God Controls the Climate, So You Can Relax

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I know, he’s just a Tea Party candidate with almost no chance of election, but Greg Brannon, primary candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kay Hagen, said in a debate the other night that God controls the climate.

And here all this time you’ve thought it was physics.

Welcome back to North Carolina (Motto: “We have mines of crazy so rich we’ll NEVER run out!”). The state has made most of its science news this spring with its staggering inaction on the Duke Energy coal ash spill. You remember:  the largest energy company in the country spilled 39,000 tons of toxic ash into the Dan River from coal ash pits it had for years resisted cleaning up. Then it waited two months to do much about it. Then state government, naturally, sided with Duke in appealing a judge’s ruling that Duke should, you know, clean up its mess. The fact that the state of North Carolina thinks that the nation’s largest electric utility should not exercise the degree of responsibility we require from a kindergartener has, of course, nothing to do with the fact that NC governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 28 years or that Duke has donated $1.1 million to McCrory and the organizations that support him. I mean come on.

By the way — few doubt that this catastrophic spill of toxic pollutants was anything but accidental. Just the same, sometimes Duke Energy dumps coal ash on purpose, like when it did so about 30 miles southwest of Raleigh — a couple weeks after the spill. If you were wondering.

But we’re not even going to talk about that! Because North Carolina! Is! Way! Crazier! Than that!

Written By: Scott Huler
continue to source article at blogs.scientificamerican.com

38 COMMENTS

  1. If “God controls the climate” then He was responsible for hurricane Katrina, and hurricane Sandy. Also the drought in California and the south west, and the bitterly cold winter for many Americans this year. No doubt He also had a part to play in the abnormally heavy rainfall in Britain this winter. As for all those “far off” weather events like the sizzling summer in Australia and the hurricane that brought devastation to the Phillipines, well He works in strange ways. Perhaps Brannon and Rick Perry should make a joint appeal to the Almighty to remove some CO2 from the Earth’s atmosphere ?

    • In reply to #1 by Mr DArcy:

      If “God controls the climate” then He was responsible for hurricane Katrina, and hurricane Sandy. Also the drought in California and the south west, and the bitterly cold winter for many Americans this year. No doubt He also had a part to play in the abnormally heavy rainfall in Britain this winter…

      I don’t know about weather in Australia or the UK but everyone knows the hurricanes are caused by the gays.

  2. Well, if anything I hope I live to see the despair and agony in the eyes of these politicians when they realize what they have done. That they have sentenced future generations to a certain death due to global warming. The day when these people can’t leave their houses out of fear of being lynched or hang up the first tree with a noose around their necks….

    Of course, that is just a sweet dream. The politicians who are denying climate change are the rich hypocrites who will be the first to buy a ticket to whatever safe haven we have in the future. Even more sad is that their bastard children will be the ones who’ll survive while the poor people in third world countries (who have in no way contributed to global warming) will die. Christian republicans in USA are among the most despicable and hypocritical people you can find. They are a disease. They will ruin this world in order to please their corporate overlords, but they will of course never take responsibility for their actions but flee and use their money to buy a ticket out of the misery they have created. This is humanity gone horribly bad. Psychopathy incorporated. These people deserve to hang from a gibbet for the sport of their own crows, but instead they are successful members of the elite. As said, there is no justice in this world and there is no hope. Humans are too stupid, we deserve to go extinct like 99 percent of all species.

    • In reply to #2 by Nunbeliever:

      Hi Nunbeliever,

      Well, if anything I hope I live to see the despair and agony in the eyes of these politicians when they realize what they have done.

      Sadly, many do not have the wit to ever understand what they are doing.

      For some the resultant crisis will, of course, be a cause for celebration. As Sam Harris noted a nuclear mushroom cloud over New York would be seen by some religious wackos as a good sign – because it would foreshadow the end of times and the second coming.

      Seriously; some politicians are mentally deranged and think that even if the causes of climate change are fully determined, and is proven to exist beyond their power to simply gainsay people with evidence, it would still be irrelevant because it’s all part of some grand plan.

      This is why we must get political.

      Peace.

