Dr. Albert Mohler on Global Warming: "Something alarming is happening here"

On his nationally syndicated radio program Friday, Dr. Albert Mohler discussed former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in global warming. Dr. Mohler placed his remarks in the following context:

The issue for me today, as I’m looking at this, is not so much about whether Al Gore deserves the Nobel Prize. That’s up to the Nobel Committee. It’s not even as to whether global warming fits the criterion for a peace prize. If the people giving it says it does, they’re the ones who get to decide. It’s what is global warming and, while all the world is talking about it, this is the place for intelligent Christian conversation, about how we figure out what global warming is, how we fit it within the Christian worldview, and how we move from the “So What?” to the “What Now?, the application question.

Dr. Mohler then went on to confess that his viewpoint on global warming is not the same as most evangelicals:

Just speaking honestly, I understand a lot of people (don’t buy into the theory of global warming at all). That’s not where I am. I think as I have tried to look honestly at the data I accept the fact that there is something to this; that there is a warming pattern.

But let me tell you the big questions I have about that. Number one, is this a natural kind of cyclical pattern? Is this the kind of thing that comes back again and again and again in terms of the history of the earth? We know that there have been different patterns, so that’s one question. The second question would be, are human beings causing this? That’s why we’re talking about this. If this were just some kind of natural occurrence the question would be, what do we do to try to mitigate its effects and all the rest, but if human beings are causing this, then that raises the whole question of responsibility, what can we do if we did it, can we undo it, etc.

And I’ll tell you where I am on those questions. On the first question having to do with whether this is just a natural pattern, it appears that it might be in part. It also appears that it is difficult to ascertain that simply because we don’t have the kind of meteorological data, the kind of weather data…there was no one back standing with Plato in ancient Greece holding a thermometer writing down the temperature every day in Fahrenheit or Celsius, and noting the weather so that we can track all this. We didn’t even have a knowledge in previous centuries of human history about the poles. The exploration of the poles is a fairly recent thing in terms of the lifetimes of people living right now. We don’t have the kind of data we would like to have on exact sea levels and all the rest. But, on the other hand, there is some data. We know where harbors are. That tells us something about sea levels. We have water levels marked on erosion patterns, and all the rest. So, the bottom line on the first question is, I think we know enough to know that something is happening here. Something unusual, and something alarming is happening here.

The second question, did human beings cause it? I’m going to be very honest with you, this is where I have had to change my thinking somewhat. This is where I have had to assume that it must be that humans have at least some contribution to this. How much? I don’t know. I am not posing as a scientist. I am not an environmentalist. I’m not a physicist. I’m not a meteorologist. But trying as my best to look at the data and to read the most credible people, it does appear that human beings are part of this.

Now, that doesn’t mean necessarily that we have to, or even could, reverse all of this. That’s a different question. One of the people that I most respect on this issue is the man who wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist, his new book is entitled Cool It.  He’s Bjorn Lomborg. He is one who takes kind of a middle position here saying (paraphrasing), “I accept that there is such a thing as global warming. I accept that human beings are contributing to it, but let’s be real about what we could do to fix the problem and even whether we would be willing to do those things when we understood how it would change the way human beings live. ”

To get to the bottom line here, we have become an energy dependent people. As much as all of us wish there was some absolutely free and environmentally neutral form of energy, the reality is most of us need it. Most of us want it. We want hospitals to have electricity. We want air conditioning. We need the automobile. It’s become a part of modern society. I don’t think very many people are going to be willing to part with it. The big question is, how do we adjust to this? How do we respond to this?

Listen to the entire program here.


4 Replies to “Dr. Albert Mohler on Global Warming: "Something alarming is happening here"”

  1. In other words; we still are not sure. Until a time when we can understand more throughly why don’t we conserve what we can and trust in what we do know is sure.

    2 Timothy 2:19

    nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

  2. With all due respect to Dr. Mohler, the contribution of human beings to climate change, while real, on a planetary level corresponds to maybe 4 or 5 drops of water in a 5-gallon bucket! One volcano puts more hydrochlorides into the atmosphere than all the planes, trains and automobiles in the world combined! And have you noticed that the world’s climate is not irrevocably devastated when a volcano explodes? I’mwondering how, if mankind has such an impact on the planet, the many atomic and hydrogen bomb tests over the past 60 years did not leave the world uninhabitable.

    That said, we are stewards of the planet, and there is no excuse for abusing this gift of God.

    I’m convinced the entire environmental movement is a front for those who want to seize control of nations and establish global governance. While I don’t want to misuse this lovely world that God created, the last thing I want to do is be a useful idiot for a nefarious cause.

  3. Glenn,
    My guess is you are not a scientists, I know the jury is still out on the topic, but it seems like you have made your conclusion without a full understanding of the issue. “Global Governance”

    Maybe if we thought outside the box here and thought in terms of our dependence on Oil, If we were to invest in other forms of renewable energy for our lifestyles we might not have to plunder other nations for their Oil reserves. I hear your line of thinking a lot, the “yeah we need to conserve, but don’t take away my SUV” attitude. This is the same attitude that I see in Calvinism regarding the some of the social issues in our world, yeah we need to help others but preaching the gospel is more important. I think they should go hand in hand and not one overriding the other.

  4. Pixel, you’re right… I’m not a scientist (and my guess is you are not a grammarian, but I digress). You wrongly presume much about me. I am completely in favor of R&D on alternative forms of energy. Despite what you wrote, I have no strong feelings one way or the other about SUV’s. My motorcycle, on the other hand, gets between 65-70 mpg 8-).

    I completely agree with your point that we should not make a dichotomy of this: we can preach the Gospel and also take pains to keep the Earth as pristine as possible.

    That said, I would remind you that some of the people who are screaming “Global Warming!” in 2007 are aligned with the same groups who were hysterically hyping the threat of a global Ice Age when I was in 6th grade (that was 1969), and scaring us with promises that by the time we were 20 years old we would all have to wear gas masks. Scare tactics are usually unproductive and occasionally nefarious.

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