Church Times article and our responses

The Church Times published an article by the Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, in its October 21 issue. The concluding paragraph:

The moral issues surrounding UK climate policy, as well as the under­lying scientific and economic ques­tions, are much more complex than is usually acknowledged. It is time for the Churches to recognise this, and to lead a debate that helps our society to a more sensible set of policies.

could have been taken from our conference literature, but what preceded it was a mix of what I think is fair to describe as a set of denialist soundbites. Unsurprising given that the Bishop is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, described in a recent academic study (see this Guardian article) as the most successful body in the UK at getting denialist views into the mainstream press.

We had two responses to it published in the November 4 issue (which we’re only posting now because the Church Times only makes articles freely available to non-subscribers a week after publication), an article by Bob White pointing out some of the many scientific inaccuracies in the original article, and a letter from me with a more “social critique”: three other critical letters were also published. There’s also a further comment piece referring to a further GWPF lecture given by the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell. A summary and the full text is available from the GWPF site. It is at least more coherently argued than Bishop Forster’s article, which may have served as a warm-up for it, but still draws upon many sources which mainstream climate (and other) science has repeatedly refuted in the past. Read a critique of both his science and theology by Tim Stephens, an Australian scientist and Christian.


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