Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.

Climate Change Isn’t a Threat: God Said So

11/16/2010 12:27:44 PM

Tags: climate change, energy, Congress, election 2010, politics, religion, John Shimkus, Daily Mail, New York Times Green blog, Politico, environment, Keith Goetzman

Under the Democratic-led Congress, action against climate change went essentially nowhere. Under the coming Republican-led Congress, it appears to be headed backward.

Republican Illinois Representative John Shimkus, who according to the New York Times Green blog stands a dark-horse chance of chairing the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has gone so far as to suggest that climate change won’t destroy the planet because God promised Noah it wouldn’t. His 2009 comments, recounted here by London’s Daily Mail, sent a shockwave of amazement through the progressive and environmental blogospheres:

Speaking before a House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing in March, 2009, Shimkus quoted Chapter 8, Verse 22 of the Book of Genesis.

He said: “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.”

The Illinois Republican continued: “I believe that is the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it is going to be for his creation.

“The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

Speaking to Politico after his comments went viral, Shimkus stood behind them, clarifying that while he believes climate change is occurring, he thinks it’s folly to spend taxpayer dollars trying to stop “changes that have been occurring forever.”

See Shimkus’ 2009 remarks on the Bible and climate change in this video:

UPDATE 11/19/2010: At least one brave Republican in Congress concedes that global warming is real and should be aggressively addressed. There’s a problem, though: He’s just been voted out of office.

Sources: New York Times Green, Daily Mail, Politico 



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rodeen
11/19/2010 10:15:17 AM
The bitter socialist was two fold. I know it is bad for dialaouge but the guy got off topic which kinda annoyed me but there was an article online here the other day making light of all tea partiers being racist. And that really annoys me. I like UTNE because I thought they were "forward thinking" but name calling is what breaks down meaningful debate. I am not a republican or a tea partier I just hate that type of rhetoric. So Okay now all lefties are socialist. And all tea partiers are racist, and all pro lifers are women haters and prochoice people are baby killers and capitalist are nazi's and we expect to resolve issues this way?????

Occum
11/19/2010 9:41:58 AM
Nice to be back Rodeen. I see you are up to your old tricks fomenting dissent. I applaud everyone here for at least being in the discussions rather than letting all this knowledge and experience lie dormant which accomplishes nothing. Now, about the cows.......

rodeen
11/19/2010 8:28:38 AM
I have missed you Occum. I have been starting trouble all over the place and silence. The Eco Crazy's really came out on this issue. The one recipe that drives them crazy religion+science= catastrophic liberal meltdown. Of course Christians are against population control I was just being onery. Any true leftist knows that without population control all energy conservation efforts are a complete fraud. Under this eco model if the population issue isnt addressed global warming will never be the big issue. or it will be the bi product of overpopulation. Over population is not a consideration it is the central issue and at the center of the eco movement. And if I was not a man of faith would worry me to know end. YOu dont have to be a scientist to do that math. Anyway nice to have you back occum. I would be happy to discuss why I say bitter socialist in my next post. But it has a lot to do with unhelpful rhetoric I read in another article on this site a few days ago and just felt the need to reciprocate.

Occum
11/18/2010 9:59:10 PM
Jeffrey, I agree with your sentiment and although I thought my post reflected the same view writing is a tricky craft and apparently I need more practice. Your reaction to my response furthers the understanding many of us are trying to convey. As noble as Rep. Shimkus' conveyance seems to be it reeks of manupulation and contrivance. I fear this type of close mindeness which replicates the mentality of witch hunts from times past. Intelligent, open, non-ego driven discourse should will out...but alas we are human and subject to self centerness. Unless, of course, you are an child and can still draw pictures of people who don't look exaclty like you. Wow, that was a Freudian post.

Jeffery Biss
11/18/2010 8:29:29 PM
Money as a motive in climate science? You've got to be kidding. Compare what a research scientist makes versus what an energy company executive makes and you'll see that there's absolutely no comparison. I know college profs who perform research and they may make $100,000 whereas CEOs can make 10s of millions, including stock options. This accusation is nothing more than a right-wing talking point that is meaningless. The money's in denial, backed by corporate interests.

