Sunday, August 29, 2021


Hurricane Ida, about to become a category five hurricane, is about to hit Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There will be devastation and death.

Covid 19 has killed hundreds of thousands and made many more just plain sick.

Earthquakes hit the rich and the poor, Haiti comes to mind.

Volcanos spew destruction and death.

Is global warming man made or an Act of God?

I ask; you answer.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Is global warming man made or an Act of God?"

What do the people who know far, far more than thee and me say?

NASA: "Human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels) have fundamentally increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet. Natural drivers, without human intervention, would push our planet toward a cooling period."

And: "Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree*: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."

(* J. Cook, et al, "Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming," Environmental Research Letters Vol. 11 No. 4, (13 April 2016); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002)

European Commission Climate Specialists: "Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming."

Australian Academy of Science: "The dominant cause of the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last two centuries, the growth of fossilfuel combustion has been closely coupled to global growth in energy use and economic activity. Fossilfuel emissions grew by 3.2% per year from 2000 to 2010 (Figure 3.3), a rapid growth that is dominated by growth in Asian emissions and has exceeded all but the highest recent long-range scenarios for future emissions."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Such an unquestioning robotic catechismic response to “scientific theory” presented as dogma would make a biblical fundamentalist blush.. but be that as it may, even human gluttony brings more quickly our terminal condition, so yes, in theory, human activity brings about more quickly the terminal condition of our planet as we know it. What human interventions made Mars a once wet planet a dried up old Barron planet? Things happen. One day heart will implode into a black hole or be struck bu a meteor or rogue planet out of control.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

First, my response has nothing to do with "scientific theory." You use the term without any understanding of what it means.

Then, in your second of the word "theory," you use the term incorrectly. The term you want is "hypothesis."

Next, you mistake data for dogma. When your MD take your blood pressure and says it is 125/82, she is not presenting you with data, not dogma. When a scientists says the CO2 concentration is up by X% over the last 50 years, that is data, not dogma.

You create a imaginary beast against which you engage in an imaginary battle, all of which is only in your confused head, not in the real world.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything bounces off of me and sticks to you. It is my hypothesis that I am glueless.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Clueless, yes.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You just don’t learn, I’m rubber, you glue and your comments bounce off of me and stick to you. Clueless indeed!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

My comments are, as too many Americans have come to say of late, spot on.

You can "bounce" whatever you want - that doesn't change reality.

Keep fighting your imaginary battles against imaginary beasts.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Amnesia? I’m rubber; you’re glue.

TJM said...

I used to believe in manmade global warming and in Al Gore's prediction that the seas would rise and swamp us, until Obama bought his mansion by the sea, so I realized it could not be true. Also, the elites flying around in their private jets, undermines their manmade global warming religion!

James said...

If I was your bishop, I'd arrange couples counselling for you two.

TJM said...


LOL - but I think only Father K is the one who needs the counseling.

MrMatt said...

Interestingly enough, science is the man driven explanation of the God given world. So to say or imply that there is a mutual exclusivity between them is ignorant.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McD might benefit from some of courses...
1. "How not to post questions if you don't want to hear answers"
2. "The Scientific Method for Dummies"
3. Chapter 7, The Problem of Evil, in Peter Kreeft's "7 Fundamentals of the Faith"

Mark said...

“What human interventions made Mars a once wet planet a dried up old Barron planet?”

The ancestors of humans moved to Earth after they messed up Mars but then willed themselves into ignorance in the hope and belief humans wouldn’t mess up this plant too. You don’t believe me? It must be true. I read it on the internet linked in an article about how Ivermectin cures Covid-19. -:)

MrMatt said...

Father Kavanaugh is clearly a well versed expert in the scientific method. You hear a lot about atmospheric observation but little about atmosphere experimentation to validate the said observation that led to the hypothesis, as is necessary for the scientific method. There is a big difference between studying atmospheric anomalies which have only been accurately recorded in recent decades and are closely tied to deep ocean effects and patterns than putting a concentration of CO2 in a box and measuring the temperature and applying it toward a system as large as the earth while negating the effects of Carbon cycle.

Mark said...

Freudian slip—this planet, not this plant, though if the shoot fits . . . .

