Tag Archives: religion and politics

It is hard to know the truth about World Climate, but when well-published scientists are locked out…..

I have been listening attentively, but without any really deep insight or knowledge, to the debate on world climate change. To the extent that there is scientific evidence on regularities or anomalies in world climatic history, I am very interested and curious. To the extent that noble species such as the polar bears are involved, I could become quite emotionally involved. However, when excellent scientists with unimpeachable credentials are locked out of conferences, I can’t help but smell a great-big politically important rat. The popular perception of truth is, after all, almost always politically determined or controlled. Think of the struggles that Galileo and Copernicus had with the “Renaissance” Church of Rome over their contentions (which we now consider irrefutable truths) about the relationship between the Sun and the Earth in their relative position and rotation. Think about the debate during that same time period about whether cadavers should be used in medical research. Then consider the 19th Century debate over Human Evolution, when the question of “the missing link” in Darwin’s chain of evolution between Apes and Man was first raised up. One of the most distinguished and high ranking scientists of the time, the strong-willed and politically smoothe Thomas Huxley (Aldous’ grandfather) assumed and took over the role as the mild-mannered and retiring Charles Darwin’s mediator and advocate to the rests of the world. Thomas Huxley boldly and fiercely proclaimed that there was no problem posed by the question of the “missing link” between man and apes because “he lives among us today: the Negro.” Yes, Thomas Huxley, man of progress and enlightenment, falsely stated that African-Negroids had skulls half-way in thickness between fossil men and modern Homo Sapiens, that they had prehensile toes (I’m not making this up, I swear!) and that the body odor of Negros was as bad as unwashed apes. This was “scientific truth” in service of the British Empire’s subjugation of almost half of the African continent, except that there was no “scientific truth” in it at all. Every mildly and remotely competent medical doctor and physical anthropologist/ human biologist in the world today (not to mention every observant and decent person of every race) recoils in horror from what Huxley wrote about Black Africans. Yet this was accepted as “scientific truth” 120-140 years ago. What about the Polar Bears? What about Global Warming? What are the political agendas that push these doctrines? Are they any better than Huxley’s appalling pseudo-science? Was what Huxley wrote any less appalling if you believe or oppose general acceptance of the theory of evolution? It was FALSE! His statements today are an embarrassment to evolutionists. In fact, his statements today are so outrageously false that they are even an embarrassment to White Supremacists! What will we think in another 50-100 years about the Polar Bear Extinction and Global Warming arguments? Could Al Gore ever be considered as far off the mark as Thomas Huxley? Exclusion of scientists from important conferences, because of their dissenting views, is simply appalling….  So now, I reproduce from:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/warmists-deny-copenhagen-access-to-polar-bear-scientist/

Warmists deny Copenhagen access to polar bear scientist

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From the UK Telegraph 26 June 2009

Christopher Booker

POLAR BEAR EXPERT BARRED BY WARMISTS

Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission, will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN’s major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world’s leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week’s meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with the views of the rest of the group.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching into the status and management of  polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by  insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

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WUWT readers may recall seeing this photo flashed around the world of polar bears “stranded” on ice at sea. Photo by: Amanda Byrd

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming in the past 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists’ agenda as their most iconic single cause.

The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the ‘wind-sculpted ice’ they were standing on made such a striking image. 

[Added by Anthony: Please follow this link to the original photographer. See the bottom right photo.

She just wanted a photograph more of the “wind-sculpted ice” than of the bears. Byrd writes:

“[You] have to keep in mind that the bears aren’t in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes. You know what I mean? This is a perfect picture for climate change, in a way, because you have the impression they are in the middle of the ocean and they are going to die with a coke in their hands. But they were not that far from the coast, and it was possible for them to swim.”

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Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor’s, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: ‘it was the position you’ve taken on global warming that brought opposition’.

Dr Taylor was told that his views running ‘counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful’. His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as the radiation of the sun and changing ocean currents – was ‘inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG’.

So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of ‘ scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice’. But check out also on Anthony Watt’s Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. Average temperatures at midsummer were still below zero – the latest date this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping – and after last year’s recovery from its September 2007 low, this year’’s ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time, The bears are doing fine.

(Note – this was sent to me via email as an advance copy. Also I should add that the photo was not originally part of the story sent to me, I added the photo since I know the reference. – Anthony)

Related WUWT story here

Restoration of Religious Freedom to Churches? (news item)

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted

 

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; Page A03

CHICAGO — Declaring that clergy have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.

