Tuesday, February 14, 2006

[Global Warming, Politics]

Evangelicals and the Warming Wedge?

Last week, a coalition of 86 evangelical Christian groups joined together to promote the Evangelical Climate Intiative (ECI). I know of a couple of fairly anti-Evangelical readers of Hog--but hold your fire. This is really cool. In their call to action, they do not equivocate nor ignore science, observing:
  • Human-Induced Climate Change is Real
  • The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest
  • Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem
  • The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change--starting now.
The person leading the charge is Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, and one of the most popular preachers in the country. It is exactly the kind of support global warming needs to become a serious issue in American politics.

It's also a controversial issue that appears to be dividing the impenetrable "values" caucus. Following the announcement of the ECI, the National Association of Evangelicals--the largest evangelical organization--put the kibosh on it:
The National Association of Evangelicals said yesterday [Feb 1] that it has been unable to reach a consensus on global climate change and will not take a stand on the issue, disappointing environmentalists who had hoped that evangelical Christians would prod the Bush administration to soften its position on global warming.
Other dissentors include the always-wacky Jerry Falwell, who calls global warming "junk science." His view seems to pretty nicely summarize the position:
In addition, I believe that so-called solutions to global warming — and particularly the Kyoto Protocol, which is the politically-correct international agreement to fight greenhouse gas emissions — would devastate the American economy if adopted by our nation. Further, studies have shown that costly efforts to stem greenhouse gas emissions would just barely reduce global temperatures.
For many stalwarts in the Bush wing of the oil party, this is no time to start understanding science. Worse, for Republicans who peeled off labor Democrats with the abortion issue, the "values" compenent of global warming looks a lot like a peel-back. This, along with the further values component of the living wage debate and health care, may prove to be winning wedge issues to bring evangelicals back to the left. Lord knows--ahem--the GOP has been hammering social wedge issues long enough; time to fight back.

1 comment:

iggir said...

what's their real stake in all this? it's not just "christian" morals, there must be some sort of power move at work here. these people barely have any recognition of Christ's true values, yet somehow they now want to ease the burden on poor folk?

call me cynical, but i don't buy it.