT
Yes, I agree with the pope.
I suggest we implement laws that turn electricity off at night and limit families to a single vehicle. Also all coal/nuclear/wind/hydro/solar/petrol power plants should be shut down as they all harm the environment.
I'm sure humanity will gladly begin a new Dark Age in the name of environmental consciousness.

Yes this is sarcasm and I apologize but I'm so tired of hearing about global warming and how terrible we and capitalism are.

Yes we should preserve nature and limit the damage we do to the environment.
No we do not live in a fantasy world where doing so does not have a direct cost to human life that many, if not most people will not be willing to pay.

I have boundless respect for people who fight to preserve wildlands or invent new cleaner technology, even the unsexy ones like coal power. They give me hope for a better tomorrow.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/06/future-hotter-and-more-efficient-coal.html

I have no respect for people who talk %&$* without any realistic plan or understanding of human nature.

The Big Jesus C. Saviour-man himself could show up and ask us to stop bleeding the planet dry, and people would still be bending over backwards to avoid having to change anything...

There's more to it than climate change. Pollution, depleted soils, poisoned water sources, ecological collapse, cornerstone species' dying out, all of which are serious problems that will affect us all, sooner or later.

But by reducing it all to a question of "Climate Change, True or False?", it becomes another detached, pointless opinion-game, that achieves nothing whatsoever.

Cowabungaa:
Gee I wonder who's been putting all those extra greenhouses gases in the atmosphere?

Gee, I don't know! The heterotrophic oxidizing bacteria, summary mass and metabolic output of which outmatches that of the entire humanity, our industries and our cattle by orders of magnitude? The methanogenic bacteria? The sulfur oxidizers? The ammonia producers? The entirety of planet's oxygen-breathing organisms of land and ocean? The surface and oceanic volcanoes (which are the original source of ALL of our carbon and sulfur BTW), with some eruptions of them throwing so much CO2, sulfur and ash into the atmosphere that we can only measure it very approximately but it's rather certain that it's more than the entire atmospheric output of Great Britain of twenty years? The great forest fires? The melting ice releasing gas pockets? This entire sum of huge factors that we still have serious troubles accounting and evaluating accurately enough but you suggest throwing out of the window because "It's all OUR fault! Let's only focus only on anthropogenic factors!"?

May I suggest something more by telling you that we don't actually know who shits the biggest pile of CO2 into the atmosphere, only that it's concentration in the atmosphere grows and we contribute some amount to it? The industrial statistics are known to be jinxed and very much incomplete, and our ideas about all the other contributors are nothing but rough extrapolations, since even the satellites cannot give us accurate enough evaluation of things like volcanic clouds and forest fire output, what is there to say about accurate chemical composition of every part of atmosphere, or the exact mass and metabolic output of everything alive on land and in water? Measure the concentration of CO2 in 50 places! Extrapolate! Boom! Here's our data! Hell, we don't even have accurate enough models of atmosphere do determine if it's the CO2 or the other gasses like methane or water vapor that actually contributes the most to the climate change, only correlations and data from sediments in millenial ice. Our current models are VERY much speculative, and often based on incomplete data and old math. So while they are giving us a lot of reasons to dig deeper, no, it is NOT wise to act upon these assumptions. And it is straight out arrogant to label everyone who dares to question them ignorant.

Heh, who missed the classes now?

Cowabungaa:
1: There's solid, scientific evidence that a rapid increase of greenhouse gases is the main cause (note the word "main") of the shifts in global climate that we've been noticing.

That much we're more or less accept, yes.

Cowabungaa:
and that we're the ones who have been emitting those greenhouse gases

Nope.

Cowabungaa:
That's what our industrial efforts over the past two-ish centuries have produced and that's where the connection lies

Nope nope nope nope nope. Do you understand the difference between a connection and a correlation?

