E. Calvin Beisner

Get Ready for More Hype From Climate Fearmongers

Written by E. Calvin Beisner |
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Negotiators at COP27 have put “loss and damage” — a.k.a. “reparations” — on the agenda, too. The idea is that wealthy nations, which developed their wealth using hydrocarbon energy and therefore are to blame for global warming and the increased numbers and intensity of extreme weather events, owe developing nations financial assistance as they deal with climate disasters.

In case you hadn’t heard, radical environmentalists and their globalist, “Great Reset” allies, people I like to call “climate cops,” are holding their annual doom-fest. The 27th “Conference of the Parties,” or COP, of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change started November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and has drawn some 40,000 participants from pretty much every country in the world. It’s set to last two weeks.
True to form, organizers are using it as another opportunity to demand global action to fight catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW). Cornwall Alliance will comment from time to time about this COP, as we’ve done about previous ones.
The Associated Press reported on its first day that COP27 was taking place “amid a multitude of competing crises, including the war in Ukraine, high inflation, food shortages and an energy crunch.” Every one of these competing crises, including even the war in Ukraine, is in part a consequence of the very climate and energy policies promoted for the last three decades, and every one of them is exacerbated even now by exactly those policies.
Prodded by past COPs, developed countries have rushed to substitute wind and solar energy for abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy. The result, predicted by critics, has been higher energy prices and, simultaneously, increasingly fragile energy infrastructures, especially in Europe. Those fragile, poorly supplied energy infrastructures led to European nations’ growing reliance on Russia for natural gas. That dependence, in turn, led to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calculating that the risk that Europe would respond militarily to an invasion of Ukraine was slim — and he was right. European nations’ support for Ukraine has been tepid compared with the nearly $20 billion in aid the United States has given.
Meanwhile, pressured by developed nations, many developing nations have been forced to rely increasingly on wind and solar rather than fossil fuels, slowing their economic growth and prolonging poverty for their billions of people. That makes those nations vulnerable to the oil and gas price shocks that came with the war in Ukraine.
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Welcome to Cold War II

Written by E. Calvin Beisner |
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Because much of the environmental movement embraces socialism and global governance to replace capitalism and sovereign nations—recipes for poverty and tyranny—we sometimes compare what we’re doing with fighting “Cold War II.” In Cold War II, the threats to liberty and justice don’t come so much from foreign nations—though those remain. Instead, they’re right inside America—and every nation. They come from the elite leaders of the Green movement, which threatens, ironically, to rob America of its productive capacity in the name of saving the planet. 

Two scenes from my toddlerhood in Calcutta, India, have flashed in my mind thousands of times over the last 60-plus years. The first was of a beautiful tree with a red-flowered vine hanging from its branches. The second was of the emaciated bodies of people who had died overnight of starvation and disease.
I saw the tree and its vine as my aia, or nurse, led me by the hand through the courtyard of the building housing my family’s apartment while my father worked with the U.S. State Department. I stepped over the bodies as she led me block after block to the home of an Indian family who cared for me through the day while my mother was paralyzed for six months. Ever since I became a Christian in middle school, the first image has reminded me of the beauties of God’s creation. The second, of the horrors of poverty.
Caring for the Planet & the World’s Poor
After spending much of the first two decades of my Christian life in personal evangelism and apologetics, I found myself led into work that addresses both creation stewardship and the conquest of poverty, along with the gospel.
My two books, Prosperity and Poverty: The Compassionate Use of Resources in a World of Scarcity (1988) and Prospects for Growth: a Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future (1990), opened doors for me, initially, to speak at churches and conferences on poverty and the environment, and later, to teach, first at Covenant College and then at Knox Theological Seminary.
In 1999, some thirty scholars and I worked together to produce “The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship,” issued the next year with over 1,500 endorsements from religious leaders, scientists, and economists, and later signed by many thousands. Then, in 2005, I founded the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.
Over the years, Cornwall Alliance scholars have developed ideas about environmental protection and about how mainstream environmentalism actually posses a significant threat to the world’s poor, despite environmentalists’ frequent warnings that environmental abuse harms the poor more than anyone else.
Cornwall’s thinking on environmental protection rests on the idea that the bottom-line measurement of environmental quality is human health and well-being, coupled with the understanding that a clean, healthful, beautiful environment is a costly good and that wealthier people can afford more costly goods than poorer people can. (Hence, one looks for the dirtiest parts of a city in the poorer areas—not because the poor don’t care about cleanliness, safety, and beauty, but because they can’t afford them as much as the rich.) The number-one aim of environmental protection, then, should be human thriving, though this doesn’t mean jettisoning or even ignoring the health and well-being of the rest of creation. Those matters, too, can and should be pursued.
Another idea the Cornwall Alliance weaves into environmental protection is the economic reality that life is full of tradeoffs. Hence, for example the proper answer to the questions, “How clean is clean enough?” or “How safe is safe enough?” or “How beautiful is beautiful enough?” is not “As clean or as safe or as beautiful as possible,” but “As clean, safe, or beautiful as we can make it before the cost of making it cleaner, safer, or more beautiful exceeds the value of the added cleanliness, safety, or beauty.” (If you doubt this, just ask yourself: Why don’t you spend all your time sanitizing your house? Clearly, because the cost would exceed the benefits. Could it be cleaner? Yes. Should it be? Not if making it so costs more than the benefits.)
It’s not that no other living things matter, but that human beings—alone created in the image of God—are the most important, and that their God-given vocation to subdue and rule nature (Genesis 1:28) is going to be practiced one way or the other, for good or for ill. We should want to practice that rule—what the Bible calls dominion—for good, not ill.
Granted that a clean, healthful, and beautiful environment is a costly good, and that wealthier people can afford it more than poorer people, it becomes clear that economic development.
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Did Anything Good Come from Glasgow?

