Faith-Based Climate Policy?


A group of 86 evangelical preachers have issued an urgent call to action urging that the United States limit its emissions of greenhouse gases in order to slow or stop man-made climate change. Why? The statement offers among other reasons:

Christians must care about climate change because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God Himself (Gen. 1; Ps. 24; Col. 1:16).

Just how do they know that God has ordained that the average temperature of the earth should not exceed 59 degrees Fahrenheit? It was certainly considerably lower during ice ages.

In any case their chief policy recommendation is:

In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program.

The evangelical leaders stress that they support action against climate change because "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."

The evangelical signers essentially skip over what God has to say on the issue of just how to supply modern sources of energy to the 1.6 billion people who've never so much as flipped on a light switch. Boosting energy prices with carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes will obviously delay access to modern energy to the world's poorest people. It is an open question which is the more urgent problem: mitigating man-made climate change or alleviating abject poverty in which 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 per day and 2.8 billion live on less than $2 per day.