The Church of Global Warming

FrontPageMag | Mark D. Tooley | Feb. 21, 2008

The imploding National Council of Churches (NCC) is always flailing about for a new raison d’etre. This month, it took its Global Warming alarmism to Northern Ireland , where it hopes that fears about a climate catastrophe will “inform the peace and reconciliation process.” Even First Minister Ian Paisley, the once firebrand Ulsterman who is now an elderly pillar of the Ulster peace settlement, met with the ecclesiastical busybodies. The NCC’s furtive mission was sponsored by the British Consulate in New York. Other members of the 2 day junket were the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

“Because global climate change will effect [sic] us all, and those in poverty the most, it transcends religious and political divides and provides vibrant opportunities for faith communities to come together to address this global concern,” implored Cassandra Carmichael, who directs the NCC’s “eco-justice” program. A grinning Carmichael was featured in a photo with Paisley , who is shown apprehensively grasping three of his own fingers, perhaps repressing a subconscious gesture of inhospitality. Also included in the group shot is Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, whose arms are more comfortably at his side.

The NCC’s “eco-justice” program, along with the Catholic and Jewish environmental groups, are all partners in the Massachusetts-based National Religious Partnership for the Environment, which funnels dollars from left-leaning foundations to religious groups willing to propagate environmentalist themes, especially Global Warming alarmism, through America’s churches and synagogues. Another partner is the Evangelical Environmental Network, which was strangely unrepresented in the Northern Ireland expedition.

A news release from the British Consulate in New York gushed that the NCC-led delegation was meeting in Northern Ireland with “local parishes, community organisations and policymakers” to “discuss an interfaith approach to climate change and environmental programmes.” The consulate also enthused that religious groups in the U.S. have “formed highly effective alliances around the issue of climate change; they have joined together, found common ground and are working together to affect changes at the local, regional and federal levels.” As the British spokesman explained it, these various effective religious Global Warming activists are using the “environmental agenda as a means of strengthening and broadening the peace and reconciliation agenda” in Northern Ireland .

Neither the NCC nor the British Consulate explained the specifics as to how Global Warming activism was to help foster peace and reconciliation after centuries of strife in Northern Ireland . But the religious enthusiasts for Global Warming scare scenarios often portray their campaign, even if sometimes apocalyptic in its warnings, as ultimately therapeutic. After all, what can be more joyously unifying than saving the whole Planet?

“Working on climate change is an opportunity to move beyond the past and to work together for the global community to create a stronger peace at home,” explained Liore Milgrom-Elcott of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, according to the NCC news release. “The focus of our work on has been on the disproportionate impact climate change will have on people in poverty here in the U.S. and abroad,” further explained Dan Misleh of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change.

Almost every campaign by the Religious Left is about fighting poverty, which ostensibly is unifying, in contrast to proclaiming the doctrines of Christianity, which are uncomfortably controversial and never win approving editorials from secular newspapers. Of course, for the Religious Left, fighting poverty is nearly exclusively about endlessly expanding the power and size of the regulatory and welfare state, while minimizing the freedoms of the open market and private property. Global warming alarmism is for the Religious Left the perfect issue. It warns of an alternative apocalypse, precipitated by uncontrolled capitalism, and offers an alternative salvation, through supranational controls that will grind down unregulated free markets.

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