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The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

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default The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Adrian on 7th May 2011, 2:00 pm

The Cornwall Alliance, a prominent group of religious thinkers in the US, explains why it urges followers to 'resist the Green Dragon'


Watching from afar how the environmental debate plays out in the US can be perplexing for many onlookers. Arguably, nowhere is the so-called "culture war" between left and right so heavily fought.

What is often not fully absorbed by onlookers, though, is the underlying role that religious doctrine – or "pulpit power" - plays in the environmental debate in the US. On the one hand, you have the "Creation Care" movement which is prevalent in some quarters of the Christian Church. On the other, particularly among evangelicals, you often see a vitriolic reaction aimed towards environmentalism.

Just last month, a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors found that 41% strongly disagreed with the statement: "I believe global warming is real and manmade." The survey also found that 52% of the pastors address the issue of the environment with their churches once a year or less, with evangelical pastors speaking less often on the environment than mainline pastors.

When, in 2007, I interviewed the Bishop of London in the midst of his "fast" from flying, I asked him about this issue. He was scornful of evangelicals who "justify and sanctify irresponsible, anti-social behaviour" though a very literal interpretation of the Old Testament's "mythological language".

Much of this debate seems to centre on the interpretation of one of the most contentious verses in the Bible – the so-called Dominion Mandate, or Genesis 1:28:

And God blessed them [Adam and Eve], and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth.

An organisation in the US called the Cornwall Alliance has intentionally and prominently positioned itself at the very heart of this debate. It describes itself as "a coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development". Its board of advisors features many religious leaders and thinkers, but includes scientists such as the climate sceptic Dr Roy Spencer. Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, its spokesman, is a prominent media figure in the US, appearing on shows such as Fox News' Glenn Beck, where he dispenses his harsh criticism of environmentalism.

To better understand this mindset, I recently approached Beisner with an interview request. He agreed, but said that he wanted me to first read the Cornwall Alliance's latest book called Resisting the Green Dragon: Dominion not Death. Written by James Wanliss, who describes himself as a "Christian physicist", the book is built on the premise that "without doubt one of the greatest threats to society and the church today is the multifaceted environmentalist movement". It's hard to summarise any book in a few sentences, but here are a few snippets to give a flavour of the book's tone:

The Litany of the Green Dragon provides some certainty for people without God, who drift steadily from their rational moorings, and for whom there is an increasing sense of separation anxiety...

We humans are special creatures, in a class of our own, quite separate from, and superior to, trees and animals...

The Green Dragon must die…[There] is no excuse to become befuddled by the noxious Green odors and doctrines emanating from the foul beast...

This slimy jade road…is paved with all kinds of perverted and destructive behaviours, leads to death itself, and finally, to the pains of hell forever…No Hollywood celebrity bunnies draped over its foul form can deny its native evil...

It is no coincidence the rise of environmentalism as a significant political entity tracks the rising political clout of modern feminism...

Savage wolves have come to be among the church…No one can serve two masters...

The first few chapters in the Book of Genesis are an infinite mine to plumb for riches. All the world has no wisdom that is greater...

So-called "natural" or wilderness areas are not hospitable to man, and God does not consider this a good or natural state...

The fruits of the Green Dragon are not good, but evil…Humans are urged to surrender as many liberites as judged fit to save the world, which is pretty much all liberty that makes life worth living...

Christians must resist Green overtures to recast true religion, nor allow themselves to be prey for teachers of pagan heresies...


