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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Watching the Liberal Party rend themselves to pieces over Climate Change this week I perchanced to pick up a paper I had printed out from the John Howard Decade Conference held at the Australian National University, Canberra, 2-3 March 2006.

This particular paper is entitled “‘You lucky, lucky bastard!’. The Extent Of John Howard’s Political Genius.’ by noted chardonnay swillers Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen. An extract appears on-line here under the far less spicy title of ‘Howard The Ideologue’

Errington and van Onselen note that Howard extinguished true liberals from the Liberal Party and sound a warning from the dark ages past of early 2006 that Howard’s suppression of moderates and championing of the ideological right within his party sharpened factional lines within the Liberals while concealing this division behind the whitewash of electoral success. They state that:

While this doesn’t seem to have done much harm in terms of the harmony and discipline of the party in government, a less successful federal Liberal Party may reap the whirlwind of the divisive practices of the Howard years.

And further:

The extent of damage caused by Howard’s factional warfare will only be known well after he has retired, and will likely cause some reassessment of his political skills

Got That Right

Well many congrats to Errington and van Onselen. The John Howard Decade Conference at elite feminist pinko bludger central ANU no doubt set international records for the consumption of taxpayer-funded Chardonnay, but also produced an Oracle for the future. Surveying the Liberal Party in advanced factional rabble mode must be causing Errington and van Onselen to emit quite a glow of professional satisfaction as their predictions settle nicely into history.

As the Lavartus Prodeo commenter, Katz, succintly put it “This is the end of the party that Ratty made.”

Nick Minchin is the perpetuator of the Howard example of ideological refusenik. Nyet! No stolen generations; Nyet! No multiculturalism; Nyet! No acknowledgement of any latent Australian racism; and now Michin’s contrribution Nyet! No climate change.

Minchin, like Howard, is chained to the past but Howard’s chains were cultural, not political. Howard at least gave lip-service to Climate Change, but Minchin is dying in a ditch on this and could take the entire party with him. Psephological analysis of the electoral devestation to be wrought on a Climate Change Denialist Liberal Party shows that the only electoral survivors will be those on the ideological right – leaving essentially a rump of old men sailing surely into an ideologically blinkered, though iceberg-less, oblivion.

The Taste Of Stale Rump

My contention that the Liberals will be left as a ‘rump of old men’ is based on polling that shows it is men and non-capital city dwellers that are Australia’s AGW Denialists according to this poll and analysis by Possum with the 55 yrs plus demographic easily the Coalition’s best demographic at 47.5% voter share vs. 38% across all voters as of 1st December 2009.

Surveying the electoral prospects of an AGW denialist Liberal Party, The Australian poll and article of Nov. 28 bluntly forecast “Liberals Facing Election Rout” due to metropolitan Libs deserting a Climate Change Denialist Lib/Nat coalition.

Part of Howard’s legacy then, his championing of the ideological right, may end up contributing to the consignment of the Liberal Party to complete irrelevance – a DLP that will slowly peter out of existence. To be fair to Howard, he was smart enough to know that Climate Change was a vote-winner and he wouldn’t have nailed his party’s colours to such an unsteady mast as Climate Change Denialism as Minchin has so foolishly done.

So while Howard elevated the right to dominance, it is Senator Nick Minchin, who, unlike Howard, has never faced the electoral pressure of a MHR will bear the ultimate credit or blame for the fate of the Liberals over the next election and beyond. I hope he enjoys the view from the ivory tower of his unloseable no.1 Senate ticket position.

The Minister For Sucking Up To Big Business

While Mr. Minchin inhabits an ivory tower of electoral invulnerabilty, that ivory tower remains within instantaneous contact of any Multinational willing to donate a few (million) quid to the Liberal Party. The Australian today reported that Mr. Minchin is not only a Climate Change Denier but also a Tobacco/Passive Smoking Denialist.

In the mid-1990’s Senatorpor Minchin dissented from a Senate Committee opinion that Passive Smoking could cause Cancer, his ‘scientific’ basis being a report sourced from the Tobacco Institute Of Australia.

The Senate Committe report said:

“Senator Minchin believes these claims (the harmful effects of passive smoking) are not yet conclusively proved. . . there is insufficient evidence to link passive smoking with a range of adverse health effects.”

But, reports The Australian:

Senator Minchin’s stance flew in the face of voluminous reports by the US Surgeon-General, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, documenting nicotine’s addictive hook and the serious health risks for people exposed to secondary cigarette smoke. Even the US and British tobacco companies acknowledged the health hazards from passive smoking in internal corporate research documents from the 1970s, obtained by the US congress and placed on the public record in 1995.

So Minchin is exposed as a patsy for fraudulent ‘science’ produced by International Corporations with massive financial interest in the continuation of sociopathic consumption of poisons. The man is seriously deluded or simply not interested in truth.

Nathan Rees has sacked Joe Tripodi !!

NSW may actually have a government again instead of operating solely as a standing lunch order for Tripodi and his coterie of trough-swillers.

I sent an email to Mr. Rees:

Congratulations on your courageous decision to remove factional rights to Cabinet selections and your immediate Cabinet reshuffle.

You struck me as a decent bloke when you took over but the seeming imprisonment of yourself and your Cabinet colleagues to the will of Joe Tripodi and others of his ilk made me despair for this State.