Occum
11/18/2010 5:05:37 PM
I agree there is money to be made on this issue which has me questioning who Mr. Shimkus really represents. Using the reasoning God will determine the end of the Earth is like trying to quantify how many birds are flying over the earth at any one time. Possible in theory but impossible in practice. If we use scripture as a reference and "end times" as the model than we should all be wherever our personal afterlife would take us. Therefore, if I were him I would refrain from quoting biblical references. Overpopulation is no doubt a consideration. Correct me if I am wrong but don't most if not all Christian religions frown on any sort of reproductive control. I am not sure what a bitter socialist is and shouldn't the question be to find one RED state in the condition of California. I say methane is the problem and all cows need to go.

rodeen
11/18/2010 4:32:42 PM
So you are saying that there is zero reason for skeptism? I appreciate your well thought out arguement and will cosider this. I do believe in being a good stewart of the earth I think we are called to be so. I also beleive in a soverign creator who has a plan for the earth that has already been determined. I dont think that enviormentalism is bad I think it is great to care about the planet and its inhabitants both human and animal. What I am skeptical about is the motives of the people at the top of the green chain. Dont think that there is not enoromous amount of money being made there?

Jeffery Biss
11/18/2010 4:19:11 PM
rodeen, Human overpopulation is the central problem, but that doesn't diminish anthropogenic global warming. The fact is that even if we reverse AGW now we will still experience environmental collapse due to human overpopulation, but to claim that AWG is ridiculous is itself ridiculous as the scientific evidence supporting it is tremendous. AGW simply is another symptom of human greed and apathy and so must be addressed, as all other symptoms must be.

Fatemeh
11/18/2010 3:00:16 PM
Science always "Poo-Pooed" the Christian end to the World...now that science agrees, the Christians "Poo-Poo" science. Also, it is Mankind who is killing himself...the Earth will endure with all its splendor, minus human pests. It will heal itself, just like the hole in the ozone has healed.

rodeen
11/18/2010 2:49:59 PM
Joshua very well articulated. You also seem to buy into this ridiculous theory. Okay fine. Me I am of the opinion over population is the bigger and frankly more realistic ecological problem that man kind can deal with. How in the world do you get that his thoughts are not consistent with Christian teachings? Unless you are really confident that you are competent enough to debate biblical matters you might want to rethink goin down this road.

Joshua Welsh
11/18/2010 2:35:46 PM
Here is another wonderful example of "magical thinking"… John Shimkus' words have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. They are simply a political ploy to appeal to those disengaged and uneducated about how our universe and planet function, thus unhindering the real agenda of perpetuating our carbon-based economy and its profit generation for the wealthy. If God was to pass a judgment upon such individuals as this political representative, I am sure God would send them to hell. By ignoring the inevitability of an increase of climate uncertainty of the proven exponential growth of CO2 in the atmosphere (and wasting time by not investing in solutions for transitioning into a post-carbon world), people like this are, in effect, sentencing future lives to death by such things as starvation and natural disaster. The lack of knowing how the natural world works, of which we are an integral part (and not separate), that exists in the general populace today, if perpetuated, will lead to our civilization's demise. The world will survive just fine without us…

Joshua Welsh
11/18/2010 2:34:46 PM
Here is another wonderful example of "magical thinking"… John Shimkus' words have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. They are simply a political ploy to appeal to those disengaged and uneducated about how our universe and planet function, thus unhindering the real agenda of perpetuating our carbon-based economy and its profit generation for the wealthy. If God was to pass a judgment upon such individuals as this political representative, I am sure God would send them to hell. By ignoring the inevitability of an increase of climate uncertainty of the proven exponential growth of CO2 in the atmosphere (and wasting time by not investing in solutions for transitioning into a post-carbon world), people like this are, in effect, sentencing future lives to death by such things as starvation and natural disaster. The lack of knowing how the natural world works, of which we are an integral part (and not separate), that exists in the general populace today, if perpetuated, will lead to our civilization's demise. The world will survive just fine without us…

rodeen
11/18/2010 1:50:55 PM
You cant do it. HA! You should look at oldbear as wrong as he is at least he did not cut and paste his thoughts. The thoughts are also relevant to the topic. You did not have the mental capacity to understand the scope of this forum and so you decided to change the issue. Which I might was a third grade interpretation of what happened.

oldbear
11/18/2010 12:51:35 PM
This man's thinking is like the people who won't take their children to the doctor but depend upon faith healing and then die. I wonder if he will allow God's will in his life when he is diagnosed with a terminal illness or seek scientific intervention. God's will has given us science so that we can do our share of taking care of ourselves. The Earth is our Mother. Makes mewonder about the conditions surrounding the life and or death of his birth mother. I feel sorry for her.

