Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Another break in the scientific consensus that It’s the End of the World As We Know It, from Watts Up With That:

January 2008 was an exceptional month for our planet, with a significant cooling. January 2007 started out well above normal.

January 2008 capped a 12 month period of global temperature drops on all of the major well respected indicators. I have reported in the past two weeks that HadCRUT, RSS, UAH, and GISS global temperature sets all show sharp drops in the last year.

Here is a quick comparison and average of ∆T for all metrics shown above:

Source: Global ∆T °C

– 0.595

GISS – 0.750
UAH – 0.588
RSS – 0.629
Average: – 0.6405°C

For all four metrics the global average ∆T for January 2007 to January 2008 is: – 0.6405°C

This represents an average between the two lower troposphere satellite metrics (RSS and UAH) and the two land-ocean metrics (GISS and HadCRUT). While some may argue that they are not compatible data-sets, since they are derived by different methods (Satellite -Microwave Sounder Unit and direct surface temperature measurements) I would argue that the average of these four metrics is a measure of temperature, nearest where we live, the surface and near surface atmosphere.

To which Daily Tech says:

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn’t itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

This doesn’t prove anything definitive, nor would I claim that it does. It is simply another piece of evidence that things aren’t nearly as crystal clear, black-and-white as many in the church, both mainline and evangelical, are assuming it is.


Well, that’s a first. It seems I’ve been “tagged” by Kate at The Hairy Eyeball to provide “six unimportant facts/quirks/habits about myself” (only six?). It’s one of those Internet things. But I do appreciate her thinking of me. So here goes:

1. I have a collection of over 250 pieces of apocalyptic fiction.

2. I was the 1993 Class B United States Chess Co-Champion.

3. I worked as a part-time intern in the New Jersey Legislature in the mid-1970s, and never had to enter a witness protection program.

4. My favorite music is Gregorian and Byzantine chant.

5. I missed getting into the Ph.D program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill back in 1986 by a 3-2 vote of the admissions committee, mostly because I was too up front about my desire to use the degree to help prepare future pastors by teaching church history in a Christian seminary–and I’m still bitter about it. 🙂

6. I have no known quirks except blogging.

Now, Kate went on to list six bloggers, including me, whom she “tagged,” so I reckon I need to do the same. Those would be:

Toby Brown, the Classical Presbyterian

Benjamin Glaser, the Backwoods Presbyterian

Will Spotts, the Recovering Presbyterian

Bill Crawford, the Bayou Christian (who is also a Presbyterian)

Chris Larimer, the Greek Deacon (who is not Eastern Orthodox but Presbyterian)

Viola Larson of Naming His Grace (ditto)

The Rev. Janet Edwards, descendant of Jonathan Edwards and PCUSA minister, is going to soon be facing new charges resulting from her 2005 performance of a same-sex wedding, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

A Pittsburgh Presbytery committee plans to pursue new charges against the Rev. Janet Edwards for officiating a wedding between two women in June 2005, a spokeswoman for the Oakland minister said Tuesday.

Edwards and Pittsburgh church officials are negotiating to reach a resolution and the Presbytery could decide to not pursue the charges before Edwards’ case goes to trial, said Ashley Harness of New York-based Fenton Communications.

In case you’re wondering why a Presbyterian minister needs the services of a PR firm, I’d urge you to check out Fenton in general and Harness in particular.

Edwards, a parish associate at Community of Reconciliation, did not return a phone call. Harness released a statement from her.

“While another trial now seems inevitable, along with it comes an opportunity for meaningful dialogue about how we can truly open our hearts and our doors to our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters,” Edwards said in the statement. “I know these conversations will not be easy, but I am hopeful because my Presbyterian tradition teaches me that it is only through dialogue and struggle together that something more beautiful and more pleasing to God can be born.”

Translation: I am hoping that my fellow Presbyterians will ignore the PCUSA constitution, just as I did, and thereby allow me to avoid the consequences of my actions. I will make any trial a political circus in which I will put the constitution on trial, and hope that one result will be that my blatant disregard for the standards I vowed to uphold when I was ordained will be overlooked among the general uproar. I am going to do this because I know that I cannot win on the merits, nor will my position prevail in fair and honest debate across the denomination, so I am trying to change the facts on the ground. And with any luck, I’ll get away with it.

It’s actually pretty easy to translate these kinds of statements. You just have to speak the language.

(Via Layman Online.)

UPDATE: According to the Presbyterian News Service, one of the two women Edwards “married” (Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole) has weighed in:

McConn, a longtime Presbyterian and former member of Dallas Presbyterian Church in Dallas, WV, currently worships at a Unitarian congregation. Cole was raised Methodist but now is a practicing Buddhist.

“The church’s actions are extremely hurtful toward me and Nancy and toward other gay couples,” Cole told the Presbyterian News Service. “We’re determined to stand by Rev. Edwards as she faces these charges and continues to speak the truth about our marriage. And we’re quite determined that no matter what the church’s actions are they in no way undermine the sacredness of our marriage.”

Whatever. I’m sorry they’re feeling hurt, but I also don’t understand why a Christian denomination should take advice from non-Christians about the meaning and definition of marriage according to the teachings of Christianity. Given that they are not, in fact, married, apparently the state of Pennsylvania isn’t interested in their views, either.