Jerome Merwick said...

What scares me is all of the purported invocations of "let's listen to the science" coupled with the understanding that whatever "science" has told us so far is not to be questioned.

It's not science when you can no longer question the findings.

Mark said...

More seriously, there is a respectable body of opinion that considers the reason SETI has not detected any communications from advanced technological civilizations elsewhere in the cosmos is because any civilization that reaches this stage then proceeds to destroy itself, including through runaway climate change:

Forewarned is forearmed? Maybe, but not if our experience with Covid-19 so far is anything to go by!

One of the best apropos quips I recall is: “Christ came to take away our sins not our minds.”

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

MrMatt - I am not a "well versed expert in the scientific method" and have never made such a claim. I do have more experience in science than most folks - undergraduate degree in biology and a year of grad school in fresh water biology.

A person doesn't have to be a "expert" to listen to the advice that comes from those who are experts. I'm not an expert cardiologist, but I still listen to the advice of my doctor. I'm not an expert in pharmacology, but I get info that I trust from the PharmD. who knows drugs.

Jerome - Science, by it's nature, can always be questioned. But the person who poses the questions is on shaky ground when the basis for his/her concern is without any measurable data. "I think the vaccine was developed too quickly" is not supported by data. "I know it was hotter last summer than this" is not a legitimate argument against the data that shows that humans are contributing to climate change.

George said...

"More seriously, there is a respectable body of opinion that considers the reason SETI has not detected any communications from advanced technological civilizations elsewhere in the cosmos is because any civilization that reaches this stage then proceeds to destroy itself, including through runaway climate change"

Human beings have only been transmitting electromagnetic waves into space for a little over a hundred years. These have been propagating out into space in that time, but given that the universe is over 90 billion light-years across, most of whatever planetary civilizations that exist which are sufficiently technologically advanced to detect our electromagnetic waves are well beyond the reach of what we have have so far transmitted. We also have the same problem in detecting the transmissions from other civilizations. When looking out into space, whether with radio or optical telescopes, we are looking across an incomprehensiblely vast distance back in time at what existed in the past and not at the present state of things.
Even if such an advanced planetery civilization has managed to destroy itself, those transmitted waves sent out prior to their doom may fade but they won't go away, and so they will eventually arrive here, weak though they may be.
When they do arrive here, will we still be around to detect them though?

TJM said...

Father K,

Does the following:

3. Chapter 7, The Problem of Evil, in Peter Kreeft's "7 Fundamentals of the Faith"

deal with bishops and priests who vote for a party which supports abortion on demand and gay marriage?

TJM said...

Notice how our resident leftists NEVER deal with facts like Obama living in a seaside mansion and "elites" using private jets? I guess they cannot handle the truth

John Nolan said...

'Act of God' is a term used by insurance companies to avoid paying out. Interestingly, they also use the term 'common law spouse' despite the fact that so-called common law marriages have not been legally recognized in England since 1753.

Mark said...

Notice how, unlike the so-called “leftists” TJM refers to, who aren’t any such thing of course and who are quite willing to acknowledge failings on the part of Biden and other Democrats, TJM is quite unwilling to acknowledge any failing on the part of Trump and the Republicans, legion though these failings are. For example, despite repeated entreaties and reminders on the “Biden seduced” thread, he continues to refuse to acknowledge the fact that Emperor Trump and Darth Vader Stephen Miller basically gutted the SIV system for Afghans, for which they were excoriated by veteran Matt Zeller (who also quite rightly criticized the Biden Administration). TJM is in no position to say that someone else cannot handle the truth.

Mark said...

Quite so, John! Indeed, one hopes this is the sense in which Father McDonald used the term in this thread and that he did not intend it in the sense in which it was used by some “religious” leaders following Hurricane Katrina in 2005:

As one wag had it back then: “God must have a really bad aim because He missed Bourbon Street.” It seems that God’s aim has not improved over the last sixteen years.

More seriously, if we really do want to scapegoat God for the consequences of human folly, then one might just as readily say He is “punishing” us for being such terrible stewards of the beautiful planet with which He gifted us.

