The man who believes that hurricanes are God’s punishment for things like homosexuality thinks he knows more than climate scientists.
Pat Robertson dismissed the correlation between severe winter storms and climate change yesterday, saying, “Only in Princeton would people say nutty things like that.” His remark was directed toward a Princeton study that projected less snow but larger winter storms and blizzards as carbon dioxide rates increase over the next 50 to 60 years. Robertson went on to say of the scientists who conducted the study, “You know, they get to be Ph.D.s and they wonder where they’ve studied and learned all these things.” Ned McWilliams, attorney with Levin, Papantonio believes, “It’s sad that someone of Mr. Robertson’s stature still doesn’t understand the difference between weather (winter storms) and climate (global warming).”
According to Professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the Princeton scientists involved in the study, “Every once in a while there’s going to be a big storm, a kind of knock-out punch.” And in the US, over the past 50 years, evidence supports his projection; there have been twice as many extreme snow storms in the last 50 years than in the previous 60. Climatologists believe that a warming climate will decrease overall snowfall, but, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, storms will be much more severe when temperatures do get cold enough for snow.
Of course, this is certainly not the first time televangelist, media mogul, and uber conservative Christian commentator, Pat Robertson, has made a controversial or demeaning statement. He also claims that God has often spoken to him about impending world events including natural disasters, recessions, presidential elections, and terrorist attacks.
He is perhaps best known for his irrational and disparaging remarks and systems of thought such as his belief that the devastating earthquake in Haiti was the result of Haitians’ pact with the devil, which they made in order to liberate themselves from the French, or his assertion that the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina was linked to legalized abortion.
Two years ago, Robertson elicited a passionate response over his remarks on Alzheimer’s disease, after he advised a caller to his television show, “The 700 Club,” that he should tell his friend, whose wife was suffering from the disease, “… he should divorce her and start all over again.” Robertson suggested that, as Alzheimer’s disease is “a kind of death,” divorce would be a viable option, but went on to say that the situation presented an ethical dilemma for him and that he would not “put a guilt trip” on the man in question if he decided he “had to have companionship” now that his wife no longer recognized him.
Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.