Cowabungaa:
Here's one

And AGAIN no connection between the industry and the output! Only correlations and assumptions, but with a ton of far-going forecasts that would make Vanga envious.

This all is just sad.

Stupidity:
Snipsy

Muspelheim:
Snip

Now these are a lot more sane and rational approaches, compared to "We are doing the climate change and if you disagree than you're DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMB GETBACKTOSCHOOL!"

VincentX3:

You know, I'm not really going to bother with you. Especially since you're already quoted on how stupid you sound right now.
A simple google search on the main causes on Global warming is all it takes (That and maybe going to high school to learn the basics(?))

This is the moment when my diploma fell from the wall. The damnable post-Soviet education! I guess it's back to first grade for me now((((

Marxie:

Heh, who missed the classes now?

Not me, and neither have the scientists who calculated our part in the rapid increase of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. I love how you quote all kinds of CO2 emittors. Yes, they emit Co2. Have they seen some kind of rapid growth since roughly the 19th century that correlates with the increase of greenhouse gases? Is there some incredibly rapid rise of oxidizing bacteria that correlates with the increase of greenhouse gases in the last two hundred years? Some kind of huge increase (which would be very interesting considering how we're in a new mass extinction event) of oxygen breathing organisms that correlates with the increase of greenhouse gases? A huge increase in volcanic activity that correlates with the increase of greenhouse gases? Show. Me. The. Data. Show me that they cause the recent shifting balance of CO2 concentration, show me that they work as hypothesis.

It also shows that you paid absolutely no attention to the sources I gave. How about you actually dive into that 14 chapter IPCC report and look at the actual data, instead of handily ignoring the support I give for my arguments? I have supported the hypothesis that human activity has caused a rapid growth of greenhouse emissions. You have ignored that data. Next you've given other explanations. Explanations for which you have given no data. You have given zero evidence that your (note: your, specifically, I'm not making a statement against all objections made to leading climate change theories) skepticism is in any way scientifically reasonable.

Also, on a smaller note, did you also notice that I clearly said main cause of climate change (I can link to the post if you want to), not only cause? Apparently not, because according to your post I throw 'everything else out of the window' to just look at anthropogenic causes.

But I'm going to try again here. Here's some data regarding one of your alternative hypothesis though it sadly doesn't exactly support it. Now here is a nice summary of why the data does support the theory that human activities are the main cause of the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations (a very, very important word in this context that we have not used before but should) over the past two hundred years. And here two; some nice little references for further reading, if you feel so inclined. A little quote from the second link:

Over the last 150 years, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have risen from 280 to nearly 380 parts per million (ppm). The fact that this is due virtually entirely to human activities is so well established that one rarely sees it questioned. Yet it is quite reasonable to ask how we know this.

One way that we know that human activities are responsible for the increased CO2 is simply by looking at historical records of human activities. Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossil fuels and clearing and burning forested land at an unprecedented rate, and these processes convert organic carbon into CO2. Careful accounting of the amount of fossil fuel that has been extracted and combusted, and how much land clearing has occurred, shows that we have produced far more CO2 than now remains in the atmosphere. The roughly 500 billion metric tons of carbon we have produced is enough to have raised the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to nearly 500 ppm. The concentrations have not reached that level because the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere have the capacity to absorb some of the CO2 we produce.* However, it is the fact that we produce CO2 faster than the ocean and biosphere can absorb it that explains the observed increase.

Here's a quote from the IPCC report, check for sources if you so desire:

In more recent times, atmospheric CO2 concentration continued to fall after about 60 Myr BP and there is geochemical evidence that concentrations were <300 ppm by about 20 Myr BP (Pagani et al., 1999a; Pearson and Palmer, 1999, 2000; Figure 3.2e). Low CO2 concentrations may have been the stimulus that favoured the evolution of C4 plants, which increased greatly in abundance between 7 and 5 Myr BP (Cerling et al., 1993, 1997; Pagani et al., 1999b). Although contemporary CO2 concentrations were exceeded during earlier geological epochs, they are likely higher now than at any time during the past 20 million years.

