Greens “smuggle” climate policy into the church to tip climate politics

Time to question the motives of the Hewlett and Energy Fouindations?

Without the evangelical community’s involvement, efforts to build a “broad coalition to pass major climate policies” are “doomed,” according to a just-released report from New America—a nonprofit group that claims to be “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.” 
gospel“Spreading the Gospel of climate change: an evangelical battleground,” according to E & E Newsoffers: “An autopsy of evangelicals’ influence on U.S. climate law.” While the efforts “failed,” the report concludes it is “not a lost cause,” as the authors posit: “(T)here is an untapped potential for environmental activism in the world of evangelical Christianity.” The closing words: “It is a battle worth fighting.”
So, while the initial effort may have failed, its supporters haven’t given up. They hope to learn from their mistakes and continue the crusade to “get evangelicals to tip the politics of the climate”—which consists of big-government solutions like a carbon tax and higher energy prices.
The report offers several reasons for failure, including: “Donors who pushed for this ‘deliverable’ did not really understand the internal dynamic of the evangelical world,” and suggests future tactics such as: “better messaging” and more “person-to-person connections.” 
Its authors lament that the evangelical community is “a decentralized religious tradition that lacks a clear hierarchy like the Catholic franandbanChurch” (which helps explain the recent alarmist views adopted by the Pope and many Catholic Bishops). They claim that since most evangelicals are Republicans, asking them to embrace climate change “challenged the belief in the primacy of unregulated markets that is the ideological glue that holds the Republican coalition together.” Both statements, I believe, show how little those attempting to engage “evangelicals on climate change” really understand the Christian faith—despite one of the report’s authors being “an expert on evangelicals.” 
We are not “decentralized,” nor is our resistance to “engaging” in climate change based in betraying Republican values. Our faith is centered on the Bible—which we look to for inspiration, guidance, and teaching. The messaging of climate change includes an entire world-view that challenges the primacy of biblical teaching. 
We believe that God created the Earth and that no part of His creation was by mistake or without intent. He created the earth to benefit humans, not the other way around. And, He is bigger than we are and has a plan. With that foundation, we see that God put coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium under our feet for a reason: because we would need it. In biblical times it wasn’t needed, but in His plan, he knew that we’d need it today. The carbon that was stored within the earth is released today, providing power and food for a world that has greater population than the apostles could have ever imagined—but God knew what it would be. We appreciate nature; value the earth and the bounty it provides. We’ve learned from the past mistakes and are pleased that America has greatly cleaned up the pollution of the 70s, but we don’t worship the earth.
While I hope all readers find the report’s inside strategic analysis interesting, evangelicals should be particularly alarmed with the realization that we have been, and will continue to be, the target of an organized and well-funded effort — from outsiders who “lacked deep knowledge about evangelicalism” — to “recruit evangelicals into policy solutions to climate change.” 
rickwarWhile admitting failure, there was some early success. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, was, in 2006, a signatory to the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). In 2008, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson appeared in an ad for climate action. Some Southern Baptist leaders drafted their own ECI—which was never launched. The report states: “Movement leaders, funders, and the environmental movement were optimistic that this small victory could be the foundation for even more ambitious legislative goals.”
The report is a fascinating case study of the outside effort to “smuggle” the climate policy campaign into churches. 
When I read the full 27-page document, the influence of “environmental funders” became obvious: “Since the mid-1990s, environmental funders recognized the need for a broader field of faith-based movements who could expand the influence of environmentalism to unlikely allies. They also realized that evangelicals had a special role to play in this religious portfolio because their religious community was closely associated with the Republican Party.” Evangelical Christians became the target of “constituency engagement development.” Financial grants were made to increase the role of climate change in churches. Environmentalists worked to reframe climate change as “Creation Care” and “hoped that evangelical Christians might publically embrace climate change as a moral issue and an authentically ‘conservative’ concern.”