So having read the book – and watched some of the lectures on the accompanying DVD set – I began by asking Beisner why the Cornwall Alliance chooses to attack environmentalism with the kind of harsh, strong language – "foul beasts", "native evil" etc - expressed in the book:

We look at the environmental movement as a whole and particularly at the kinds of positions espoused by the top leadership of the largest environmental NGOs around the world. What I would say is that those definitely tend to be un-Christian in their world view – either secular and atheistic on the one hand, or spiritual, but not Christianly spiritual, and pantheistic on the other hand. There is a clear rejection of Biblical teaching that humanity should have dominion. And sin tends to get defined by environmentalism as our use, or abuse, of the Earth far more than in terms of our violation of the revealed laws of God in, say, the Ten Commandments. The solution to human problems tends to be "don't touch this, don't handle that", which is precisely the kind of thing that the Apostle Paul warned, rather than pointing to the gospel of redemption through the atoning death of Christ of the Cross. Environmentalism, as a movement, is an alternative world view and a substitute for Christianity.

My principal concern about environmentalism is a religious, logical, ethical concern. My secondary concern is that its science and economics are often flawed in ways that would point us towards policies that are especially destructive and harmful to the world's poor and, secondarily, everyone else.

I then asked Beisner why, in his view, the Dominion Mandate appears to take precedence over all else:

There are two reasons. One positive and the other negative and apologetic. The positive reason is simply the placement of that sentence in the overall text of scripture. Genesis 1:28 comes at the climax of the first chapter where we read of God creating the Heaven and the Earth, light and darkness, sea creatures, land creatures, and, finally, humanity made in His own image. And then He gives humanity this mission, this stipulation, as to its purpose on Earth. Its placement there makes it, hermeneutically, a very important verse for our understanding of the role of Mankind from the beginning of scripture. And you see that point being picked up again and again at various points in scripture.

But I also mentioned a negative reason. Lynn White's 1967 article, The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis, is probably one of the half dozen most important articles for laying the foundations of the modern environmental movement. It has been cited thousands of times. The thesis of the article is, because of Genesis 1:28 claiming that God instructed Man to subdue and rule the Earth, Judeo-Christian religion, and, in fact, all Abrahamic religion, has promoted an exploitative, no-responsible attitude of humanity towards the Earth and its resources; that we can use it any way we please without regard to the harm to fellow Man and other living creatures. White argued in that article that we would deliver the Earth from ravaging exploitation only by means of a thorough repudiation of that heritage. That has made dominion a major issue in environmental theorising.

What I find ironic is that White didn't present any proof that any Christian or Jewish scholar ever interpreted it in that way. So part of the task of Biblical theologians applying scriptural teaching to environmental stewardship issues is to correct White's misrepresentation of the Christian Church and the verse, and to point out that coming as it does, where it does, in Genesis, we need to learn from God's own example what dominion and rule entails. Man's dominion over the Earth should reflect God's dominion over the Earth so as to glorify God and to give benefit to our fellow human beings and, indeed, all the rest of life on Earth. As God went through creation week, He created abundance, beauty and flourishing life. That's the kind of thing humanity ought to be doing.


Throughout the book, the concept of "growth" is always spoken of in positive terms. I asked Beisner whether everything can just "keep growing", say, human population, without any form of restriction?

That straight away is terribly anachronistic as population shrinkage is going to be the next big challenge and begin around 2050. In and of itself, the total size of population is irrelevant ethically. You are certainly going to face challenges from either a growing or shrinking population. Where environmentalists start off as fundamentally mistaken is their vision of human beings. They see human beings as, primarily, consumers and polluters. Whereas the Bible teaches that humans, who are made in God's image, are producers and stewards. Obviously, it's not automatic. There needs to be education and moral commitment, and those things are furthered in my understanding through people being reconciled to God through the atoning work of Christ on the Cross and their faith in Him. As the late Julian Simon used to put it: "Every mouth that is born into this world is accompanied by two hands and, far more importantly, a mind." Those two hands and a mind are capable of producing far more than that mouth can consume. That's why, over the past several hundred years, each generation has also been wealthier on a per capita basis. We produce more wealth than we can consume. And that's a good thing.