And what's the variable that has stood the rigors of the scientific method? Our output. That's why we use that as an explanation. Multiple sources that I have given will also tell you that certain predictions made based on the hypothesis that the variable of our greenhouse gas output have been confirmed; the anthropogenic theory is the explanation we use because it works. That's how science works; make predictions, test them against empirical data, see if the prediction still holds up, rinse and repeat.

I don't even no how to respond to you anymore as providing an actual foundation for my arguments seems to be completely pointless. All you say is "nope" and repeat the misguided mantra of "correlation does not mean causation!" (You forget to put 'necessarily' between those two things, which is very important.) You provide no data, you provide no workable alternative, you provide no counter-examples and you simply deny all given sources instead of showing how they'd conflict with, or have no impact on, the given theory. You show zero incentive to actually learn about climate science, to actually learn about the data gathered. That's the sad thing here.

I'm all for skepticism, but your responses are nothing but short-sighted and in the end void of any actual support for what you claim. And now I have some school work to dive into as exams are still ongoing.

For some reason the republican quote makes me lol.

Screw the survival of our planet, screw the survival of our entire species, no what we must REALLY be worried about is what if teh americans end up with the largest tax increase in history! D:

As we all know, we take our money when we are dead so only make sense that be our primary concern in all matters.

Better hope those climate change theories are all wrong and this was just a happy misunderstanding.

EndlessSporadic:
As George Carlin says, global warming and greenhouse gases are not damaging the environment. They are damaging the people. The Earth couldn't care less about what's happening - it's survived much worse. All of the damage is caused by humans and affects only humans. That's the only reason we care. The environment doesn't need saving. The people do.

Thing is, the damage we are causing will also affect so many other creatures. Sure the Earth itself will go on, but these changes if not fought will probably cause yet another large scale extinction event. There is a lot more than just Humans on the line here. We're fucking it up for everyone.

Mr.Mattress:
I just don't think any Current Global Climate Change is caused by Man.[...] I haven't seen any convincing proof that Current Climate Change is the result of Man's actions.

[...]I know this will please many Liberal Catholics (And Liberals in General) worldwide. Me? I'll try to be more Environmentally Friendly, but I'm still skeptical on Man-made Climate Change.

Then you don't accept science, the scientific method, or empirical evidence e.g. IPCC 2007 'it is a greater than a 90 percent certainty that emissions of heat-trapping gases from human activities have caused "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century."' Here's another example which illustrates a 97% consensus http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

As for your use of the word 'liberal', are you by any chance a US American? I ask because as far as I'm aware only US Americans conflate liberal with Marxist, Marxist with socialist, socialist with communist, & communist with Stalinist. The use of the word as a pejorative confuses the rest of us in the post-Enlightenment world.

Okay, wow, there is some really bad information here.

For the sake of setting this straight "the pope is infallible" is supposed to be taken literally. The idea being that what he says is from on high and is the closest thing to a commandment directly from god. The idea here is that the pope is not going to tell you it's raining outside when it clearly isn't because well, that would be wrong, and by definition he would not do that. The Catholic church has not really pushed this point and has tried to soften it in recent years, but there have been some truly bloody wars fought over exactly this point. The Protestants and their various faiths (Baptists, etc..) largely came about in opposition to church policies and the fact that the Pope was basically declaring himself to be an infallible, divine, figure, which to many smacks of heresy. The Catholics pretty much tried to exterminate the protestants, the protestants fought back, and well shades of this conflict have been behind a lot of what has happened throughout history. What a lot of people don't "get" is that a big part of the battle between Ireland and England has largely come down to Catholics Vs. Protestants. What's more while there are Catholics in the US, and a good number of them, the Protestants tend to outnumber them, which is one of the things that has fueled tensions with our neighbors south of the border who tend to gravitate more towards the Catholic version of Christianity.

