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War of Worldviews: Creation Stewardship vs. Environmentalism
War of Worldviews: Creation Stewardship vs. Environmentalism

War of Worldviews: Creation Stewardship vs. Environmentalism

Part 2 of a 2-part series (Read Part 1 here)

Since it began five years ago, the Cornwall Alliance has been focused on public policy. The big issue in public policy has been that people are uptight about supposed dangerous man-made global warming.

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Resisting the Green Dragon
Environmental Issues Are Money Losers

War of Worldviews
"We're persuaded," said Cal Beisner, "That all the climactic changes we've seen in the last century or so are overwhelmingly natural, part of the natural cycles of warming and cooling the earth goes through all the time anyway. Human emissions, or so-called 'greenhouse gases,' may contribute a little bit, but only marginally. What we're doing is certainly not dangerous. We don't need to reduce our usage of fossil fuels to reduce our emission of carbon dioxide in order to fight global warming.

"What we have recognized all along is that it is one facet, one little battlefield in an overall war. The war is over the whole worldview, theology, ethics, understanding of human nature and how we relate to the creation and everything. It's all involved – we want to help people think in terms of the bigger picture instead of the narrow picture, and we mean to address all those issues.

"The best way to do that at this stage is to produce a series of talks by outstanding evangelical scholars on the worldview and theology and ethics of economics, science, and politics of the environmental movement as a whole. We want to show how it is a threat to the gospel, the general Christian ethic and worldview. It's a threat to personal liberty, to the whole understanding of limited constitutional government.

"Think about this: the word environment comes from a French word for turn around. It means surroundings – now, is Alpha Centauri part of your surroundings? That's the nearest star outside our solar system. Yes, it is. Is the universe part of your surroundings? Yes. What about this building? Yes.

"Environment basically means everything. Now stick the "ism" on it and environmentalism = "everything-ism." There's another word for that: totalitarianism. Environmentalism is an inherently totalitarian worldview because it wants to regulate how we interact with everything around us. So it's even a threat to limited constitutional government. It wants to take more of our private lives, our private choices and make them the subject of government regulation and restriction.

Resisting the Green Dragon
A Biblical responseThe Alliance pulled together a series of 12 lectures from the top experts in their fields. Beisner has been working with many of them for as long as 25 years. They selected the subjects to cover with the expertise of the scholars involved.

Peter Jones, an emeritus professor of New Testament and theology at Western Theological Seminary in Escondido, CA, is without a doubt the world's leading Christian expert on ancient Gnosticism, revived Gnosticism and the new age and neo-pagan movements. He's been writing and researching in those fields for more than 30 years. "He does tremendous work, so we asked him to do the lecture on rescuing your loved one from the cult of the Green Dragon, because so much of environmentalism is Gnostic, New Age, and pagan. We asked him to do the lecture specifically on communicating the gospel to the world that is now permeated with environmentalist thinking."

Charmaine Yoest is the president of Americans United for Life, the country's oldest pro-life organization. An old friend of Beisner's, Yoest has studied the threat environmentalism poses to the sanctity of human life.

Other topics include the effect of environmentalism on local economies, a Christian perspective on global warming, even the intertwining of entertainment with the environmental movement.

Environmental Issues Are Money Losers
For some time, the Copenhagen Consensus has been writing scholarly periodicals, journals and books about the most difficult problems and greatest risks the world faces in terms of cost to human health and life. These writings are analyzed and critiqued by multiple scholars from different perspectives.

All of that is submitted to a panel of eight of the world's top economists (including 6 Nobel Prize winners) for them to answer a question based on the research presented. The question: If I had $50 billion to spend, where would I do the most good in terms of reducing premature death and human sickness?

At the top are answers like providing micronutrient supplements to the diets of the very poor and getting purified drinking water. Also included are sewage sanitation and fighting the worst of the infectious diseases, like tuberculosis and AIDS.

Green Dragon LogoNext are improving agricultural crop yields and then increasing free trade, because wherever free trade happens, economies grow and people get wealthy. When people are wealthy, they live longer. It's that simple.

"The environmental issues come way down at the end of the list because they're money losers. In other words, you try to put a dollar value on lost life expectancy averted, the value of someone's contribution during their life.

"If you see people are dying at an average of 45 when they could live to 65, that's 20 years. You multiply those 20 years times the value of their life and ask how much it costs us to add one year to the expectancy of one person's life because of an environmental issue vs. how much does it cost us by improving the nutrition value of his food, getting more food to him, or getting clean water to him, etc.

"The return on investment for food, water and health issues is huge. It tends to be about $1.80 to $2 per dollar invested. On environmental issues, you don't get a return on dollars invested. You get a loss of about 96%. For every dollar spent, you get about $.04 in social benefit."

You don't have to be a scholar to follow the logic of Dr. Beisner's thinking. If you feel ill-equipped to enter discussions about the environment, you'll find help here. The DVD series will be released later this year, and it will be available here on ChristianCinema.com.

Read Part 1 - Taking on the Green Dragon

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