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Protecting the World’s Poor from Climate Change Madness: An Address to the Greer-Heard Point/Counterpoint Conference


To read the full talk (PDF), click here: Protecting the World’s Poor from Climate-Change Madness 

Why am I here?

I will tell you.

It’s not for an esoteric debate over whether this or that element of earth’s climate system increases or decreases the warming effect of a greenhouse gas.

It’s not for a soporific discussion over the merits and demerits of this or that computer climate model, or even all climate models and their ability to project future global average temperature.

It’s not to vindicate or vilify this or that energy source and the technology that harnesses it—whether wind or coal, sun or natural gas, biofuel or petroleum, geothermal or nuclear—or to support or undermine evil fossil-fuel corporations or evil renewable-energy corporations.

It’s not to cheerlead for, or beat up on, this or that group of environmental or economic or social or religious activists, whether they’re liberal or conservative, libertarian or progressive, socialist or capitalist, Democrat or Republican.

It’s not to lavish praise on all who agree with me and heap scorn on those who don’t, or to claim overwhelming consensus in support of my views or patronizingly remind those who do so that consensus matters in politics but not in science, or to remind them that the history of science is filled with the abandonment of consensus on questions large and small.

Why am I here?

I’m here because I’m convinced that for the global community to fight “climate change” by drastically limiting emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is for it to condemn billions of our neighbors to prolonged poverty and the miseries that accompany it, including high rates of disease and premature death, and to force millions who have escaped poverty back into it.

I’m here because I’m convinced that for the global community to fight “climate change” by drastically limiting emissions of carbon dioxide will necessitate enormous expansion of government control over our lives at every level, from home to workplace to world, undermining the precious heritage of liberty in those few societies that have achieved it and barring the path to it for the rest.

Those are outcomes I don’t wish to see. They’re outcomes I wish to prevent.

And that’s why I’m here.

Because I want to enlist your help in persuading policymakers here and around the world to reject policies to limit CO2 emissions and support instead policies that pave the way for the world’s remaining 1.4 billion people suffering in abject poverty to rise out of it and, along with another 4.1 billion, to achieve the levels of prosperity now enjoyed by the world’s most prosperous—and therefore healthiest and longest-lived—1.5 billion.

That’s why I’m here.

I want to enlist your help in persuading policymakers to preserve and expand liberty, not reduce it.

That’s why I’m here.

As a plenary speaker for the 2012 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, the theme of which was the care of creation, I ventured to voice my reasons for rejecting fears of catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming. Two of the three other plenary speakers—both New Testament scholars—responded with ridicule and scorn.

One told me, “Stop playing silly games with pseudo-science, and wake up to what’s really going on in the world!”

The other compared anyone who questioned catastrophic, anthropogenic (that is, manmade) global warming with an uneducated country pastor who couldn’t read the Greek alphabet and so would pronounce the Greek gar as yap.

As if ridiculing me as an individual weren’t enough, one also reproved the Evangelical Theological Society for even having invited me, saying “to invite different perspectives on [catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming (which henceforth I’ll call CAGW)] would be sort of like, ‘Let’s have a conference on Jesus in which we have equal representation by those who think Jesus existed and those who don’t think he did’,” and the other agreed.

Consistent with the “way off in the margins” idea, both repeated the widespread—and false—claim that “97% of scientists agree” that CAGW is real.

It seems the Greer-Heard Forum and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary disagree. They have the courage to invite not just one CAGW skeptic but three to speak to you.

For that I not only thank them but also encourage you to join me in applauding Dr. Robert Stewart, the other organizers, and the sponsors of this forum.

When political correctness reigns and some people have gone so far as to call for imprisonment or even death for CAGW skeptics, it takes some courage to do what our hosts have done.

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