The effort by the Arizona-based legal consortium is designed to trigger an IRS investigation that ADF lawyers would then challenge in federal court. The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 44-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

“For so long, there has been this cloud of intimidation over the church,” ADF attorney Erik Stanley said. “It is the job of the pastors of America to debate the proper role of church in society. It’s not for the government to mandate the role of church in society.”

Yet an opposing collection of Christian and Jewish clergy will petition the IRS today to stop the protest before it starts, calling the ADF’s “Pulpit Initiative” an assault on the rule of law and the separation of church and state.

Backed by three former top IRS officials, the group also wants the IRS to determine whether the nonprofit ADF is risking its own tax-exempt status by organizing an “inappropriate, unethical and illegal” series of political endorsements.

“As religious leaders, we have grave concerns about the ethical implications of soliciting and organizing churches to violate core principles of our society,” the clergy wrote in an advance copy of their claim obtained by The Washington Post.

The battle over the clergy’s privileges, rights and responsibilities in the political world is not new. Politicians of all stripes court the support — explicit or otherwise — of religious leaders. Allegations surface every political season of a preacher crossing the line.

What is different is the Alliance Defense Fund’s direct challenge to the rules that govern tax-exempt organizations. Rather than wait for the IRS to investigate an alleged violation, the organization intends to create dozens of violations and take the U.S. government to court on First Amendment grounds.

“We’re looking for churches that are serious-minded about this, churches that understand both the risks and the benefits,” Stanley said, referring to the chance that they could lose their coveted tax-exempt status or could set a precedent.

Stanley said three dozen church leaders from more than 20 states have agreed to deliver a political sermon, naming political names.

“The sermon will be an evaluation of conditions for office in light of scripture and doctrine. They will make a specific recommendation from the pulpit about how the congregation would vote,” he said.

“They could oppose a candidate. They could oppose both candidates. They could endorse a candidate. They could focus on a federal, state or local election.”

Such endorsements are prohibited by a 1964 amendment to the Internal Revenue Code (passed at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the South) that says nonprofit, tax-exempt entities may not “participate in, or intervene in . . . any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”

In a Sept. 3 letter to two United Church of Christ pastors in Ohio who are organizing the challenge to the ADF, Stanley appealed to them, “as one Christian brother to another,” to abandon their criticism. He asserted a “constitutional right to speak freely from the pulpit” and said IRS rules “stifle religious expression.”

Former IRS lawyer Marcus S. Owens, however, opposes the ADF’s strategy and its legal reasoning. Working with the Ohio-based clergy, he contends that the Supreme Court would be unlikely to overturn appellate court rulings on the issue or a related precedent of its own.

Owens also criticizes ADF and its lawyers for “actively advising churches and pastors that they should violate the tax law and offering to explain how to do that. The tax system would be shut down if you allowed attorneys to counsel people on how to violate the tax law.”

Owens, a former director of the IRS office that regulates tax-exempt organizations, will ask the tax agency to investigate ADF lawyers for “this flagrant disregard of the ethical rules.” He is joined by former IRS commissioner Mortimer M. Caplin and Cono R. Namorato, who headed the office of professional responsibility at the IRS until 2006.

The two Ohio pastors, the Rev. Eric Williams and the Rev. Robert F. Molsberry, have called for hundreds of clergy to preach on Sept. 21 about the value of the separation of church and state.

Joe Conn, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, calls “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” a “stunt” that is part of an effort by the religious right to build a church network that will “put their candidates into office. It’s part of the overall game plan.”

“This is an extraordinarily reckless scheme that they are promoting,” Conn said. “The federal tax law is clear. Churches are charitable institutions that exist to do charitable things. That does not include politics. Political groups do politics.”

The Alliance Defense Fund is a legal consortium that considers itself the antithesis of the American Civil Liberties Union. It spends more than $20 million a year to underwrite legal battles and train lawyers to push the country in socially conservative directions.

Founded in 1994 by Christian conservatives including James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family and William R. Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, the ADF has challenged same-sex marriage initiatives, stem cell research and rules that limit the distance protesters must keep from abortion patients. It helped the Boy Scouts ban gay Scout leaders.

Defining its latest mission, the ADF declared that pastors have “too long feared” the loss of tax exemptions.

“We’re not encouraging any congregation to violate the law,” Stanley said. “What we’re encouraging them to do is exercise their constitutional right in the face of an unconstitutional law.”