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Global warming concerns meet oppositioncomment (0)

August 10, 2006

A network of more than 100 evangelical theologians and scientists has questioned concerns voiced by fellow evangelicals earlier this year about global warming.

The group, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA), released a 24-page document July 25, titled “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming,” that says dire assumptions that global warming is going to be catastrophic, and that human emissions of carbon dioxide are a primary cause for climate change, are “false, probably false or exaggerated.”

The latest statement continues the back-and-forth declarations of different evangelical leaders about an appropriate response to environmental issues.

In February, the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) issued a document, called “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” in which more than 80 signatories — including best-selling author and Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren and Pentecostal leader Jack Hayford — warned of millions of potential deaths from climate change and sought reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions.

At a news conference July 25, E. Calvin Beisner, national ISA spokesman, said he is not trying to pit evangelicals against each other. He said the more than 100 evangelicals who signed the latest statement represent a “cross sample” of pastors, theologians, ethicists and scientists.

“My intention was not to try to present this as evangelical left vs. right,” he said. “We have … the same worldview, theology, ethics and motivation. We read the scientific … data differently and, therefore, we come to different proposals.”

Jim Jewell, ECI spokesman, said his group has “respect” for the ISA but nevertheless disagrees with its conclusions.

“It is the conviction of the leaders who signed the Evangelical Climate Initiative that the ISA statement is a repetition of outdated sentiments not based on the current scientific consensus that human-induced climate change is a serious problem that requires action now,” Jewell said in a statement. (RNS)

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