Saturday, September 27, 2014

Evangelical Deniers: The poorest and most vulnerable and the lowest of the low @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 1:12 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment

You know how Anthony Watts on occasion has criticised other people for using photoshopped images or "fake" photos to illustrate a point, while at the same time faking images of his own. Well, he's done it again. This time pinching a photo from a company bringing cleaner energy to Africa (and South America), to argue that his readers should instead pollute "poor people" out of existence.

Compare and contrast - WUWT touting dirty energy (and religion), while using a photo about how a company helped a family in Rwanda move to cleaner cooking! (Scroll to the bottom.)

Today WUWT and CFACT (archived here) are touting support for the pseudo-religious cult, the Cornwall Alliance. (I've written about that organisation before.) The WUWT article has the headline:
Protect the poor – from climate change policies

The CFACT chap boasts that in seven years, the Cornwall Alliance has managed to attract a 150 people, stating that: "More than 150 have already signed the declaration." and urges WUWT readers to "Sign the declaration" of the Cornwall Alliance.

If you look back at the WayBack Machine, what that means is that 1350 people must have retracted their signature sometime since 22 September 2008! What's surprising is that this bunch of cranks got "1,500 individuals" to sign it in the first place. I'm not so surprised that 150 of them stuck it out. There will always be cranks and charlatans in the world. [Correction: KR has pointed out that this hypocritical cult is promoting a new document, pretending to care about poor people while promoting fossil fuel industry interests. Sou. 27 September 2014]

At WUWT they talk of "Stewardship of Creation", which is not to be confused with stewardship of Earth. Looking after natural resources is not necessary, according to this crowd. They "believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory." That gives them the excuse to do whatever they want to, including harm the environment.

As Victor Venema once wryly commented,
You wonder why God did not make the economy "in a robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting product of God’s wise design way", so that they do not have to worry about their alarmist economical "predictions".

About that photo - it's from Rwanda

You know how deniers hate polar bear photos? Well, WUWT and/or CFACT and/or the Cornwall Alliace decided to go the emotional route themselves. Today at WUWT there is a photo of a woman and infant bending over a wood stove, to support their illogical, inconsistent plea to burn more fossil fuel and exacerbate global warming. Being of a curious and sceptical nature, I decided to check it out.

Click here to read the story behind the photo that WUWT used to try to get more people to sign the Cornwall Alliance declaration. It's a picture showing how a company, UpEnergy, installed a clean-burning stove designed by Prakti to replace a primitive fireplace.  Here's an excerpt of the letter written by Erik Wurster, Managing Director of Up Energy Group to Prakti:
I thought you’d enjoy my recent adventure to give a test stove made by Prakti Design in India to a family in a pigmy village (a highly marginalized ethnic group in Rwanda) near where we live. This is certainly not an example of how stoves should be installed efficiently and in large numbers, but it was fun and very well received. It’s important for us to test different technologies before purchasing large numbers of them, so this type of thing is instructive for our future business strategies. Prakti was kind enough to donate this test model to us. This stove is designed to accommodate a chimney but didn’t come with one, so not pictured below is how we convinced the machine shop at the hospital to custom weld and metal chimney to fit the stove.
The letter goes on to describe the trip to the village and the installation of the new stove, with lots of photos.

I wonder how many clean-burning fuel-efficient stoves the Cornwall Alliance has installed?

Incidentally, here is a bit more about what UpEnergy is doing in Uganda. It's joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness of the importance of natural forest and help local people become more fuel-efficient. Such a venture would be anathema to the Cornwall Alliance members who, going by their "declarations" think that destroying forests is all part of their gods plan, and anyway their god will kiss it and make it all better after they've chopped down all the trees and killed off all the wildlife.

Denier memes of the crank religious at WUWT

I won't go into too much detail of all the nonsense that WUWT is trying to palm off in the name of "religion".  A summary will suffice:

  • CO2 is plant food - here, while hiding the fact that it's also drought, fire and flood food
  • Raising the strawman of hurricanes, for which the climate science jury is still out. Something about no category 3-5 hurricanes hitting the US coast in nine years. Not since Katrina. Sandy, the second costliest hurricane ever to hit the USA was down to a cat 2 by the time it hit.

