The perverse skills of climate change deniers

Charles Rue; 30/11/09;  Dr Charles Rue is a Sydney-based priest of the Columban Missionary Society, and coordinator of Columban JPIC (Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation).;

In April 2007 Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, held a meeting at the Vatican ‘to gather data’ on climate change. The 80 invited participants were evenly divided between climate change sceptics and those looking for a credible church response. It was a mixed group of politicians, scientists, Catholic bishops, lobbyists, lay and church agency people, missionaries and leaders of other churches. It turned out to be an unhappy squabbling event. US based Baptist minister Dr Calvin Beisner interpreted Scripture to say that the world is evil and that burning fossil fuels is a way to purge it. Catholic Archbishop Patrick Kelly and Anglican Bishop James Jones from the UK were aghast at this interpretation. At the same meeting, former US lobbyist for the tobacco industry Professor Fred Singer made several interventions on the present and future benefits brought by the oil industry. He was supported by US Catholic layman Dr Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, partially funded by Exxon Mobil. Both of them state publicly that they work to influence the energy and agricultural policies of governments.