Sea level rise “greatest lie ever told”

I am frankly getting sick of hearing phrases like “Pacific island nations are already struggling with rising sea levels” on the news and other places – never backed up by any real data. Now Dr Nils-Axel Mörner, a sea-level expert, has come out and said the whole thing is a scam. A few excerpts:

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. …

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

There is a lot of aid money to be had in claiming your country is at risk of a natural disaster:

When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.

The Islamic government of the Maldives is particularly dodgy (I had a Maldivian flatmate once & it was an eye-opener, stories of aid being sold instead of given away etc, you can’t even take a Bible into the country), so this doesn’t surprise me much. Not everyone’s motives are pure…

Now the last thing I would suggest you do is blindly believe this scientist, or to blindly believe anyone else. Just note that there is debate on this issue, so the next time someone claims any island is struggling with rising seas, make sure they back it up with actual measurements.

If they can, please comment, it would be interesting to look at the data.

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The big Biblical bailout of Egypt

With all the economic problems around the world today, and governments everywhere printing money to bail out (ie buy up) banks and other companies, it is easy to forget that this has a very strong precedent in the Bible.

Consider the account of Joseph, who was at the time Prime Minister (or equivalent) of Egypt (the Pharaoh’s second in command). Joseph knew through a prophetic dream that there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. He collected grain during the seven years of plenty and stored it (Genesis 41:37-49). When the years of famine came, he opened the storehouses to feed the people (Genesis 41:53-57).

But note that he didn’t just give the food away – he sold it. (Genesis 47:13-26) In fact, “Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought.” (v14). Once the people had no money left, Joseph bought their livestock (v17), their land (v20), and the people themselves (v21).

Joseph bailed out the entire land of Egypt from their crisis, nationalising the entire agricultural industry – as Pharaoh owned the land, the livestock, and even the people.

Having nationalised the industry, he imposed a 20% tax on all produce (v23-26), which was Pharaoh’s return on his investment.

Isn’t the similarity to today incredible? But there is one big difference:

Joseph bought everything using real assets (grain) that he had saved.

Today, governments may try to buy out industry. But they are doing so using money they have fabricated from thin air, or borrowed, or taken from taxpayers.

What Joseph did was legitimate trading of real, saved assets, not the juggling of funny money. Furthermore he saved many people from starving to death.

But governments today may, just to save people from dropping their living standards a bit, use funny money to achieve exactly what he did – state control of industry. While being encouraged by most people. It is worrying that so many people are so keen to sacrifice their freedom for temporary financial gain.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

The Brick Testament

Bible stories made from lego! Really, really well done. I am very impressed with the quality of the photos.

Check before showing some stories to kids if you don’t want them to see lego people having sex or cut in half however, the stories are exactly as told in the Bible – which I like, it is nice to see he has stuck to the text.

Hat tip: Not PC (yes, I was very surprised to find it from that particular blog!)

EDIT: On closer investigation some of the stories cross the line into gross indecency – wherever there is the slightest chance to portray something sexual the author finds the most disgusting thing he can illustrate with lego figures to illustrate the point. So view with caution. Definitely not for children. Furthermore some of the illustrations, though the text is the exact Biblical text, are chosen specifically to be satirical rather than educational. But some of the stories may well be of use, at least those that don’t involve sex. They are very well made.

Is smacking Old Testament?

Following confirmation that there will be a referendum on smacking, there has been more discussion of this issue on the blogs. As usual, those of us who believe it is the parents’ decision whether to smack or not have been accused of wanting to beat our children, of following an “Old Testament” style of discipline, and (new to me) of contradicting the Sermon on the Mount.

Most people, whatever their religion, know the difference between smacking and beating, so we shouldn’t need scripture to back up this basic principle. But as we are challenged sometimes using the Bible (smacking is often referred to as “old testament”), I may as well back up smacking from the New Testament.

Hebrews 12:5-7

“…“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”

Note that the word translated “disciplines” can be translated as “educate, discipline, or instruct”, so would correspond to non-physical punishment. The work translated “chastises” can also be translated “flog” or “scourge” – physical punishment in other words.

So God Himself is referred to as using both non-physical and physical discipline, and this is described as what every father would be expected to do.

As I said before, we don’t need scripture to back up what everyone knows anyway. But if there was ever any doubt, the New Testament does support both smacking and non-physical discipline.