Is Climate Change a Pro-Life Issue?



Over at The Christian Science Monitor, Ben Rosen writes about the Evangelical Environmental Network‘s attempt to convince evangelicals that climate change is a “pro-life” issue.  The argument goes something like this: “if you value life from its conception, you should value a clean Earth for the rest of a child’s life and for future children.”

Here is a taste of Rosen’s piece:

Associating “pro-life” with “pro-environment” is just one branch of religious environmentalism, a movement that frames conservation in religious terms. The idea has been around for decades, but has only started to gain traction among evangelicals recently, especially among Millennials. Still, most Americans do not yet associate climate change with religion and morality, according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Groups like the Evangelical Environmentalism Network hope to change that. If they are successful, it could have a major impact on the way much of America views the issue, as evangelicals are estimated to make up nearly a third of the population. But some sociologists and historians doubt that reframing climate change as a moral responsibility can reverse deep-seated skepticism among some conservative Christians about environmentalism, especially among older generations of evangelicals who have associated it with the culture wars over abortion and same-sex rights.

Read the entire piece here.

I applaud the efforts of the Evangelical Environmental Network, but they have their work cut out for them.  Most conservative evangelicals are unwilling to see the death penalty, gun control, and the reduction of programs to reduce poverty as “pro-life” issues.  I imagine that the same is true for “creation care.”


One thought on “Is Climate Change a Pro-Life Issue?

  1. Well, John, speaking as one of those conservative evangelicals and since I’ve already dropped a comment on another of your posts today, I’ll add one here. Sorry for it’s length.

    From a Biblical position, the death penalty pre-dates the Mosaic Law. The penalty is the very essence of a pro-life law – human life is so valuable that the taking of it must be paid with another life (by the one who murdered). It conveys the value God puts on human life. So I don’t accept that one must be against the death penalty in order to be consistent with a pro-life position. I could take issue with how it is applied and implemented in today’s society, but as a general principle I have no problem with viewing the death penalty as consistent with a pro-life position.

    Secondly, in the past 20 years, the “rate of non-fatal violent gun crime victimization dropped 75%” and the “gun homicide rate dropped 49% in the same period, according to numbers Pew researchers obtained from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”, per this USAToday article from 12/3/2013.

    If the rate of gun-related violent crimes goes down greatly while gun purchases have gone up, by what logic can one argue that to be pro-life means to be in favor of “gun control” when evidence contradicts the anti-gun rhetoric? If there are more guns, but less gun-related violent crime, then it’s a flawed argument to put forth that supporting gun control is somehow a pro-life argument.

    Thirdly, programs for reduction of poverty. The U.S. government has spent some $12,000,000,000,000 plus over the last 50 years on a “War on Poverty”, yet the poverty rate is basically unchanged. Yet to question those programs or to seek overhaul them is to be on the receiving end of “oh, you’re not pro-life”. The fascists of Germany built the autobahn, so I guess fascism was good also, or at least that seems how the “logic” so often goes in these discussions.

    The biggie – “climate change”. The name itself is laughable, as if the climate has ever NOT been changing. There’s a big difference in being sensible about the environment and buying into every little tidbit of environmental hysteria or believing every environmental regulation has come down from Heaven itself and cannot have it’s value or consequences questioned.

    Scientists have a long history of being completely and utterly wrong when predicting the future. This post is already long, so I’ll only mention one: Y2K. Man! The “experts” stirred the pot with that one. Planes might fall from the sky. People might get stuck on elevators. The power grid might shut down. We might not be able to our money out of ATMs. If I recall correctly, if James Dobson advised his listeners at the time to play it safe and have some cash tucked away.

    January 1, 2000 came. Nothing. Life went on like any other day. With an item made by their own hands, the so-called “experts” couldn’t even accurately predict what would happen a few years in the future, yet we are called to spend – based on one of the more recent articles I’ve seen – $15,000,000,000,000 worldwide to combat a prediction made by a similar bunch of folks who think they’ve got enough of a grasp on worldwide planetary climate patterns to make doomsday predictions about our future if we don’t reorganize our lives to their liking? How many of the world’s poor have to die because their environmental regulatory desires will price clean water or inexpensive energy out of reach of the world’s poor?

    Computers – garbage in, garbage out, and that applies to their computer models predicting the future.

    One other note: Back in 2006, after more than 30 years, the World Health Organization ended the ban on DDT. How many people – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa – died as a result of environmental hysteria and “science” that prevented DDT from being used in areas where malaria is rampant? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

    Yet to look back over history and to review the huge stack of evidence of past failed predictions about the future and come to the conclusion that the latest doomsday prediction is dubious at best is to have one’s pro-life position questioned?

    That’s my 2 cents. Enjoying the podcasts. Have a great week.


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