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Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: The Role of Religion
Volume 9, Number 33: 16 August 2006

Over the past eight years that we have been producing weekly issues of our Internet journal CO2 Science, religion has periodically been injected into public policy discussions about the question of CO2-induced global warming, i.e., how bad it may or may not be and what should or should not be done about it. Whenever this has occurred, we have produced editorials on the topic, which we have archived under the heading of Religion in our Subject Index, and to which we direct you for a more detailed history of our thinking on the topic.

In a nutshell, our position has always been that to correctly apply the principles of religion to a complex scientific problem, the facts about the issue must be known. In other words, truth - a knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come - is an absolute prerequisite to the correct application of religious principles in solving real-world problems. Without it, as we wrote in our Editorial of 4 July 2001, one could well end up like Saul of the Christian New Testament, "who thinking he did God service, went about actually creating havoc for the followers of Christ."

The most recent incursion of religion into the CO2/climate debate was prompted by two evangelical Christian groups: the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI), which produced a report entitled Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, wherein the anti-CO2 philosophy of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is essentially endorsed, and the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, which has produced a rebuttal report - A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming - which systematically refutes the largely unsubstantiated claims of the ECI report.

Of these two reports, the latter faithfully embodies our approach to the subject of religion as it applies to scientific issues. In fact, it is so close to our way of thinking that we have officially endorsed it; and because of this endorsement, we here provide links to not only the report, but also to the press release that accompanied its publication and a related open letter to signers of the ECI report.

Please take the time to review these original documents in their entirety. We feel confident you will benefit greatly from doing so.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso