climate conversations

One of the things I’ve long appreciated about my parents is their consistent encouragement to sit down at the table, with me, and talk about everything. Let me be clear… as a kid, I didn’t always like it. I wasn’t always fond of it. And often it was either (a) incredibly inconvenient, (b) significantly painful, or (c) just something I’d rather not discuss.

But with sincere prodding, knowing some of the topics were especially not easy, they each encouraged my siblings and me to engage, sharing what we were feeling and thinking. The Intramuralist thus learned the value in processing together. Some of that was good, bad, and ugly. Sometimes some of our thoughts and beliefs didn’t make any sense. But the freedom to process what we were thinking proved to be an invaluable, growth opportunity — for all of us — even when my perspective was illogical or untrue. It would have been far easier for my parents to simply shut the conversation down or invite no more. Yet they were wiser than me; they knew we would grow from the processing.

In recent weeks, I’ve overheard multiple conversations — especially regarding the enormity of calamity…

Hurricane Harvey… the massive storm that meandered over Eastern Texas for no doubt way too long, causing catastrophic, unheard of flooding…

Hurricane Irma… Harvey’s sui generis sister, which wrecked havoc on the Caribbean and much of the State of Florida, reportedly destroying at least 25% of homes in the Florida Keys…

Fires in the Pacific Northwest… multiple cataclysmic blazes in Montana, Oregon, and Washington, shaping up to be what the Associated Press calls “one of the worst in U.S. history in land burned.”

Add to such reports from my sweet friend in the Galápagos Islands, where the unsuspecting La Cumbre volcano erupted on Fernandina Island after a decade of dormancy.

It’s no wonder those concerned about our Earth’s climate have been increasingly vocal. With repeated refrains echoing from Houston to Key West, persons are seriously, genuinely concerned about the state of our planet. I deeply respect, appreciate, and share such concern.

Please note I am no expert. No scientist either. Like many of you, my limited perspective comes from reading and research and talking to those who know more than me. I try to talk to far more than partisans or the likeminded. Such a practice helps me grow.

I am also committed to being a wise steward of all that’s in my possession. That means I believe in treating our Earth well. Because you and I both live here, I want us both to treat it well. We are in this together. Always. The challenge arises, no less, because treating something well inherently includes a variety of approach.

With the recent perceived uptick in calamitous events, I’ve noticed a promoted change in the allowance of varied approach. Allow me to quote a current, promoted school of thought:

There is only one right way to think.

In last week’s The Nation, Mark Hertsgaard, the investigative editor at large, sincerely responded to some of the disasters mentioned above… “The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands in late August were heartbreaking.” I so agree.

Hertsgaard went further. He concluded Hurricane Harvey, etal. were the result of man’s lack of implementing more protective, climate change measures; he holds “climate change deniers” and “other powerful know-nothings” responsible… “How long before we hold the ultimate authors of such climate catastrophes accountable for the miseries they inflict?… It is past time to call out… all climate deniers for this crime against humanity. No more treating climate denial like an honest difference of opinion… The first step toward justice is to call things by their true names. Murder is murder, whether the murderers admit it or not.”

The Washington Times then followed this week with a report that in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, the calls to punish skeptics is rising [even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says attributing hurricanes to warming is premature].

In other words, any who deny climate change is committing a crime. In still other words, no other opinion is allowed. There is only one right way to think.

Friends, I don’t know exactly what is true. I don’t know with certainty the exact causes and proportion of those causes and the exact extent of any future effects. My desire, therefore, is to process wisely, together, so our “one nation under God” can figure it out and be wise stewards of our planet. But right now I am uncomfortable with the self-profiting and contradictions from various perspectives… I am uncomfortable with the insults and intimidation… and I am uncomfortable with any analysis that omits that “under God” part… especially since as the Creator, he would seem to have way more insight than we.

What I also believe, with all passion and respect, is that we have opportunity to learn from the totality of our processing — listening and learning from one another… if we sit down at the table, together, with the freedom to share what may or may not be true. Wisdom is found in the processing — not in shutting the conversation down.

I’m thankful for my parents. They indeed taught me well.



