|Earth Worshipping Evangelicals? |
Mr. Jim Ball, head of the Evangelical Environmental Network (www.creationcare.org) and author of the following public letter speaking about the Petition Project (www.oism.org/pproject):
The Partners of the NRPE look to respected scientists within their own traditions as well as the most highly regarded scientific bodies for sound scientific analysis. An issue the Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship raises repeatedly is global warming, which they describe as an "unfounded or undue" concern. To justify their stance they cite an Internet petition from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine that claims to have over 17,000 signatories. The only criterion for signing was a Bachelors degree in a scientific field.
(Since I have a BA in Psychology, I could have been a signatory.) No checking was done on who signed, and for a time several fictitious persons (e.g. TV lawyer Perry Mason) were included.
Instead of looking to an Internet poll for sound scientific analysis on global warming, EEN has relied on discussions with senior evangelical scientists (please note that the American Scientific Affiliation, the association of evangelical scientists, is one of EEN's partners) and on the findings of the most respected and authoritative scientific body on global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)....
Dr. Art Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (www.oism.org
Dear Mr. Ball
I have read your comments about the Petition Project conducted by myself and a group of other scientists concerning the subject of global warming. Since you have clearly looked into the matter, I expect that you know that several of your statements are false.
Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD chemist living in Lubbock, Texas. The petition was signed by thousands of PhD physical scientists, who are listed by degree on our web site. There was substantial checking of signatures to this petition - only about 1% of which were gathered by Internet. About 95% of the signatures have been independently verified. These included far more relevant experts than were even present at the IPCC meeting. They also included many of America's most eminent physical scientists - some of whom helped collect the signatures.
Moreover, with respect to your citation of the IPCC, I expect that you know that, of the 1,100 scientists (including 385 Americans) who participated, many disagreed with the final report. These 1,100 cannot be cited as "human caused global warming" supporters because they were never asked to approve the written statements of the IPCC - which, in any case, have been shown by subsequent climate measurements to have been seriously in error.
I note that nowhere in your long letter to evangelical leaders do you cite any scientific facts whatever. Not one item of data or graph is included. Your sole credentials seem to be contained in your BA in Psychology (very poor preparation for rigorous scientific work) and in your pretension to be a "Friend of Christ."
Assuming that you are a Christian, as am I, and that we are reading the same Bible, you know very well the Biblical prohibition against bearing false witness. Your letter reveals, at the very least, a lack of interest in the scientific facts underlying your claims and a tendency to falsify information concerning those with whom you have chosen to disagree. Both of these tendencies violate Biblical instructions.
There is a review article, complete with citations to the peer-reviewed literature available on our web site at www.oism.org/pproject
. It is written so as to be understandable by a layman such as yourself. I suggest that you read this article and then consult your conscience as to whether you wish to continue to issue false statements in the name of "evangelical" science and, worse, in the name of Christ.
Arthur B. Robinson
And a followup:
Dear Mr. Ball,
In addition to my earlier comments, I assure you that your BA in psychology would not have qualified you to be listed as a "scientist" on our petition. In addition to the more than 17,000 scientists, approximately 3,000 people who were not scientists sent in unsolicited signatures to the petition. Had we received your signature with your degree specified, you would have been put into that group.
From: Jim Ball
To: art robinson
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 7:53 AM
Subject: Re: ICES, Global Warming, & Petition Project
May 5, 2000
Before receiving your email below I had a conversation with Mike
Barkey. He informed me that there was in fact a scientist named Perry
Mason who had signed the OISM's Petition on global warming.
The email that we sent out on our rather modest listserv (which I think
Mike Barkey forwarded to you) was a near-final version of the letter we
subsequently sent out via postal mail. We wanted to quickly let our
friends know our response to the ICES initiative, since many were
contacting us confused and upset.
Everything in my letter was factually correct based on the information I
had at the time of writing. AP stories around the time of the public
release of the Petition (April, 30 and May 1, 1998) describes the Perry
Mason listed as a signatory as the TV lawyer. After receiving the
information from Mike I stopped the process of our mailing out our ICES
response letter and changed the text of the letter so that it was
factually correct. However, while the vast majority of those receiving
postal letters will receive the corrected version, some of the "Perry
Mason" letters were mailed. I will be sending out to our listserv the
final corrected version, and note the correction.
Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D.
EEN Executive Director
P.S. I found it unfortunate that much of the character of your email
below is in the form of an attack on me personally, someone you have
never met or spoken to. In prayer I have asked God to help both of us
treat one another as Christians.
From: art robinson
To: Jim Ball
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 8:05 PM
Subject: Re: ICES, Global Warming, & Petition Project
My letter was phrased as it was because you are engaged in reprehensible
I note that your reply to me mentions only the Perry Mason matter, nothing
else. Moreover, I am well familiar with the individuals and organizations
that are still spreading this Perry Mason story. I doubt that you are
independently reviewing two-year-old news clippings.You clearly are not
keeping the best of company.
As to attacks, you distributed a letter basically accusing me of dishonest
activities in our Petition Project without making any effort whatever to
check your facts.
Most importantly, you are using the name of Christ in an activity that is
based upon politically motivated lies about the atmosphere, rather than
science - and has as its goal the marked diminution of the world's energy
supplies and the technology that depends upon that energy. That reduction,
if it takes place, will reduce the world's population by ending the lives
of hundreds of millions of people who are on the bottom rungs of the ladder
of economic existence.
The human caused global warming myth is not only ridiculously bad science,
it is basically a pagan, New Age effort to reduce world population by
withdrawal of technology - an activity that no Christian should associate
At its base, this is a matter of facts about scientific observations. The
science involved is not at all difficult. I am sure that it is well within
your ability to understand. Before you continue your activities, you should
study these facts - starting with the review article that I recommended.
If you continue your activities without doing this and continue to rely
solely upon the citation of "authorities" who are saying what you want to hear,
then do not be surprised when honest men "attack" you.
Arthur B. Robinson