I put it to Beisner that the book uses disparaging, negative terms when speaking of socialism, Obama, Democrats etc. Only Adam has more citations in the book's index than Al Gore, who has more than Satan. I asked him whether he aligns himself more along Republican lines, either politically or ideologically:


I'm pretty disgusted with all political parties. They're all gutless, pandering to people's desires to have the state meet their needs rather than through their own efforts. That would apply equally to big businesses rent-seeking and lobbying, trying to get governments to give them a competitive advantage over competitors, as it would to those people who want government handouts of, say, housing or food support. From my Christian understanding – and I understand that I have brothers and sisters of Christ who don't share my views – God ordained the state, which by its nature is a monopoly of legalised force, to enforce justice. And justice means rendering impartially to everyone his due, according to the righteous standard of God's moral law. He did not ordain the state to dispense grace. That's the role of the Church. When the state starts trying to dispense grace it necessarily transgresses the bounds of justice and winds up doing more harm than good. This is the very beginnings of my theological foundation of my reasoning in support of a much more free-market approach to economics, as opposed to a governmentally managed, centrally planned, neurotically arranged market.

We concluded the interview by talking about the Cornwall Alliance's source of funding and support. It is often accused of being a front group for fossil-fuel interests. A report by The Wonk Room examined these claims more closely last year. It noted that the Cornwall Alliance has close personal connections to a right-leaning "public policy organisation" called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which has received funding from oil companies in the past. (Beisner is on CFACT's board of advisors.) CFACT is probably best known now for promoting and funding the climate sceptic Marc Morano and his noisy website ClimateDepot (of which I have written about before). In one of Beisner's lectures on the DVD set, Morano can be seen listening attentively in the audience. So I asked Beisner to put it on the record, once and for all, how the Cornwall Alliance is funded:

We're supported primarily by individual donations. Some of those come via a cheque made out directly to us. Here in the US, for a variety of different reasons, you can make a donation to one charitable foundation via another foundation and the receiving foundation does not know who you are. Sometimes it's just as simple as, 'Hey, Jesus, said don't let the left hand know what the right it doing.' Some people don't want credit, or anyone trumpeting their name. Or they might want to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. But we make sure that I, as the spokesman, don't know where these types of donations come from. For that reason, I don't have to feel beholden to any donors.
The largest cheque we've ever had from an identifiable person is, I think, $5,000. There have been no corporate donations and certainly no oil money. [Laughs.] I wish. But, frankly, if an oil corporation was to offer us money I would turn it down because it would automatically compromise our ability to have public integrity. We are championing causes simply because we believe they are true. We're actually in the process of working out a statement for our website that says all this. But, frankly, we're very small. I'm the only full time person. [The latest accounts of the James Partnership, the Cornwall Alliance's parent organisation, can be viewed here as a PDF.] Probably the most important support we get is from the generosity of our chairman Chris Rogers who provides so much staff and equipment for which he doesn't charge. He's a very dedicated Christian man who gives sacrificially of himself. David Rothbard [CFACT's president] and I became friends in the early 1990s with a mutual interest in these issues. And, essentially, we think very similarly and we help each other out with information and recommend each other to others. CFACT is not a financial donor, though.

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Dandelion on 7th May 2011, 2:53 pm

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I had to go and look at these websites to remind myself that not all Christians hold these views (and to cheer myself up/ calm myself down - I had steam coming out of my ears...) I'm assuming this article is using the word 'dominion' in the same way that a man might claim dominion over his wife then beat and mistreat her? The irony is that in the first century, when the church was in its infancy, everyone lived in an environmentally sound way because there was no other option!!
One of the problems is that there is a culture in the church (or perhaps more accurately 'cultures') so that groups of people follow each other rather than the teaching of Jesus, and the teaching becomes either forgotten or diluted. A speaker called Tony Campolo said to a church gathering "First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
We need to keep the main message the main message....

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by sanity4sale on 13th May 2011, 9:47 pm

This statement might seem odd to others, but this interview actually makes Beisner sound very intelligent and relatively balanced, given that I disagree with him on some fundamental issues. Better treatment of the Earth is so important, shouldn't we be looking more for middle ground than "steaming out of our ears" when the opposition speaks? For instance:

Badger wrote:In and of itself, the total size of population is irrelevant
ethically. You are certainly going to face challenges from either a
growing or shrinking population.

