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Global Warming, Economics and Christian Ethics


Title: Global Warming and Economics Author: Tim/Boyle Last modified by: Boyle Timothy Created Date: 1/25/2010 10:10:00 AM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Warming, Economics and Christian Ethics

Global Warming, Economics and Christian Ethics
  • Timothy D. Boyle
  • Economics Department,
  • Kwansei Gakuin University

Aims Of This Presentation
  • 1. The Environment and Christian ethics
  • 2. Setting the Stage The Earths Design
  • 3. Mechanisms of Global Warming
  • 4. Is Anthropogenic Climate Change Real?
  • 5. Possible Solutions and Economic Implications

Part 1 The Environment and Christian ethics
  • Rule over every living creature Gen. 128
  • The LORD God took the man and put him in the
    Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
    Gen 215
  • For six years sow your fields . But in the
    seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of
    rest . The land is to have a year of rest.
    Lev. 253-5
  • The Bible teaches that God entrusted the earths
    resources to humans, and it is our responsibility
    to use them wisely.

Part 2 Setting the Stage Formation of the Solar
System 4.6 Billion Years Ago
The Early Earth and the Formation of the Moon
  • Without the moon, life on earth would be
  • (4 minute video clip)

Without the moon formation event, the earth
would be like Venus
  • Atmosphere is 96.5 CO2 with a pressure about 93
    times that of earth
  • Surface temperature 467?C

Transformations of the Atmosphere
  • Much thinner than the original atmosphere
  • An atmosphere that allowed a stable water cycle
  • An atmosphere protected by a
    strong magnetic field
  • An atmospheric makeup transformed by life

Factors Necessary for a Life-Support Planet
  • Factors relative to the entire universe (more
    than 30) Example Ratio of the strengths of the
    gravitational force and the electromagnetic force
    must be fine-tuned to better than 1 part in 1040
    (1040 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
  • Parameters of the galaxy and parent star (several
  • Planetary factors, such as mass, chemical makeup,
    distance from parent star, etc. (more than 100)
  • More than 200 fine-tuned factors.

Factors Necessary for a Life-Support Planet (2)
  • Timing of life development vis a vis luminosity
    increase of parent star.

The Greenhouse effect was necessary to keep
earth warm enough for life. But it had to be
gradually reduced to keep earth from getting too
hot due to increasing solar luminosity.
Part 3 Mechanisms of Global Warming
  • Without greenhouse gases,
  • earth would be 33?C cooler.

Atmospheric Trans-mission and Absorption of
Radiant Energy
Natural Causes for Climate Variation
Milankovitch Cycles
History of Eccentricity, Tilt, and Precession
Important Climate Oscillations
  • Orbital factors
  • Milankovitch Cycles
  • Oceanic
  • Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
  • Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
  • El Niño La Niña - Southern Oscillation
  • Atmospheric
  • North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)
  • Arctic Oscillation (AO)
  • Pacific-North American Teleconnection (PNA)
  • Antarctic Oscillation
  • Solar
  • 11-Year Solar Cycle (Sunspots)
  • Long-Term Solar Cycles (70-90, 500 years )
  • Variable Solar Irradiance

  • Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation in Ocean
    Currents Have Huge Effect on Climate

Arctic Oscillation
In Negative Phase, cold air more likely to flow
into Japan, the Eastern United States and Europe
  • Positive Phase Negative Phase

Solar Activity
  • Almost all of the energy that drives the climate
    comes from solar radiation.

The Effect of Aerosols
  • Depending on type and distribution, aerosols can
    have either a warming or cooling effect.

Even Cosmic Rays Affect the Climate
  • Reduced Flux of Cosmic Rays Contributes to Global

Part 4 Is Anthropogenic Climate Change Real?
  • Powerful vested interests and agendas
  • Conflicting Scientific Claims

As Reported in the Washington Post
  • The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are
    growing scarcer and in some places the seals are
    finding the water too hot, according to a report
    to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul
    Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen,
    seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all
    point to a radical change in climate conditions
    and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the
    Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that
    scarcely any ice has been met with as far north
    as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of
    3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very
    warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by
    moraines of earth and stones, the report
    continued, while at many points well known
    glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few
    seals and no white fish are found in the eastern
    Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts,
    which have never before ventured so far north,
    are being encountered in the old seal fishing

The Date of the Report? November 1922!
The Climate Is Always Changing
  • The debate is about how much is from natural
    causes and how much is man-made and what can and
    should be done about it.

According to Al Gore and some members of the
IPCC, we must take drastic action to save the
  • On the other hand, some scientists deny any
    significant, human-caused climate change.
  • (DVD clips from documentary Not Evil, Just
    Wrong The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria)

How important really is CO2?
  • Essentially all of the radiant energy that can be
    absorbed by CO2 is absorbed in the first 1000m.
    Increasing CO2 levels only increases absorption

Methane also important Greenhouse gas
  • Much easier to reduce than CO2

Methane Sources Rice paddies 22 Marshes
21 Cattle 15 Natural gas 9 Landfills 8
Carbon Soot
  • Carbon soot is estimated to have 3 times the
    effect of CO2 on artic climate, and 80 of that
    is anthropogenic.
  • Himalayan glaciers have been retreating in recent
    years, but 90 of the cause is carbon soot and
    aerosols in the air.

Many areas depend on glacial melt for much of
their water
  • IPCC had to retract its 2007 claim that Himalayan
    glaciers would disappear by 2035

Part 5 Possible Solutions and Economic
  • Role of CO2 greatly overestimated
  • Relative ease with which factors other than CO2
    can be addressed
  • Cost of proposed solutions to economy
  • Huge opportunity to develop new technologies

Need for economic justice
  • Forcing large cuts in CO2 emissions will
    drastically increase energy costs
  • While it will affect everybody, the poor will
    suffer the most.

Human-centered Solutions
  • Helping people in developing countries recover
    their own environment.
  • Saving Himalayan glaciers by reducing soot in
    air Clean cooking stoves.

Desertification in Africa and Central Asia
  • Getting out of the vicious cycle of
  • Providing cooking stoves and fuel
  • Reforestation would provide a carbon sink

Fertilizing the Ocean
  • Sea plankton absorbs more CO2 than any other
    carbon sink
  • Sperm whale excrement is best fertilizer
  • Possibility of artificially adding iron to

Opportunity For Japanese Leadership
  • Even without the issue of CO2 emissions, the age
    of fossil fuels is coming to an end.
  • Need for new technologies

Conclusions (1)
  • Global Warming (and cooling) is a naturally
    occurring cyclical phenomenon with a relatively
    small anthropogenic factor added on.
  • CO2 reduction is grossly overemphasized, and so
    we should use our remaining fossil fuel wisely
    for the economic wellbeing of all.
  • Efforts do need to be made to reduce CO2
    emissions where feasible, but also to increase
    CO2 absorption, which is likely more effective.

Conclusions (2)
  • Opportunity for moral and technological
    contribution to solving manmade climate change
  • From standpoint of Christian ethics, solutions
    must give priority to human welfare
  • It is our responsibility to return to the
    principle that God has entrusted earths
    resources to us to manage wisely for human benefit