By Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig
“Climate is changing and climate has always changed and always will,” Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a recent address to the Senate. “The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.” Inhofe has been arguing for years that only God and His natural works—not the activities of humankind—can affect the climate. “[M]y point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous,” he said in a 2012 address given to a Voice of Christian Youth America radio program. And in his theological belief that the environment is outside of humanity’s control, Inhofe is not alone.
For evangelical Protestants, accepting climate change but attributing it to God’s direct or indirect intervention, rather than human activity, appears to be the new party line, despite the efforts of evangelical climate scientists like Katharine Hayhoe. Recent polls suggest evangelicals are more likely than any other religious cohort to chalk worsening natural disasters up to the apocalypse, instead of human impacts on the environment.
A more suggestive statistic comes from 2011 polling data, which found that roughly the same percentage of evangelicals who believe in evolution (32 percent) believe in human-caused climate change (31 percent). Is there a link between evangelical distrust in the theory of evolution and similar skepticism about the human-related causal factors in climate change?
Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.