Life. The first point of disagreement is support for Life. The ideas of Malthus, Paul Ehrlich ("The Population Bomb", 1968) and others that humanity was about to exhaust all its resources were used to justify the denial of food aid to India in the 1960s and 70s, push for abortion and one-child policies. In this case, scientific advances led to massive increases to the food supply and the general increase in wealth caused the growth in population to slow in developed countries. Two paths to a better future were pushed: humane (the Christian response) and brutal (the alternative pushed by intellectuals of the left).
What were some of the solutions to the problem of the food supply? GMOs, new fertilizers, mechanization and cheaper energy. The answer was science put in the service of humanity via a capitalist system.
If Marxists and other anti-capitalist ideologies are to succeed, they must restrain the forces that perpetuate the system. Thus we have opposition to GMOs and cheap energy, an attempt to turn the system against itself.
The issue of sanctity of life comes into play because international economic policies (like those of the World Bank) are making a choice between African children alive today and those in the future they claim they want to protect. Many international lenders will not any longer fund natural gas or coal fired plants in Africa and other developing countries. These countries lack electricity, dooming their people to poverty & unemployment, because industry needs electricity.
Humility. The next point of disagreement is not whether humanity can alter the climate, but whether we can understand the science behind the climate well enough to both predict it and explain the causes of the change, human or natural.
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things. Ecclesiastes 11:5
The above passage from Ecclesiastes is a prophetic denunciation of human pride. I believe it is a message for today. It deals both with the sanctity of life and how small we are before the forces of nature. Destroying our energy production system because we think we can understand the long term climate will destroy life. It will impoverish and kill hundreds of millions of people.
Ironically, the same United Nations panel that advocates for massive changes to society admits that humanity cannot predict the climate:
"The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and
therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not
possible." - United Nations International Panel On Climate Change (IPCC)
Freedom. The third theological point of conflict is freedom.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there
is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
The proposals being forwarded by those purporting to fight climate change involve handing more power over to Leviathan. The progress of the faith over the millennia has been to advance human liberty (based on righteousness).
Kindness. The last theological point is kindness versus cruelty.
The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. (Proverbs 12:10)
Wind turbines kill bats and birds. Solar farms of the size we need will cause massive deforestation. The two of them require metals that are produced by child labor in Africa or slave labor in China. When some American leaders were alerted to this fact, they claim that more people will die in the future if we don't build solar now, so they are prepared to overlook China's cruelty. These same minerals could be mined in America, but the current administration (and the Obama administration previously) refuses to permit such mining.
If CO2 really will cause the problems they predict, there is a power source that is not intermittent like wind and solar, does not produce CO2, and can meet our energy needs WITHOUT requiring more government intrusion into our lives or destroying our prosperity. That power source is Nuclear. They refuse to support building more nuclear plants. They want the power and the negative results.
Responding to objections about bird kills:
It is true that building collisions and cats kill lots of birds. The problem with wind turbines is that they disproportionately affect raptors and other top-of-pyramid birds. The mechanismn is simple:
- Pressure waves near the spinning blades kill large numbers of insects
- insect chaff attracts small birds to the area. Those birds are killed or injured more often from the pressure waves rupturing their blood vessels than actual collisions.
- Larger birds of prey are attracted to the injured or dead birds and suffer the same fate
- The injured raptors fly or glide out of the "collection area" around the wind turbine where the carcasses are counted by those trying to estimate the effect, thus undercounting.
Responding to objections about Freedom
Israel and the Church collectively are responsible for many innovations in law and custom that promoted liberty:
- Principle of subsidiarity and the idea of the corporation comes from the Catholic Church
- Archbishop Langton negotiated the Magna Carta and wrote about how from the Bible he believed that God's intention was for nations to not be ruled by kings
- Christians lead the fight against slavery
- The Mosaic law had the same laws for foreigners as citizens
- Mosaic law had evidentiary requirements and the principle of mens rea (criminal intent)
- The series of Popes that condemned the slave trade goes back farther than most people know
It is a mistake to look only at the flaws and failings of Christendom and not see the progress and its causes.