I was at a regional science fair for kids in grades five through nine. My appointed task at the science fair was over, so I went milling about the exhibits. My attention was soon drawn to a large angry man who was giving two girls a hard time. Their project involved two fish bowls, each 1/4 filled with water and containing real and fake plants. They had filled one bowl with air, the other with carbon dioxide, and sealed it over. Then they had placed the bowls in the presence of heat lamps. Guess what? They found out that the bowl with more CO2 in its ambient got hotter!
The man was giving them a political lecture. He was making some kind of reference to the IPCC's findings on global climate change. What I remember him saying is: "If they had known they were signing a document that said human activity had an effect on the climate, they wouldn't have signed on." Which I believe to be an overly political and inaccurate reading of the findings.
He then said, "Do you know who pollutes the most? It is the United States, and it is only because we are producing more. Once you starting making more things, you produce more emissions." This by the way is a lie, according to data provided by United Nations Statistics Division in this Wikipedia article. The United States produces only US$2110 per metric ton of emission, whereas the northern European countries-- those whom you'd imagine have higher heating costs-- beat us by a factor of 2. Switzerland earns US$9400 of of that ton of emission. That this guy would start lecturing the girls with inaccurate political slogans got my goat. I later went up to them and said, "They laughed at Galileo."
The young ladies were not advancing any political agenda, just looking at the heat-trapping ability of CO2. Perhaps their finding also provides information on how one's lifestyle can have an effect on the well-being of others, and that is the message that upsets Carnal Man. Just as you have to tell Cub Scouts not to throw rocks over a hill on a hike in the woods, so too must we take correction from our neighbors on our lifestyle, and that upsets Carnal Man.
Now what exactly does Western Civilization and biblical authority have to do with the fish tank? Nothing! And that's the problem with the neoconservative position. You can hold that a libertarian approach to regulation and private property are a good thing, you can hold to the ideal that the bible is a reliable and authoritative Testament from the creator of the universe, without having any necessary justification for what ends up getting called "conservative". The life and witness of so many conservatives on so many basic moral issues, however, portrays freedom & Godliness as if they were bad things.
Data from wikipedia article, "List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions".
(in millions of US Dollars)
(in thousands of metric tons)
|GDP per Emissions|
(in thousands of US Dollars per metric ton)
|10||Republic of Ireland||206467||43187||4.781|