Santorum’s Incoherence: Manmade Global Warming Is a “Hoax” But Using “Science and Discovery” Makes Us Better Stewards

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"Santorum’s Incoherence: Manmade Global Warming Is a “Hoax” But Using “Science and Discovery” Makes Us Better Stewards"

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum doesn’t mince words when it comes to his energy plan: humanity’s purpose is to dominate the environment.

Speaking at an energy summit in Colorado yesterday, the former Pennsylvania Senator explained his belief that humans were “put on this earth … for our benefit, not for the Earth’s benefit.”

In his speech, Santorum also blamed human-caused global warming — which played a role in making 2011 the most disastrous year ever for extreme weather in America — on the “vagaries of nature.”

“If you leave it to Nature, then Nature will do what Nature does, which is boom and bust. We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”

“We are the intelligent beings that know how to manage things and through that course of science and discovery if we can be better stewards of this environment, then we should not let the vagaries of nature destroy what we have helped create.”

It’s no surprise that Santorum is a proud global warming denier. More surprising was his call for “science and discovery” to “be better stewards of this environment.” In the same breath, however, Santorum casually swept aside the consensus among 97% of climate scientists actively publishing peer-reviewed research in the field that human activity is warming the planet:

“I for one never bought the hoax. I for one understand just from science that there are one hundred factors that influence the climate. To suggest that one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor in the minor factor is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face.

Santorum is a devout Catholic and uses his religious beliefs as a major platform in his candidacy for president. However, his position on global warming is completely opposite that of the Catholic church, which has called for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions “without delay” in order to protect “the whole of creation.”

Santorum clearly hasn’t read about the physics of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which he dismissed as a “minor factor.” In fact, the radiative forcing of our CO2 emissions is the equivalent of 1 million Hiroshima nuclear bombs per day in the atmosphere.

“When there’s more energy radiating down on the planet than there is radiating back out to space, something’s going to have to heat up,” explained Mike Sandiford, Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute, in a recent article.

But if Santorum thinks that humans were created with the sole purpose of dominating the earth, no amount of science may be able to shake that belief.

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20 Responses to Santorum’s Incoherence: Manmade Global Warming Is a “Hoax” But Using “Science and Discovery” Makes Us Better Stewards

  1. I find a shocking amount of pride in his statements, which according to Santorum’s devout beliefs would be a fairly serious sin. He seems to decry here that God created the Earth, then created man to control and fix the incomplete or incorrect job he did on the planet. If everything was created perfectly by God, wouldn’t you think it was the Earth created in a perfect form and then we came along and messed it up? His entire platform of religious fanaticism illustrates clearly why he could never be a serious general election candidate.

  2. BillD says:

    Does Santorum presume that the 100s of millions of years of earth’s history were part of a plan to provide humans with a few hundred years of energy rich coal and organic fuels? I guess that Santorum and Perry, who don’t have the intellectual abilities to understand science are worse than Romney and Gingrich, who seemed to have forgotten the science that they once understood.

    • ozajh says:

      Don’t be ridiculous.

      It is far more likely that Santorum believes the Earth is 6,000 years old, and the fossil fuels are a gift from God.

  3. Leif says:

    Two hundred+ years of humanity working for Capitalism and Corporations have bequeathed a world of polluted air, water, and earth. Ocean that are a third more acidic than past eons. Arctic ice melting that knows no equal in the recorded history of man. CO2 concentrations the highest in eons as well.

    I do not begrudge the motive of profit, I do however fight against the exploitation of the commons in that pursuit and the obvious leaving the spoils for the masses. The retched excess amassed by the greedy few from gift of/to the whole.

    • Mark says:

      not just capitalists, and corporations;

      the former Soviet Union was pretty good at ignoring, and destroying the environment. so is China.

      just one example:

      “Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometres (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007 it had declined to 10% of its original size”

  4. Spike says:

    He totally misunderstands real Christianity as it pertains to humans’ duty on Earth by wilfully misusing the word “dominion”.

    A better explanation of the true Christian approach to ecosystems and climate can be found here:

    http://peace.mennolink.org/resources/mccessay/07matt.html

    • Joan Savage says:

      Spike,
      Thanks for the link.

      Unfortunately, a lot of Christianity has a vein of the Roman Empire in it, as expressed in global expectations of dominion / domination that were not part of the original message, at least in my view.

  5. Byron Smith says:

    Thanks Spike. He does indeed make a real mess of traditional Christian teaching (beware the casual conflation of “dominion” with “domination”; it doesn’t fit scripture or history (not straightforwardly, in any case – I’m not trying to exonerate theology of all blame)).

    @BillD – Which would be worse in a president, cynical deception for personal gain or clueless ignorance that wilfully keeps its eyes closed? It’s a tough call.

  6. Paul Magnus says:

    Evil… Willful ignorance?

  7. Mike Roddy says:

    I don’t think Santorum has an opinion here, but is just saying what his donors want and what he thinks the audience wants to hear. He is like the ass kissing creep who was always running for office in high school, complete with the phony smile and fake patriotism. Yuk.

  8. Joan Savage says:

    I’m always curious about selection of veeps, having grown up with the consequences of having veeps Nixon, Johnson and Ford. Santorum doesn’t seem likely to be invited into that slot, but he might be a placeholder for some sectors of GOP.

    From the transcript of the McLaughlin Group on 1/27/12, “MR. LOWRY: If Romney is the nominee, the veep finalists will be Rob Portman of Ohio and Bob McConnell of Virginia.”

    (Lowry may have been referring to McDonnell, Governor of Virginia).

  9. Mike MacCracken says:

    Santorum seems to be espousing the content of the Papal Bull of 1493 giving humans dominion over the land. For an alternative, he should read the statement of climate change of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (presuming he wants to pay attention to what the leaders of his faith have to say). It can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/global-climate-change-a-plea-for-dialogue-prudence-and-the-common-good.cfm

  10. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    “When God created the first human beings, God led them around the Garden of Eden and said: ‘Look at my works! See how beautiful they are—how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.'”

    — Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 1 (on Ecclesiastes 7:13)

    So we have been warned, God will not fix up what we destroy. We have not been good stewards.

    • John McCormick says:

      Let’s start with the original two stewards. They gave birth to two sons, one a murderer. What happened next is very strange.

      Now we are 7 billion sons and daughters of a disfunctional family.

  11. steve reed says:

    Ain’t that a damn human for you. Dominion huh ?
    Wonder if he thinks the bust might include his favorite species ?

  12. Pythagoras says:

    Rick Santorum seems to forget that in the Bible whenever mankind thinks that they control their own destiny that God has a habit of putting them back in their place.

    Adam and Eve. Jonah. Tower of Babel. The Parable of the Rich Fool.

  13. Will Fox says:

    A minor component?? The amount of CO2 being emitted by human industrial activity is about 130 times that released by all of the volcanoes on Earth combined!

  14. Bill Goedecke says:

    The Catholic church has been busy denigrating nature both inside and out for over a thousand years. I was raised Catholic – a combination of denial and fetishism. Marry that to a Calvinistic utilitarian view of nature and a Hegelean dialectic in which technology always overcomes our worldly problems and there you have Rick Santorum. A mass of contradictions, but contradictions well rooted in the historical narrative. Nature has no value unless it serves capital (period!).

  15. Michael Brewer says:

    Someone should photoshop the high resolution photograph of the earth recently released by NASA to show what the planet would look like if the atmosphere contained no CO2 and widely distribute it to the media. This should go a long way toward debunking the claptrap that CO2 has only a “minor” effect on the climate. For a good reference see this article: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/