SOFiA Newsletter 164 February 2023
Exploring Values, Meaning and SpiritualityImage of dover beach
From the Editor
We live in an age of ever-increasing change, so it should come as no surprise that our newsletter is changing too. In an increasingly online world, our subscribers opt to receive an electronic version rather than the physical, printed version. So the main purpose of the changes is to provide an email-based newsletter that is free of most of the limitations that a print newsletter imposes, such as must be: a multiple of four pages and headings are best at the beginning of a page. A print version will continue to be available, but it won’t be so nicely formatted.
The general public has by and large accepted the conclusion that climate change is anthropogenic (human-induced). The heated controversy is largely a thing of the past and the focus has shifted to the question, “What do we do to minimize its negative effects?” But along comes Robin Boom who does not accept this conclusion, puts a lot of energy into arguing against it, and tells us to relax. Climate changes over time anyway and there is no need to regard human activity as the main cause. Many of the authorities he quotes are not climate scientists; their field of expertise is elsewhere. One of the authorities he quotes (Richard Lindzen) is a respected, though unconventional, climate scientist who has authored over 200 scientific papers, so not so easily dismissed. Contrarians have an important role to play. Other authorities, such as James Hansen, became so alarmed at their findings that they turned to political activism to alert the authorities to the issue.
I happened across the following good review of Richard Lindzen and his professional career in the Internet archive:
Robin questions some of the data on temperature change. If you are interested, have a look at GLOBAL SURFACE TEMPERATURE CHANGE - Hansen - 2010 - Reviews of Geophysics - Wiley Online Library. This shows just how scrupulously James Hansen examined the data. I also find the following graphic helpful when talking about these issues.

James Hanses graph of CO2 in our atmosphere
Robin Boom
Robin Boom responds
In the last issue, Greg Hughson countered Robin’s argument that climate change is not human induced, so we can relax. Robin replies, arguing that, as we are in an inter-glacial period, we need to warm the planet to prevent the cooling of the next ice age. See more…

Glynn Cardy
Alright, Then, I’ll Go to Hell
Glynn Cardy reflects on justice with help from Mark Twain
Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, with I suspect more faith than certainty, that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  I wonder if he was alive today, and seeing the incarceration of so many black men, and the police shooting of so many black people, and the backward laws of so many states making it harder for black Americans to vote, whether he’d still have that sense of optimism.  I suspect so.
Justice is like the word love.  It can be defined in all sorts of ways.  Catching the ‘bad guy’ and locking him up can be seen as justice.  Legislation to build bigger prisons can be seen as justice.  Laws to right past wrongs can be seen as justice.  There is retributive justice, procedural justice, and restorative justice.  There are institutions of justice, and the dreams of justice. See more…

John Thornley
Magnificat from a New Jersey Jail
John Thornley shares thoughts from Assata Shakur (b. 1947 and member of the Black Liberation Army) on discovering that she is pregnant. See more…

Book cover: Storms of my Grandchildren
Book Review: Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen
Reviewed by Ian Crumpton, a recently deceased longstanding SOFiA member and former chairman of the Christchurch group.

The main thesis of this book is as crystal clear as it is frightening: that human activity over the last century has rapidly increased the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere to the point where we are on the verge of transforming the planet into a hothouse world, with massive species depletion, sea level rise and a host of related changes. All threatening the whole biosystem with unstoppable global warming. The difference between Jim Hansen and other “end of the world” prophets, is that he is a leading planetary scientist who has spent a lifetime studying these trends. His predictions are based, not on a misreading of some ancient religious text, but on hard science. And it all points in the same direction.  See more…

Interesting Texts
 Rose for poem
"It's madness to hate
all roses because you got
scratched with one thorn,

to give up all dreams
because one of them
didn't come true,

to give up all attempts
because one of them failed.
It's folly to condemn
all your friends
because one has betrayed you,

to no longer believe in love
just because someone
was unfaithful
or didn't love you back,

to throw away
all your chances to be happy
because something went wrong."

"There will always
be another opportunity,
another friend,
another love,
a new strength.

For every end,
there is always
a new beginning."
"And now here is my secret,
a very simple secret:
It is only with the heart
that one can see rightly;
what is essential,
is invisible to the eye."

Rose glyphAntoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince Excerpts, 1943

Zoom Meetings from the Melbourne SOFIA Group
The Melbourne SOFiA Group has monthly lecture/discussions, mostly at 4pm (NZ time) on Saturdays.
Under Shirley’s Spell: Researching the Life and Work of Shirley Erena Murray Covering discoveries made as the writer makes contact with those who have known and loved the hymns of Shirley, and those who have composed tunes for her words, both within Aotearoa and overseas.  See details here ...

SOFiA in Australia main logo
Remembering Ian Crumpton
Ian Crumpton was a long-standing member of SOFiA. He emailed us in July 2021 and almost casually told us that he had been diagnosed with Myeloma, a terminal blood cancer. 18 months later, he died comfortably at home, aged 82 years, surrounded by wife Tricia and family. Although we knew about the diagnosis, his death was a shock and we only found out about it when the Editor sought permission to publish his review of Storms of Our Grandchildren. His obituary described him as “Liberal Theologian, Philosopher, Bard, Astronomer, Musician, Artist, Environmentalist, West Coaster, Lover of the outdoors, Our Renaissance Man.”  See more ...

prosperity gospel
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