Another point that needs to be raised here of course is "who is the pope?". That question is not as straightforward as it might seem. What we're referring to as "The Catholic Church" and the man the world acknowledges as "The Pope" is simply the largest and wealthiest (by far) faction claiming the distinction of being the Catholic faith. Simply put Papal succession has been a mess over the centuries, and very un-divine in the way politics have gotten involved. The result is that you have had numerous claimants all claiming to be the rightful "Pope" following proper succession, which gets into the entire concept of Antipopes ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope ). The result being that some will claim the lack of infallibility on the part of the pope is proof that he is NOT the real Pope. Indeed it can also be claimed that there are no real popes and no real Catholic Church due to the right of succession being forever broken along with god's mortal voice in the world. Such things can get into conspiracy theories, like I'm sure you've all heard various versions of how the Catholic Church is actually being run by and covering for Satanists, and that the head of The Devil's armies on earth is none other than The Pope, who plays the role of the good guy in order to hide in plain sight. This of course ties into things like the real reason the church was protecting Pedophilles, etc...

The point I'm getting at is that it's a giant mess, and one shouldn't confuse current church propaganda with the claims of The Catholic Church in the past. Indeed the infallibility of the Pope and inherent divinity of his words and actions is a big part of how the church has justified some of the biggest power grabs in history, the basic idea that being a divine personage The Pope's word could turn a King's own men against him since he is by definition unquestionable.

That said I almost laughed out loud when I read this article, especially the point about being against Capitalism and the statements against the powerful and political. No offense by the Catholic Church has no right to be lecturing anyone about gathering treasure, playing politics, or asserting undo influence against what "needs to be done" as if the church disagrees with you it's always quick to bring it's force to bear and that includes a massive amount of both political pull and financial might.

Now, despite how this sounds, don't get me wrong, I'm not Catholic (I'm Christian in a very general sense) but I do respect them and feel that have done a lot of good works and I respect The Pope and his position, despite how it might seem, I feel most Popes nowadays are very holy men and generally think they are trying to do the right thing. That said there is a point at which your laying it on a bit thick. I'm not convinced about global warming myself as I've read things from both sides that are interesting but nothing has really brought me firmly into one camp or another. If The Pope believes Global Warming is man made, he's welcome to that position and of course I expect him to use his influence in that direction... however when he starts going off about capitalism and politics, he's being a bit of a hypocrite in my opinion, to me while The Pope can be taken seriously for having an opinion on many things, that is not one of them, especially when it's conveyed without any sense of irony what so ever.

It's sort of like how given some comments about immigration I've heard over the years coming from Catholics, especially given how many of them there are south of the border, my basic attitude is the US is already 18 trillion dollars in debt, and I don't exactly see The Pope inviting them all to crash in Rome by the hundreds of millions and setting up transport to bring them there. I mean at least four immigrant families could probably live in his hat alone (J/K).

In short I respect the Catholics despite how it sounds, but really, I think they need to be a bit more honest, this Pope in particular seems to want to try and say all the right things, and while well intentioned, he doesn't seem to realize exactly who he is speaking for at times. Maybe after a thousand years of gradual changes I could take Pope Francis seriously, but right now it's ridiculous for a man controlling what is probably one of the biggest treasuries in the world (even if he doesn't admit it, or under reports it) and plays politics for his own agendas as has popes before him, to be speaking out against Capitalism and politicians.

Marxie:

Cowabungaa:
Dat list

That's all evidences of climate change. Nobody denies that one. Yet not a single point from this list links the climate change to human involvement. One could actually notice that before posting.

I'd just like to point out that various greenhouse gasses having many of these effects are proven causal, and it's proven that humanity is the cause of these increased levels.

And if you don't think humans can have extreme effects on the environment, there's a country-sized hunk of death plastic floating in the ocean right now.