{Photo by Redd Angelo on Unsplash}


Growing up in the inner city of South East Queens NY was a tough enough experience without having new fears to be concerned about with life in NYC in the ‘70s. In high school my science teacher, Mrs. Alvarado/Morales (I never remembered which was her maiden or married name), told us that we had to get prepared for a new phenomena soon to come in our lifetimes. The phenomena was the new Ice Age. She and others in the scientific community were sure that we were headed to an ice armageddon in our very near future. As is evident by the publications of the time, Mrs. Alvarado seemingly had sound evidence behind her claim — or did she?

This last article in July 1971 claims that in 50 or 60 years (which would be about 4-14 years from current date) we might have to have start growing gills. By now some of that evidence should be seen (it doesn’t exist). Wait. I thought ice freezes water — not liquifies it. So while we were sufficiently concerned, no one was panicking that this was going to happen — at least not anyone I was associated with at the time.

Fast forward to 2017… Now it’s global warming which quickly fell out of vogue. It is now “climate change.” The most important aspect of this new climate change frenzy is if you don’t believe in it as prescribed, many consider you a neanderthal, fool, or as Al Gore said July 13th in Australia, ignoring “the tradition of all the great moral causes that have improved the circumstances of humanity throughout our history.” He further went on to liken the climate change battle to “the abolition of slavery, woman’s suffrage and women’s rights, the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the movement to stop the toxic phase of nuclear arms race and more recently, the gay rights movement.”

Wow… Being a black man, I can’t imagine anyone trivializing any of these great struggles, especially slavery to climate change.

Climate change has become a new religion; if you disagree with the so-called faithfuls’ ideas on this subject, you might be shamed or rhetorically stoned. Those who present it as settled science that another dare not challenge, are some of the people who told us about the impending Ice Age years ago. The major difference today is how social media and the internet spread the propaganda.

I recently challenged my educated, knowledgeable cousin to prove how climate change really works; he couldn’t. He referenced many scientists who say it is so, and I mentioned scientists who say it is not. At best we had a draw. I asked him why is it ok to accept the thinking of the scientist who says it is so and not the other way around? Were they not all giving theoretical explanations? Again, we had a tie on the arguments at best.

I then asked him a simple question: “Do you know the Las Vegas Valley (where I live) and part of the Mojave Desert was part of an ancient body of water? What happened to it?”

In disbelief, he shrugged it off that this was a fact. I pulled the information from the UNLV site; it reads: “The Mojave Desert is located in the southwestern United States and is composed of Death Valley, Pahrump Valley, Amargosa Valley, the Las Vegas Valley and some of the surrounding areas.

The Mojave Desert region has oscillated in climate many times in the past. When man first arrived in the Mojave, it was not likely to be as desert like as what we experience today. While, no one is sure when man first visited the region, there is evidence for human activity over 10,000 years ago! That would have marked about the end of the Pleistocene era, a time when the Mojave was a much cooler and less arid environment. Portions of what are now vast expanses of desert, were likely shorelines of lakes, streams and marshes, and plentiful vegetation and animal life.

As the climate became hotter and drier, the lakes dried up, the streams receded, and left behind isolated ground water fed springs that contain species found no where else in the world, or ‘endemic’ species.”

So my cousin asked the same question you might ask, which is what the heck does this all mean?

It simply means that nature changes itself with or without mankind’s intervention. We have been measuring weather and keeping records for the past 150 years. We assume that the last 150 years have been the most significant because we must be the masters of weather patterns. We confuse weather which is constantly going through cycles as climate. Climate takes a significant amount of time to change as indicated above by UNLV. Weather can change day to day, year to year, decade to decade. 150 years is not statistically significant to call it a “crisis.”

I gave my cousin some additional examples, such as theories that say the Earth’s poles have shifted over the life of the planet. In other words, it is quite possible that the North pole now sits where the South pole is. After much debate, he admitted that there surely should be additional investigation and we shouldn’t declare climate change to be a settled matter. That was all I asked him and all I would ask you. I also asked him to follow the money line on this issue. Advocates like Al Gore are now worth somewhere between $100 and $300 million according to varied reports. They have made a considerable fortune, perhaps trying to be the modern Noah of the bible. They do this while often flying in Lear jets, limos and burning more carbon footprint in a year than most of us do in a lifetime.

