A couple of weeks ago, my city’s newspaper, the Post-Standard, published an article framing climate change as a debate, with side-by-side columns arguing climate change is real and is not real. This article was nationally syndicated: sent to newspapers across the country for publishing. Much of the media has rejected the so-called “equal time” policy giving both sides of an argument a voice when one is simply false. But not the Post-Standard, apparently. A few letters to the editor were published expressing displeasure with this action, and I decided to write one from a religious angle. It didn’t get published, so I’m sharing it here. It’s a bit of an unusual approach, but I think it’s accurate and important to say.
To the Editor:
As an environmental engineer, person of faith, and Coordinator of the interfaith Religions for Peace International Youth Committee, I am shocked and dismayed that the Post-Standard published a prominent article giving credence to the view that human actions – most notably burning of fossil fuels – are not causing climate change. (Should Congress defy Trump and move quickly on climate change,” February 5). This is a truly Satanic – yes Satanic – action by both the author William Happer and the Post-Standard.
Although I don’t believe Satan is a literal being, the concept is nonetheless powerful and profound. Satan is the father of lies, a master deceiver who parades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). The article in question pits a mere “progressive commentator” who argues climate change is real versus William Happer, an emeritus physics professor who is knowingly or unknowingly acting as a mouthpiece of the devil. By the contrast of credentials, the article wants us to believe that Happer is an “angel” representing science, knowledge, and truth while the progressive commentator is wrong and climate change is a lie. We must see past this devilish deception.
We have known since the 1860s (John Tyndall) that CO2 traps heat from sunlight. In the 1980s, simple calculations by scientists showed that humanity’s fossil fuel use would lead to higher CO2 levels than the Earth has experienced in hundreds of thousands of years, and was increasing at a rate thousands of times faster than natural change.
All people of good will, of all religions and no religion, must resist lies denying climate change. Further, we need to demand practical and bi-partisan solutions that will also help the economy, such as a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend.