Madame Chairman, I would like to thank you for having a hearing that I personally find interesting. Before I address the topic of today’s hearing, however, I must again repeat my concern that other Committees encroach on this Committees jurisdiction while we sit idly by.
We have had hearing after hearing after hearing on global warming. But we have yet to have legislative hearings on the climate bills that are supposedly the reason for this endless parade of hearings. When we considered multi-emission legislation, we had two dozen legislative hearings examining the hard questions that need to be examined when crafting legislation. If this issue is so urgent and important, why are we delaying the beginning of that process?
In fact, we would have benefited yesterday when this Committee passed a small piece of legislation on a carbon capture demonstration project for the Capitol power plant. Although many technologies were praised as possibly being used for the plant, none of those technologies actually would qualify under the bill. Yet few Senators understood this because we never had a hearing on it before voting on it. That is simply unacceptable.
I’m not surprised that no effort has been made to seriously examine the many cap and trade proposals that have been introduced. Each of these bills would have massive economic consequences. An MIT report found that the costs to energy consumers of instituting the Sanders-Boxer bill would be an amount equal to $4,500 per family and more than $3,500 for the Lieberman-McCain bill.
Each and every one of the proposals out there has warts that, if exposed in serious discussion, would make the American public think twice about these so-called solutions.
In the past, Tom Mullen, President of Catholic Cleveland Charities, testified on his concern about the rising costs of energy that would be caused by the imposition of a carbon cap and trade scheme. Specifically, he said that the one-fourth of children in his city living in poverty:
“will suffer further loss of basic needs as their moms are forced to make choices of whether to pay the rent or live in a shelter; pay the heating bill or see their child freeze; buy food or risk the availability of a hunger center.”
Recently, the Congressional Budget Office found that an allowance allocation scheme would increase costs to the poor – who already spend up to five times as much of their monthly outlays for energy. The report found that it would transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. A reverse Robin Hood, if you will.
These thoughts were echoed in a letter sent to me yesterday by Barrett Duke, Vice President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention – which I request be entered into the record along with a resolution passed last June by the Southern Baptist Convention on Environment and Evangelicals. Duke wrote in his letter that that the science was unsettled and if global warming policies:
“make the delivery of electricity to [undeveloped countries] more difficult, millions of people will be condemned to more hardship, more disease, shorter lives and more poverty.”
What makes this all the more tragic is the science to buttress global warming hysteria is so shaky. That has led to increasing numbers of political leaders coming forth to publicly say so.
The latest is former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt just this week said the topic of global warming is "hysterical, overheated, and that is especially because of the media… We've had warm- and ice-ages for hundreds of thousands of years.” He added that believing we can alter global warming by any plans made at the G-8 is “idiotic.”
Schmidt’s comments follow similarly strong statements by Czech President Vaclav Klaus and former French Socialist Party Leader Claude Allegre.
The global warming alarmists are becoming increasingly desperate as more and more scientists convert from belief in a man-made catastrophe to skeptics as new science becomes available. We will be issuing a report soon detailing the hundreds of scientists who have spoken out recently with differing views from Al Gore, the United Nations, Hollywood elitists, and the media’s version of climate science.
Even putting the issue of science aside, religious leaders who have bought into the global warming hype need to consider the big picture of unintended consequences of legislative ‘solutions.’ One example of unintended consequences by climate crusaders was the recent proclamation by a UK supermarket company announcing it would usher in ‘carbon friendly’ policies and stop importing food from faraway nations. As a February 21, 2007 BBC report found:
“Kenyan farmers, whose lifelong carbon emissions are negligible compared with their counterparts in the West, are fast becoming the victims of a green campaign that could threaten their livelihoods.”
We need to consider what Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg discovered: diverting precious resources to solve a so called “climate crisis” is not in the best interests of the developing worlds poor. ‘Solutions’ to global warming may be much worse than the feared problem.”
Next, let me discuss someone who the media frequently cites in an attempt to show evangelicals are moving toward the side of global warming activism – Rev. Richard Cizik, a global warming alarmist.
A 2006 Vanity Fair Magazine article had Cizik posing for a picture where he was walking on water dressed like Jesus. Cizik shares the beliefs of liberals on the issue of population control. In a May 2006 speech to the World Bank, he told the audience, “I’d like to take on the population issue… We need to confront population control and we can—we’re not Roman Catholics after all—but it’s too hot to handle now.”
In short, Cizik does not represent the views of most evangelicals.
My final thoughts are about biblical perspectives. While I read the Bible, I do not pretend to be a scholar. But I have read what has been written by some scholars on the topic of man’s relation to creation and what stewardship means from a biblical perspective.
I would like at this time to introduce for the record the Cornwall Declaration, which I think provides a biblically based interpretation of God’s calling to us to be stewards.
We should respect creation and be wise stewards, but we must be careful not to fall into the trap of secular environmentalists who believe that man is an afterthought on this Earth who is principally a polluter.
Rather, we are made in God’s image and should use the resources God has given us. I’ll leave you with a final thought from Romans 1:25 “They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God’s creation instead of God who will be praised forever. Amen.”