My final conclusion is either someone was lying to me in the 1970s or lying to me now. Or could it be they are just misguided but believe they are smarter than us? I believe the Emperor has no clothes…

Who remembers Heat Miser and Snow Miser from that Christmas cartoon? They are opposite ends of the same idea… just like the Ice Age doomsday that was predicted and passed, as well as the new climate change.



confessions of a climate change heretic


[Today is post #4 in our annual, summer Guest Writer Series. Note that the opinions expressed may or may not be held by the Intramuralist.]


I wrote “Heretic,” not “Denier,” although I defer to the reader’s judgment as to which label best fits. While I don’t doubt the evidence (at least through the end of 1990’s) that global average temperatures have been steadily increasing, I have misgivings about our understanding of the mechanism driving this change and grave concerns about the commonly championed responses.

One thing is certain in this debate – the global climate is mind-numbingly complex. It is challenging to understand and nearly impossible to mathematically model – as evidenced by the inaccuracy of your local weather forecast a mere 10 days out. I recall my own study of a simpler science, fluid dynamics, where my fellow students and I found it extremely challenging to arithmetically describe the behavior of a fluid flowing past anything beyond the simplest of surfaces. We spent hours building finite difference models that attempted to simulate what was happening in the real world – and even after our best efforts, we would sometimes get results that were directionally incorrect.

I realize I was but a lowly undergraduate student and not to be compared to those commanding a lofty doctoral degree in meteorology. Even so, the experience gave me an appreciation for the difficulties involved in attempting to model anything as complicated as an entire planet’s climate. Such a model would, by necessity, contain thousands of variables and also thousands of assumptions. It would be expected to explain many years of history while also correctly predicting the future. Developing such a tool is a daunting task, so it should come as no surprise that the climate models of the late 90’s have completely failed to predict the last 15 years. As Niels Bohr once famously said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Perhaps someday mankind will develop the ultimate climate model, one that accurately foretells our planet’s past, present, and future, and one that takes into account the human impacts on global temperature. I submit that today, we are not there. Nor can we comfortably accept any model until its predictions are proven through actual experience. How well a model correlates to history is absolutely not enough to justify the potential disruption of the global economy currently contemplated by many climate change advocates.

Does this make me a “climate denier?” I certainly deny the perfection of the “accepted” IPCC climate models. I suppose this makes me a “denier” of sorts. That being admitted, however, I do accept that it is highly likely there is a causal link between human activity and higher global temperatures. Credible theories exist that tie increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere to increasing energy trapping by our planet. Historical curves that correlate global temperatures with rising CO2 concentration ought to be concerning to everyone. On the time scale of decades, it has been getting warmer. And it is hard to escape the conclusion that human activity is likely a contributing factor.

So what makes me a “climate heretic?” I don’t reject the illness; I simply have a problem with the proposed cure.

If global warming continues unchecked as per the latest IPCC consensus forecast, (which is based on their flawed, but the best available, climate models) we can expect a 1.5-2.5 degree Celcius rise in temperatures by 2100. According to the IPCC second installment, it will cost between 0.2% and 2% of global GDP to adapt to this increase. In other words, while adapting to higher temperatures will require large expenditures, they are less than either of the two World Wars or the Great Depression. Combating climate change, according to the IPCC third installment, will cost upwards of 4% of GDP by 2030, 6% in 2050, and 11% by 2100 – and these numbers may be optimistic as they assume the development of as yet unidentified technologies to combat CO2 emissions. So which is worse? The disease or the cure? If you analyze the situation in purely human terms, adapting to climate change is substantially cheaper than fighting to stop it. Adaptation is expensive. And halting it is economically crippling.