Jeffery Biss
11/18/2010 12:30:14 PM
rodeen, You haven't a clue, so why discuss the issue with you?

rodeen
11/18/2010 11:32:28 AM
crickets.

rodeen
11/18/2010 11:06:42 AM
Again I ask ,One blue state in worse condition than California the model for socialist reform in the United States?

Jeffery Biss
11/18/2010 10:48:31 AM
rodeen, That I sound like a bitter socialist to you indicates that you don't have aclue as to what socialism is. Oh, well. As for your opinion of what caused the meltdown, you couldn't be more wrong. It was caused fundamentally by deregulation and lack of proper regulation, in accordance with the false conservative ideology that markets will control themselves. When Republicans repealed Glass-Steagall to allow the financial industry to "innovate", they laid the ground work for failure. Although a bit oversimplified, the recent financial crisis can be attributed to unregulated and unlicensed mortgage brokers pushing subprime mortgages because they were to be sold to "investors" who, among many others, bought unregulated credit default swaps. It was also conservative ideology that pushed the idea for the use of credit as credit allowed people to buy today what they couldn't afford until tomorrow, maybe. It was the pro-business Republican Party, operating under conservative pro-business ideology, that kept the government from properly regulating the credit industry. No portion of the recent crisis was due to progressive ideology but entirely to conservative. Had proper regulation, what you appear to perceive as "socialist", been in place, then the recession wouldn't have happened. Under proper regulation the worst in human nature is controlled and so harm is minimized.

rodeen
11/18/2010 10:03:24 AM
Ricardo- I dont know what to say about your statment, it was pretty useless and something my 8 year old could refute. Joe- I think it would depend on the quote. If it said death to the infidel I probably would have one of the bowel movments you described. However Muslims and Christians are in almost total agreement in regards to the old testament. I would be happy to educate you further if necessary. Jeffery- you sound like such a bitter socialist. Obviously you do not have much command of the financial situation but just like to regurgitate leftist talking points. IMO the financial meltdown was caused by AMerican citizens left and right borrowing money they can not afford. But there was alot of other stress on the markets as well. A perfect storm insued. It is actually a credit to the strenght of this great nation that you hate that there was not a total collapse. It amuses me that you hate conservatives and blame them for all of the US problems when Liberal states like California have been ran into the ground by liberal financial and social policy's. Find one blue state in the condition of California please.

Jeffery Biss
11/18/2010 9:48:34 AM
America's already a fallen nation. Noah? Really? This is the world that Americans who voted for the likes of Shimkus live in, a world totally devoid of rational thought. What indicates that America is not a great nation is precisely that the likes of Shimkus were voted into office, as although he thinks AGW is occurring we shouldn't "waste" tax money to correct the situation. Now that's good governance as it's based solely on false ideology, that humans are too insignificant to affect the earth and its systems and that everything was created for our abuse. And it's not only AGW, it's everything. For example, the American people are so stupid or ideological that they can't see that the "bail outs" that they hate are the direct result of Republican "small government" and so they voted the same people who caused the recession back into office. Great move. Republicans are simply a symptom of our disease, greed and stupidity.

Joe Price
11/18/2010 9:45:43 AM
If a Muslim or, let's say, a neo-pagan used a "sacred text" as a justification for a position in such a hearing, the religious right would collectively lose bowel control. Religion has no place in the public's business.

RICHARD SMALL
11/18/2010 9:28:30 AM
Sad to see another elected representative with his head where the sun don't shine. People with religion addled brains will prove to be the destruction of society.

rodeen
11/18/2010 8:17:30 AM
Bravo representative Shimkus! Good for you. Finally some one came out and gave these people a dose of the truth. Not only is the GW movement a greed inspired farce with no scientific back bone but it is also not biblical. It shocks me that the liberal or atheist is offended to acutally see people live out there convictions.



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