Hmm, I thought there'd be more than that. But that seems to be about it. CO2 is plant food and US hurricanes.

Notice also how it's suddenly all about the USA. It's no longer about "poor" nations. The focus has shifted to hurricanes making landfall in the USA, while neglecting the typhoon recording the strongest landfall in history - because it hit poorer, and less-developed countries? As well as floods, and drought and famine.

The lowest of the low

The CFACT chap says the Cornwall Alliance declaration "implores" people to "consider how anti-fossil fuel climate policies would affect the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth". Now what has stopped these ratbags from doing anything to help the poorest and most vulnerable before now? Why are they suddenly pretending to care?

Why do they want to saddle the poor and the vulnerable with dirty energy that will send them to an early grave? Why are they so against helping people without get cheap, clean electricity that can be deployed now, without having to wait for costly distribution grids?

Are you a tad sceptical of this new-found "compassion" at WUWT? Yeah. Me too. Especially when you look at the murky relationships - and the cross-overs between CFACT and The Cornwall Alliance and the Heartland Institute and various other denier organisations. Most of them are connected and share the same few people. Look at one political anti-science lobby group and you've seen 'em all. As John Mashey says "follow the money" (if you can).

The thing is, Anthony Watts or CFACT pinched a photograph showing how other people have actually gone and done something to help the poorest and most vulnerable. While CFACT and the Cornwall Alliance are busy urging everyone to subject the poorest and most vulnerable to thick dirty smog and pollution, there are other people helping those same poor people shift from inefficient dirty and harmful cooking to clean and more efficient stoves.

Worse still, at the same time, WUWT in promoting dirty energy has pinched a photo of how real people have helped a family with clean cooking.

From the WUWT comments

WUWT-ers are nothing if not able to flip flop. When it comes to helping poorer nations by a coordinated fund to build climate resilience and shift to clean energy, they are dead against helping "poor people". When it comes to selling them dirty diesel and transporting coal over the oceans to build power plants they suddenly want to donate all their money. Oops - no they don't quite go that far, do they.

JohnWho sums it up fairly well:
September 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm
The Alarmist/Warmists and the Main Stream Media will give the Cornwall Alliance about the same amount of respect and consideration as they have the Oregon Petition Project.
Sad, but probably true.

artwest doesn't buy what he calls evangelism:
September 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm
Unfortunately I suspect that they are more interested in evangelism about religion than AGW. That’s lost me and I won’t be the only one, especially outside of the US.
I’m disappointed that this organization has been so unskeptically embraced here. It plays into the stereotypes that warmists have of skeptics and will be more of a hindrance than a help in convincing the uncommitted that we are all about science and rationality.

nicholas tesdorf waxes lyrical, or fetid or something
September 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm
The Cornwall Alliance declaration comes as a breath of fresh air in the fetid atmosphere of insane statements from the CAGW supporters. .The CAGW alarmists are intent on seizing total control and in the course of this, trampling on the poor of the World is this pursuit of power.

pokerguy isn't too happy that WUWT has decided to promote a pseudo-religious cult
September 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm
“It notes that our Earth is “robust, resilient, self-regulating and self-correcting.” Its climate system will respond to and correct damage that might arise from the relatively small effects of carbon dioxide that we humans are adding to the atmosphere ..”
I dislike this highly unscientific, highly subjective argument. Rush Limbaugh used to make it…perhaps he still does….noting that the “creator” would not give us an atmosphere we humans could screw up. When I was a warmist it only confirmed my sense that global warming skeptics were indeed a bunch of misguided flat earthers. I know better now, but it’s still a terrible argument, and only affirms certain unflattering stereotypes. I’m sure many of you won’t like my POV, but if your aim is to be persuasive to the other side, then you might want to rethink it.