Of course, there is the often-cited argument that climate change will disproportionally impact the poor. If we are relying on this argument as justification for spending trillions of dollars in an attempt to slow and ultimately reverse a warming climate in full gallop, we’re fooling ourselves. There are much more cost-effective ways to help those in poverty. We live in a world where one in six deaths is a result of easily cured infectious diseases. One in eight deaths is caused by air pollution – mainly the result of cooking inside while using twigs or dung as fuel. Do we honestly believe that gradually rising global temperatures figure more prominently into a poor person’s needs than malaria prevention? Or the provision of sanitation and clean water? Or basic medical care?

I don’t disagree that a warming world represents a concerning problem, but it doesn’t seem to merit the degree of alarmism currently ascribed to it. If the world can afford to spend 4% of Global GDP, or 6%, or a mindboggling 11%, then why do we allow millions of people to die each year for a lack of cheap mosquito netting?

The 2015 Paris Agreement alone could cost the US an estimated 0.7 percent of GDP by 2030 and will barely make a detectable dent in temperatures, a minuscule 0.05 degrees C reduction in the projected increase. Given the extremely high costs and uncertainties surrounding our understanding of the climate change phenomenon, a combination of adaptation expenditures and research into economically viable alternative energy options for the longer term certainly seem to represent a better use of limited resources. If we used only ten percent of the resulting “savings” for health improvements and poverty alleviation for third world citizens, the positive impact on humanity would be vastly greater. The total bill to provide clean water and sanitation to those in poverty is a “drop in the bucket” ($10B annually) compared to the spending proposed to manage climate change, and yet the impact on the poor would be vastly larger and more immediate.

Yes, I understand there is a case to be made for preventing the Earth’s climate from charging headlong into unknown territory, a place where it potentially reaches a tipping point that tilts us toward some unforeseen, catastrophic result. But given the astronomical costs and the lackluster track record in our ability to forecast the future (and thus pinpoint that future doomsday scenario bogeyman), it seems prudent to take a more cautious approach to climate change at this time.

So, am I a “climate denier?” Or just a “heretic,” refusing to accept the orthodoxy of the green revolution that is currently in vogue? Or possibly I’m simply chronically short-sighted, overly worried about short-term reductions in human suffering at the expense of placating a vague, looming disaster that will manifest generations later? You, gentle reader, may decide.




no more debate?


Why do people keep telling us the debate is over?

Why can they not talk about it?

Why don’t they want us talking about it?

As has been expressed here on multiple occasions, I am not a rocket scientist (… shocking, I know).  I am no scientist whatsoever.  I don’t know exactly how the inconvenient or convenient truths specifically apply to the legitimacy of global warming/climate change.  What I do know, however, is that for some reason there are a growing number of other non-scientists who seem to be telling us to quit talking about it… quit questioning.  They know what’s right… they in their infinite wisdom know best…


From Pres. Obama’s January State of the Union:

“The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”


From Sec. of State John Kerry, over the weekend:

“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts, nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.  The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand.”


Why is it we chastise those who question?  Why, too, must we insult?  But better yet, why are some now saying we can’t even question it?


Again, I don’t know whether the Earth is warming due to man’s behavior.  I am not a scientist.  Most of the people attempting to silence the skeptics are also not scientists.  But I do know that the climate has always changed.  As respected author George Will said, too, over the weekend, “Of course the climate is changing.  It’s always changing.  That’s what gave us the medieval warm period.  That’s what gave us subsequent to that for centuries, the brutal Ice Age.  Of course it’s changing.  But when a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it.”


I don’t claim to know that the debate is raging nor that anyone’s losing it.  The Intramuralist’s long-stated stance has been that no accurate discussion of the Earth’s trends can be logically had without including a study of the Earth’s Creator.


What the Intramuralist also believes is that many, many people stand to profit politically and monetarily by convincing us that man is responsible for a disastrous warming of the Earth.  My question today is whether or not that potential profit is what’s ratcheting up the rhetoric in regard to this debate — or desired lack of it.


Note the claims of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) who proposed a congressional resolution last month, encouraging Congress and the White House to combat climate change due to its adverse affects on women.  She wrote:  “Insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health.  More broadly, the resolution says climate change will hurt ‘marginalized’ women, such as refugees, sexual minorities, adolescent girls, and women and girls with HIV.”  Lee tied climate change to prostitution, omitting any discussion of poverty, choice, or other factors.


