Christians Argue over Global Warming

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Some evangelical groups have said it's a Christian's duty to fight global warming.

But a number of Christian Conservatives who gathered in Washington Thursday disagree.

They presented a moral case for slowing down the climate change fight.

Hold On a Second!

"Many hundreds of scientists are saying 'Wait a minute. What we're seeing as the consensus or what's purported to be the consensus really isn't a consensus of scientists. That there is uncertainty, there is disagreement,'" climatologist, Dr. David Legates, said.

Sen. James Inhofe says he used to believe in global warming until he really started to study the science. Now he no longer buys what pro-climate control groups like the National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations claim.

"Just keep in mind they're the same guys who back in the 1970s were saying another ice age is coming and we're all going to die," he said. "So we thought we'd really look at the science and we did."

Inhofe states the science is flawed and schemes like the Kyoto Treaty and others will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and send food and energy prices soaring. And who gets hurt the worst by that?

"It disproportionately hurts the poorest of poor people," he explained.

"We're simply going to increase the hardship that the poor and vulnerable in this country and around the world are already experiencing," said Dr. Barrett Burke of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Burke went on to explain that Christians do have a duty to be wise stewards of the earth and its resources. 

"We're not anti-earth. It isn't as though we think the earth is here to be abused. It's not. This is God's creation. We have a responsibility to care for it," he said.

But he pointed out unproven solutions to an unproven crisis like man-made global warming goes against Christians' high calling to care for the poor. 

"It's certainly is an unbiblical response to how we have a responsibility to help care for, meet the needs and lift the poor out of their poverty," Burke said. 

These groups who want the world to slow down before it rushes off willy-nilly to fight global warming are asking Christians who agree with them to do something. They're hoping to get a million Christians to go to the new Web site, We Get It, and sign a statement saying the science needs to be settled before governments take draconian action to control climate.

They think they'll do particularly well with conservative Christians. They cite a recent study by the Barna Group that found just 33 percent of evangelicals think global warming is a major challenge. Of 10 groups polled, evangelicals were by far the most skeptical about global warming.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative

But both sides in this debate have their own statistics. 

Christians gathered under the title Evangelical Climate Initiative released a poll late last year showing 84 percent of evangelicals want laws to reduce man-made global warming, and that 54 percent of evangelicals are more likely to support candidates who'll work to reduce global warming pollution.

When that poll came out, one of the Evangelical Climate Initiative's leaders spoke with CBN News. David Clark, a former chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters, took on the worry of many conservative Christians that mandatory controls to slow down global warming would also slow down the American economy.

Clark said, "This is not an anti-business movement. In actual fact, it could generate many new businesses over time. You've got people like GE and GM and many others…Walmart…who have said 'we need to address this issue.'"

And Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, signed on to a letter by the Evangelical Climate Initiative that asks government to step in and control carbon dioxide emissions that may add to global warming.

"We can't be all God wants us to be without caring about the Earth. I think that is kind of a no-brainer," Warren said.

But Christians on the other side of this debate say too much is still unproven, and until the science on global warming is rock-solid, it's too soon to go ahead with solutions that will radically alter life for billions of people, especially the poor.

Radio talk show hostess Janet Parshall at Thursday's news conference pointed out that God loves people most of all and He considers them the crown of His creation. 

She said, "We want real science so we can get real answers, not supercilious science built on political platforms. We want them to be answers that will be, number one, biblical; That, number two, are sound in their science; That, number three, do not break the back economically of the crown of God's creation."

Go Green, Not Gullible

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins says he doesn't want his generation remembered as naïve Americans "who surrendered our national sovereignty and the income of families to pursue science that is speculative at best."

He said, "You can be green without being gullible."

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Paul Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

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