Absolutely. We cannot restrict the amount of children per family, a la China - that would be totally unethical. So the fact that the population is either growing or shrinking is irrelevant. Instead we need to focus on energy/resource consumption per head. That's infinitely more important.

Badger wrote:... we need to learn from God's own example what dominion and rule
entails. Man's dominion over the Earth should reflect God's dominion
over the Earth so as to glorify God and to give benefit to our fellow
human beings and, indeed, all the rest of life on Earth. As God went
through creation week, He created abundance, beauty and flourishing
life. That's the kind of thing humanity ought to be doing.

Saying the interviewee considers dominion to be "like the dominion of a man over a woman" and comparing it to domestic violence is ridiculous and a completely straw-man argument. Clearly, he thinks humans should "benefit all the rest of life on Earth." We might disagree on how to achieve that goal, we might differ on the religious, spiritual, moral boundaries of those goals, but ultimately isn't this ground on which we can both stand?

Badger wrote:I'm pretty disgusted with all political parties. They're all gutless,
pandering to people's desires to have the state meet their needs rather
than through their own efforts. That would apply equally to big
businesses rent-seeking and lobbying, trying to get governments to give
them a competitive advantage over competitors, as it would to those
people who want government handouts of, say, housing or food support.

While I certainly don't agree with the jab at welfare, I can completely agree with the disgust for the political system as a whole. Heck, he even takes a jab at big business. Who on this site wouldn't agree with this statement (at least the first part) if it hadn't come from this person?

What bothers me, ultimately, is that the interview comes off as very level-headed, and the book comes off as... totally insane. Perhaps that's because, in the interview, we see statements-in-context. Yes, he comes from a totally different religious perspective than I do. Yes, I can completely see how my relativistic morality and areligiousness would make the "Green Dragon" look super scary to fundie Christians. And yes, I feel that the book (and probably most of what this guy says) is way too black and white and ignores the fundamentally pro-life (sans modern political connotations regarding abortion) stance of environmentalism.

Maybe this guy needs to be interviewed by someone like Jon Stewart. Someone that will say, "Well, goodness, what you said sounds so level-headed and reasonable. The problem is that what you just said contradicts these other nine statements you made in-print. Can you please answer these allegations?"
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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Dandelion on 13th May 2011, 9:57 pm

I think (maybe I'm wrong) that you misunderstand my reaction. I'm 'one of the opposition' in that I'm a Christian - I just don't happen to agree with a lot of the statements from the article.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by sanity4sale on 13th May 2011, 10:32 pm

Sure, you're probably right, I probably misunderstood. I'm also a former debater so I love to play the devil's advocate. Wink I don't mean to be a bulldog, arguing is just more of a sport to me, lol. With what do you disagree? Perhaps we are on the same page.
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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Chilli-head on 14th May 2011, 11:51 am

sanity4sale wrote:
In and of itself, the total size of population is irrelevant
ethically. You are certainly going to face challenges from either a
growing or shrinking population.

Absolutely. We cannot restrict the amount of children per family, a la China - that would be totally unethical. So the fact that the population is either growing or shrinking is irrelevant. Instead we need to focus on energy/resource consumption per head. That's infinitely more important.

Not wishing to start a heated debate, but I can't agree with this. I side with David Attenborough:

I've never seen a problem that wouldn't be easier to solve with fewer
people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.
We will need to find a means of restraint, or nature will do it for us in a more brutal fashion. That's not to say that we need the extremes adopted by China. At the moment though, we don't seem to be making progress on either front - population or consumption per capita.
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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Mike on 15th May 2011, 1:46 pm

[/quote] Absolutely. We cannot restrict the amount of children per family, a la China - that would be totally unethical. So the fact that the population is either growing or shrinking is irrelevant. Instead we need to focus on energy/resource consumption per head. That's infinitely more important. [/quote]

Always be careful with "infinitely"

There is no non zero level of consumption per head that can be divided among an infinite nunmber of heads. Whatever level of energy/resource consumption per head you consider to be the minimum that could support life defines a maximum number of heads that can be sustainably supported.

