Re: [asa] An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming

From: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Dec 05 2009 - 01:07:12 EST

Hi John,

What do I think about this? I think it's pretty much useless.

It states:
"The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost."

This is a straw-man argument. Attacking the energy industry is not what climate change science is about, nor is this extremism (i.e. "no matter the cost") representative of the policies being put before the United Nations or the U.S. Congress.

It states:
"Mankind, created in God’s image, is the crown of creation. Human beings have the divine mandate to multiply and to fill, subdue, and rule the Earth, transforming it from wilderness into garden."

Yes, human beings are instructed to be fruitful and multiply, but SO ARE ALL THE ANIMALS. If we transform everything from "wilderness into garden" then we will effectively prevent many of God's other creatures from doing His will to be fruitful and multiply.

It states:
"The Biblical worldview contrasts sharply with the environmentalist worldview—whether secular or religious—in many significant ways. Among these, four are particularly germane:
    * Environmentalism sees Earth and its systems as the product of chance and therefore fragile, subject to easy and catastrophic disruption. The Biblical worldview sees Earth and its systems as robust, self-regulating, and self-correcting, not immune to harm but durable.
    * Environmentalism sees human beings principally as consumers and polluters who are only quantitatively, not qualitatively, different from other species. The Bible sees people as made in God’s image, qualitatively different from all other species, and designed to be producers and stewards who, within a just and free social order, can create more resources than they consume and ensure a clean, healthful, and beautiful environment.
    * Environmentalism tends to view nature untouched by human hands as optimal, while the Bible teaches that it can be improved by wise and holy human action.
    * Environmentalism tends to substitute subjective, humanist standards of environmental stewardship for the objective, transcendent standards of divine morality."

Who defined environmentalism in this way? I certainly didn't. Neither did the ELCA for example, in their statement on care of creation: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Social-Statements/Environment.aspx; or any of the other Christian denominations in their signing of the Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation: http://www.creationcare.org/resources/declaration.php; or the Eastern Orthodox Church: http://www.orth-transfiguration.org/

And these are just my thoughts after a brief glance. Do you need me to continue my analysis?

In Christ,
Christine

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" ~II Corinthians 5:7

Help save the life of a homeless animal--visit www.azrescue.org to find out how.

Recycling a single aluminum can conserves enough energy to power your TV for 3 hours--Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Learn more at www.cleanup.org

