Dear Paul, Jon and Dom
I appreciate our exchanges on social media and the respectful way you conduct yourselves. Often we end agreeing to disagree but I am glad this hasn’t caused us to fall out. I also acknowledge stuff you have given me to study (some of it I have) and questions you have asked (I haven’t always answered) especially the biggie: what if imminent climate change catastrophe were true if we don’t act now?
Climate change is NOT a subject I am expert in or keen to pursue. I probably know less than all of you, although I am catching up. As a gospel preaching, community activist, I see my priorities are to preach the gospel and do what I can for the community without getting too embroiled in campaigning, e.g. homelessness, asylum seeking and mental health. But as a watchman on the wall, I study with interest what is going on around me, and since the historic role of a watchman is to warn, that is what I do, even if my watching is accompanied with a degree of bemusement. While there is much I cannot figure out, I know one who can, who moreover is in complete control. We are seeing about us a culture war that sees ideologies like globalism pitted against nationalism, Islam both opposed to and joining with secular humanism against Judaeo Christianity and socialism against whatever is the opposite. While I expect some of the folk siding with the climate change doomsdayers are not into any of this, this war has a bearing on the climate change debate. This more than anything has got me to think about the issues.
Let me first make a plea that we are honest when we make points. For example, I have been called a climate change denier. That I am not. Ever since God said “let there be light” the climate has been changing and in the past there has been such things as ice ages that have been significant. Until very recently, very few would have put this down to human activity. While I concede most serious scientists who have expressed a view on the subject believe today’s climate change is significantly down to human activity, in particular increased CO2 emissions, there is enough out there in the electronic ether (the best place to find anything as far as I am concerned) to convince me there are many among their peers that disagree. The other accusation is people like me are not interested in the environment. That is far from the case. God’s mandate to humankind going back to Genesis 1 is to look after the planet but sadly all too often that has not happened. Sadly, by focusing on this doomsday scenario that life on the planet as we know it will come to the end in ten years, unless we stop burning carbon-based fuel, we overlook an area where we can cooperate on common ground.
I see myself not so much as a skeptic, although you may disagree, but rather as one who questions. The big question in my mind and links to the “what if” question you pose (ref. para 1) is how significant are human generated CO2 emissions? I understand that because your answer is “very” you campaign as you do. As for me, I doubt it and I see no point implementing the extreme socialism agenda as laid out by the USA Green New Deal people, which I see as having disastrous consequences e.g. on liberty, on the basis of a tenuous link. I would be interested btw to know if Extinction Rebellion take a similar position? It does bring me to the fear that causes me to wade in – the move to impose restriction on freedoms and rule by elites that are not accountable to the populace which I am inclined to believe is what is happening, helped by the unwitting participation of well-meaning people like yourselves.
I read today: “Paris Agreement: Trump confirms US will leave climate accord”. This may be one of many reasons why you don’t support Trump, but his point that the agreement if the US had ratified it would severely disadvantage its citizens compared with economies like China, and without humanitarian advantage, is a compelling one. That does not let him off the hook in my book though, as there is a case for more scientific research and investing in the use of non-fossil fuels and having better controls over the environment, but the agreement as it stood is not (imho) the way to go, and while you may see it as a weak argument, the fact the agenda is pushed by the bad guys makes me more skeptical. As for moving toward a non carbon i.e. renewable energy based economy, while I support the principle, as much because of limited carbon resources, I disagree with the aggressive reduction timetable being proposed as it is based on unproven modelling and unnecessary fear mongering.
I want to end with two subjects that I know you are concerned with. The first is BBC bias. I admire Jon’s tenacity in bringing the BBC to task about its deficiency in presenting the Extinction Rebellion case. Sadly, that is one of many examples, so at least here there is common ground. Even today as I listened to the Radio 4 Today Program reviewing the papers, I noted it mentioned the Washington Post accusing Republican politicians trying to gatecrash a Trump impeachment hearing as hooligans and failed to mention reports where their case was fairly presented. What is lacking in the media, not just the BBC, is balance, and that includes allowing space for those who share concerns raised here to promote their views.
Regarding the Extinction Rebellion protests, my thoughts are mixed. Of course, you should be allowed to peacefully protest, but then if you do unwelcomingly disrupt the lives of those who simply wish to carry on their daily business then you must accept the consequences. You should consider how people feel about the issues they feel strongly about. Personally, I am outraged that abortions can now be carried out in Northern Ireland and others have their own outrageous issues. What right have you got to claim the moral high ground over those with equally strong views who accept the rule of law? Politically, there was a time I might have been inclined toward Green politics, but my sad observation is the Green Party has strayed away from merely protecting the environment.
Here I must end it yet continue my quest to discover the truth, for there is much I don’t know. No doubt there will be comeback and further exchanges with hopefully our remaining friends and continuing to find common ground. But maybe I have managed to kill three birds so to speak and do my bit for watching on the wall.