But in a greeting to Climate Week NY°C, a gathering dedicated to promoting urgent action to prevent dangerous, manmade global warming, she sadly endorsed one of the leading false ideas in the world. (If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, you might remember that we commented on similar statements Mrs. Fikes made three years ago
. We provided extensive evidence that her claims were false.)
Saying she represented the WEA with its 750 million people in 129 countries, she said, “climate change is not a controversial issue, as it is in the United States. The United States is the only country that I work in that this issue has been so controversial and so politicized.” She expressed sorrow that “What you hear most of in the media are evangelicals who are very opposed to climate change advocacy,” and “It’s been very discouraging and very challenging to work with my generation on this issue.”
But then she cheered up: “the good news is that younger evangelicals in the U.S. really get this issue. It resonates with them. They see it as a moral imperative that we speak out, because not only is it good for our own self-interest, national security here in the U.S., but it is also part of our faith, of loving our neighbors as ourselves.”
She spoke glowingly of a new campaign, “Green the Golden Rule,” promoted by some young evangelical environmental activists. These young evangelicals, she said, are asking, “How can you take the Bible literally and follow the command to Christ to love your neighbor as yourself, but yet not be involved in this issue that’s going to affect the least of these, the poorest of the poor, who are the least able to deal and adapt with how it will affect them in negative ways?”
But does the Golden Rule—“whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12)—necessarily entail believing every claim from the environmentalist community about eco-disaster lurking around the corner? Does the second Great Commandment—“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39)—require mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming, at a cost of trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, and delayed economic development for poor countries around the world?
The truth is:
- Scientists not only in the United States but all over the world object to claims of dangerous, manmade global warming and point out that enormous reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would have no significant impact on future global temperatures.
- Economists warn that attempting to fight global warming by turning from high-density, affordable, reliable energy sources (conventional fossil fuels) to low-density, expensive, unreliable energy sources (wind, solar, and biofuels) would cause enormous reductions in economic productivity and growth, reducing prosperity in developed countries and trapping developing countries in long-term poverty with its high rates of disease and premature death.
- The poor, both in America and around the world, will be most hurt by drastic climate policies.
- Hardly any of the 750 million people in WEA member denominations and organizations around the world were aware that Mrs. Fikes was speaking as their representative or would know enough about the science and economics of climate change and climate policy to support or oppose her comments. She really was speaking for herself and a small group of evangelical environmentalists in the WEA and elsewhere, not for 750 million.
- The Golden Rule doesn’t need to be “Greened.” It needs to be linked to factual knowledge that leads not just to good intentions but also to helpful actions.
The extent of mis- and disinformation in environmental discussions, even promoted by other evangelicals, is enormous, and billions of people’s wellbeing is at stake. The Cornwall Alliance continues to speak words of Biblical, scientific, and economic wisdom into this debate, but we need your support to be effective.
Will you please help us now with your generous gift of $50, $100, $250 or more?
Will you prayerfully consider joining those who support us with automatic monthly donations—the most effective form of support because it enables us to budget for the coming year? And above all, will you pray for us?
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
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The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation seeks to magnify the glory of God in creation, the wisdom of His truth in environmental stewardship, the kindness of His mercy in lifting the needy out of poverty, and the wonders of His grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ. A coalition of theologians, pastors, ministry leaders, scientists, economists, policy experts, and committed laymen, the Cornwall Alliance is the world’s leading evangelical voice promoting environmental stewardship and economic development built on Biblical principles. The Cornwall Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit religious, charitable, and educational organization. All gifts are tax deductible.