|From Chicago January 2011|
It snowed in January in Chicago (as evidenced by this photo I took while at Chicago Theological Seminary). This week it is snowing again but the snow is breaking records. That has brought climate change deniers out in full force. Former Vice-President Al Gore answered one of those deniers, FOX News climatologist Bill O'Reilly, directly today:
Last week on his show Bill O’Reilly asked, “Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?” and then said he had a call into me. I appreciate the question.
As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming:
“In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.”
“A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”
People like O'Reilly and Sarah Palin actually make a living off ignoring scientific truth. Unfortunately, they have influence and that influence puts our planet in peril. As stewards of God's creation, our collective inability to address man-made climate change is simply a sin. That is why mainline Christians, evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims have all called for action to save creation in the face of crisis.