The Global Warming Debate
by Motte Brown on 09/29/2006 at 1:04 PM
I was happy to read a report by Sheryl Blunt in the latest issue of Christianity Today about the efforts of the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA), a coalition of 130 theologians, scientists and others who oppose the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). Essentially, the ISA say the warnings of the ECI are a bunch of hooey.
ECI claims that human emissions are the main cause of global warming and that millions of people could die in this century if we don't curb our appetite for fossil fuels -- that and breathing and building fires to keep warm in the winter among other carbon-dioxide producing activities. They also claim there is a scientific consensus on all this. This is not so.
As Iain Murray points out in National Review Online's "Beware False Prophets" (in response to ECI's February report "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action"), a group of paleoclimatologists wrote in November 2005 that "enhanced variability during pre-industrial times, would result in a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in forcing temperature changes" (emphasis mine). Murray goes on to dispute most of the conclusions in ECI's report.
So given that there is no consensus, why are respected Christian leaders like Timothy George, Rick Warren and 84 others asking Christians to take action on issues still being debated in the scientific community? I suspect it's as Boundless contributor Matt Kaufman says:
"Since most of us aren't scientists (much less climate specialists), it's easy to get swept up in the tide of fearsome prophecies. Christians, of course, aren't immune."