It’s not easy being a global warming alarmist these days, what with the cascading daily disclosures of Climategate. But if you are a global warming alarmist operating within the progressive/liberal precincts of churches and their activist organizations, you have a potent option, one that the climatologists and policy wonks can only dream about when they get cornered by the facts. You can play the theology card!

Over at the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program blog, writer “jblevins” is troubled by a lot of the skeptical talk about global warming in the wake of serial East Coast blizzards. Not to worry, if you’ve bet on the Atmospheric Apocalypse, because right away “jblevins” throws down the trump card [emphasis mine]:

… our call to care for God’s Creation is not contingent on weather events or even on scientific proof. We are called as people of faith to live in relationship with all of God’s People and all of God’s Creation. Part of that means addressing the way we have been living that has caused unbalance amidst that Creation. For us, this is not an issue of politics, or even necessarily of science. It is a call of our faith, as our principles again state, “as people of faith we are guided by the value of sustainability. Sustainability requires that we enable biological and social systems that nurture and support life not be depleted or poisoned.

There you have it. Global warming (note the semantic shift to climate change as the activists dig out their driveways) is not about the science, it’s about the “call of faith.” Now, I happen to think this is pious nonsense, but let us ask for the sake of asking: If your global warming alarmism is not based on sound science, then it is based on … what? Divine Revelation? Or is it simply a feeling, a mood, an emotion? As in, “I feel like Creation is poisoned.”

Obviously, the folks at the NCC are deeply conflicted because one of the articles of their “Faith Principles on Global Warming” statement sets out some rather precise policy formulas for bringing Creation back from the brink:

Follow recognized scientific guidelines and recommendations in order to protect all of God’s creation and prevent catastrophic damage to God’s Earth and God’s people. Following their recommendations, legislation must include comprehensive, mandatory, and aggressive emission reductions that aim to limit the increase in Earth’s temperature to 2 degrees Celsius or less. Legislation should focus on the short term goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions to reach a 15-20 percent reduction in carbon by 2020 with a long term vision to achieve carbon emissions that are 80 percent of 2000 levels by the year 2050.

But what is this policy formula founded on? What, exactly, are the “recognized scientific guidelines”? Recognized by whom? Or, are these guidelines based on the “call of faith”? I’m afraid to ask. I might get played.

Meanwhile, the “official inquiry” into Climategate has lurched off to a wobbly start.

A member of an independent panel to investigate claims that climate scientists covered up flawed data on global warming has been forced to resign after sceptics questioned his impartiality. Philip Campbell, editor in chief of Nature, stepped down from the panel yesterday, just hours after its official launch, after an interview emerged in which he said there was nothing to suggest a cover-up by climate scientists at the University of East Anglia.

Foreign Policy magazine observes that Rajendra K. Pachauri, who as head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for the group, “is under fire from critics for a catalogue of recent embarrassments.” Pauchari is unrepentant but he also has a theological view of things, explaining to the Chicago Tribune in 2008 that, “I tell people I was born a Hindu who believes in reincarnation. It will take me the next six lives to neutralize my carbon footprint. There’s no way I can do it in one lifetime.”

The Climategate 2009 Web site posted a BBC interview of the UK’s Chief Scientist at the Department for the Environment, Professor Robert Watson, on the subject of “whether the case for man-made global warming is now unraveling after months of damaging revelations.” Prof. Watson did not play the theology card.

  • http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/ Paul W. Primavera

    Good post, John. By the way, the overwhelming majority of global warming alarmists are completely opposed to the only source of baseload electrical power that is free of all greenhouse gas emissions: nuclear energy. Wonder why?

    By the way, I bet that households in the northeast and Atlantic mid-states being kept warm and well-lit by the following nuclear power plants are sure glad they don’t have to wait on train loads of coal pushing through railroad tracks covered by two feet or more of snow to coal fired power plants. [Please note in this list that all but 2 nukes are at currently 100%, weather notwithstanding. The same can't be said for the wind mills and solar cells in this area. And this info is updated daily at the NRC web site.]

    Beaver Valley 1 100% power
    Beaver Valley 2 100% power
    Calvert Cliffs 1 100% power
    Calvert Cliffs 2 100% power
    FitzPatrick 100% power
    Ginna 100% power
    Hope Creek 1 100% power
    Indian Point 2 100% power
    Indian Point 3 100% power
    Limerick 1 100% power
    Limerick 2 100% power
    Millstone 2 100% power
    Millstone 3 100% power
    Nine Mile Point 1 100% power
    Nine Mile Point 2 100% power
    Oyster Creek 100% power
    Peach Bottom 2 100% power
    Peach Bottom 3 100% power
    Pilgrim 1 100% power
    Salem 1 100% power
    Salem 2 100% power
    Seabrook 1 100% power
    Susquehanna 1 87% power
    Susquehanna 2 94% power
    Three Mile Island 1 100% power
    Vermont Yankee 100% power
    North Anna 1 100% power
    North Anna 2 100% power
    Browns Ferry 1 100% power
    Browns Ferry 2 100% power
    Browns Ferry 3 100% power

    My favorite saying to all the eco-green on the outside, commie-pink on the side (i.e., watermelon) activists is simple:

    Green Power, Black Death.