And sustainable means what is/can be in the long run. If they can't be sustained, they die. The ethical issue is not yes or no "restrict number of children" in a vacuum but as usual a choice between alternatives, none of which is necessarily appetizing. To give an example:

Is it better (more ethical) to restrict the number of children or to have an unrestricted number of children be born and then the number living determined by the death of those above the number that can be sustained.

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by sanity4sale on 16th May 2011, 4:01 pm

Well, I mean, it's all well and good to say that "we need to find a means of restraint." Sure, that sounds like a great idea. But how do we do it? And what society-as-a-whole policy can we enact to ensure that we meet that goal? My point is that no plan can be applied to all people within it to constrain the population that isn't totalitarian in nature and fundamentally unethical (in my opinion). Saying that we should find a way to restrict the population is like saying that we should make pie rain from the heavens. Yes, it sounds like an AWESOME idea. But how in the world do you do it? (Or, if you do it, how do you do it without trampling on the rights of your citizens?)

And the word "infinitely" wasn't modifying population, it was modifying "important." I was being a bit dramatic, yes, lol - but in no way do I believe that the world can support an infinite number of people. That would be impossible given that we have limited resources! Your formula for smallest amount of resources per head and maximum population density definitely makes sense to me, as well as your suggestion that it might be more ethical to restrict population now to avoid ecological disaster (and the inevitable population die-off that would accompany it). The problem, I suppose, is that we are no where near our maximum population density, I don't think... of course, I have no data to support this claim. I'll have to dig it up, but I believe I've read somewhere that if we rich, fat Americans (and other first-worlders) would stop sucking up all the resources, we would have a lot more to go around.

The rebuttal to my argument (from a Capitalist perspective) is that to restrict the economic growth of an individual is akin to restricting their right to choose how large to grow their family. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] My rebuttal to THAT is: Babies not dollars, yo.

Now I want pie.
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Post by Chilli-head on 16th May 2011, 5:00 pm

It is worth remembering that what is ethically acceptable is solely a human concept, and depends upon the circumstances and options. It is not a basic law of physics which is immutable.

I don't really see how the problem of getting people to reduce their per-capita consumption is an easier target than encoraging them to have fewer children. Some will agree, some will ignore it and some will see it as unethical or an infringement of their human rights.
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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Dandelion on 16th May 2011, 10:38 pm

Going on to a further part of the argument,

'That's why, over the past several hundred years, each generation has also been wealthier on a per capita basis. We produce more wealth than we can consume. And that's a good thing.'

...but not everyone is getting richer - there is still grinding poverty in too many parts of the world. I'm suspicious of anyone who bases a theological movement or doctrine on just one or two verses from the Bible (the Genesis verse about dominion, for instance) - it has to be held in tension with a lot of other teaching (how about 'But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort' in Luke's gospel.)

I like this quotation from a 4th century church father, John Chrysostum: 'Tell me then, how is it that you are rich? From whom did you receive it, and from whom did he transmit it to you? From his father and his grandfather. But can you, ascending through many generations, show the acquisition just? It cannot be. The root and origin of it must have been injustice. Why? Because God in the beginning did not make one person rich and another poor. He left theearth free to all alike. Why then if it is common, have you so many acres of land while your neighbour has not a portion of it?'

The Jewish law (in Leviticus, just a few books on from the 'dominion' verse in Genesis) commanded that every fifty years, any land which had been bought or sold over that period of time should be given back to the original owner, thus keeping land ownership evenly balanced. The Cornwall Alliance seems to be quiet about that part of the Bible.....

