In her smart Los Angeles Times op-ed, “E-Gitator” Laurie David (as she was dubbed in a lavish spread in Vanity Fair‘s current “Green Issue,”) observes that “the issue of global warming is finally catapulting toward a tipping point. With the debate firmly behind us, the focus is turning to solutions….the dots are finally being connected and global warming is fast becoming recognized as the most critical issue of our time.”
David goes on to note that “the only place not feeling the heat is the White House..the Bush Administration is unmoved.” But I’d argue that the Bush administration has already conceded that climate change is real. Why? Because they treat information about climate change the way they treat the truth about the Iraq war. They scrub data from websites. They rewrite science with political spin. And they give scientists like James Hansen at NASA what I would call the “Shinseki treatment”–they silence them; cut them off from reporters.
The global, fact-based evidence is too overwhelming, and the public is ready to deal with this problem, even if the administration can’t or won’t.
Even some (moderate) evangelicals have seen the light. In February, the Evangelical Climate Initiative was formed. Its mission: advocating personal, religious and commercial action to combat global warming.
But just in time for Earth Day, a new coalition of evangelical leaders –with close ties to the Bush White House–have launched a campaign to try to persuade pastors and churchgoers that concerns about global warming are unfounded. The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, supported by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, says it will provide information to parishioners and try to influence sermons.
Maybe the escalating battle among evangelicals over the environment and global warming will produce some moral heat and light. In the meantime, let’s expose Dobson and acolytes for what they are: The deniers and procrastinators of our age.
Nation Event Note
The Nation is visiting Yale University on Wednesday, April 26. Click here for details on two public events featuring Katrina vanden Heuvel.