“When I attended the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, the most common sign I saw carried by the 40,000-plus protesters in the streets (of whom the two largest groups were the International Socialist Youth Movement and the Community Party) said, ‘System change, not climate change’—i.e., give us global socialism, not global free markets!”
If you believe global warming is cyclical and mostly natural; human contribution is minor and not dangerous; and attempting to prevent human influence by cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions would cost trillions of dollars, trap billions of people in developing countries in poverty, and so do more harm than good, then you must be armed and prepared to act in our political times.
President Barack Obama, indeed, has warned us by saying that “the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change.”
The Challenge Before Us
“Climate change”—what proponents called “global warming” before the globe stopped warming 17 years ago—has become the mother of all excuses for spending trillions of dollars, killing millions of jobs, trapping billions of people in poor countries in poverty, expanding government’s control over our lives, and creating distant, unaccountable, global government.
As University of East Anglia Professor of Climate Change and Marxist/socialist Mike Hulme, a vigorous proponent of “post-normal science,” put it in his book, Why We Disagree about Climate Change:
The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved… It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change—the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals—to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.…
Climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences …. climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes … climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics—from global to local—is now framed …. Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations.…?”
Little wonder that when I attended the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, the most common sign I saw carried by the 40,000-plus protesters in the streets (of whom the two largest groups were the International Socialist Youth Movement and the Community Party) said, “System change, not climate change”—i.e., give us global socialism, not global free markets!
Having failed to get cap-and-trade through Congress, Obama, true to his observation that “there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” had his Environmental Protection Agency act to impose Draconian measures on us by first “finding” that CO2—a natural compound essential to life, expelled with every breath—is a “dangerous pollutant” because it causes global warming, and then imposing restrictions on its emissions, first from vehicles, then from stationary sources like electric power plants.
Though not ruling on the scientific merits of EPA’s climate alarmism, the nation’s courts have so far rejected legal challenges to EPA’s actions. So the result, if such policies are not reversed by Congress, will be trillions of dollars in lost economic production and millions of lost jobs in the next two decades, and, much sooner, the skyrocketing electricity prices Obama promised during his campaign, and consequently rising prices for everything produced and transported using electricity—which is just about everything.
Challenging Church Environmental Hype/Alarmism
Last month, a three-part series, “Evangelicals and Climate Change” (June 12, June 20, and June 27), explained the role of the Cornwall Alliance as the leading voice for evangelicals who reject climate alarmism and strive to protect the world’s poor from harmful, and futile, efforts to fight global warming.
The Christian Post cited our Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, endorsed by hundreds of evangelical scientists, economists, theologians, and other leaders and based on our landmark study, A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming, as representing not only Cornwall’s thought but also that of many other evangelicals, including the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest evangelical denomination.
The Other Side
But we face an uphill battle in the religious community. Climate alarmism has powerful, well-funded voices seeking to influence the evangelical community. Consider what we are trying to counter:
· The Evangelical Climate Initiative, launched with a $475,000 grant from population control-advocating Hewlett Foundation, continues to present its alarmist view as the dominant evangelical position—despite the Cornwall Alliance’s having refuted its science and economics point-by-point in A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming.
· The Evangelical Environmental Network, heavily funded by the population control-advocating Rockefeller Brothers Fund, has equated support for CO2 emission restrictions with being “pro-life,” obscuring the meaning of “pro-life,” threatening to divide the pro-life vote, and risking leaving Congress in control of pro-abortion forces for decades to come—despite the Cornwall Alliance’s having produced Protecting the Unborn and the Pro-Life Movement from a Misleading Environmentalist Tactic: A Joint Statement by Pro-Life Leaders, repudiating EEN’s similar claim with regard to mercury emissions.
· Former National Association of Evangelicals Vice President for Government Affairs Richard Cizik, with major financial assistance from billionaire Left-wing media mogul and population-control advocate Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation and billionaire Left-wing globalist George Soros continues to promote government family planning programs as both “godly and green” ways to fight global warming.
· Socialist Jim Wallis’s Sojourners, also with heavy funding from Soros, this year hired a director of climate change campaigns to enlarge its influence.
The Cornwall Alliance, like many other sound-science and sound-economics groups, has much work to do to counter-climate alarmism and other environmental hype. Understanding not just the science, economics, and politics of the climate-change battle but also underlying worldview and ethical issues is crucial to winning this fight and keeping churches from having their message and mission compromised by a movement that undermines their foundational beliefs.
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. A coalition of theologians, pastors, ministry leaders, scientists, economists, policy experts, and committed laymen, the Cornwall Alliance is the world’s leading evangelical voice promoting environmental stewardship and economic development built on Biblical principles.