  • http://palamas.info/ Rev. Gregory Jensen

    John,

    Good post thanks.

    Reading your thoughts here and then the original post on the NCC site I was struck by the writer’s contention that “our call to care for God’s Creation is not contingent on weather events or even on scientific proof. We are called as people of faith to live in relationship with all of God’s People and all of God’s Creation.”

    The writer’s contention that the human vocation “to care for God’s” not being “contingent on weather events or even scientific proof” is certainly true as a statement of biblical faith. Humanity is called by God to be stewards of creation and our stewardship is more than a use of the natural world.

    But the policy question, how we are to address “the way we have been living that has caused unbalance amidst that Creation” is necessarily concerned with scientific research. I may have the intuition that my actions have harmed creation. But that intuition–even if it is true–needs to be tested and purified by rigorous scientific analysis otherwise I risk causing more harm by my imprudent attempts to just “do something.” And this is really the heart of my criticism.

    The author does not respect the scientific process. Like many others in the environmental movement “jblevins” seems willing to ignore empirical research that does not confirm his own theological/political agenda.

    Though the author’s theology & politics are mostly progressive, I would argue he is as much a religious fundamentalist as an biblical literalist.

    Again, good words.

    Thank you.

    +FrG

  • John A. Jauregui

    Pay a tax, change the climate??? Are you angry about this obvious RICO Act fraud and the national media’s complicity in the cover-up, misinformation, reframing and misdirection of the issue and the related “carbon derivatives” market Obama’s Administration is spinning up? Why pay for propaganda? Take responsibility and take action. STOP all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. STOP donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The World Wildlife Fund. DEMAND they take you off their donors’ mailing list. They have violated the public trust. KEEP donations local, close to home. MAKE donations to Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe, the only politician to stand firmly against this obvious government/media coordinated information operation (propaganda) targeted at its own people. Senator Inhofe, the only politician to refuse the GREEN KOOL AID. Senator Inhofe, the only senator to stand between us and the collective insanity of the ruling class of elitist hucksters led by Al Gore. WRITE your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. Carbon is the stuff of life. He (Obama) who controls carbon, especially CO2, controls the world. Think of the consequences if you do nothing! For one, the UK is becoming the poster child for George Orwell’s “1984”. The mendacity of UK’s John Beddington, Robert Watson and Ed Miliband prove the point. The US government’s sponsorship of this worldwide Global Warming propaganda campaign puts it in a class with the failed Soviet Union’s relentless violation of the basic human right to truthful government generated information. Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bdneX1djD

    http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/81559212.html

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=0b32ab55-8d8a-4d0f-acf2-3aefddf5e261

  • http://www.theupsstorelocal.com/4553/ PATRICK POWERS

    “JUSTICE”, there’s that word again. This time it’s Eco-Justice, last week it was Social Justice. Who’s going to find a compounded Justice next week? And what will it cost?

    Some days I am reminded how those in prison all agree that there ain’t no justice, “I’m innocent and been done wrong.” Maybe putting all those who demand to be paid to achieve some form of justice into prison would protect mankind from them and give them equality. But wouldn’t that become a form of hell, or a socialist paradise?

    The NCC leans Left. Is there much to be gained from turning a light on them? I think it was Ken Larsen who found that these personalities are so deeply rooted in their eco-, social-, cosmic justice mindset that no fact based, or orthodox argument can produce a reasonable agreement.

    One can agree that there are ecological problems we need to assess, such the collapse of beehives, or plant blights. These have specific and measurable effects, as well as international impacts. But there is no evidence that transfers of wealth will improve the situation. In fact, if one considers the potato blight in Ireland, the answer is more freedom and free trade, not more government.

  • http://www.climagegate2009.wordpress.com Climategate2009

    John,

    Thank you for featuring the video. Hard to believe that appeared on the BBC, this shows the tide is turning when the #1 AGW cheerleader starts allowing sceptical content.

    Cheers!

  • Neal Lang

    “It is a call of our faith, as our principles again state, ‘as people of faith we are guided by the value of sustainability. Sustainability requires that we enable biological and social systems that nurture and support life not be depleted or poisoned’.”

    Hmmm! But wasn’t it God who done-in the dinosaurs by whacking the Earth with an asteroid? What can mere man do compared to the “Wrath of God?” And what about those made in the “Image and Likeness of God” whose lives will be “depleted or poisoned” by mindless environmental dictates that will impact mostly the very poor who will lack access to the energy needed to heat their homes, provide, clean and cook their food, and see to read their Bibles to their children?

    The environmentalist answer is always that man is a parasite that must be controlled through population control – abortions and contraceptives, when God told man to be “fruitful and multiply” and not artificially limit His greatest creation.

  • Neal Lang

    “Now, I happen to think this is pious nonsense, but let us ask for the sake of asking: If your global warming alarmism is not based on sound science, then it is based on … what? Divine Revelation? Or is it simply a feeling, a mood, an emotion? As in, ‘I feel like Creation is poisoned’.”

    It is based simply on the need for power! The philosophy is dialectical materialism predicated on the false belief that man has capacity by himself to change all that which God created. In practice, dialectical materialism always creates a worse environment than does capitalism. See Communist Eastern Europe, Communist Russia, and Communist China as prime examples of this.