Rud Istvan doesn't like it much either
September 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm
Pokerguy, my thinking is similar to yours.
Plus, I have an additional objection. Their logic is explicitly founded on ‘intelligent design’, something I spent most of a chapter debunking in the last book.Eyes, and all that.
I have no problem with religious beliefs, so long as they are peaceful.
I have a great problem when anyone for whatever reason tries to substitute religion for science. No matter whether warmunists or Cornwall Alliance (‘opposite sides’), my problem remains and I will always oppose. Both. 

Madman2001 in part points out that the Cornwall Cultists have adapted/modified and adopted the Gaia concept for themselves 
September 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm
Three points:
1. The religious bent of this Alliance makes me reluctant to join up.
2. I wish the supposedly level-headed people who make up the community of this forum would quit using “Gaia-worshipper” and similar phrases as a slam against the warmists and alarmists. It’s not only rude, but usually trotted out without evidence. I myself am what more accurately can be described as a neo-pagan (although I don’t like that label either) and I believe in treating the earth and its creatures (which includes mankind) with care and respect. I also totally reject CAGW.
3. I often argue, usually in forums and not face-to-face, with warmists and alarmists using the very arguments put forth by the Alliance. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that their actual and proposed policies hurt the poor the most. The poorer are the most hurt. DiCaprio can afford skyrocketing electrical rates, but the poor cannot, at least without giving up something else.

Eric Worrall has had a change of heart. Now he reckons that those filthy capitalists have been "witholding cheap energy" and should have been giving it away to people in abject poverty.
September 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm
I’m glad that such a group has spoken out – the Cornwall Alliance is a well known charity in the UK, and its public position will be influential.
The global policy of withholding cheap energy from people who live in abject poverty, because of worries about something which might happen in 50 years, is an act of unimaginable cruelty. Nobody who has true compassion can stand to see such madness.

Martin doesn't agree with Eric and says:
September 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Cheap energy you reckon. The cost of electricity ain’t cheap. Here in a first world country folks bleat about how expensive electricity is. How will the poor folks in third world countries pay their expensive electricity bills huh? Someone has to pay for the huge infrastructure of poles and wires…


  1. I believe some 1500 have signed their "Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming", stating that "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming."

    The "Protect the Poor" declaration with 150 signatures, although it repeats much of the same nonsense, is a separate document.

    1. Oh, thanks, KR. I'll fix it. So many documents! So much hypocrisy hiding behind a pseudo-religious cult.

  2. Eric Worrall is wrong. The Cornwall Alliance is not well known in the UK. I expect only a few hundred to a few thousand know about it. In the UK we tend to pay attention to charities that support science.

    1. The Cornwall Alliance was not in the top 1000 for charities donations in 2012


      I realise that donations are an imperfect measure of fame but some other religious organisations did make it.

    2. You are right Catmando. Eric Worrall saying it is a well known charity in the UK is completely wrong. I do not think anybody I know has heard of it. I only know of it because I lurk around climate blogs. I have never heard it mentioned or advertised outside of this.

    3. That's how I found out about them. I suspect there are many such phoney theological cults around with a handful of members who can now put together a Sony website and so look important. In terms of influence, unless David Cameron signs up, I think it is negligible.

    4. Should say shiny website. Who invented autocorrect? Come the revolution.

    5. Why would it be well known in the UK? It's an American foundation headquartered in the Burke, Virginia. It's as British as Mom's Apple Pie. Nor, as far as I can tell, does it perform any actual charity work. Eric shows his usual dedication to the facts.

      CA's spokesman Cal Beisner claimed that Sandy was "sent by God as a matter of grace" and the Joplin tornado was "a little taste of God's judgement". He is an End Timer, whose wibblings suggest he since the apocalypse will be presaged by disasters, the more disasters the sooner the rapture.

      I might add that one of CAs founders is Charles Colson - former Nixon hatchet man, Watergate conspirator and advocate of a wide range of criminal behaviour. Of course, that was before he got that old time religion....but still, you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas...

      A collection of right-wing dominionist loons who even Willard Anthony's bag of mixed nuts should be ashamed of being associated with.

