Saturday, November 28, 2009

Climategate and the SBC Climate Change Declaration

In March of 2008, the Southern Baptist Convention did something which, in my opinion, they would not have done if that had possessed the many relevant facts which we now have at hand regarding the concept of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). From a CNN story which ran at the time:
Forty-six influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, including three of its past four presidents, criticized their denomination in a statement Monday for being “too timid” in confronting global warming. “Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed,” the statement says. “We can do better.”
I know that this is ancient news, in terms of the blogosphere, but we must not forget the sort of embarassing positions denominations like the SBC find themselves in when they throw their weight behind something as sketchy and flashily presented as AGW.

From the SBC's statement:
Though the claims of science are neither infallible nor unanimous, they are substantial and cannot be dismissed out of hand on either scientific or theological grounds. Therefore, in the face of intense concern and guided by the biblical principle of creation stewardship, we resolve to engage this issue without any further lingering over the basic reality of the problem or our responsibility to address it. Humans must be proactive and take responsibility for our contributions to climate change—however great or small.
I'm not entirely sure how the SBC defines "substantial," but their standards should have been raised. Or, better yet, they shouldn't have spoken on something when they didn't know what they were talking about.

Now that the e-mails from the CRU have leaked, we all now know that the supposed "unanimity" which exists in the scientific community over the reality of AGW has been a farce. There is no critical consensus as to whether humans are the primary cause of global warming, and now the world knows it because the e-mails tell us that dissenting views were forcefully kept out of scientific journals. Their claims of unanimity were circular. "Of course there's unanimity! Nobody publishes dissenting views in our scientific journals that we only run favorable research in!"

So here we have "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change," where the signatories followed the junk science of the day and jumped on the bandwagon without first making sure it wasn't heading off a cliff.

I'm not saying that it is a fact that global warming is not caused by humans, but I am saying that the process by which the SBC and most of the world came to believe it to be so was corrupt, as all of the world now knows. It is clear now that this is a debate which will finally happen in the public, which deserves to happen. Until a genuine scientific consensus exists, it is my opinion that the SBC has a black eye for participating in and encouraging this farcically sold pop cultural belief in an unproven environmentalist concept. I want clean air as much as the next guy, but don't scare me with imaginary tornadoes, hurricanes, deserts, and cities under water to make it happen.

Considering that the scientific research shows that the globe stopped warming and has been cooling for the last ten years, maybe the SBC will pass a new resolution in a couple of years from now that declares we must do something about this global cooling, which everyone will by then agree that mankind is causing.


  1. There are benefits and detriments to being a loosely tied together convention, instead of a tightly governed denomination... this is unfortunately one of the down-sides...

    but whenever a presby friend gets a little uppity about stuff, I always remind them of Finney... nuff said! j/k

    good comments

  2. Roger, just because I need the education... are you telling me that Charles Finney was a Presbyterian?


    "Charles Grandison Finney (August 29, 1792(1792-08-29) – August 16, 1875) was a Presbyterian and later, Congregationalist minister, who became an important figure in the Second Great Awakening. His influence during this period was enough that he has been called "The Father of Modern Revivalism".[1]"

    He talked in his biography of affirming the Westminster Confession before his ordaining board, yet never reading it... I believe they ordained him mostly due to his popularity

    just to be clear, I was just doing a little poking, and agree with the absurdity of some SBC ministers and associations... very frustrating!

    thanks for the blog!

  4. really frustrating! as I have gone through the list of signatories and found a couple I know and a couple women deacons!

    blown like the chaff!

  5. Oh no, Roger, I understood what you were doing. It was fine by me. AND I learned something today about Charles Finney. I thought he must have belonged to some bizarre non-confessional group and almost didn't believe it when you said it. I'll explain it away by saying that they were the east coast Presbyterians. ;-)


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