Resisting the Green Dragon

The Wonk Room at Think Progress has an amazing piece about the Cornwall Alliance, a big-oil funded organization dedicated to convincing Christians that global warming is a hoax.  The Cornwall Alliance has a new Campaign called “Resisting the Green Dragon” complete with a spiffy web site and slick videos where we learn “radical environmentalism is striving to put America and the world under it’s destructive control”

The video and the overall campaign rely heavily on the old false argument pitting the well-being of nature against human interests.  The poor of the world, hundreds of millions of which live within coastal zones that are going to be flooded in the coming decades and centuries due to anthropogenic sea level rise, probably don’t see it that way.   Global warming is going to be the destructive force in their lives, not tree-hugging nature freaks (like me).

Remember, this is a PR campaign designed and funded by oil companies and beltway conservative operatives that is preying on religious piety for economic and political gain. Sick.

The Cornwall Alliance website even has an “Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” that sounds a lot more like a libertarian free market manifesto that a theological document (my emphasis in red):

As governments consider policies to fight alleged man-made global warming, evangelical leaders have a responsibility to be well informed, and then to speak out. A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming demonstrates that many of these proposed policies would destroy jobs and impose trillions of dollars in costs to achieve no net benefits. They could be implemented only by enormous and dangerous expansion of government control over private life. Worst of all, by raising energy prices and hindering economic development, they would slow or stop the rise of the world’s poor out of poverty and so condemn millions to premature death.


  1. We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
  2. We believe abundant, affordable energy is indispensable to human flourishing, particularly to societies which are rising out of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. With present technologies, fossil and nuclear fuels are indispensable if energy is to be abundant and affordable.

It is strange they are conflating fossil and nuclear fuels here and elsewhere: the latter obviously don’t cause climate change and a lot of scientists, including myself, believe nuclear energy is an important solution to the global warming problem.

  1. We believe mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, achievable mainly by greatly reduced use of fossil fuels, will greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.
  2. We believe such policies will harm the poor more than others because the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy and desperately need economic growth to rise out of poverty and overcome its miseries.


  1. We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.
  2. We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.
  3. We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant
  4. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.
  5. We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.


In light of these facts,

  1. We call on our fellow Christians to practice creation stewardship out of Biblical conviction, adoration for our Creator, and love for our fellow man—especially the poor.
  2. We call on Christian leaders to understand the truth about climate change and embrace Biblical thinking, sound science, and careful economic analysis in creation stewardship.
  • We call on political leaders to adopt policies that protect human liberty, make energy more affordable, and free the poor to rise out of poverty, while abandoning fruitless, indeed harmful policies to control global temperature.
  • All in the name of the poor.  sure.
    And take a look at the “Stewardship Notes” on the Alliance homepage; there are links to a series of YouTube videos by none other that Lord Monckton and an article bashing wind power!  If this is where theologians are getting their information about climate change, it explains a lot.  I’d like to direct them here for a critique (by actual scientists) of Monckton’s false testimony to the US Congress.  Also, what is the problem with wind power?  Didn’t got create wind?

    9 thoughts on “Resisting the Green Dragon

    1. I’ve often run up against the first point, regarding ecosystem resilience and about protecting the poor.

      As if increasing desertification events and extinction rates don’t speak for themselves, an excellent paper by Fischer, Lindenmayer and Manning (2006) makes it quite clear that ecosystem resilience rely on keystone species protection and avoiding islandisation among other things. There’s simply no evidence that God gave us a world to exploit without detrimental consequences, but ample evidence to the contrary.

      As for developing nations, just looking at 2 recent papers; Giam et al(2010)[doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.019], and Vörösmarty et al (2010) [doi:10.1038/nature09440], I’d suggest that they are most at risk, not only to climate change, but also adopting unsustainable practices from developed nations over the coming century. Protecting the poor means helping them avoid our previous mistakes. Much of the discussions and suggestions made by different groups who identify climate change as a major concern over the coming century also acknowledge that one of the top priorities is a sharing of wealth from developed nations to developing nations to help assist adaptation.

      Hypocritically, this Cornwall Alliance is urging business as usual which comes with continuing the ignorance of struggling nations.

    2. This is all kinds of nuts. Another example of people using religion as an excuse to push a stupid agenda. I find some solace in the fact that there are non-crazy religious folk out there who clearly recognise the ecological limits of the planet, and the impact that climate change is having on the poor.

    3. Christianity is not a dangerous religion, environmentalism is. The idea that you want to spend billions of dollars on a problem that may or may not exist hundreds or thousands of years in the future – when we have people dying of poverty now….you would just be pushing more and more people into poverty with $10.00 gas prices and 40% increases in electric costs, and huge transporation cost increases for all the goods we buy, which would come back to us…Environmentalists have a VERY BAD track record when it comes to dire predictions. Why should we believe them now? In the 70’s, it was global cooling that was supposed to destroy us. Weathermen can’t predict two days from now accurately and we want to try to trust them with predictions for hundreds of years?

    4. As a Scandinavian Im very puzzeled by this battle between religion/environmentalism/politics. Why not keep things seperate for a clearer vision?
      Is there anywhere I can watch or buy this “Resisting the Green Dragon”? I would like to explore the topic more. Thanks – Stay Green 🙂

    5. Resisting the Green Dragon (RTGD) claims to be an exposé on the modern environmentalist movement, casting its supporters as touting a hidden agenda to promote “pagan” ideals and, ultimately, to gain global political dominion. Contributors to this series assert that environmentalists hold unbiblical views of humanity’s place in creation amongst other creatures and that God’s exclusive concern is for human souls. But upon closer inspection, many of their claims prove scripturally and theologically problematic, and in an age when our planet’s biological health truly hangs in the balance (think BP oil spill or Japan’s nuclear accident), such irresponsible perspectives are dangerous and need to be challenged.

      To see my full response to this film visit:

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