Climate change debate here in the states seems to boil down to two possibilities: either almost every single scientist is lying so they can keep pretending to study the climate change and not lose research funding because that's how science works, once a discovery in a field is made all the scientist just pack up and go home and would never think about the environment and all the myriad ways it changes continuously ever again and of course no one would ever fund research into anything relating to the environment again, just nothing more to see there. Not to mention the incentive to prove other scientists wrong and increase your own reputation is a driving force in science.

Or some politicians are lying to keep their constituents happy and uphold the status quo.

Nergui:

Mr.Mattress:
I mean, I'm a Catholic, and Pope Francis Rocks, but... I just don't think any Current Global Climate Change is caused by Man. Yes, Man is doing a lot to ruin the planet, and has done so in the past. I just don't think any current Global Climate Change has been caused by Man. I haven't seen any convincing proof that Current Climate Change is the result of Man's actions.

Still, I support the Pope for wanting the World to be more Environmentally Friendly. I know this will please many Liberal Catholics (And Liberals in General) worldwide. Me? I'll try to be more Environmentally Friendly, but I'm still skeptical on Man-made Climate Change.

The classic "Let's reject the science because I don't accept it." assertion. This is not unlike the "Let's keep smoking because there's no proof it's bad for us" assertion.

A better way of presenting climate change theory -
If wrong - no problem.
If right - BIG problem.

Unless you can state categorically and beyond any possibility of doubt that human greenhouse gas emissions have no effect, doing nothing might eventually reach a point where nothing can be done. Billions of lives depend on the science being wrong.

You actually nailed the point why you shouldn't take Climate Change too seriously, even if it doesn't exist people could just say that it's because all the work THEY've done, so regardless the fact they still come out as being right. Not to mention that for people smoking can get pretty good results on influence in several decades. You need several Millenias to see if there's actual effect of what we do on the temperature of the earth. So the comparison isn't really good.

Marxie:
stuff

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm

Key quote:

Models don't need to be exact in every respect to give us an accurate overall trend and its major effects - and we have that now. If you knew there were a 90% chance you'd be in a car crash, you wouldn't get in the car (or at the very least, you'd wear a seatbelt). The IPCC concludes, with a greater than 90% probability, that humans are causing global warming. To wait for 100% certainty before acting is recklessly irresponsible.

MCerberus:

And if you don't think humans can have extreme effects on the environment, there's a country-sized hunk of death plastic floating in the ocean right now.

You know, you could just mention hydraulic fracturing well-stimulation in oil-drilling and I would agree with you. That one is currently the worst punch the environment that we can deliver, consisting of huge volumes (not just the surface) of ground getting pumped up with hundreds of tons of non-organic (as in "not carbon based", not "eco-friendly") chemicals, leaching the hell out of land miles wide and deep. And even that one can be harmless if done right, it's just that right is not cheap, and being a cheap way so squeeze some more oil - not for sake of itself but rather for statistical illusion of growing extraction rates - is the reason why hydraulic fracturing became a thing.
And even that one is not something that can be easily stopped, because flourishing American economy might not survive without this one crutch. And between fucked up American economy and fucked up environment I easily choose fucked up environment, because at least environment will not send strategic bombers to nuke my city when left with no other means to survive.

Or the oil spills - those deny oxygenation to huge volumes of land and sea, which fucks up the microbiota and therefore absolutely everyone else pretty badly.

But you give me what as an example of "extreme effects", a bunch of confetti flowing in the Pacific?

Estimates of size range from 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) (about the size of Texas) to more than 15,000,000 square kilometres (5,800,000 sq mi) (0.41% to 8.1% of the size of the Pacific Ocean), or, in some media reports, up to "twice the size of the continental United States". Such estimates, however, are conjectural given the complexities of sampling and the need to assess findings against other areas. Further, although the size of the patch is determined by a higher-than-normal degree of concentration of pelagic debris, there is no standard for determining the boundary between "normal" and "elevated" levels of pollutants to provide a firm estimate of the affected area.