Friends, there is no need to stop a debate unless a debate cannot continue logically and respectfully.  I am thus assuming other motives are in play.  Granted, it we actually did stop the debate, some of the unique, emotionally-charged, ratcheted-up rhetoric would cease, as well.




funny, God



What if God has a sense of humor?

Well, I can’t say anything for certain, and yes, I realize it’s not very scriptural or academic — maybe not even all that mature — but what if God has a sense of humor?  I kind of like thinking of the whole big God of the universe like that…


What if somewhere — wherever somewhere is — he’s watching us, witnessing our successes and failures, subtly and sometimes not so subtly cheering us on… always rooting for us?  … always in our corner?  He’d be in everybody’s corner!


What if, too, as he observes — desiring for us to fully learn and grow and actually become mature — what if he also takes note of those areas in each of our lives where we don’t rely on him, acknowledge him, or give him any credit? … and so he masterfully and creatively allows for circumstances to exist, giving us added opportunity to rely, acknowledge, and give credit?  … giving credit to where it is due, dare I suggest?


Friends, I must first admit that there are many areas that I don’t fully rely, acknowledge, nor credit the God of the universe.  Too often I take too much credit.  If I were to go back in time, for instance, remembering one of my all-time favorite moments, I would share that when I won the Purdue University intramural racquetball championship, my first thought had far more to do with how good and talented I was — than acknowledging the One who made me good and talented.  We like to think we’re so good, smart, and talented, and that thinking often obstructs the opportunity to know and rely on God.


So what if he has a sense of humor?  And what if he uses that to teach us?

What if?


Again Tuesday night, the climate change debate arose.  Actually, let me change that.  There was no debate.  In fact, the President’s exact words were:  “The debate is settled.  Climate change is a fact.”


I get that lots of scientists believe man is responsible for a perceived trend that the Earth is warming.  I get that many members of the Democrat Party wholeheartedly also believe the trend (note:  not all; Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WVa] did not join in with his likeminded peers’ prompted applause).  I also get that a lot of people believe the trend solely because the Democrats sans Manchin & co. declare it as truth.  I get, too, that still more refuse to believe it solely because of those who declare it as truth.


Let me again share:  I don’t know if global warming/climate change/next-most-convenient term is true or not.  I don’t know.  I’m not a rocket scientist.  And last I heard, Pres. Obama was not one either.  My point, though, today speaks not to the arguable hubris of declaring the debate over, but rather:  where is God in the discussion?  Where is the reliance, acknowledgement, and credit to the God of the universe?  If we are having a conversation about the planet’s possible warming, shouldn’t we submit ourselves to the One who actually created the planet?  … the One who obviously would know far more than the rest of us?  Friends, I have said this repeatedly.  No conversation about whether the world is warming or not can be had without God as part of the discussion.  What do the ancient scriptures say?  … about the Earth?  … about our need to care for the Earth?  … and about any future end?


For those who believe solidly in climate change (and may actually be rocket scientists), they contend the Earth has warmed approximately 1.53°F in the last 130 years; they don’t have tons of data prior to 1880.  Yet here with the Earth warming, the United States has experienced an unprecedented, freezing cold winter; it’s snowing in New Orleans!

Doesn’t God have a sense of humor?!


I mean no disrespect.  I don’t know if climate change is real.  What I do believe is that God masterfully and creatively allows for circumstances to exist, giving us added opportunity to rely, acknowledge, and give credit to him.  When we omit him from the debate, maybe he gets our attention by allowing snow in New Orleans.

Just maybe.




winter wonderland

Here we go again. Here in the bleak midwinter, as both the snow and temperatures fall across the country, the ice simultaneously seems to build on the minds and mouths of those passionately encamped on either side of the climate change/global warming debate.  There are many people who believe that potentially catastrophic, human-caused global warming is real.  There are also many people who don’t.  And unfortunately, instead of everyone coming together, getting on the same page as to what is true, what is not, and what other aspects and insights may be relevant, too many utilize their influence to either mock or manipulate.