--- On Fri, 12/4/09, John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
> Subject: [asa] An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming
> To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Date: Friday, December 4, 2009, 10:49 PM
>
>
> Guys,
>
> Tell me what you think about this.
>
> John
>
>
>
>
> A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the
> Poor
> An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and
> Economics of Global Warming
>  
> http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor/
>  
>  Endorse An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming!
> Download this document (PDF, 76 pages)
> Download a summary (PDF, 6 pages)
>  
> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
>  
> The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil
> fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing
> global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop
> it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost.
>
> Is that idea true?
> We believe not.
> We believe that idea—we’ll call it “global warming
> alarmism”—fails the tests of theology, science, and
> economics. It rests on poor theology, with a worldview of
> the Earth and its climate system contrary to that taught in
> the Bible. It rests on poor science that confuses theory
> with observation, computer models with reality, and model
> results with evidence, all while ignoring the lessons of
> climate history. It rests on poor economics, failing to do
> reasonable cost/benefit analysis, ignoring or
> underestimating the costs of reducing fossil fuel use while
> exaggerating the benefits. And it bears fruit in unethical
> policy that would
>     * destroy millions of jobs.
>     * cost trillions of dollars in lost
> economic production.
>     * slow, stop, or reverse economic
> growth.
>     * reduce the standard of living for all
> but the elite few who are well positioned to benefit from
> laws that unfairly advantage them at the expense of most
> businesses and all consumers.
>     * endanger liberty by putting vast new
> powers over private, social, and market life in the hands of
> national and international governments.
>     * condemn the world’s poor to
> generations of continued misery characterized by rampant
> disease and premature death.
> In return for all these sacrifices, what will the world
> get? At most a negligible, undetectable reduction in global
> average temperature a hundred years from now.
> Our examination of theology, worldview, and ethics (Chapter
> One) finds that global warming alarmism wrongly views the
> Earth and its ecosystems as the fragile product of chance,
> not the robust, resilient, self-regulating, and
> self-correcting product of God’s wise design and powerful
> sustaining. It rests on and promotes a view of human beings
> as threats to Earth’s flourishing rather than the bearers
> of God’s image, crowned with glory and honor, and given a
> mandate to act as stewards over the Earth—filling,
> subduing, and ruling it for God’s glory and mankind’s
> benefit. It either wrongly assumes that the environment can
> flourish only if humanity forfeits economic advance and
> prosperity or ignores economic impacts altogether. And in
> its rush to impose draconian reductions in greenhouse gas
> emissions, it ignores the destructive impact of that policy
> on the world’s poor.
> Our examination of the science of global warming (Chapter
> Two) finds that global warming alarmism wrongly claims that
> recent temperature changes have been greater and more rapid
> than those of the past and therefore must be manmade, not
> natural. It exaggerates the influence of manmade greenhouse
> gases on global temperature and ignores or underestimates
> the influence of natural cycles. It mistakenly takes the
> output of computer climate models as evidence when it is
> only predictions based on hypotheses that must be tested by
> observation. It falsely claims overwhelming scientific
> consensus in favor of the hypothesis of dangerous manmade
> warming (ignoring tens of thousands of scientists who
> disagree) and then falsely claims that such consensus proves
> the hypothesis and justifies policies to fight it. It seeks
> to intimidate or demonize scientific skeptics rather than
> welcoming their work as of the very essence of scientific
> inquiry: putting hypotheses to the
> test rather than blindly embracing them.
> Our examination of the economics of global warming alarmism
> (Chapter Three) finds that it exaggerates the harms from
> global warming and ignores or underestimates the benefits
> not only from warming but also from increased atmospheric
> carbon dioxide. It grossly underestimates the costs and
> overestimates the benefits of policies meant to reduce
> carbon dioxide emissions. It exaggerates the technical
> feasibility and underestimates the costs of alternative
> fuels to replace fossil fuels in providing the abundant,
> affordable energy necessary for wealth creation and poverty
> reduction. It ignores the urgent need to provide cleaner
> energy to the roughly two billion poor in the world whose
> use of wood and dung as primary cooking and heating fuels
> causes millions of premature deaths and hundreds of millions
> of debilitating respiratory diseases every year. It fails to
> recognize that the slowed economic development resulting
> from its own policies will cost many times
> more human lives than would the warming it is meant to
> avert.
> In light of all these findings, we conclude that
>
>     * human activity has negligible
> influence on global temperature,
>     * the influence is not dangerous,
>     * there is no need to mandate the
> reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and
>     * environmental and energy policy should
> remove, not build, obstacles to the abundant, affordable
> energy necessary to lift the world’s poor out of poverty
> and sustain prosperity for all.
> We also gladly join others in embracing An Evangelical
> Declaration on Global Warming.
>
>
> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF CHAPTER ONE:
> THEOLOGY, WORLDVIEW, AND ETHICS OF GLOBAL WARMING POLICY
> Earth and all its subsystems—of land, sea, and air,