This one here is fine example of the problem with environmental sciences these days. One study tells us "It's not so big", another one says "It's bigger than USA", both are very approximate because once again - satellites only see the ocean blue there, and both studies are claiming to be serious academia. Only one is getting it's dinner paid for by corporations that quite some interest in the matter, and the other one - by sensationalist hysteria. And this is supposed to be the data that will direct hundred billions of dollars in government money from all over the world to fix the issues. Wonderful.

And once AGAIN - for a "hunk of death plastic", it's quite literally too hard to see without looking very closely. Because it's not a "deadly hunk" like a huge island of foul-smelling masses ffs, it's a bunch of very small pieces of plastic, presumed to be floating on the surface over a huge area.
>b-but the plastic containers!
If we only take the pieces bigger than my finger - the patch suddenly stops being the size of Texas. Or even Dallas. Or even one district of Dallas. Doesn't appear so news-worthy this way.

Is this even an issue? Well, the fish and the plankton absolutely couldn't care less, as do the ships. Neustonic bacteria are actually having a blast - more water/air border surface for them. Now the apex organisms like the birds or the whales can fuck themselves up pretty badly out there. If we presume that we give a shit about the birds and the whales - while market says that we don't, and market's word has some more weight than any other because capitalism, without which thousands of green college kids will suddenly find out that they need to find actual jobs or they will starve to death - then yes, it's an issue. But to solve the issue we need accurate data. Not the comfortable or the attention-grabbing data - accurate. Acting upon broad strokes will only help us make the mess even bigger.

So what do we have here? Again, some whining from a bunch of environmentally-conscious youth and all the people who build their livelihood on said whining. Nothing concerning actual problems of human survival.

Maze1125:

Models don't need to be exact in every respect to give us an accurate overall trend and its major effects

No they do, because if they are not accurate - then they can give us wrong trends. Make a 0.01% mistake in calculating the eccentricity of Earth's orbit - and the data will tell you that in 100 years our little blue planet will leave it's orbit and float away into open space.
And Solar system is orders of magnitude simpler than our climate or ecosphere.

If you knew there were a 90% chance you'd be in a car crash, you wouldn't get in the car (or at the very least, you'd wear a seatbelt).

Pfhahahahahahahah. This here is not science - it's demagogy.

Marxie:

Maze1125:

Models don't need to be exact in every respect to give us an accurate overall trend and its major effects

No they do, because if they are not accurate - then they can give us wrong trends.

Yes, they can.
Which is why I can tell you didn't even bother to read the article, because as it says very clearly on there, the models haven't been giving us the right trends, in fact they've been notably UNDERestimating the human effects of global warming.

The models are too conservative. The human influenced part of global warming is worse than it was expected to be.

Anyway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI5ulKiZAoE

Maze1125:

Yes, they can.

So, they DO need to be accurate. An approximate model CAN be right - there is always a chance of shot in the dark hitting the bullseye. But the probability of inaccurate data giving us inaccurate predictions is a lot higher. If you disagree with that one - you don't know how statistics work.

Maze1125:
because as it says very clearly on there, the models haven't been giving us the right trends, in fact they've been notably UNDERestimating the human effects of global warming. The models are too conservative. The human influenced part of global warming is worse than it was expected to me.

Oh, so it's "Either I am right, or I am ABSOLUTELY right". Always good to see some critical thinking on the internet. How did it come to be that the people whose positions can be summarized as "We know everything that there is to know, so stop questioning what you see" are now the ones who believe that the science is one their side?

Maze1125:
Anyway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI5ulKiZAoE

Hahahah. I love me some word equilibristic. Yes, every science panel worth it's name agrees that the Climate Change is real and we need to do something about it - because even without a Great Ice Age cutting our planet's population cap down to two billion, the expenses of agriculture are inevitably rising, and having some control over the change will give us a lot benefits there. Said panels are however INDEED mostly NEUTRAL on the question of human factor in the climate change. You know, like I am, as you would have noticed if you'd read the discussion back.