Case in point #1:  Business mogul, Donald Trump, tweeting this week after 2 ships were trapped in Antarctica’s ice, “What the hell is going on with GLOBAL WARMING? The planet is freezing, the ice is building and the G.W. scientists are stuck — a total con job.”


Case in point #2:  Liberal MSNBC host, Chris Hayes, commenting on persons like Trump & company — those who see the record cold temps as contradicting global warming, and then calling their reasoning “willful stupidity.”


Sorry, but the stupidity, name-calling, and rhetorical manipulations do not help us get to the truth.  Even Pres. Obama referred to global warming skeptics last summer as potential members of the “Flat Earth Society” (… uh, sorry, but there actually exists a Flat Earth Society… and well, they believe that human-caused warming is real).  Nonetheless, the name-calling and mocking doesn’t help.


I realize that if a lot of really smart people believe something, there is great reason to believe it’s true.  I also realize that just because really smart people believe something, does not make it true.


The challenge, however, is that due to the mocking and manipulation of the likeminded above, we now have a society which tends to look at global-warming/climate-change/best-currently-expedient-term as a political issue.  It’s not.  It’s either happening or it’s not.  It’s either caused by man or it’s not.  And whether you hail from a left or right partisan base or camp out somewhere in the middle, it doesn’t affect the reality of what’s true.  Perhaps that reality is the most inconvenient truth of all.


Scientists cannot definitively prove global warming.  Please hear me.  I did not say it was not true.  I said that it cannot be completely proven to be true.  I am not a scientist.  And for the record, neither is Donald Trump, Chris Hayes, or Barack Obama.


My point is that we need to consider other aspects and insights which may be relevant instead of rhetorically attempting to convince others.  One factual consequence about the politicizing of this issue is that many people stand to profit significantly from an investment in climate change.


One key aspect I’d appreciate seeing those really smart people wrestle with is how and if any ancient scriptures apply.  Yes, I realize many of us are willfully challenged to submit to the perceived wisdom of someone else; our wills and stubbornness and sometimes even intelligence often interferes.  But we should at least add to the climate conversation 2 significant aspects included in the ancient scriptures — writings that have more preserved copies than any work by Homer, Plato, or Aristotle — writings which academia teaches to be true.  We should consider (1) scripture’s call to care for the planet, and (2) scripture’s prediction that the planet will not last.


Friends, there’s no good reason to mock nor manipulate.  There is valid reason, however, to discuss all potentially relevant aspects of the climate conversation.  In order to best discern what is true, what is not, and who and what bears responsibility, let’s start by depoliticizing the issue.




total omission

On the front page of my Sunday paper ran the following headline:


“Climate Change Already Changing How Americans Live”


In an editorial from USA Today, the author wrote a solid, lengthy piece on the global, economic impact already visible via global warming.  In addition to heat waves, downpours, droughts, and wildfires, the author attributed each of the following to the climate cause:  asthma, allergies, heat stroke, rising food and utility prices, rising sea levels, unemployment due to drought-related factory closings, cataclysmic storms, wiped out neighborhoods, sinking towns, longer seasons, and flooded bridges, subways, and airport runways.  Note that none of these conclusions were presented subjectively.  Each was asserted as fact.


As long has been stated by the Intramuralist, I come nowhere close to comprehending all in regard to global warming, climate change, or insert-your-currently-politically-more-convenient-term-here.  I don’t comprehend it all.  I can’t.


What I do know for certain, however, is that this is not — I repeat, “not” — a political issue.  One of our seemingly greatest challenges is that we routinely accept or reject potential truth based on who is the stater of the subject.  Fact is fact regardless of who states it; opinion is opinion via the same conditions.  Transitively true then is that opinion cannot be equated with fact simply due to the stater of the opinion.  As a culture, we are not collectively good with the discernment necessary in said process.  We are thus not always good at distinguishing truth.


While the USA Today article very briefly acknowledged that there exist skeptics, it concerns this current events observer that the reason for the skepticism was quickly dismissed with a singular sentence in a 1200 word essay.  Therefore, the reader is confronted with an opinion piece that is presented as fact.


