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Evangelicals Debate Differing Views on Global Warming

CNSNews – June 1, 2007

I am not sure why this discussion even happens.  Actually, I do know but it is frustrating. In my opinion, the subject of global warming, it’s causes and effects, should be discussed by scientists not politicians and definitely not by religious theologians (and probably not bloggers). 

But I am a blogger and obviously I am discussing it.  Why do I have the double standard? Simple – the cat is out of the bag. The discussion of global warming is a top headline almost every night.  Do a Google News search and you will get dozens (hundreds?) of articles published everyday.

So since nearly every newspaper and TV news program has a story or ten, and there are dozens of blogs on the subject, I guess we might as well hear from the the theologians!

Evangelical Christians may be divided over the threat posed by global warming, but those who gathered to discuss the issue on Thursday said it was “not something that splits churches” — more like “an inter-family squabble.”

Speaking at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Rev. Jim Ball, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, maintained that “global warming is unequivocal. No topic has ever been so thoroughly scientifically reviewed.”


But another participant, Calvin Beisner, a professor of historical theology at Knox Theological Seminary and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, said the human impact on climate is “real but insignificant.”
He said foreseeable global warming would have both harmful – although not catastrophic – but also helpful “consequences for humanity, including the poor and the rest of the world’s inhabitants.”


Beisner also argued that government mandates aimed at reducing CO2 emissions “would do more harm than good.”


Beisner said: “Because energy is an essential component of economic production, reducing its use and driving up its costs will slow economic development in poor countries, reduce overall productivity and increase costs of all goods including the food, clothing, shelter, and other goods most essential to the poor.”


Beisner said that if the U.S. per capita GDP growth rate was reduced by half a percentage point “in the quixotic quest to fight global warming” well-to-do Americans would feel only adjustment – a minor adjustment – but the poor would be significantly affected.

“To raise the cost and reduce the availability of energy to the world’s poor is unconscionable,” he said. “It would prolong for decades or generations the high rates of illness and premature death that are inevitable accompaniments of poverty.”

You can read the rest of the interchange of these two men here.

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