Evangelicals were everywhere at the COP talks

Committed Christians were crawling under every rock at the United Nations climate talks in Paris, with environmentally-friendly evangelicals leaping into the fray as never before. Brian Webb headed up a Climate Caretakers team while VIP’s such as Richard Cizik and Katharine Hayhoe held interviews and made their presence known.

It seems that care for the climate is now all the rage — which should come as no surprise to anyone listening. The pope’s encyclical ignited many; the Lausanne Creation Care organization has held conferences on several continents; and the National Association of Evangelicals took a stand on human-induced global warming earlier this year.

The final Paris agreement mostly spawned praise — although James Hanson remained grim and called the entire gathering a “fraud.”  Hayhoe, however, exulted on her Facebook page: “As a climate scientist, this is like the best Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Your NSF Grant Was Funded Without Revisions all rolled into one big package with fancy French wrapping, ever.” After all, the conferees agreed to hold down the average global temperature increase to less than two degrees Centigrade over pre-industrial levels, with a preference for 1.5 degrees.  They also pledged to foster climate resilience, lower greenhouse gas emissions and make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”

While there, Cizik and Hayhoe gave a different face to evangelicals with this interview. They did well — in my opinion.

Naturally, the Cornwall Alliance sat back and condemned the whole thing, claiming the Paris negotiators would “doom billions to extreme poverty.” One wonders: Are these people drilling for oil when they bore their heads in the sand?

John Elwood wrote them an open letter on his web site.  He says,  “My goodness! The whole world is gathered here working feverishly day and night; they all agree on the basic facts of climate science; they are supported by the leaders of virtually every Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox association in the world, plus leaders of virtually every other world religion. And yet their efforts will doom billions to extreme poverty? Really?”

For the rest of his reply, go here.

About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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