To do this, funders looked to the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) “to reach out to evangelicals and leverage the moral authority of faith.” The report states: “With funding from the Hewlett and Energy Foundations, the EEN launched the Evangelical Climate Initiative, the culmination of its four-year effort to encourage major evangelical institutions to develop a public witness on climate change.” Notable Christian organizations, such as World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship were given thousands of dollars to name a “Creation Care Chair” in their senior staff. The report concludes: “From 1996 to 2006, EEN leaders and environmental funders believed that the Creation Care movement was on a trajectory of growing legitimacy and power.”
The efforts at infiltration included “building faith-based environmental clubs in Christian colleges” and offering to help churches “reduce their energy bills.”
The report chronicles the work of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light—led by an Episcopal priest: Rev. Alexis Chase. She persuaded alexisSouthern Baptist churches to host HEAT classes to train lay leaders to save energy and money in their own homes. And then, “smuggled” the climate policy campaign “into the class as an extension of personal discipleship.”
According to the report, EEN hoped to persuade Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research and Director of the Research Institute of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission—the policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention—to become an ally. Apparently, Duke “was open to the EEN’s message about climate change.” He explored the issue and listened to differing views—including the Cornwall Alliance’s Calvin Beisner (who the report paints as the key voice in exposing the Creation Care movement). Duke realized none of the climate change people gave “any consideration to the role of the Sun in affecting the climate.” Instead, climate action was about large-scale government solutions. He “settled on a belief that climate change was not human-caused and that large-scale government solutions being proposed would impose unacceptable human costs.”
They weren’treally solving the problem…They’re talking trillions of dollars of investment, a complete restructuring of the economy     in order to simply slow down the rate of warming…I said, okay, millions of people will lose their jobs. The entire energy industry         will be basically recalibrated. Plus, energy will be more expensive, and the undeveloped world will be plunged into poverty for             another generation.
Eventually the funders became frustrated. Quoting an anonymous source addressing the lack of enthusiasm of the evangelicals they were able to bring on board, the report states: “They certainly didn’t turn out to be everything that our funders hoped they would be. Our funders and, I think, some of our inside team to a lesser extent, hoped that this group would become zealots, would kind of be a new army for the community, and would really marshal the troops to this new height. The number of them that have done that is really small. It’s a handful actually.”
calbIn short, the evangelical Christian community had been used. National funders and environmental allies targeted us, thinking that we’d be ready to “influence legislation in Washington.” The strategy was to get “evangelical elites” to embrace “Creation Care” and “frame environmental concerns as moral issues”—thus “creating their own set of biblical and theological themes.” Then, the funders believed, they could “borrow their relationship with their constituencies and have them engage their members on the issue and have it be in a way that would appeal to their constituency.”
While environmental funders who invested in building the Creation Care movement have admittedly failed, the report states: “Movement leaders have also deepened their commitment to more long-term, values-based organizing in local evangelical spaces.” Now, instead of targeting “evangelical elites,” they realize they need “rank-and-file evangelicals.”
I encourage my fellow evangelicals to put on the full armor of God. As Duke did, use your intellect and prayer to discern the truth. Much like the serpent’s efforts with Eve, many Christians have come to realize that Creation Care has nothing to do with The Creator; instead it is attractive messaging for a political agenda.
Be alert. You are the prize to those who lack knowledge about who you are and what you believe in. Without you, their efforts are “doomed.”
Categories

