Friday, May 25, 2012

Light Green Redux: Put Your Stake In the Ground

I'm on a retreat this week, so I'm rerunning a few "Light Green Classics."
Here's one of the most viewed posts of all time on Light Green. I'd like to think that it's because it's brilliant, but I think it's actually because it turns up if you google "Stake in the ground."

My boss frequently says the phrase, "put your stake in the ground," meaning, lay claim to what you believe.

Well, today I want to put my stake in the ground. Even though I started this blog with the intention of being unpreachy, I think I've done pretty well at that, and so I want to go to church just a tiny bit.

Ready. Stake is going into the ground:


If you read this blog, you might be thinking, well, duh. But a couple of recent events have conspired to convince me that those of us who believe in global warming (even the phrase "believe in" makes it sound like I'm claiming I believe in leprechauns or something) need to come right out at say that we believe in it and we believe it's caused by humans.

Event #1:
In a conversation on one of my favorite online communities, the question "Do you believe in global warming" was answered with a fair amount of equivocating although people generally seemed to be saying they did. Now, I happen to think this is simply a result of the fact that most folks who do believe in global warming also believe in a little thing called nuance, and they are happy to hold complex positions on issues. I am all for nuance and complexity. However, the fact that we are saying things like, "Well, even if we're not causing it, we should act like we are" lead to things like ...

Event #2:
The South Dakota legislature, as reported in the Rapid City Journal, among other news outlets, approved a resolution to urge teachers to teach "astrological" causes for global warming. Because I think it's always good to go to the source, here's the text of the resolution:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following:
(1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and
(3) That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena ...

Of course, a resolution is not a law. They are only "urging" that teachers tell kids that global warming is caused when Jupiter aligns with Mars and love will steer the stars.

This irritates me even more than the whole evolution debate, because this has a direct impact on the day-to-day habits of folks. Not only that, but unscientific thinking is creeping. Anti-intellectualism is bad enough, but anti-intellectualism that leads people to think that it's OK to continue to burn fossil fuels so they can keep a TV tuned constantly to Jersey Shore? -- that's just ... well, this is a family blog.

Right now, I'm not going to go into why I believe global warming is happening and we are causing it. However, coming up, I'll provide some links to folks that can explain the science much better than I (or Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK) can.

If you want to put your stake in the ground and say,


then write a comment below. And pass this link along to a friend. Maybe they want to put their stake in the ground too.

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