    6. A link with the evidence that Cal Beisner really said this.

      Sou, are your comments representative? Is the WUWT audience a bunch of anti-Christians? Interesting. Thus US Republican party is truly interesting. Where the creationists and the social Darwinists meet and work on their higher political goal.

    7. There a lot of atheists at WUWT or at least a lot of people that don't mix their pseudo-science with religion. The religious types bump heads with them occasionally and usually lose.

      Which reminds me. I haven't seen Janice Moore lately.

    8. Eric Worrall, or Wozza to his imaginary friend, may be one of the Heinz-57-varieties of the more extreme believers among commenters at WUWT but, in his defence, he's just mixed up the Cornwall, Cornball and Oddball Alliances, and perhaps even the sole trader Timball Unalliance
      And that's easy to do, for Eric, because their names all have the same assonant terminal sounds. Which observation is also about as charitable as the Cornwall Alliance gets.

    9. When the accusation that acceptance of AGW is a religious position is so common, only the most tactically obtuse want religion brought in on their side.

  3. Sou, thanks for printing this and reminding me there are projects to finish.
    FYI I've reposted half of this at
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    FrankD, you say Charles Colson, that's interesting, didn't realize that, have a source for more information about their origins?

  4. There's a very entertaining Guardian article on Cornwall Alliance which may be of interest to students of barking mad Dominionist theology.

    Fans of the crazy may enjoy a few snippets from the Cornwall Alliance's publication Resisting the Green Dragon:

    The Litany of the Green Dragon provides some certainty for people without God, who drift steadily from their rational moorings, and for whom there is an increasing sense of separation anxiety...

    We humans are special creatures, in a class of our own, quite separate from, and superior to, trees and animals...

    The Green Dragon must die…[There] is no excuse to become befuddled by the noxious Green odors and doctrines emanating from the foul beast...

    This slimy jade road…is paved with all kinds of perverted and destructive behaviours, leads to death itself, and finally, to the pains of hell forever…No Hollywood celebrity bunnies draped over its foul form can deny its native evil...

    It is no coincidence the rise of environmentalism as a significant political entity tracks the rising political clout of modern feminism...

    Savage wolves have come to be among the church…No one can serve two masters...

    The first few chapters in the Book of Genesis are an infinite mine to plumb for riches. All the world has no wisdom that is greater...

    So-called "natural" or wilderness areas are not hospitable to man, and God does not consider this a good or natural state...

    The fruits of the Green Dragon are not good, but evil…Humans are urged to surrender as many liberites as judged fit to save the world, which is pretty much all liberty that makes life worth living...

    Christians must resist Green overtures to recast true religion, nor allow themselves to be prey for teachers of pagan heresies...

    * * *

    John Mashey provided some interesting information about the CA's funding in comments last time Sou wrote about this very peculiar organisation.

    1. And of course, the ever-thorough Sou already provided a link to JM's comment in the headpost and I missed it. Sorry ;-)

  5. Alrightie then, one more chore and I can go to bed. Sharing today's efforts with you folks.
    ~ ~ ~

    The Beisner Cornwall Alliance God, examined

    "There's an organization [which appears to be] created expressly to spread lies and increase the public's confusion about our global warming situation. What is particularly contemptuous about this group, called the Cornwall Alliance, is that they hide their contrived debate points behind a show of God. Reminds me of cigarette commercials featuring beautiful babes and tough cowboys to sell their deadly product. Tragically such media campaigns are quite successful in wooing a basically apathetic public.

    Just as tragically trying to converse with such souls is like talking to a wall. Still it's important to take the time to point out their base misconceptions and lies even if only to let other's know that the truth is out there. …

    I'm no scholar, still I've been watching this PR game {and pondered creation and God} long enough to be able to offer this detailed review of Calvin Beisner's Cornwall Alliance talking points …"

    ~ ~ ~

    A review of Cornwall Alliances "The Biblical Perspective of Environmental Stewardship: Subduing and Ruling the Earth to the Glory of God and the Benefit of Our Neighbors" 2013



    PS. Keep up the great work Sou.

    1. Thanks, CC. I've made a slight edit to your comment.


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