About the Author: Marita Noon

Marita Noon

CFACT policy analyst Marita Noon is the author of Energy Freedom.,

  • Ian5

    “[Duke] settled on a belief that climate change was not human-caused…”

    Funny how this piece doesn’t even mention the word ‘science’. I’d like to know how he reached this outrageous conclusion. Who did he talk to besides Beisner? Did the list include any actual scientists? Or did he just pray about it?

    • Marita K Noon

      This article isn’t about science, it is about an organized and well-funded effort to infiltrate the church

      • Ian5

        Yet how Duke comes to the conclusion that rising GHGs are not contributing to climate change seems pretty important turning point in your article. “He explored the issue and listened to differing views”. Did you ask him who he talked to? Did the list include any scientists?

        At the end of your article you encourage your fellow evangelicals to put on the full armor of God. “…As Duke did, use your intellect and prayer to discern the truth”. How can you promote truth by leaving out a reference to science?

        • Brin Jenkins

          I did! I believe in God as the creator of the universe, and Jesus as his Son who showed us the errors of people’s ways. Satan uses all the tools and useful idiots to sway folks promoting evil.

          Manly elderly will die of cold and starvation. We have a grand total of 12 Gw of wind powered generation in the UK now. The most ever contributed has been 6GW of the most expensive electricity, on an ideal windy day, Most of the time we see less than 2-3 GW and of course nothing on those chilly dark nights. With 20% capacity now connected one might have hoped for better efficiency than this diabolic scheme.

          http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

          • Ian5

            Are you suggesting that Satan has infected all the scientists who’s research clearly indicate that human activity is largely responsible for rising GHGs, causing AGW? NASA, NOAA and virtually every other American and international research organization and scientific academy? Under the control of Satan? Please clarify what you are suggesting.

            • Brin Jenkins

              You will interpret it how you will, I stand by what I said as a believer in Christ’s message.

        • RealOldOne2

          “Yet how Duke comes to the conclusion that rising GHGs are not contributing to climate change seems a pretty important turning point in your article. … Did the list include any scientists?”

          A little investigation would have answered your questions.
          1) You misrepresent Duke in your statement above with a strawman argument, because he does not say that “rising GHGs are not contributing to climate change”. He elsewhere states “ECI’s first assumption appears under “Claim 2: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real.” While almost certainly true (since humans have long affected climates in which they live)” – http://erlc.com/article/a-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection
          2) As I pointed out in my comment above, it certainly included scientists.

          “How can you promote truth by leaving out science?”
          Yet another strawman argument. She doesn’t leave out science, as you would have known if you would have done a simple Google search on on Duke’s & ERLC’s other statements on climate change.

          These documents: http://erlc.com/documents/pdf/An_Open_Letter_to_the_Signers_of_Climate_Change.pdf & http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf reflect accurate statements of climate realism, based on empirical evidence and hard science. You can’t rebut anything stated in them.
          You are the one who doesn’t base your belief on empirical science. Your belief is based on flawed, faulty, falsified, failed climate models.

          • Ian5

            You can’t be serious. Cornwall Alliance and empirical science? Another climate change disinformation front group with ties to Heartland and other rubbish sites.

            • RealOldOne2

              Yes, I’m serious. But you obviously aren’t, as you once again totally avoid any discussion of science and post a baseless ad hom attack. You are doing a handwaving clown dance of obfuscation again Ian. You have lots of practice doing it, as you once again deny reality and empirical science because it goes against your ideology and your global warming religion.

              There is lots of empirical science by real scientists in the paper that I cited, http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf . The report profusely cites science which rebuts all 4 of the assumptions made in the ECI’s call to action. So sad that you deny that. But when you can’t refute any of the empirical science and arguments presented, all you have left is to deny, deny, deny.

              “a number of studies support the conclusion that natural causes – eg. fluctuations in solar output³ , changes in cloud forcing⁴ , and precipitation microphysics⁵ , could outweigh human CO2 emissions as causes of the current global warmth⁶ .”

              The IPCC admits that they have a “Low” Level of Scientific Undertanding (LOSU) of clouds, http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-9-1.html . One of the cited papers says: “If we have an otherwise good atmospheric model that does not do clouds right, its sensitivity may be wrong by a factor of 2 or 3, and that error will actually control the spectrum in the low-frequency range. It will have a rather important influence on fluctuations, even at the decadal level.

              Clouds are one of the important natural climate variables that the IPCC overlooks/dismisses. And peer reviewed science provides empirical evidence that shows that clouds can be the primary natural cause of the late 20th century warming.

              1) There has been no warming the ~15 years of the 21st century. – evidence: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001/trend/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/esrl-co2/from:2001/offset:-380/scale:0.05 , in spite of the fact that there has been an unprecedented amount of human CO2 added to the atmosphere, nearly 50% of the amount humans have added prior to the 21st century.

              2) Most of the warming in the last half century occurred from 1984-2000. – evidence: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1966/to:1984/plot/rss/from:1966/to:1984/trend/plot/rss/from:1984/to:2001/plot/rss/from:1984/to:2001/trend/plot/rss/from:2001/plot/rss/from:2001/trend

              3) Hatzianastassiou found that increased surface solar heating from 1984-2000 was 4.1W/m^2. – “Significant increasing trends in DSR [Downward Surface Radiation] and net DSR fluxes were found, equal to 4.1 and 3.7 Wm^-2, respectively, over the 1984-2000 period (equivalent to 2.4 and 2.2 Wm^-2 per decade), indicating an increasing surface solar radiative heating. This surface SW radiative heating is primarily attributed to clouds” – Hatzianastassiou(2005), ‘Global distribution of Earth’s surface shortwave radiation budget’

              This increase in surface solar radiation is confirmed by Pinker(2005) – “Long term variations in solar radiation at the Earth’s surface (S) can affect our climate … We observed an overall increase in S from 1983 to 2001 at a rate of 0.16 W per square meter (0.10%) per year … the observed changes in radiation budget are caused by changes in mean tropical cloudiness, which is detected in the satellite observations but fails to be predicted by several current climate models.” – ‘Do Satellites Detect Trends in Surface Solar Radiation’ 0.16*18 years = 2.9 W/m^2 over the 1983-2001 timeframe.