Honestly, even though such practice is a primary reason why mainstream media continues to lose credibility — as they continue to subtly (and not so subtly) insert opinion and bias — such is not what concerns me most.  Each of us is entitled to our own opinion, while also true, is that we are not entitled to our own facts.


What concerns me most regarding the concept of climate change is the complete — and in my opinion, arrogant — total omission of God.


Now before the blood boils, allow me to assert that I believe many of us can be arrogant people.  I sometimes label myself with that same description (… typically, especially, on the first day of March Madness, where boasting about my bracket is the common, annual practice… that is, well, at least until day 2 of the madness).


But I find us to be an arrogant people in how we believe and assert how powerful we are — that so much is under our control — that we, the people, make such a huge, dynamic difference.


While it would be wise to study how our grocery store bags and excessive use of plastic contribute to eroding the Earth’s atmosphere — wise, too, to acknowledge the carbon dioxide in the air (as pointed out by the USA editorial) — it would be equally wise to comprehensively study why such a situation may exist.  After all, multiple historical scriptures speak of the future destruction of this planet.  Note that the point of this post is not the validation nor refuting of said scriptures; however, if I were a scientist, and I knew that somewhere, anywhere, there existed multiple foretellings of the Earth’s end, I would be studying the authenticity of those scriptures with zeal.  My sense is that plastic bags would then be omitted from the discussion.


As previously stated, I don’t comprehend it all when it comes to global warming or climate change.  I don’t claim to.  But the reality is that opinion-driven journalists, those of us who’ve accepted opinion as truth, and even the scientists don’t comprehend it all either.  They don’t comprehend it all.  They can’t…


… especially when they omit significant aspects from their study.





The pictures are heartbreaking — almost unbelievable.  As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remarked, “The level of devastation at the Jersey Shore is unthinkable.”


There have been multiple deaths, major destruction, and now massive need for clean up.  Extending along the coast and even branching eastward into Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc., the impact has been environmentally and economically huge.  Gov. Christie is right; the devastation is unthinkable.


So what do we do when unthinkable storms happen? … the seemingly unprecedented, natural disasters?


I suggest there exist two starkly different responses:  one rooted in arrogance — one, however, rooted in humility… two ways we respond when the unimaginable storms come our unfortunate way.


Allow me to suggest that the arrogance is often veiled; it’s an imperious approach that typically manifests itself within some form of blame — blame of another person or circumstance — but blame on something so concrete that potential disagreement is muted.  How can we disagree with a blame spoken with certainty?  How can we oppose a reasoning seemingly so concrete?  Yes, the arrogance guised as blame allows us to have an answer for the storm, even though reality often means the answer is at best ambiguous.


Almost simultaneously as Sandy destroyed our nation’s shores, multiple persons proclaimed that the concrete reason for the storm was climate change (also known as global warming or insertion-of-currently-most-politically-correct-and-or-convenient-noun here).  Former VP Al Gore, for example, wasted little time in labeling Sandy “a disturbing sign of things to come,” adding, “We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis.”


Now before proceeding with this posting, allow me to add a small but significant disclaimer:  the Intramuralist does not know whether or not climate change is fact.  I do not know.  I don’t know if it’s true or if it’s false.  Reasonable people disagree on this issue, and many of those most passionate on one side or the other are either agenda-driven or stand to personally benefit by the enactment of the argument.  Hence, I’ll say again:  I don’t know if climate change is true or false.  No one knows for certain.


What I do believe, no less, is that when we assume that climate change is the reason for a weather event, we are acting arrogantly.  Please… I mean no disrespect.  My point lies within the basis of the theory.  The basis for climate change is that dangerous weather events are happening due to changes in the Earth’s climate that have materialized due to man’s irresponsible behavior.


At first, such sounds fairly selfless — man’s irresponsible behavior.  Does that not sound selfless?  Where is the arrogance?


The arrogance lies within the focus; the focus is completely on man.


