Spencer says god will clean up our mess

I was interested to learn that Roy Spencer — one of the authors of the now-infamous paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” (pdf), which has prompted the resignation of the editor who published the paper — is a signer of the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming.

This declaration declares,

Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.

First among its denials is the following:

We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry.

Makes you wonder whether Spencer believes in lung cancer, for example. After all, surely he thinks that the human body is “robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.” How could “miniscule changes” in the atmospheric content of the lungs (itsy-bitsy bits of carcinogens) ever produce dangerous alterations like the cancer-alarmists claim?

Now some will say that we shouldn’t pay attention to Spencer’s religion — and that the BBC was out of bounds in describing Spencer as a “Christian as well as a professional scientist” in the caption on his photo. But I’m not so sure.

If Spencer’s religious faith informs (read “corrupts”) his account of the history and mechanisms of the natural world, and of the proper policies for protecting or neglecting it, then it seems highly relevant to factor this in when evaluating his attempts to contribute to science.

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