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May 23, 2007

Evangelical Leaders Issue Global Warming Policy Principles

The Evangelical Climate Initiative is at it again, suggesting that good Christians can care about the environment, and even sound some alarms about global warming.

As some of you know if you've followed this blog for some time, the ECI is a client of my public relations firm. So I have a self interest in this cause. Nonetheless, I love to bring a little havoc into the world of my brethren who are still flat earthers, and provide a glimpse into the reasoned world of a group that is both Christian and working against global warming.

Today, leaders with the Evangelical Climate Initiative called on public officials to draw on traditional, conservative perspectives to address the challenge of climate change facing the United States and the world. They said, federal policy must maximize the free market, care for the most vulnerable, assure national security, and protect personal freedom, evangelical leaders said in a document of principles that “should guide government officials as they establish policies at the federal level to begin to solve global warming.”

Hey wait, this doesn't sound like a bunch of liberals!

In the paper released today and announced in print ads that will run Thursday in the Washington Times and Roll Call on May 24, the ECI outlined 10 principles for policymakers, including a call for the “scope of the free market to be maximized to allow innovation, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship to generate climate solutions, and to ensure that U.S. businesses can compete internationally in clean technologies.”

See the full document: Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change

The principles document reads: “We are in favor of climate policies that reduce our dependence on foreign oil (e.g. increasing fuel economy) and thereby enhance our energy security and our advocacy of religious freedom and human rights.”

The 10 principles read in part:

1. The Problem is Real, the Objective Clear
We believe that human-induced global warming is real and, based on nearly universal agreement in the scientific community, we encourage policy-makers to accept this fact.

2. Maximize Freedom in Solving the Problem
When government deals with global warming, a proper policy framework will establish the “rules of the road” and what businesses call “regulatory certainty,” which can enhance freedom by allowing us to begin to solve a problem whose impacts will severely limit that freedom in the future if not addressed.

3. Maximize Protection from Harm from Generation to Generation
A primary function of government is to protect all of its citizens from undue harm, be it from foreign invaders, criminals, or pollution that impacts human health.

4. Take Special Care to Protect the Most Vulnerable
The most important way that federal government policy can protect the poor here and around the world from the impacts of global warming is to begin to solve the problem by reducing CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2050.

5. Enhance National and Energy Security, International Religious Freedom, & Rural Economic Development
American reliance on foreign oil also undermines our national security, and makes us
dependent on undemocratic, despotic foreign regimes that restrict the religious liberty of their peoples, and threaten the stability of democratic allies such as Israel.

6. Disburse Decision-making Authority to the Lowest Possible Level
A robust response to the threat of global warming will involve individuals, families, churches, businesses, and governments at multiple levels. In particular, we believe in states’ rights and responsibilities as the laboratories of democracy.

7. Solve the Problem through the Free Market and Protection of Property Rights
To help ensure competitiveness, climate policy should provide: (1) a stable, long-term, substantial research and development program; (2) long-term regulatory certainty, and; (3) a robust price signal that reflects the true social cost of greenhouse gas pollution.

8. Start Now and Solve the Problem in the Most Cost-Effective, Least-Disruptive Way Possible
Significant reductions in global warming pollution should start sooner rather than later in order to minimize disruption to the economy, and to avoid the necessity of drastic, steep reductions in the future.

9. Lead by Example
Regardless of whether all nations agree to be part of the solution, America must do the right thing.

10. Learn from the Future
Our understanding will continue to grow, and we may find that we must accelerate steps that address climate change.

(The Evangelical Climate Initiative, by the way, is a group of more than 100 evangelical leaders who are—-as a result of their commitment to Jesus Christ and concern for His creation—-encouraging action by evangelical Christians and all Americans to make life changes necessary to help solve the global warming crisis and to advance public policy that will limit global warming pollution, while respecting economic and business concerns.)

Posted by Jim at May 23, 2007 07:03 PM

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I am willing to support an advocacy campaign that is in support of global warming but I think that the issue has been muddied. Politics has taken our attention off the real issue. The issue is not whether global warming is real or not. Conserving our planet is more important than debating about the genuineness of global warming.

Posted by: Joem at June 18, 2007 02:46 PM