Climate Change: Alarmism vs. Facts

Much has been written and said about climate change, often with rather extreme predictions about what will happen relatively soon if we don’t make radical lifestyle changes. This post begins with examples of alarmist predictions related to climate change and then moves on to facts via a couple of “cool” graphs that I came across. I will conclude with a Christian perspective on this issue.

Here are a few alarmist predictions about world catastrophe related to climate change.

  • In 1967, a book came out called Famine 1975! America’s Decision: Who Will Survive? (Notice the alarmism in the title!) This book predicted widespread starvation in the developing world in less than ten years due to ever-increasing population. Here’s an alarmist quote from the book: “Today’s crisis can move in only one direction – toward catastrophe.” However, in the ensuing decades, deaths from famine plunged, thanks in large part to major improvements in farming technology. In fact, more people died from famine in the decade immediately prior to the book’s publication than have died from it in the 50+ years since! In 1989, there was an echo of that starvation prediction by U.N. official Noel Brown, this time moving from overpopulation as its cause to climate change: “Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands.” That hasn’t happened, either.
  • In the 1970s, believe it or not, there were widespread forecasts of global cooling–even global freezing. In 1970, for example, in the book Earth Day : The Beginning : A Guide for Survival, Kenneth Watt warned that then-current trends would make the world “eleven degrees colder in the year 2000 … about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” Five years later, British scientist Nigel Calder wrote in International Wildlife magazine, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” Three years after that, even Leonard Nimoy (who played science officer Spock in the original Star Trek series) joined the chorus, predicting a coming ice age in a documentary film. Given the current hysteria over global warming, these global ice age predictions may seem hard to believe.
  • In 1989, U.N. official Noel Brown made yet another prediction: “The most conservative scientific estimate [is] that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees [Celsius] in the next 30 years.” However, from 1989 to 2019, the temperature rose about half of a degree Celsius, according to NASA. (More on this below.) In a related prediction, Al Gore in his 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth predicted that much of Florida and the San Francisco Bay would be underwater by 2016; has that happened, even now, seven years later than predicted? The movie also suggested that hurricanes would increase in frequency and intensity because of climate change; however, hurricane frequency has decreased since 2006, and their intensity has not increased significantly. A side note: Al Gore has since bought a beach-front property near Los Angeles for nearly $9 million, indicating that he doesn’t seem overly concerned about rising ocean levels.

Now let’s move from alarmism and hysteria to facts. Is global warming real? Yes, it is; the question is how much. Click here for a fun chart, which shows global temperatures from 2500 B.C. to 2040 A.D. (predicted), along with several historical notes: The most important thing to note is that climate change is cyclical over the long term; in other words, there are alternating periods of global cooling and global warming; we are currently in a period of global warming. The only thing I don’t like about the chart is that it shows temperature fluctuations in Fahrenheit rather than Celsius. For example, in the small orange rectangular box in the upper left, it says “RECORD GLOBAL WARMING IN 2016/2020; global temperatures hit 1.69 degrees above normal.” 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit = 0.94 degrees Celsius. Here’s the link to another chart that shows global temperature changes from 1880-2022: You can see that since 1977, every year has been warmer than average. Notice, however, that it has not been a continuous upward movement from one year to the next; 2022, for example, was significantly cooler than 2020.

Sometimes, scientists and politicians make very revealing comments. For example, in 1989, Stephen Schneider, a professor of biology at Stanford University, told Discover magazine, “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” And here’s Sen. Timothy Wirth, a Democrat from Colorado, who said in 1988: “We’ve got to … try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong … we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Do you think anything has changed in the last 30+ years? Are “scary scenarios” and “simplified, dramatic statements” still the norm? How about it, Al Gore? And ponder Wirth’s frightening statement: “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong … we will be doing the right thing anyway…” The current “Go Green” movement is an extreme extension of that, with one of its goals to make fossil fuels obsolete and eventually make all of us drive EVs.

Climate change is related to environmental stewardship. Since this blog is focused on giving Biblical answers to questions and issues, what does the Bible have to say about this issue? In Genesis 1:28, God says to newly-created Adam and Eve: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” This verse and others like it indicate that we are to responsibly take care of creation.

