The Arrival of the New Evangelical Left (VI)
This is a photo taken at the "Beer Summit." Notice how SGT. Crowley is helping Dr. Gates down the stairs, while the President is totally unconcerned. The law enforcement officer is compassionate, while the President is unconcerned about his good friend.
Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action
At christiansandclimate.org, which is part of the “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” you can download a statement concerning one of the new “darlings” of the Evangelical Left: climate change or global warming. Apparently, the Evangelical Left finds the terms interchangeable. The signatories of the document on the web site, “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” believe that it’s high time for American evangelical Christian leaders “to offer a biblically based moral witness that can help shape public policy.” Commendable indeed. The signatories acknowledge that America is the most powerful nation on earth and that it should contribute to the well-being of the entire world. Again, commendable, but I’m not certain how we would go about doing that. Nevertheless, the wording is noble.
Among the signatories of this document are Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, and Brian McLaren. One can easily detect the influence of the emergent contingent in this document in the second paragraph of the Preamble: “We are proud of the evangelical community’s long-standing commitment to the sanctity of human life. But we also offer moral witness in many venues and on many issues.” (Emphasis added.) This caveat, this qualifier is rapidly becoming one of the trademarks of the Evangelical Left: Yes we are concerned about abortion, but… We are concerned about abortion, but there are other pressing matters out there that need our attention as well. We are concerned about abortion, but we have no qualms about voting for a presidential candidate who has a 100% approval rating with NARAL and Planned Parenthood, just for starters. We are concerned about abortion, but we’ll support a universal health care bill that will include provisions for both abortion and euthanasia. We are concerned about abortion, but we will listen to the progressive secularist talking points memo when it comes to global warming/climate change. We are concerned about abortion, but we also believe that we can measure the temperature of the globe at any given moment. As we proceed in our examination of this evangelical “call to action,” it will become increasingly evident that the evangelical signatories are walking in lock step with the secularists on many unproved aspects of global warming/climate change, and, by their signatures and influence are leading many in their respective congregations and schools to follow suit. Like their progressive, secular counterparts, these evangelicals are acting as if global warming/climate change is an undisputed fact.
In order to get us started, I want to give an outline found on the web site entitled “For Concerned Citizens” and then move on to list and then comment upon the four “Claims” also contained in the main document.
For Concerned Citizens
The opening sentence in this section grabs the reader’s attention: “If you’re a committed Christian and you care about creation, we believe that addressing climate change is one of the most critical moral issues facing the church today.” Well, which Christian doesn’t want to be a committed one? Which Christian doesn’t want to care about creation? Which Christian doesn’t want to address one of the most critical moral issues facing the church today? This begs the question, of course, “Can you be a committed Christian, who cares about creation and not believe that climate change is an alarmist issue or even one of the most critical moral issues facing the Church today?” Well, you can ask that question, but these days expect getting yelled and screamed at by progressive secularists and leftwing Christians alike.
Are you not one of the faithful if, after studying the issue, you conclude that God is in control of weather and that we are not rushing headlong towards a climatology Armageddon? Can you be a committed Christian, who holds to the Creation Mandate issued to man by the Lord in Genesis 1:26-28 and be free to conclude that a great deal of the hype about climate change is just that: hype? Can you be a committed believer and think that much of what passes for “fact” regarding climate change is actually junk science? I’m just asking, and the reason I’m asking is because to many of us, this is not an issue where the debate is “over.” As Glenn Beck aptly noted, “‘The debate is over’ is a line that’s used only by those who realize they would never win a debate.”
The “For Concerned Citizens” segment of the web site offers three items that will help us get on board with climate change as Christians: Learn, Pray, and Act. Let’s look at then in turn.
The signatories tell us that we can “Learn about the science behind global warming, and discover its impact on everyone, and especially on the poor and vulnerable abroad. There are some important domestic impacts as well.” For these folks, it is a foregone conclusion that there is irrefutable science behind the information we receive about global warming. Given the way the words “global warming” are inserted in this section, it seems that the signatories equate climate change and global warming. Dr. Roy Spencer, former climatologist with NASA reminds us to be careful because “What scientists claim to know about manmade global warming is based as much upon faith as it is upon knowledge.” You don’t read that in the paper every day do you? The dirty little secret is that “The roots of the conflict over global warming go much deeper than a simple disagreement over what’s happening in the climate system.” Yet, it seems at the outset that the Evangelical Left has bought into the notion that global warming is a fact, that it impacts everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable abroad. Oh yeah, there are some important domestic impacts as well. Really? What might they be? A couple of timely and pertinent examples would serve the domestic public well instead of the vagaries in this first point.