    • In reply to #2 by Nunbeliever:

      Well, if anything I hope I live to see the despair and agony in the eyes of these politicians when they realize what they have done. That they have sentenced future generations to a certain death due to global warming. The day when these people can’t leave their houses out of fear of being lynched o…

      There has got to be a way to make things better.

      • In reply to #10 by kipperthefrog:

        In reply to #2 by Nunbeliever:
        … The day when these people can’t leave their houses out of fear of being lynched

        There has got to be a way to make things better.


        Yes, we could do some lynching NOW!

    • In reply to #2 by Nunbeliever:

      Well, if anything I hope I live to see the despair and agony in the eyes of these politicians when they realize what they have done. That they have sentenced future generations to a certain death due to global warming. The day when these people can’t leave their houses out of fear of being lynched o…

      I hear exactly what you’re saying. Except that Republican xtians are too small a group-
      I would say religious conservatives worldwide.

  3. In an episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation [The Inner Light Ep25 Series 5](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Inner_Light_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation), Captain Picard plays out the life of a man on a planet which dies from the sun going nova. Of course the memory has been implanted by an alien probe. It was launched by the aliens when they realised their impending doom.

    It seems scarily real than one day all that might be left of life on Earth is a memory bank floating in space waiting for an unsuspecting alien to come along to see our fate.

  4. Well, if anything I hope I live to see the despair and agony in the eyes of these politicians when they realize what they have done.

    This is why I hope someone is collecting information to prove who is on the right and wrong side of history. Unfortunately, I think responsibility will fall on family members and individuals just being born or have yet to be born.

    • In reply to #9 by crookedshoes:

      Who is this “god” and exactly how does “he” control anything?

      A more accurate question would be “Which god?”

      There have been thousands of gods over the millenia. The Judeo/Christian/Muslim god will fade into history like all the rest in time. Perhaps Luke Skywalker will be “Jesus” and the Force will be a god in the future.

      All have as much influence over the weather as each other.

  5. In reply to #6 by PeteGriggs:

    In an episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation The Inner Light Ep25 Series 5, Captain Picard plays out the life of a man on a planet which dies from the sun going nova. Of course the memory has been implanted by an alien probe. It was launched by the aliens when they realised their impending doom…

    one of my favorite episodes. A good example of how creative that show could be, making drama with really no bad guys or fights. I’ll bet the person who wrote the script was a fan of us Sci fi author PK Dick. The story was just the kind of thing he did so well, the protaganist has reality change frm under him and has to grapple with either thinking he’s crazy or if not that the universe is a lot weirder than he thought.

  6. in fairness, god controls the economy too, and foriegn affairs.

    christian politics means you get the nice office and salary with none of that troublesome accountibility that secular politicians have to deal with

  7. As an individual, I feel powerless. My efforts are not even equal to a drop in the bucket. The deniers give me comfort so I can continue to go about my merry way, so it is tempting to listen to them.

    But I really like to cook and eat good food. I’m finding that it is becoming more and more expensive to do that. This appears to be caused by both extreme weather and increasing prices of gasoline. When I hear the dire climate predictions I fear this is one area where the suffering is just starting. I told my husband that we are going to have to adjust to portion control while learning to eat beans and like them, because it ain’t going to get better. I would rather be an early adapter than be forced to adapt.

    Even without the god part there are plenty of denier stories (warming true, but not caused by humans) to keep the masses asleep. Willingly and blissfully asleep.

    • In reply to #19 by notany:

      As an individual, I feel powerless.

      As an individual you mostly are powerless. If you join some environmental group you can do a small part to help and perhaps feel a bit less alone since you will see how many other people also are willing to commit their time. I understand the feeling that anything you do just seems like a drop in the bucket but that’s been true for just about every political movement in history. Things like the US Civil Rights movement get remembered for the leaders like MLK but the people who really made it possible were all the individuals who decided that it was worth adding one more drop to the bucket.

    • In reply to #25 by Wiggy:

      But then again if you replace “God” with “forces of nature” then the theory is valid in my opinion.

      Except, that “the forces of nature” bear no relationship to any Xtian versions of gods.. Odd ones like Neptune, Thor etc which actualy describe forces of nature, might have some resemblance, but Biblical versions are just supernaturalist mental delusions!