Those scientist are looking at the matter of human contribution and indeed they see a question mark, not an exclamation one. We DO need more environment studies. We need more researches, more models and more analyzing, because there is a problem and we DON'T currently know where did it came from and how can we solve it. Acting "just in case" without knowledge is anti-scientific by very nature, it can only lead to said action contributing to the disaster.

Marxie:
Acting "just in case" without knowledge is anti-scientific by very nature, it can only lead to said action contributing to the disaster.

That sentence makes literally no sense.
How can you claim to be neutral and then say "If we act without knowing 100%" (a thing that is impossible from a scientific perspective and a completely unreasonable demand) "then the only possible outcome is that things will get worse."
That's not neutral, that's nonsense hyperbole. You claim we have to know things for certain, then write something that has no evidence at all with complete certainty.

As soon as someone starts to be that self-contradictory it becomes clear there is no point arguing with them.

mad825:
And in other news, the pope finally got out of bed to realise that people have been living lives without him.

We're still having to wait for his holiness to declare CFCs causes degradation to the ozone layer. More news later when actual scientists are making the discoveries.

Unfortunately, the collective scientific knowledge of humankind may mean less to a lot of people than a guy in a funny hat. And also unfortunately, with a following the size of Catholicism, we might actually need him sounding off.

On the other hand, I don't feel like giving His Holiness a cookie for stating the obvious and doing the right thing.

Maze1125:
How can you claim to be neutral and then say "If we act without knowing 100%"

You just put a word in my mouth. I never did say "100%". I only said "accurate". That meaning "reasonably accurate". We don't have a reasonably accurate picture on our hands, or more likely - we have it somewhere among 10000 completely unreasonable ones. So we need work to determine the actual picture and conceive a fitting response.

Maze1125:
That's not neutral, that's nonsense hyperbole. You claim we have to know things for certain, then write something that has no evidence at all with complete certainty.

there is always a chance of shot in the dark hitting the bullseye. But the probability of inaccurate data giving us inaccurate predictions is a lot higher. If you disagree with that one - you don't know how statistics work.

Maze1125:
That sentence makes literally no sense.

And that is literally a

Maze1125:
nonsense hyperbole

Well,

Maze1125:
As soon as someone starts to be that self-contradictory it becomes clear there is no point arguing with them.

Jeez, with lobbyists like these... If I were a government, I wouldn't need a thousand corporations filling my pockets to tell environmentalists to sod off.

Zachary Amaranth:

Unfortunately, the collective scientific knowledge of humankind may mean less to a lot of people than a guy in a funny hat. And also unfortunately, with a following the size of Catholicism, we might actually need him sounding off.
On the other hand, I don't feel like giving His Holiness a cookie for stating the obvious and doing the right thing.

If you actually gave a chance to the thought that guy in a funny hat has such following for a reason - and that reason being something other than "people are extremely dumb" - you would have a lot easier time understanding the hows and whys of the world around you.

dangoball:
Reading the comments I find it interesting that some people criticize the Pope for speaking on a topic of science, saying he should leave science to scientists or that a man of religion is not able to be a man of reason at the same time (remember, Descartes, father of modern mathematics and philosophy, was a Christian), even though Pope Francis actually has scientific education in chemistry.
I wonder how many of you have any education on the topic of religion, as the consensus seems to be "thou shall not speak of a topic you do not know jack shit about". And no, having a religious grandma and flipping off Jehova's witnesses does not count.

Anyway, OT: Good on the old guy. I've known for some time that he's a science fan, but such a public gesture of support is a step in good direction. Hopefully some of the stubborn conservatives will follow suit.