But back on point, which committed Christian would not be concerned about the negative impact of global warming, especially for the poor and vulnerable abroad? Honestly folks, the only thing that gets our attention more is when the government schools lie to us and say, “It’s for the children.” Anyway, to drive the point home, there is an accompanying photograph of a destitute mud hut with a thatched roof. Smoke is emanating from the open space that is door. What they don’t tell you is that the smoke is probably from the cow dung they’re burning in the hut because environmentalists have categorically refused to allow these poor and vulnerable abroad to use biotech. Instead, they’re required to use cow dung to cook their food because some environmentalists have voted and decided that it’s better than giving them sustainable energy. For example, in 2002, over 80,000 delegates flew into Johannesburg, South Africa for a World Summit on Sustainable Development. The only thing better would have been for them to have had a “beer summit” with the poor and vulnerable. The delegates struggled through the meetings, staying in five star hotels. At the end of this august “World Summit,” Kenyan James Shikwati quipped, “What gives the developed nations the right to make choices for the poor?” Good question.
One of the main problems is that environmentalists, “Using moralistic, yet blatantly dishonest slogans and pseudo-science, the environmental movement has digressed dangerously and has replaced some of the radical movements for social experimentation of the last century.” An excellent book to show you the other side of user-friendly environmentalism is Paul Driessen’s Eco-Imperialism. Clearly, the signatories have not read, digested, or addressed Driessen’s arguments. But when you’re on a mission, those kinds of things (like reading) can be such a terrible nuisance. If you don’t believe me, just ask our elected officials. They’re discovering more and more reading, digesting, and addressing pertinent points in trillion dollar House and Senate bills can be such a downer.
Next, we’re informed that we can also “Pray for God to help us find effective, just, and compassionate solutions to the problem of climate change.” Okay. Fair enough. But are we certain that climate change is a problem that we can solve? That is a question that must be faced squarely and honestly. Climate change has been occurring since creation and, to date, man has done nothing about it, primarily because he is incapable of doing anything about it. “Wait,” an environmentalist alarmist screeches, “what about CO2!” What about it? Oh, I get it! Some actually think that we can do a lot about CO2, and that all the CO2 is manmade and man’s fault. Well, that’s simply not true, as will become evident in subsequent installments. Yes, it is a greenhouse gas, but so are nitrous oxides and methane. We’ll come back to this argument in a moment, but for now I just want to draw your attention to the concept of greenhouse gases.
This is the third plank in this house of cards. In other words, get out and do something!! Equip yourself with the facts, or what passes among the greenie alarmists as facts—it’s all the same—, and the “impacts and basic science”—this might take a little while—then “do what you can in your life, household, church, community, and business.” Since this section is very imprecise, you might have to think a little. Recycle papers, cans, bottles, buy a Honda or Prius, use those nice government approved mercury filled light bulbs that require a HazMat team and about $2,000 in costs if you drop one and break it—you know, unlike the old incandescent bulbs you use now, get your church to offer non-CO2 yoga classes, and if you own your own business, cave like BP did to environmentalists’ pressure and lobbyists. If you own cattle and sheep, convince them to stop belching and passing gas. Yep. I’m not making this up. Now not only man is a huge problem for the environmentalists, but so are cattle and sheep that are constantly belching and ridding themselves of their flatulence. That throws all kinds of methane gas (remember: greenhouse gases) into the air. Maybe there’s a market for cattle and sheep Bean-o.
Then, the signatories suggest that we contact our elected representatives. There you go! Have you tried that lately? Haven’t you seen just how eager your elected and appointed officials are to talk to you? If you call one of these prima donnas, you’re treated like an inconvenient truth. You are wasting their precious time. Oh, yes, by all means call your elected representatives. That will help enormously.
Did you hear that Senator Dick Durbin accused many of those attending the townhall meetings concerning universal health care as “plants” brought there by insurance companies? Have you noticed the looks of disdain and bewilderment on the faces of our elected representatives at those meetings? They’re flabbergasted; flummoxed. Some have resorted to calling the law-abiding citizens a “mob.” Yep. It sounds like they want to hear from us all right. The media is rounding the attendance numbers at these meetings way down. If 10,000 show up, they report 200. That’s right. You really don’t exist anymore. So to the deep philosophical question: Do I exist? The answer from many politicians is a resounding No! Why do they do that? It’s because the media is, by and large, comprised of leftwing, ideological hacks. To add to the lunacy, our evangelical leaders, committed to the care of creation and for the poor and vulnerable abroad believe that by our actions there can be “an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” Common sense has left the building. These leaders do not even entertain the possibility that if we stopped breathing and took every car off the roads we could not reduce greenhouse emissions (methane, nitrous oxides, and CO2) by anywhere near 80%.
The 4 “Claims” of the Evangelical Climate Initiative
We’re running out of time for this installment, but before I go, I want to give you the 4 “claims” and then we’ll come back to each of them in our next issues.
Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real.
Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest.
Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response on the Climate Change Problem.
Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.
Don’t ask me why there was a change in capitalization in these claims in the document. My guess would be that it was the product of global warming.
 Glenn Beck, Common Sense, (NY: Threshold Editions, 2009), p. 17.
 Roy Spencer, Climate Confusion, (NY: Encounter Books, 2008), p. 85.
 Ibid., 86.
 Michael Economides & Ronald Oligney, The Color of Oil, (Round Oak Publishing Co., 2000), p. 141.