> living and nonliving—are the good products of the wise
> design and omnipotent acts of the infinite, eternal, and
> unchangeable Triune God of the Bible. As such they reveal
> God’s glory. Mankind, created in God’s image, is the
> crown of creation. Human beings have the divine mandate to
> multiply and to fill, subdue, and rule the Earth,
> transforming it from wilderness into garden. They act as
> stewards under God to cultivate and guard what they subdue
> and rule. Calling them to be His vicegerents over the Earth,
> God requires obedience to His laws—in Scripture and
> imprinted in the human conscience—in their stewardship.
> Although sin, universal among mankind, deeply mars this
> stewardship, God’s redemptive act in Jesus Christ’s
> death on the cross and His instructive activity through
> Scripture, communicating the nature of creation and human
> responsibility for it, enable people to create wealth and
> decrease poverty at the same time that they pursue
> creation stewardship and, even more important, the true
> spiritual wealth of knowing their Creator through Jesus
> Christ.
> The Biblical worldview contrasts sharply with the
> environmentalist worldview—whether secular or
> religious—in many significant ways. Among these, four are
> particularly germane:
>     * Environmentalism sees Earth and its
> systems as the product of chance and therefore fragile,
> subject to easy and catastrophic disruption. The Biblical
> worldview sees Earth and its systems as robust,
> self-regulating, and self-correcting, not immune to harm but
> durable.
>     * Environmentalism sees human beings
> principally as consumers and polluters who are only
> quantitatively, not qualitatively, different from other
> species. The Bible sees people as made in God’s image,
> qualitatively different from all other species, and designed
> to be producers and stewards who, within a just and free
> social order, can create more resources than they consume
> and ensure a clean, healthful, and beautiful environment.
>     * Environmentalism tends to view nature
> untouched by human hands as optimal, while the Bible teaches
> that it can be improved by wise and holy human action.
>     * Environmentalism tends to substitute
> subjective, humanist standards of environmental stewardship
> for the objective, transcendent standards of divine
> morality.
> This Biblical vision anticipates the development of
> environmentally friendly prosperity through the wise
> application of knowledge and skill to the raw materials of
> this world and the just ordering of society. That is, it
> anticipates the achievement of high levels of economic
> development and the reduction of poverty along with
> reductions in resource scarcity, pollution, and other
> environmental hazards.
> The providence and promises of God inform a Christian
> understanding of creation stewardship, helping to avert
> irrational or exaggerated fears of catastrophes—fears that
> are rooted, ultimately, in the loss of faith in God. Those
> who do trust God are able to assess and respond to risks
> rationally. God’s wisdom, power, and faithfulness justify
> confidence that Earth’s ecosystems are robust and will, by
> God’s providence, accomplish the purposes He set for them.
>
> Sound policymaking requires both moral and prudential
> (cost/benefit) analysis. In this, a high priority for the
> church should be the welfare of the poor, since
> environmental policies often adversely affect them. That is
> the case with policies intended to reduce global warming by
> reducing the use of fossil fuels. For example, such fuels
> are currently the most abundant and affordable alternatives
> to dirty fuels, like wood and dung, which are now used by
> two billion people and cause millions of deaths and hundreds
> of millions of illnesses from respiratory diseases
> contracted by breathing their smoke. Insisting on the use of
> more expensive alternative fuels because of global warming
> fears means depriving the poor of the abundant, affordable
> energy they need to rise from abject poverty and its
> attendant miseries. Such policies fail both moral and
> prudential tests.
> Environmental policies the world’s poor most need will
> aim not at reducing global temperature (over which human
> action has little control) but at reducing specific risks to
> the poor regardless of temperature: communicable diseases
> (especially malaria), malnutrition and hunger, and exclusion
> from worldwide markets by trade restrictions. Money diverted
> from these goals to fight global warming will be wasted,
> while the poor will suffer increased and prolonged misery.
> Overall economic policy toward the poor should focus on
> promoting economic development, including making low-cost
> energy available, through which they can lift themselves out
> of poverty. It should not focus on wealth redistribution,
> which fosters dependency and slows development. Above all,
> the poor—and all other persons—need the gospel of
> salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ
> alone.
> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF CHAPTER TWO:
> THE SCIENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING
> When people ask, “Do you believe in global warming?”
> chances are they mean, “Do you believe human beings are
> causing global warming?” It is unfortunate that global
> warming has become synonymous with manmade global warming,
> because it obfuscates the real question: To what extent are
> human beings contributing to changes that are always
> occurring in nature anyway?
> Some people claim repeatedly that melting sea ice, an
> increase in global-average temperatures, stronger storms,
> more floods, and more droughts are occurring due to
> humanity’s burning of fossil fuels. But how many of these
> changes are real versus imagined? And of those that are
> real, how much, if at all, can they be attributed to human
> activities?
> Indeed, there have been some significant climatic changes
> in recent decades. For instance, the normal summer melt-back
> of Arctic sea ice has increased in the 30 years during which
> we have had satellites to monitor this remote region of the