Written by E. Calvin Beisner |
Thursday, December 16, 2021
COP-26 didn’t even bring any new progress toward the world’s developing countries’ meeting their pledge at 2009’s COP-15 in Copenhagen to transfer $100 billion per year to developing countries for climate finance, which they’ve not done. It said it regretted the failure and urged repentance. That’s all. No enforcement mechanism—just like with everything else COP-26 did.

Did anything good come from Glasgow?
Well, that depends on how far back you go.
Go back 245 years and you get Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776. That was most definitely good, the University of Glasgow professor of moral philosophy solidifying the growing case for free-market economies, arguably indispensable to the Industrial Revolution’s lifting more and more of humanity out of extreme poverty.
Go back another 8 years and you get Rev. John Witherspoon leaving his church in Paisley—then a small village outside Glasgow, now well within the Glasgow metro area—to become President of the College of New Jersey, which became Princeton University. That, too, was most definitely good, Witherspoon serving as a member of the Continental Congress, where he made a strong case for separating from Great Britain, and teaching moral philosophy, including politics, to 19 members of the Constitutional Convention, including primary drafter James Madison.
Jump forward to 1865 and you get Joseph Lister starting to develop his insights, based on work by Louis Pasteur, into the role of microscopic germs in causing infection, leading to his development of disinfectants, the practice of sterilizing surgical theaters and devices in hospitals for the first time, and eventually the household application of disinfectants. (One, Listerine, was developed just 14 years later by Joseph Lawrence, a chemist in St. Louis, Missouri.) That was undoubtedly good, preventing, in the century and a half since then, untold millions of deaths from infection.
Since the area was first inhabited several millennia ago because the River Clyde was great for fishing; since its founding as a town in the 6th century by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo; and since the founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451, Glasgow has blessed the world with an impressive number of scholars (including 8 Nobel Laureates)—historians, philosophers, theologians, lawyers and jurists, natural and medical scientists, and more. The world would be a poorer place without them.
But jump all the way forward to 2021, and the question, “Did anything good come from Glasgow?” could elicit a different answer: not much, maybe nothing. Or, ironically, a lot of good. It all depends on one’s perspective.
Glasgow was where the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) took place. Government representatives from almost every nation, including 130 heads of state, were joined by UN bureaucrats, leaders and activists from hundreds of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with admission into the actual business meetings, and around 100,000 people who showed up for marches and protests before and during it.
The first day of The New York Times’s serial coverage of the two-week climate summit started by saying world leaders gathered “to debate how to deliver on the unmet promises of the past.” The same coverage the day the conference ended began:
Diplomats from nearly 200 countries on Saturday struck a major agreement aimed at intensifying global efforts to fight climate change by calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb their planet-warming emissions and urging wealthy nations to “at least double” funding to protect poor nations from the hazards of a hotter planet.
Translated from bureaucratese, that amounts to: Failing to achieve anything substantive, diplomats agreed to try again next year.
To the extent those are an accurate summation of COP-26’s main purpose, it’s safe to say it achieved little if anything.
From the standpoint of people scared to death that we’re all going to fry 9 years from now (since it was 3 years ago that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, declared, “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change”)—or maybe 15 years, or 80, or … whatever the time frame, we’re doomed unless we scotch fossil fuels and replace all their energy with wind, solar, and other “renewables”—from that standpoint, nothing good came out of Glasgow last month.
But then there are those who think human-induced carbon dioxide emissions do contribute to global warming, aka climate change, but that the warming

is nothing much in the grand scale of things,
will likely bring more benefits than harms,
even at its worst would only make the average person at the end of this century about 4.34 times rather than 4.5 times wealthier than today (as even the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits), and
would be accompanied by enormous greening of the planet and reduction of hunger as plants feast on increased atmospheric CO2.

From their standpoint—which is mine—that little to nothing came out of Glasgow is good.
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