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SBC Leader Uses Poor Evidence to Promote ˜Global Cooling’

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, once again used his weekly radio program to mock the idea of global warming and instead claimed that the earth is experiencing global cooling. However, Land relied on poor evidence, including a discredited list of scientists and the prediction of an unreliable almanac.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, once again used his weekly radio program to mock the idea of global warming and instead claimed that the earth is experiencing global cooling. However, Land relied on poor evidence, including a discredited list of scientists and the prediction of an unreliable almanac.

The facts keep getting in the way of the media hype and Al Gore’s palaver, Land argued during the Dec. 20 broadcast of the Richard Land Live! radio program. The case for man-made global warming is not proven.

There is increasing evidence ”scientific evidence ”that the earth is not getting warmer, Land added. It is getting cooler!

Land pointed to a list of 650 scientists who allegedly disagree with the claim that global warming caused by humans is a critical problem. The list was released by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is the ranking minority member on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a position he has used to fight politically those who warn about global warming.

However, many of the scientists listed are in fields other than climatology and thus outside the area of their training and research. Others listed are not even scientists, but inventors and computer engineers. Additionally, many of the claims about global warming in Inhofe’s minority report have been debunked.

Inhofe’s announcement of the 650 scientists also included a summary of a peer-reviewed study that supposedly disproved that global warming is caused by humans. However, the scientists of the study have explained how their findings were twisted to support the exact opposite conclusion of their study. After misrepresenting the study, Inhofe’s announcement concluded that scientists warning about global warming are lunatics.

Land also pointed to a prediction by the Old Farmer’s Almanac that the next few decades will see cooler global temperatures. Although the Almanac was simply making a prediction of future weather, Land used this piece to support his claim that global cooling is already occurring.

Land called the Almanac that reliable predictor that people have been going to for centuries. The Almanac claims an 80 percent accuracy rate, but it does not provide support for its claim. Other studies have shown drastically smaller accuracy rates. One study found predictions in three years of the Almanac to be correct for California weather only about one-third of the time. Another study checked 60 monthly predictions for 32 U.S. locations and found an accuracy rate of 50 percent.

Last month, Land made similar claims on his radio program about the existence of global cooling. However, EthicsDaily.com pointed out that Land was using data for the United States to make incorrect claims about the entire globe. Although the United States did see a cooler year, the earth overall remained warmer. Land did not use this data again, but he also did not correct the record for his radio audience.

During the Dec. 20 radio broadcast, Land made a similar mistake as he once again claimed that global cooling is occurring. Land pointed to snow in New Orleans and cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean as evidence. However, claims of global cooling or warming must be based on information from the entire globe ”not one city or ocean.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, the year 2008 through November ranked as the ninth hottest year on record. Global land temperatures for that period put 2008 as the fifth hottest year for land temperatures and the tenth hottest year for ocean temperatures. Thus, the Pacific Ocean’s cooler year has been offset by warmer numbers for other oceans and global land temperatures. If 2008 remains in the top 10 hottest years, then eight of the hottest ten years will have been since 2000.

During the Dec. 20 program, Land also attacked former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth as a crockumentary that is just absurd and scare-mongering.

This is not the first time Land has offered inaccurate environmental claims and mocked those who warn about the dangers of global warming. Earlier in 2008, Land falsely claimed that the earth was cooling and made animal noises as he attacked Gore. Land also inaccurately claimed that there were no oil leaks as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Last year, the Baptist Center for Ethics launched TheGreenBible.org, which is a warehouse of information on the biblical mandate to care for the environment ”and what people of faith can and should do. The site includes numerous articles, columns and videos.

BCE Executive Director Robert Parham introduced Gore at a luncheon during the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant in January 2008 and gave Gore a plaque honoring him as the 2007 Baptist of the Year.

Brian Kaylor is a contributing editor to EthicsDaily.com.