              This increase in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is also confirmed by Herman(2013) – “Applying a 3.6% cloud reflectivity perturbation to the shortwave energy balance partitioning given by Trenberth et al. (2009) corresponds to an increase of 2.7 Wm^-2 of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface and an increase of 2.4 Wm^-2 absorbed by the surface.” – ‘A net decrease in Earth’s cloud, aerosol, and surface 340 nm reflectivity during the past 33 yrs (1979-2011)’

              This increase in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is also confirmed by McLean(2014) – “The temperature pattern for the period 1988-1997 appears to be generally consistent with the 7% reduction in total cloud cover that occurred across the period 1987-1999. Applying that reduction to the influence of clouds in the energy budget described by Trenberth et al. [34] results in an increased average solar forcing at the Earth’s surface of about 5 Wm⁻². This increase is more than double the IPCC’s estimated radiative forcing from all anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. … Conclusions Since 1950, global average temperature anomalies have been driven firstly, from 1950 to 1987, by a sustained shift in ENSO conditions, by reductions in total cloud cover (1987 to late 1990s) and then a shift from low cloud to mid and high-level cloud, with both changes in cloud cover being very widespread. According to the energy balance described by Trenberth et al. (2009) [34], the reduction in total cloud cover accounts for the increase in temperature since 1987, leaving little, if any, of the temperature change to be attributed to other forcings.” – McLean (2014), ‘Late Twentieth Century Warming and Variations in Cloud Cover’

              The reduction in global mean cloud amount that caused the higher level of solar radiation to reach the Earth’s surface during the late 20th century is documented in this NASA data: http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zD2BASICS/B8glbp.anomdevs.jpg

              4) Your own IPCC ghg forcing formula (exaggerated by nonexistent positive water vapor feedback) shows only a 0.4 W/m^2 forcing over that same timeframe. (5.35 x ln (370/345) = 0.4) – evidence your own IPCC reports

              This empirical data shows that there was 6 to 12 times more natural solar forcing contributing to warming during that late 20th century time frame when most of the warming occurred than there was from ghg forcing. Clearly the empirical evidence shows that natural climate variability was the primary cause of the late 20th century warming. Specifically, it’s the Sun. Yes, that big ball of fire in the sky is the primary driver of climate, just as it has been throughout the entire history of the planet. While the increase in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface was the primary factor, it is also true that the mean level of solar activity over the last half of the 20th century was higher than the previous 7 consecutive 50 year periods, contributing to the late 20th century warming.

              “The period of high solar activity during the past 60 years is unique in the past 1150 years.” – Usoskin(2003), ‘A Millennium Scale Sunspot Reconstruction: Evidence For an Unusually Active Sun Since 1940’

              The high level of recent solar activity is confirmed in:
              • Tapping(2007), Fig.10, ‘Solar Magnetic Activity and Total Irradiance Since the Maunder Minimum’
              • Scafetta(2009), Figs. 13 & 14, “…shown in Figure 14. The figure shows that during the last decades the TSI has been at its highest values since the 17th century.”, ‘Total solar irradiance satellite composites and their phenomenological effect on climate’
              • Krivova(2010), Fig.6, ‘Reconstruction of spectral solar irradiance since the Maunder Minimum’
              • Krivova(2011), Fig.8, ‘Towards a long-term record of solar total and spectral irradiance’
              This is graphically shown here: http://www.climate4you.com/images/SolarIrradianceReconstructedSince1610%20LeanUntil2000%20From2001dataFromPMOD.gif

              Other natural contributors to the late 20th century warming were:
              • Warm phase of the PDO :
              http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fe/estuarine/oeip/figures/Figure_PDO-01.JPG
              http://research.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ &
              http://climate.ncsu.edu/climate/patterns/PDO.html &
              http://www.weathertrends360.com/Blog/Post/Dreaming-of-a-White-Christmas-2157
              • Warm phase of the AMO :
              https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/AMO_and_TCCounts-1880-2008_0.png
              &
              • Predominance of El Ninos:
              http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?a=126 (Fig. 6)
              http://www.intellicast.com/Community/Content.aspx?a=126

              • Ian5

                “Yes, I’m serious”.