Eh, the entire "Global Warming" issue is mostly a song and dance. You certainly have some of the masses on the ground in the conservative parties that are skeptical of global warming because they've been told to be, but most of the elite and decision makers are absolutely not skeptical about it. What it comes down to is an essential trade off of economic prosperity vs. potential harm to the environment. Think of it as a big game of chicken, some people are merely betting that everyone else will budge and that they won't have to so they'll reap both economic and environmental benefits while everyone else foots the bill.

I can almost guarantee you that once China's power consumption and pollution massively outstrips the west, then suddenly this will become a big issue that Conservatives will get behind since it will be a way for them to bludgeon the Chinese economy. Just brace yourself for the whiplash of a series of political leaders suddenly "seeing the light" on this topic.

And Francis continues to be the best pope in a long time. When he got elected i said that this might be the pope that actually changes things for the better. and in many cases, he has been. Even though i am no longer a religiuos person, i have respect for that man.

Scars Unseen:

George Carlin must have overlooked the fact that we are not the only species living on this rock. And the environment is mostly made up of those species. Even if our own fate wasn't something we should be concerned about - and since we aren't consciously suicidal as a species, it is - climate change is still having a destructive effect on the environment.

We are not the only species living on this rock, but we are the only species we care about. we will hunt others into extionction if it servers to benefit us, humans. we already have.

Other species is not a limit of "enviroment". a planet covered entirely in lava still has an enviroment. not one any life as we know it can live on, but its still enviroment. We are not destroying enviroment. we are changing it.

mad825:
And in other news, the pope finally got out of bed to realise that people have been living lives without him.

Give the man some credit, hes trying to bring the church forward from middle ages in what seems singlehanded effort. Cant expect him solo whole church up to date in a year.

Bentusi16:

TallanKhan:
Snip

Actually anthropologist are beginning to say that they believe the reason people began to settle was not farming and agriculture but worship. They built complicated (For the time) shrines and didn't want to leave the shrines abandoned. There was a piece in national geographic about it.

At least, that's what the archaeological evidence is starting to show in parts of the middle east.

Anyone who's actually studied history academically, by the way, would disagree with you. The influence of religion on European/middle eastern history is tremendous. You cannot study history in the west without studying various religions, because the impact is so utter.

And while it is true that civilizations formed prior to the 'big three' in the west, they all had fairly strong religious natures; almost every, if not every, civilization that arose prior to the big three had divine monarchs. All the fertile crescent ones, and the Egyptians. That includes the Romans prior to the establishment of the republic, and the Emperor was deified not long after the republics fall.

I haven't read the piece you're referring to so can't deny what you are saying. I did read a study a couple of years back which sounds similar, but that was specifically regarding why, of the nomadic peoples of the middle-east, why some remained nomadic but others built settlements despite similar circumstances (seasonal availability of food etc.). That study concluded that worship and water were likely the two driving factors, but didn't imply this was a global trend and I haven't seen anything since.

By the way, I have studied history, and if you read my original post you will see that I didn't at any point claim that religion hasn't had a huge influence. My overriding point was that religion has on balance been a hugely negative influence, particularly in terms of holding back human development.

I agree with you regarding your last point, broadly. Religion has always been there, but my point was that it hasn't been the driving force, rather, it has continuously re-purposed itself to fit a changing world. Tribes had tribal gods, they worshipped natural formations and places they considered sacred, it was "local" religion. As nations formed, like Egypt, Greece, etc. pantheons of "national" deities were born -usually a blending of a number of influences- representing an entire united people. Now it is difficult to specifically identify cause and effect here without records, however, the next stage we can. Later, we saw the emergence of the Roman Empire, the first truly "global" entity, connecting different people in different lands over thousands of miles, and it was after this happened that we saw the emergence of Christianity, the first global religion, the first that wasn't constrained by geography or ethnicity.

Religion has always been a control mechanism, and it has been adapted and re-purposed time and time again in response to the development of civilisation.

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