It was bound to happen, with only a year to go to the vital Paris climate change talks Christian Climate change deniers are on the march. The Cornwall alliance (the name sounds so cuddly) have issued a ten point manifesto to protect the poor from a harmful climate change treaty.
Taking each point in turn…
1) Point 1 suggests whilst we can damage creation, God’s made it so wonderfully that it will self correct so we don’t need to worry. Where to start… The first thing to say is that God has made a wonderful world and to a degree this point is true. Out this morning I saw a wonderful maple leaf and praised God for it. Later this leaf will rot and help maintain the soil, this is self correction. The earth’s climate will self correct as Chris Rapley made plain in his article in the Observer on Sunday, but just not in a timescale that’s any use to humans. In the meanwhile we will have to suffer the consequences.
2) The next point these Christian Climate change deniers make is that “Earth’s temperature naturally warms and cools cyclically throughout time, and warmer periods are typically more conducive to human thriving than colder periods.” Again sort of true, but not helpful. In researching our next book, its clear that even the natural temperature changes have been highly disruptive to humans especially for agriculture (see below). The kind of changes scientists forecast are out-with anything humans have experienced. See this.
3) Point 3, like most deniers this lot cannot suggest climate change is not real, just pore cold water on the whole thing and its not going to be that bad. Maybe, but if we are wrong it will be too late…
4) Again sort of true again, but in my view not helpful. The point is since the industrial revolution its us that are changing the climate. At the moment we are having the largest effect. In addition el nino and sunspots maybe masking greater change…
5) Similar to the last point above and scientifically illiterate.
6) Are yes the old CO2 is fertilizer argument… See this post I did here. To summarise its thought that increased CO2 in the tropics will not have any positive effect on plant growth, whereas in temperate regions it may do. This is because many tropical plants use an additional pathway called the C4 pathway. This makes them as efficient as they can be at fixing CO2. However the biggest effects will be weather changes on plant growth, these could be beneficial or disastrous depending on when and where you are.
7) Point 7 suggests they might like to read our book, in recent years certainly in Europe with natural gas and globally with oil fossil fuel energy has become increasingly expensive and insecure. There is reason to believe the current price falls will not last. Fossil fuels and uranium are finite we need to get off them for other reasons other than climate..
8) I’m tempted to say we don’t know since we have not tried, all the science from 97% of climate scientists suggests getting off fossil fuels will stop future increases in temperature.
9)/10) It curious isn’t it that China, India and a growing number of developing countries are switching wholeheartedly to renewable energy. It looks as though solar electricity will be cheaper than gas even in the UK soon.
The problem with this bunch of Christian Climate change deniers is they have taken things that are true and distorted them out of proportion. The real fact is that far from protecting the poor climate change will harm them hardest and first. A fact that the Christian development agency I support recognises. Andy is interviewed by Valerie Comer on why Christians are not interested in the environment here.
Sceptical science linked to above was set up by a Christian climate scientist.
The infographic above was created by me to go in our new book.