                OK whatever you say. You might be sincere but I certainly can’t take you seriously. I saw your post and promotional yesterday for heartland’s rubbish report Climate Change Reconsidered. Intentionally designed to spread misinformation. Endless repetition of myths and talking points that have been refuted many times.

                • RealOldOne2

                  “rubbish report Climate Change Reconsidered. Intentionally designed to spread misinformation. Endless repetition of myths and talking points that have been refuted many times>”
                  LOL. Nice projection there, Ian! And nice DODGE on all the peer reviewed empirical science that I presented which shows that the late 20th century warming was caused by natural climate variables, not anthropogenic ghgs!

                  You are the one spreading misinformation. The Climate Change Reconsidered report, http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/ccr2physicalscience.html , is full of peer reviewed science that shows that climate change is natural, not anthropogenic.
                  None of it is “misinformation”.
                  None of it is “myths”.
                  None of it has been “refuted”.

                  You are behaving EXACTLY like a doomsday cult zealot who refuses to face reality, denies anything that goes against their cult religion, dodges addressing any empirical science that exposes the flaws and failures of their cult religion, spreads misinformation, tells lies.

                  You FAILED to address a single bit of the peer reviewed empirical science in my comment which convincingly shows that the most recent climate warming in the late 20th century was primarily caused by natural climate forcing, not anthropogenic forcing.
                  You FAILED to document a single bit of “misinformation” in the Climate Change Reconsidered report.
                  You FAILED to document a single “myth” that has been “refuted” in the Climate Change Reconsidered report.
                  You FAILED to document a single “talking point” that has been “refuted”.

                  You are a merely making baseless, evidence-free CLAIMS because the hard science that I cite goes against your CatastrophicAGW-by-CO2 doomsday climate cult religion. This is why your cult religion should be more accurately called CLAIMit science.

                  This is a habit for you. I present and cite hard science. You deny, dodge, and regurgitate your climate cult religious dogmas, and FAIL to refute a single thing I present. So sad. But so typical of doomsday cult zealots defending their religion with jihadist zeal.

                  “Global warming differs from the preceding two affairs [Eugenics & Lysenkoism] : Global warming has become a religion. … people with no other source of meaning will defend their religion with jihadist zeal.” – Dr Richard Lindzen, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT. Source: http://www.jpands.org/vol18no3/lindzen.pdf

                  And “This is propaganda. This is really a religious cult. And it’s a complete falsehood to say that it’s science.” – Prof. William Happer, Physics Professor Emeritus, Princeton Univ. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCDOf8Khiko#t=48

    • RealOldOne2

      “Funny how this article doesn’t even mention the word ‘science’. I’d like to know how he reached this erroneous conclusion.”
      He reached the conclusion using science, which is empirical evidence. If you would have done a little research, you would know this. In support of his conclusion, he wrote “we present extensive evidence and argument against the extent, the significance, and perhaps the existence of the much-touted scientific consensus on catastrophic human-induced global warming. Further good science – like truth – is not about counting votes but about empirical evidence and valid arguments. Therefore we present data, arguments and sources favoring a different perspective” – http://erlc.com/documents/pdf/An_Open_Letter_to_the_Signers_of_Climate_Change.pdf

      “Did the list include any actual scientists”
      The answer is yes, it included many scientists, including PhDs in Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics as the signers of the above document lists. And he mentions that the conclusion was also based on this document, http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf , which also included many scientists.

      The ‘Open Letter’ is based on empirical science and is the climate realist position. It is the same climate realist position as stated in the ‘Oregon Petition’, signed by over 31,000 scientists, which stated: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or any other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” – http://www.petitionproject.org/

      You can’t rebut a bit of the ‘Open Letter’ or ‘Oregon Petition’ with empirical science. Sadly, you are merely a believer in CatastrophicAGW-by-CO2 who bases that belief on flawed, faulty, falsified, failed climate models which are incapable of accurately projecting future global temperatures at even the 2% confidence level. “we find that the continued warming stagnation of fifteen years, 1998-2012, is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.” – vonStorch(2013)