Commentary

Earth Day 2016: Is the Sky Really Falling?

Dr. Richard Land
By Dr. Richard Land | April 21, 2016 | 5:18 PM EDT

Earth (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

With Earth Day on the calendar for tomorrow, there seems to be a frantic plea to “save the earth!” And while there are steps everyone can take to protect the environment and the resources that God has entrusted to us for the betterment of humankind, the agendas of environmental activists may be hindering progress.

The Department of Energy just published data that reports that the U.S. has reduced its carbon emissions by 2 percent last year over the previous year. For the past decade and a half, carbon emissions have fallen more than 10 percent in the U.S. The U.S. has reduced our carbon emissions more than virtually all the nations on earth. How can this be? Surely the “Chicken Little, sky is falling!” climate cops can’t be all that wrong. Are they? How did this happen? Did strict new government controls drive down consumption? No. The answer is fracking.

Fracking is simply a new way to extract American’s tremendous reserves of shale oil and natural gas that are under Americans’ feet from sea to shining sea. As Stephen Moore puts it in his article in the Washington Times, “Natural gas is a wonder fuel. It is cheap. It is abundant. America has more of it than anyone else. We have several hundred years’ worth of natural gas, and it is clean burning.”

As a result of fracking, the price of natural gas has gone down by 75 percent over the past 10 years, so people are using more and more of it—clean fuel replacing coal and other fossil fuel. So the climate cops have embraced it, right? No. Even though it is a clean fossil fuel, they continue to attack fracking and try to demonize it as a bad idea. Instead, they are pressing wind power and solar power alternatives that do not work and only provide about 3 percent of our energy production. Could it be that these climate cops’ real agenda is not stopping pollution, but actually turning back the clock on the industrial revolution and industrial progress?

Those same “climate cops” also have a dedicated agenda about climate change—one that has reached even the White House. But, he adds, as reported by Stephen Moore, evidence and scientific studies continue to accumulate that show that there is honest and real doubt.

The scientific challenges to the theory that human-generated Co2 emissions are irreparably damaging Earth’s climate continue to appear with ever greater frequency. In the first quarter of this year, researchers had published a 133 “consensus skeptical” papers, and 660 articles have appeared since January 2014. For example, an article published this month in Nature Geoscience linked the melting of the Greenland ice sheets to hot spot activity within the Earth’s core, a finding that “must be included in studies of the future response to climate change.”

Also, an exhaustive study published earlier this month in Nature by University of Stockholm researchers, who examined hydrological patterns going back 1,200 years, found that climate models cannot accurately predict extreme rainfall and drought. And yet our U.S. Justice Department is considering charging scientists and their supporters with a climate denial conspiracy. Now, I ask you—which group is closed-minded and which group uses the oxymoron of stating there is such a thing as settled science?

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former president (1988-2013) of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. He has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books.

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