Within the climate change theory, there is zero acknowledgement of a potential divine being who may or may not have a purpose of which we are unaware.  There is no intentional corporate nor individual reflection that asks, “If there is a God of the universe — if he has allowed this — what could be the reasoning?  How, possibly, could this be part of any intentional plan?  Is there a reason?  A plan?  A consequence?”  The arrogance of the climate change theory is the assumption with certainty that we are the ones in control.  There is no submission to any God of the universe nor to anyone wiser or more omniscient than we.  Hence, true or untrue, I find the absolute blaming on climate change a veiled, arrogant approach.


But wait… where’s the second response to these storms?  … the one rooted in humility?  … the one that makes us feel a little better?


Watch how people now bond together… to clean up… support one another… and to love one another well.  To sort through the ruins… building each other’s houses… putting their houses back up on the rock… and encouraging those whose loss is yes, by all means unthinkable.  At times of crisis, the humbly beautiful approach is where we work side by side regardless of color or creed, income or demographics, or any potential disparity.


A wise approach to life’s storms means focusing on what binds us as opposed to what rips us apart.


Thank God… until Tuesday, at least.


In search of wisdom… always…





In case the development somehow escaped you, climate convenience has recently, prominently returned to the news. “Climate convenience?”  Have you not heard of such?


My apologies; allow me to clarify.  What we now call “climate change” was once called “global warming.”  When society didn’t logically connect colder winter temperatures to the Earth’s supposed “warming,” the term was altered from “global warming” to “global climate disruption” to the now politically correct “climate change.”  Hence, the Intramuralist has arbitrarily decided to shorten “global warming/disruption/climate change/currently-most-convenient-name-to-call-it” to “climate convenience.”  (If I was in a more playful mood, I might suggest supporting scientists adopt the “a-b-c” tropical storm naming system; that way, they could have the names poll-tested ahead of time…  lest I digress…)


With the west’s wildfires and midwest’s heatwave — along with home and electricity loss, which tend to garner a bit more passionate attention — climate convenience advocates have utilized a seemingly more emboldened voice…


“Look out the window right now, and I think you can see climate change in action.”


“What we’re seeing here really is a window into what global climate change looks like.  It looks like heat; it looks like fires; it looks like this kind of environmental disaster.”


“Hard to believe that some still want to deny this.”


Now lest you believe the Intramuralist toes any partisan bent, allow me to state primary points previously penned:


  1. Experts disagree on whether or not the Earth’s temperature is rising.
  2. Many stand to profit by promoting their perspective.  And…
  3. Those on both sides of the debate have often spent more time criticizing opposing voices than objectively pursuing the truth.


So friends, allow me to be a voice of objectivity.  Note:  I am not a scientist.  But then again, most of those who boast a passionate opinion are also not scientists; too many of us simply adopt the opinion of the likeminded.  The Intramuralist believes such is a faulty and potentially foolish approach.  Hence, here is the challenge with climate convenience:


Most science omits any acknowledgement of God.


Now prior to prompting any blood pressure to boil, hang with me for a moment.  The Intramuralist made this comment elsewhere recently and was immediately trampled upon for perceived foolishness.  One man argued that it’s incomprehensible that “scientists are asked to accommodate the language preferences of religious folk.”  That man did not comprehend the point.


I am not suggesting that climate convenience is true.  I am also not assuming that climate convenience is false.  My goal is an objective pursuit of the truth.


In order to objectively pursue truth, we — and the scientists — need to ask if the presence of God has anything to do with the data recorded.  We need to ask if a divine power has any potential role in ecological changes.  Fascinatingly, students of historical scripture are aware of the countless environmental consequences based on the behavior of mankind.  Thus, my concern is whether as a culture we are humble enough, wise enough, and submissive enough to ask the question:  what could God have to do with it?


That’s hard for us.  As long as we omit any acknowledgement of God we can continue to assign blame wherever expedient without examining individual or national behavior.  We can continue to criticize opposing voices and assume we know truth.  We can also continue to simply yet passionately adopt the opinion of the likeminded.


We would be wiser to be humble and submissive… being good stewards of the planet… in objective pursuit of the truth.