I have told many people over the years that some of my best times of worship have been out in nature, enjoying God’s creation. I believe that Christians should be the best stewards of creation on the earth! However, I don’t believe that alarmism and hysteria from any of our scientists and politicians is helpful. Obviously, they do it to get our attention, but in so doing they distort the truth, to put it mildly. Let me repeat a sentence from biology professor Stephen Schneider, above: “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” Now that’s scary! I believe it’s clear that climate change is cyclical and that in the current cycle, the globe is getting warmer. However, I also believe that at some point (probably beyond my lifetime), we will enter another cycle of global cooling.

In the article under the 2500 B.C. – 2040 A.D chart (see the first link, above), meteorologist Randy Mann says, “We believe we should be ‘going green’ whenever and wherever possible. However, some of the long-term warming and cooling of global temperatures may be the result of climatic cycles, solar activity, sea-surface temperature patterns and more. Our planet seems to be in a cycle of constant change.” I don’t agree with everything he writes in his article, but I agree with this statement, and I appreciate his nuance and balance. Our leaders should learn to do the same.

12 thoughts on “Climate Change: Alarmism vs. Facts

  1. I looked at the link you posted “Global Temperature Trends From 2500 B.C. To 2040 A.D.” For the most part, I think we can trust that chart. However, some of the text was pure science fiction, nonsense, and baloney. For there is no earth history that occurred more than 6,000 or 7,000 years ago. For example:

    “…One period, which was probably the warmest, was during the Neoproterozoic around 600 to 800 million years ago. Approximately 56 million years ago…One of the most well-documented and largest, occurred from 850 to 630 million years ago, is called the Cryogenian period. Glacial ice sheets likely reached all the way the equator…”

    Millions of years ago … I debunked that kind of evolutionary stupidity and nonsense in my book “Reindeer Don’t Fly.” Anyone who wants to read that book, could buy one, or drop me an email, and I would be happy to attach a PDF file free of charge.

    I agree 100% with your statement: “I believe that Christians should be the best stewards of creation on the earth!” And I concur with your last paragraph, and with the quote from meteorologist Randy Mann.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brother Michael, regarding charts: I came across all manner of them, but both in terms of length of time covered and the clarity of the cyclical nature of temperature fluctuations that it shows, I think this one is the best. I like the notes on it, too!

      I know you believe Earth is a few thousand years old; I lean towards an ancient Earth and universe, as you also know. It is possible to believe in an ancient Earth but at the same time not in evolution, which both of us have debunked.

      Anyway, I’m thankful we’re brothers in Christ and that we agree on a lot of other things, including the ones you mentioned.


      1. Thank you for your reply. Yes, we can agree to disagree.

        Nevertheless, I do wonder, have you read “Reindeer Don’t Fly,” in which I present a very solid case, with both Scripture and science for my belief in a young earth (6,000 – 7,000 years old)? If not, perhaps you would like to read it. I am not able to provide you with a copy at this time, but as I stated, I can attach a PDF file to an email. If you do read it, I would really like to read your comments.

        Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You sent a PDF of it to me last year. I read parts of it, and we discussed them via e-mail. I’m not as wedded to the idea of an ancient Earth and universe as I was a few decades ago, by the way.

          Later in the year, you also sent me a PDF of Israel, Rapture, Tribulation. I read part of it, and we had a brief e-mail discussion about that as well. I’m still planning to read another part of it this summer and will probably have a question or two for you via e-mail.


          1. I am sorry, I forgot. I have a lot on my mind. It has been a bit hard to function, remember things, who I sent information to and so forth, since my wife passed away 18 months ago. How I miss her. I am moving on, but slowly, oh so slowly.

            I would be happy to deal with or answer any questions you may have on either book, or any other subject.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The whole issue of climate change is generated by politicians who want to use it as an issue to fund campaigns and draw in people who are easily duped. I do not believe that the world as we know it will end until God, the Creator, decides that it’s time for Jesus to return and for the Godhead to create a new heaven and a new earth. Man needs to be responsible with our resources, but this climate change nonsense has become like a false god, not one that I want to worship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right that this world will not end until Jesus returns; as you say, the Lord will create a new heaven and a new earth–one that is free of the effects of sin. As for climate change: it is real, but it is cyclical; so many in leadership would have us believe that global temperature change is unidirectional and that the world will perish if we don’t make radical lifestyle changes.

      Thank you for your comment, Vicklea!

      Liked by 1 person

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