> Earth. There has also been a slow and irregular warming
> trend of global-average temperatures over the last 50 to 100
> years—the same period of time the carbon dioxide (CO2)
> content of the atmosphere has increased.
> But correlation does not mean causation, and there has been
> a tendency in the media to overlook research suggesting that
> these recent changes are, in fact, related to natural cycles
> in the climate system rather than to atmospheric CO2
> increases from fossil fuel use. That changes occur does not
> mean human beings are responsible. There is good evidence
> that most of the warming of the past 150 years is due to
> natural causes. The belief that climate change is
> anthropogenic (human-caused) and will have catastrophic
> consequences is highly speculative.
> Recent progress in climate research suggests that:
>     * Observed warming and purported
> dangerous effects have been overstated.
>     * Earth’s climate is less sensitive to
> the addition of CO2 than the alleged scientific consensus
> claims it to be, which means that climate model predictions
> of future warming are exaggerated.
>     * Those climate changes that have
> occurred are consistent with natural cycles driven by
> internal changes in the climate system itself, external
> changes in solar activity, or both.
> In fact, given that CO2 in the atmosphere is necessary for
> life on Earth to exist, it is likely that more CO2 will be
> beneficial. This possibility is rarely discussed because
> many environmental activists share the quasi-religious
> belief that everything mankind does hurts the environment.
> Yet, if we objectively analyze the scientific evidence, we
> find good evidence that more CO2 could lead to greater
> abundance and diversity of life on Earth.
> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF CHAPTER THREE:
> THE ECONOMICS OF GLOBAL WARMING POLICY
> Many economists who have published articles on the subject
> consider the science of climate change a settled
> matter—that human beings are responsible for greenhouse
> gas emissions that cause dangerous global warming. We are
> aware of no economic models that take into account the
> possibility that human influence on climate is negligible.
> If this argument is correct—and we believe it is (see the
> science chapter)—then the justification for governments’
> pursuing greenhouse gas reductions in the name of climate
> control collapse.
> While we believe that human influence on climate is
> negligible, our task is to assess the economic prudence of
> policy options offered on the contrary assumption.
> Although some sector-level economic studies in agriculture
> and forestry indicate that warming might enhance well-being,
> most models find that human well-being improves because of
> economic growth with or without warming but improves less
> with significant warming. Even so, economists conclude that
> an optimal climate policy, assuming there should be one,
> would avoid locking into a particular technology.
> Nonetheless, most energy legislation does just that.
> Economists also recommend against stopping climate change
> entirely, favoring a policy ramp whereby carbon taxes or
> emission reduction targets slowly increase as and if average
> global temperatures rise. But the optimal policy
> recommendations are based on projected future temperatures
> from climate models rather than observed temperatures, on
> the basis of which less warming might be expected.
> On the assumption that politicians will seek to force
> reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, economists
> generally favor taxes over cap and trade as the means.
> Carbon taxes are (1) transparent so that citizens can
> recognize them, (2) flexible so they can be adjusted as
> needed (e.g., tied to average global temperatures), and (3)
> widely applicable (including across countries). Their
> revenues can be used to reduce other taxes, thereby possibly
> providing a double dividend (reduced CO2 emissions and
> economic growth due to removal of other taxes). In contrast,
> cap and trade leaves room for unjustified credits because of
> government and business corruption and dubious activities
> such as forest conservation and tree planting; it gives
> large emitters huge windfalls in the form of free permits
> early in the regime unless all emission permits are
> auctioned by the government; and it yields no double
> dividend. Both large industrial emitters and financial
> institutions, unsurprisingly, lobby hard for cap and
> trade—the former benefiting from the windfall at the
> start, the latter from transaction fees in a commodity
> market that could be worth $3 trillion annually. Their
> support for climate policies must not be mistaken, however,
> for conviction either that dangerous manmade warming is real
> or that the policies are the best way to respond. It is rent
> seeking: lobbying for legislation to profit from potentially
> massive, policy-created windfalls.
> Finally, many supporters of mandated emission reductions
> assume that price-competitive renewable energy sources will
> soon displace fossil fuels. However, large technical
> obstacles need to be overcome before renewable energy will
> become price competitive on global or national scales—a
> process that might take 50 to 100 years or more.
> In light of these considerations and those of the other two
> chapters of this document, we recommend against mandated
> reductions on CO2 emissions—whether through cap and trade
> (the worst kind of emissions reduction policy) or a carbon
> tax (the least bad emissions reduction policy, but still not
> good)—and for the promotion of economic development and
> targeted problem solving (e.g., disease reduction and
> nutrition enhancement) as a means to fortify people the
> world over—especially the poor—against material threats
> to their well-being, whether from climate change or anything
> else.
> Endorse An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming!
>
>
>      
>
>
> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu
> with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sat Dec 5 01:07:22 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Dec 05 2009 - 01:07:22 EST