Lest someone thinks this post irreverent, isn’t the irreverence rather in imputing certain specific punitive intentions to God? Isn’t this a way of evading our responsibility for our own sinfulness and for triggering the inevitable consequences of violating natural laws? Isn’t it enough that we have been told how to live for our good and, if we fail to do that, then we will suffer the consequences which flow naturally from such failure?

As another example, I am quite sure God hasn’t “punished” all those unvaccinated who are now filling so many of our hospitals to overcapacity. Isn’t it just the inevitable result of human folly in failing to get vaccinated, often under the influence of “evildoers” who manipulate others for political or commercial gain (as in more votes, or higher ratings and hence more advertising revenue), and perhaps also in carelessly manipulating viruses in laboratories (the jury is still out on that one) and then in failing to take the necessary mitigation measures once the virus started to spread? (Do we remember the WHO mantra: “test, test, test”—we didn’t of course.)

Why blame God when we should be looking in the mirror?

All this, of course, raises deep, confounding questions of theodicy. As perhaps the most famous and egregious example, how should we view God’s role in the Holocaust, for example?

Mark said...

P.S. I imagine Peter Kreeft’s Chapter 7 in his “Fundamentals of the Faith” book, which has been mentioned earlier in this thread and which I need to read, addresses these deep, perplexing questions of theodicy.

To follow up on John’s point, the Cornell Law School legal database defines “act of Gd” as follows:

At common law, an overwhelming event caused exclusively by natural forces whose effects could not possibly be prevented (e.g., flood, earthquake, tornado). In modern jurisdictions, "act of God" is often broadened by statute to include all natural phenomena whose effects could not be prevented by the exercise of reasonable care and foresight.


TJM said...


Until you point out the new hot wars President Trump started, you have no credibility. Zeller is a leftist Democrat who “proudly” voted for Biden, So your “authority” is a Democrat shill who apparently has no problem voting for a man with serious mental lapses which likely affected his ability to properly handle our withdrawal from Afghanistan.

You still have not commented on Obama violating the Global Warming Religion’s tenets by purchasing a seaside mansion, far from the poor, I might add, and the “elites” use of private jets which also violate that Religion’s tenets.

You write elegantly, but unlike John Nolan, your writing lacks substance and is replete with references and articles to leftwing publications

Mark said...


Nice try but no cigar. I realize that all your attempts at obfuscation, deflection, and distraction are straight out of the Trump playbook. However, you wouldn’t get away with them in a courtroom (the judge would call you out in no uncertain terms), and a student wouldn’t get away with them in a law school classroom. So please don’t try it with me on this Blog. Stop arguing like a snake in a Wiffle Ball and give a straight answer for once.

I ask you again (futile though it likely is): What do you say on the merits regarding the allegations that Trump and Stephen Miller obstructed, even destroyed, the SIV system for Afghan allies who helped us in Afghanistan?

I raised this issue on the thread Father McDonald created about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan in an attempt to be “fair and balanced” in reaching an overall understanding and evaluation of the situation. For the record, and to repeat what I posted on that thread, Matt Zeller was also very critical of Biden, even though he is a Democrat and voted for him. Speaking of “fair and balanced,” Olivia Troye, former aide to VP Mike Pence, has leveled precisely the same criticism at Trump and Miller as has Matt Zeller. As you don’t like the sources I cite, I tried to find a Fox News report about her criticism but there does not appear to be one—that’s how “fair and balanced” they are!

So, you will have to make do with this source (her own Twitter feed):

Yes, I know, she voted for Biden too. But so did countless Republicans who consider that Trump has betrayed what the Republican Party stood for. If they still regard themselves as Republicans, they are called RINOs. If they have left the Party, they are called worse.

In any event, the bottom line has not changed: I am quite prepared to criticize Biden and other Democrats and have done so on several occasions. I have never, once, seen you criticize anything Trump has done or does. Is he really that perfect in your eyes? It is you who has no credibility, not me.

Why does any of this matter on a Catholic Blog? Because we should be committed to facts and truth, not only because without such a commitment our Republic is in serious danger but also because Catholics should be committed to facts and truth in all things, not lies and falsehoods.

Mark said...

P.S. I just found this report from CNN, which gives facts and figures, and does seem to be “fair and balanced.”