Cool on Climate Change

New Christian coalition says fighting global warming will hurt the poor.
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A new coalition argues Christians need not heed warnings that millions will die from human-induced global warming and says we should seek more practical ways to help the world's poor.

Human emissions of carbon dioxide are not the main cause of global warming, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) said in a document released in July. The ISA, a loosely affiliated group of more than 130 theologians, scientists, policy analysts, and others, said the consequences of global warming for the poor have been exaggerated.

Activities that produce carbon dioxide—such as "breathing, building a fire to cook or keep warm, driving a car or tractor, or burning coal to produce electricity … [are] morally good and necessary activities that God intended for us," said Wayne Grudem, research professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary. "It seems very unlikely to me that God would have set up the earth to work in such a way that these good and necessary activities would actually destroy the earth."

The ISA is responding to the Evangelical Climate Initiative's February statement "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action," signed by 97 evangelical leaders. The statement claimed that "[m]illions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."

In its point-by-point retort, "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming," the ISA argues, "Claims of dangerous or catastrophic global warming are … based on grossly unrealistic assumptions about future energy use, dominant energy types, pollution levels, economic development, and other factors that do not reflect current facts or likely future situations."

"It's not so ...

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