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Adrian on 16th May 2011, 11:32 pm

Exclusive: The Oily Operators Behind The Religious Climate Change Denial Front Group, Cornwall Alliance

Defenders of the dirty energy status quo, particularly the lobbyists and politicians associated with the oil and coal industry, have continually trotted out a group of evangelical leaders known as the Cornwall Alliance to counter the growing sentiment in the evangelical community that anthropogenic climate change is a threat to God’s creation. Cornwall declares that true Christians believe “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”

This Friday at the polluter-funded Heritage Foundation, Cornwall is preparing to roll out its latest campaign called “Resisting the Green Dragon.” Billed as “a Biblical response to one of the greatest deceptions of our day,” the video series claims the entire climate change movement is a “false religion,” a nefarious conspiracy to empower eugenicists and create a “global government.” Watch the absurd trailer here, which portrays the idea of climate change as akin to the Lord of the Rings villain Sauron:

Thus far, Cornwall has been able to masquerade as a legitimate, independent group of pastors and religious leaders opposed to addressing climate change. However, ThinkProgress investigated the group and found deep ties to the oil industry, as well as with longtime right-wing operatives orchestrating the climate science denial machine.

The Cornwall Alliance appears to be a creation of a group called the James Partnership, a nonprofit run by Chris Rogers and Peter Stein, according to documents filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Rogers, who heads a media and public relations firm called CDR Communications, collaborates with longtime oil front group operative David Rothbard, the founder and President of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Jacques Villarreal, a lower level staffer at CFACT, for his James Partnership group. In the past, Rogers’ firm has worked for the Bush administration and for the secretive conservative planning group, the Council for National Policy.

According to public records, the following entities are all registered to the same address, 9302-C Old Keene Mill Road Burke, VA 22015, an office park in suburban Virginia:

– Rogers’ consulting firm, CDR Communications
– Rogers’ nonprofit hub, the James Partnership
– The Cornwall Alliance
– The new “Resisting the Green Dragon” website

In late 2005, evangelical leaders like Rick Warren joined a drive to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying “millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.” To counter this historic shift in the evangelical community, a group called the “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance” (ISA) was launched to oppose action on carbon emissions and to deny the existence of climate chance. One of the men guiding this group was Paul Driessen, a consultant for ExxonMobil, the mining industry, and for CFACT.

For “stream lining” reasons, ISA relaunched as the Cornwall Alliance in 2006. With the new name came a redesigned website, highly produced web videos, and an organized network of churches to distribute climate change denying propaganda to hundreds of pastors around the country. The branding for the Cornwall Alliance is derived from the “Cornwall Declaration,” a 1999 document pushing back against the creation-care movement in the evangelical community. The Declaration “stressed a free-market environmental stewardship and emphasized that individuals and private organizations should be trusted to care for their own property without government intervention.” CFACT President Rothbard has been hailed as the “driving force” behind the Cornwall Declaration public relations effort.

CFACT is a gimmicky right-wing organization that does everything it can to try to discredit the science underpinning climate change. For instance, staffers from the group traveled to the Copenhagen conference on climate change to stage silly press conferences with Rush Limbaugh’s former producer and stunts aimed at mocking Greenpeace.

Chris Rogers and David RothbardBut who is the “driving force” behind CFACT? According to disclosures, CFACT is funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil, $60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations, which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.

CFACT and the Cornwall Alliance, according to disclosures filed with the Washington State Secretary of State’s office, share a common fundraising firm, ClearWord Communications Group. ClearWord has helped raise millions of dollars not only for CFACT and Cornwall, but also for infamous polluter front groups like FreedomWorks, the Institute for Energy Research, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Last year, Cornwall produced a video with former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) attacking clean energy legislation as part of a campaign by the ExxonMobil-funded “American Energy Freedom Center.”

