We’re All Going to Burn Up—or Freeze to Death!
In the last three issues of Ethos, we have been discussing Donald Miller’s love affair with the Democratic Party and President O’Bama. Miller, and others like him, has decided that it’s conscionable for a Christian to vote for a man who believes that partial birth abortion is acceptable and, in fact, voted for it twice while an Illinois state senator. Moreover, it was a well-known fact during the campaign that Mr. O’Bama had the most liberal voting record in Congress. That’s right, our president’s voting record was even more liberal than those of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi. I mentioned in previous editions that Emergent church tribe member Miller believes matters such as global warming and poverty are more important currently than abortion or same-sex marriage.
Many in what is still called the “evangelical” church believe that Miller might have a point. Therefore, they want to appear to be on the cutting edge of modern church life, so they have jumped on the bandwagon of global warming. There are a number of issues facing the evangelical church such as universal health care, deficit spending, bailouts, government takeovers of banks and GM, but these are rather dull, drab, and dry issues. For some pastors, we need to be concerned about global warming—Oh, wait! I forgot. The new phrase is “climate change.” I wanted to use it quickly before the pundits and “experts” change it on us. There are some, who call themselves evangelicals, that have joined the ranks of “hand wringers” about certain “hot-topic” items in the evangelical community, such as poverty and global warming. For example, both Brian McLaren and Rick Warren are signatories on “The Evangelical Climate Initiative,” which bears the subheading: “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action.” The only reason Jim Wallis didn’t sign it is because he was busy doing the “heavy lifting” exegesis on the issue and finding a way to blame Bush for killing Elvis and Michael Jackson.
Motivated by “consensus” and scientists who get big government grants to toe the party line, some evangelical leaders have been willing to get on board the junk science bandwagon. To hear these evangelicals talk, you’d think they were our elected officials, who believe that global warming is a “fact.” and that the debate is over. As Glenn Beck aptly points out, “‘The debate is over’ is a line that’s used only by those who realize they would never win a debate.” But no one seems either to know or to care about what is really happening. For instance, in the January 19, 2009 issue of Human Events, Max Schulz wrote an article entitled, “Ignore Environmentalist Delusions About California.” He points out how President Obama has urged other states to follow California’s “green” policies. He continues, “Obama’s remarks naturally drew praise from environmental groups, which have long hailed California as a shining example of expanding the economy while protecting the environment.” (pp. 1 & 10.) Conveniently, environmentalists and “We the People” forget the rolling blackouts due to the fact that California cannot—or will not—produce its own energy. The dirty little secret about Green California is that it “imports lots of energy from neighboring states to make up for the shortfall caused by having too few power plants.” (p. 10.) The other dirty little secret is that when California imports its energy it does so from coal-burning plants in Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Montana. (p. 10.) Businesses have fled California in droves due to the excessive and unreasonable taxes and restrictions placed on them and the high price of “green” endeavors.
But since Mr. O’Bama is our first truly green president, it is understandable that the certifiably insane measures of California would appeal both to him and to the Emergent church movement. Why, who wouldn’t want to live in the Golden State when we have a dam that is 95% complete, but work has been halted because the “greenies” have litigation pending because they fear that the smelt—a three inch fish!—would be endangered by this dam, even though they have been assured by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that smelt are adequately protected. But why should such silly things as facts deter an ideologue?
What is most disconcerting is that the New Evangelical Left is enamored of the likes of President O’Bama, Al Gore, and Rick Warren. Dr. Roy Spencer is a former-climatologist with NASA and an atmospheric scientist. In other words, Dr. Spencer knows almost as much as Al Gore and Michael Moore about these matters. Nobody knows more than President O’Bama, Tim Geithner, and Rick Warren though. In Spencer’s book, Climate Confusion, he chronicles a great deal of what is bogus, wrong, and just outright lies in the current climate debate. The subtitle of his book is to the point.
Spencer contends that “Fear is gradually replacing reason as a motivating force for societal change…” If the proponents of global warming/climate change expect us to follow them then reason dictates that they follow this maxim: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” We have some hypotheses, but to date no one has presented the evidence. The notion of “consensus” doesn’t cut it. Some gullible folks might buy into such a notion, but it is not scientific.
One of Mark Twain’s aphorisms stated that “everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” Which is precisely why the so-called environmental movement has led to billions of taxpayer dollars being invested in “studies” on climate. In addition, the media is complicit in the sordid arrangement—and so are our good friends at the United Nations. The U.N. issued a consensus statement about global warming signed by 2,000 scientists. That’s pretty impressive until you discover that there were actually 31,000 scientists who thought it was all bunk. Oh, well, what’s a 29,000 scientist difference among ideologues? Do you ever get the impression you’re being lied to? To the modern environmentalists’ credit, this is not a new thing. Ideologues have been lying to us for years. And to make matters worse, these “experts” always deliver their junk with authority, and where possible, in a movie. For example, Art Bell wrote a book entitled The Coming Global Superstorm. Someone in Hollywood was impressed—you know, like Sean Penn or Barbra Streisand—and soon a movie was made: The Day After Tomorrow. Both the book and the movie capture modern man’s fascination with global climate catastrophes and give the distinct impression that Bell’s book was based solely on irrefutable facts.
Spencer is convinced that fears about the environment have come to two related ideas. Together they have served to convince us that we’re dealing with rock solid facts. What are those notions? First, Spencer explains, there is the belief “that the Earth is fragile and needs to be protected, even to the detriment of humans if necessary. Many people feel like the climate system is being pushed beyond its limits, past some imaginary tipping point from which there will be no return.” My, how could anyone have ever gotten such an idea? We’ll examine this in subsequent installments.
Second, Spencer contends that many are convinced “that the increasing wealth of nations is bad for the environment. Since technology and our desire for more stuff are to blame for environmental problems, we should renounce our modern lifestyle.” Does any of this sound remotely familiar? It could have been extracted from a speech delivered by President O’Bama!
Therefore, in the ensuing installments we will lay a biblical foundation of the environment, paying particular attention to the pre-Fall situation in the covenant of works and how sin impacted all of God’s creation. We’ll also take looks at two doom-and-gloom “experts” from the past Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich and how their premises and predictions proved false, but were still accepted by the early environmentalists, including former-President Carter, who are not above making some bogus predictions of their own.The question that will guide us is whether the modern evangelical is acting wisely by asserting that global warming is a more important ethical issue than abortion and same-sex marriage.
 Beck, Common Sense, 17.
 See Steve Milloy, Green Hell, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2009), p. 70.
 Roy Spencer, Climate Confusion. How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor, (NY: Encounter Books, 2008).
 Ibid., viii.
 Ibid. Emphasis added.
 Milloy, GH, 5-6.
 Spencer, CC, 2.
Labels: Emergent Church