  8. Greenhouse gases don’t cause climate change. Just like tobacco is helpful to asthmatics. (For those unaware there were marketing campaigns stating certain cigarettes were beneficial to asthma sufferers.) Dickheads with money get away with anything today, as they have in the past.

    Make an impact during the age that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Comments, career choices, and lifestyles of all of us fortunate enough to have the means to find this site, are gifted the opportunity to place words into an indefinitely long cache for future reference.

    So keep spanking down the stupid.

  9. What scares me is every time someone quotes a Tea Party candidate “with little chance of actually being elected”, it’s not long before they’re actually elected. It doesn’t seem to matter anyway with the current GOP and the Washington Post says they have an 82% chance of retaking the Senate. Things aren’t looking good for rational thought and critical thinking.

  10. Well, since the science on this is getting more conclusive that it’s a ‘man-made’ phenomenon . . . this recent study from McGill University in Canada is trying things from a different angle than climate models . . . http://www.mcgill.ca/research/channels/news/global-warming-just-giant-natural-fluctuation-235236 . . . I’d guess that if these Tea Party ‘Fred Phelps’ wanna-be sorts are basically saying that the only solution for climate change is some ‘Old Testament thinking’ on God’s part. In other words, ‘remove the problem’ . . . again.

    I suspect the sale of ‘gopher wood’ and the collection of animals will be a ‘new thing’ in the southern US.

  11. We are told that we can relax since God controls the weather? If this is the same chap who is reported to have drowned the whole world in a hissy fit over some impropriety among humans, being told that he controls the weather should be a serious cause of worry.

  12. What’s worse, many major, influential politicians believe the same thing.

    Examples:

    Rep. James Inhofe (R-OK) — the author of the Senate Minority Report against climate change, and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment — says “The Genesis 8:22 that I use…is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night’. My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

    Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) — who claimed he is “uniquely qualified among a group of talented contenders to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee” — says that climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth. “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood. I do believe that God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”

    Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) — former Chairman of the House Energy Committee — says “I think you can have an honest difference of opinion on what’s causing that change without automatically being either all-in that it’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural.” He went on to say that “If you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change. And that certainly wasn’t because mankind overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”

    …the list goes on. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] etc.

  13. One thing that puzzles me is why God is so often portrayed as being so serious or even pissed (see the Michelangelo painting detail above)… I thought the story was that he created the universe out of love, or something in that line…

    • In reply to #35 by Cantaz:

      One thing that puzzles me is why God is so often portrayed as being so serious or even pissed (see the Michelangelo painting detail above)… I thought the story was that he created the universe out of love, or something in that line…

      “And he loves us! He loves us so much he kills us with his loving disasters “. ( quote stolen directly from GFZ, sorry).

      • In reply to #36 by Nitya:

        In reply to #35 by Cantaz:

        One thing that puzzles me is why God is so often portrayed as being so serious or even pissed (see the Michelangelo painting detail above)… I thought the story was that he created the universe out of love, or something in that line…

        “And he loves us! He loves us so m…

        This reminds me of my favourite George Carlin quote:
        * “Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”*

        • In reply to #37 by Shivkumar:

          In reply to #36 by Nitya:

          In reply to #35 by Cantaz:

          One thing that puzzles me is why God is so often portrayed as being so serious or even pissed (see the Michelangelo painting detail above)… I thought the story was that he created the universe out of love, or something in that line…

          “And he…

          And as George Carlin pointed out so humourously, it was a sheer impertinence to ask God to change his Plan by prayer ! Jeez , he was so funny. As always, a close line between humour and reality.

  14. In reply to #21 by Egross:

    If you go to the Scientific American web site where this article originated, I defy you to read the first dozen comments without wanting to smack something!

    Really, I couldn’t believe what I was reading…kept scrolling down and it was more of the same nonsense.

  15. In reply to #32 by lauracars:

    Really, I couldn’t believe what I was reading…kept scrolling down and it was more of the same nonsense.

    Yep! The Dunning-Kruger squad are out in force over there!

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger-effect

    The Dunning-Kruger effect, named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyse their performance, leading to a significant overestimate of themselves.
    Put more crudely, they’re too stupid to realize they’re stupid.

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