In a call to the Cornwall Alliance’s media office Monday afternoon, spokesman Quena Gonzalez said Cornwall has no relationship to CFACT and said CFACT President Rothbard has no official capacity with his group. Gonzalez said that in “several years of working” at Cornwall, he has never heard any questions about working with CFACT, and instructed ThinkProgress to contact Calvin Beisner, the national representative for Cornwall. Incidentally, Beisner is a board member of CFACT.

Rothbard had a central role in sparking the founding of Cornwall and is currently a partner with Chris Rogers, the man who runs Cornwall and CDR Communications. Nevertheless, under his capacity as CFACT President, Rothbard’s anti-Greenpeace publicity stunts are reported regularly on the Cornwall blog as breaking news, without any acknowledgement of Rothbard’s relationship with Cornwall.

Gonzalez also said he had never heard of CDR Communications. But according to his own LinkedIn profile, Gonzalez works for CDR Communications as the “Director for Religion and the Environment” at the firm. ThinkProgress contacted Chris Rogers on Monday, who contradicted Gonzalez and said his firm CDR Communications provides “support” for Cornwall but did not clarify.

It appears that Cornwall attempts to carefully hide its backers. Not only did Gonzalez refuse to provide much information, but Cornwall’s website is registered with a special service to hide the identity of the person or group who purchased the domain address.

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by Mike on 20th May 2011, 11:05 pm

Problem about to go away?

I understand these people are planning to leave the planet tomorrow.

Bon voyage.

(possibly just local to the US? Your "fundies" aren't expecting to get raptured tomorrow? --- just came back from the super market and it appears lots of folks think a good time to party/celebrate)

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There is no possibility of social justice on a dead planet except the equality of the grave.
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Post by Compostwoman on 20th May 2011, 11:15 pm

Sooner they all bugger off and be raptured elsewhere, the better for the rest of us I feel.

Sorry, just a cynical old pagan, here..........

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Post by Dandelion on 21st May 2011, 7:35 pm

Well, a cynical Christian is joining you (and if Jesus himself said he didn't know when things were going to be wrapped up, how come this man knows better???)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Compostwoman on 21st May 2011, 8:40 pm

Dandelion wrote:Well, a cynical Christian is joining you (and if Jesus himself said he didn't know when things were going to be wrapped up, how come this man knows better???)

lol! Shocked Laughing Laughing

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default Re: The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'

Post by frankbeswick on 7th July 2011, 11:25 am

I am a lecturer in Religious Studies and a Catholic. I would like to draw people's attention to a little known article by Allport, the well-known psychologist, which I found in a book called the Psychology of Religion. It explains a lot. Allport believed that running right through all religions were two distinct modes of belief. Intrinsic religion is the mode of people who genuinely believe in what their faith teaches, and Allport noted that in general they seem a pleasant lot. Extrinsic religion is religion which backs up systems of power and privilege, and he believed that it is responsible for much intolerance. I believe that extrinsic religion is a major coirruption repsonible for much evil. Take an example. There is nowhere in the Bible that could justify the enslavement of black people. However, some Southern Baptists came up with the idea that as Noah in Genesis 12 cursed his grandson Canaan for misbehaviour, and as Canaan's dad was Ham, the supposed ancestor of the Black peoples, they were entitled to enslave Black people. Self serving drivel!

Now consider these Protestant pastors who deny climate change. We can easily see religion [Christianity] being misused to back up American capitalism. Don't protest, they are saying, while the capitalists loot the world. They forget that the true meaning of dominion in Hebrew , an ill-translated word, is stewardship, the responsibility to care for the world. This is extrinsic religion at its worst.

We would do well to remember Aristotle's observation that the corruption of the best is the worst. Religion at its best works wonders, but when corrupt it is a major evil. I would not say that any of the major religions in the world is evil, but I know that all contain some people bent on misusing them for power, money and pleasure. In my short stay as a student for the Catholic priesthood, years ago, [I left well before ordination] I met many good people, but also a few who loved power too much.
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