I am very happy to be proved wrong.

That took guts.

I am sure the rest of the electorate will applaud the immediate effects of your decisions.

For those of you who don’t know yet Rees took a motion directly to the floor of the NSW ALP State Conference to wipe out factional rights to appoint Cabinet Ministers. He didn’t consult Caucus or the Ministers. He just went straight to the floor and called the vote. Brilliant!! Pantsed the lot of ’em.

The rank and file supported the notion near unanimously and a few hours later Tripodi was sacked.

Strewth, half of Sussex St will be filled with paramedic teams resuscitating ALP Cabinet Ministers choking on Spring Rolls, or in Joe’s case Lobster Thermidore.

Well done Mr. Rees. On yer mate!

The Libs must be spewing…

Not Feeling Well

A popular definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results’. In which case the NSW Liberal Party should start shovelling the Lithium in with their Weet-Bix.

Ex-Federal Senator and former ALP kingmaker Graham Richardson recently gave testimony at the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into circumstances surrounding the assassination of the colourful identity Michael McGurk.

This inquiry luxuriates in its formal name of Badgerys Creek Land Dealings And Planning Decisions Inquiry – General Purpose Standing Committe No. 4

Richo cheerfully gave evidence into how he lobbies NSW ALP govt. ministers and bureaucrats into land rezonings and other favours to make Richo’s property ‘developer’ mates (and himself) richer and fatter.

Such ‘lobbying’ is legal but serves no public purpose. It’s just another name for graft and nepotism and in my opinion should be outlawed.

Every Move You (May Or May Not) Make

Six weeks before Richo’s evidence, Liberal MP Brad Hazzard, Shadow Minister for Planning, issued a mildly hysterical press release alleging the nefarious Richo was centrally operating NSW Property zonings in cahoots with Joe Tripodi and Minister for Planning Kathleen Keneally, or perhaps without Keneally and just Richo and Tripodi running the lot.

On October 22, two days after Richo’s evidence Hazzard moved a motion against Keneally censuring her for her policy of deliberate ignorance in relation to Richo’s meetings with NSW Planning bureaucrats.

The relevant bits of Hazzard’s press release of Sept. 9, Minister Fails To Answer For Accountability follow:

Minister Keneally fail[ed] to answer what actions she has taken to ensure appropriateness of meetings [of NSW Planning bureaucrats] involving Graham Richardson

Graham Richardson also allegedly told media that he had met with Joe Tripodi who is the factional master of Kristina Keneally.

As Mr Richardson represents a number of developers, it raises the question as to who is pulling the strings on planning decisions in NSW.

The Thing

The thing is, Tripodi flatly denies ever speaking to Richo about Planning and there is no evidence that he has. The allegation is unprovable.

I wrote the Mr Hazzard asking for the source of his contention that Tripodi has been meeting with Richo. His advisor, Lee Dixon, wrote back saying:

I refer you to the Sydney Morning Herald article “Fixer Richo still working in the shadows” of February 6, 2009.

I also refer you to the Planning Ministers response to a question in Question Time on September 10 where she does not deny that meetings take place between Graham Richardson and Minister Tripodi.

The SMH article does not say that Richo met with Tripodi (though Richo did admit to one phone call to Tripodi) and Keneally’s silence also does not prove that Richo is meeting with Tripodi.

Tripodi flatly denies having any meeting at all with Graham Richardson in relation to zoning or planning. Here is Tripodi, completely relaxed, effortlessly fielding questions directed at him by Trevor Khan of the National Party supposedly the Coalitions best Inquiry performer, on Sept. 14 at Budget Estimates for Ports and Waterways (pages 11-13)

The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Minister, in the time that you have been Minister have you met with or had telephone discussions with Graham Richardson?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: Yes, I have met Graham Richardson.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Have you met with him in his role as lobbyist?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: He has never lobbied me on issues to the best of my recollection.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Have you met with him in his role as lobbyist?
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: When was the last time you had a discussion with Graham Richardson?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: I do not remember a specific event. It was a fleeting conversation—hello, goodbye. I cannot remember when that occurred.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: When was the last time you had a telephone conversation with him?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: A very long time.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: When was the last time you had—
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: Sorry, I have met Graham Richardson. I have said that to you. To the best of my recollection he never raised any issues with me relating to Mr Medich.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Have you met with Mr Richardson in your offices?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: No. Not that I can recall for quite a long time. It would have been years ago if I had.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Have you met with Mr Richardson in Parliament House?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: If I have it has not been for many years.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: For many years? How do you term “many years”? Is that one year, two years or three?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: It is definitely more than one, so it would be at least two or three years. As I say, not within recent memory.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: In the last 12 months, how many times have you either spoken with or met with Mr Graham Richardson?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: In the last how long?
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Twelve months.
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: Once or twice. It was hello and goodbye, crossing paths. Never had an organised meeting.
The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: Does that include telephone conversations as well?
Mr JOSEPH TRIPODI: Yes. I have not had a telephone conversation with him for quite a long time.

Hazzard Has Nothing.

This is reminiscent of the 2007 NSW State Election, where then leader Peter Debnam made shocking allegations about the Minister Jack Debus in Parliament, for which he had no proof. This caused a sea-change in sentiment against the Libs who were polling well at the time.

Debnam from then on was regarded as a bit of a dill, a perception reinforced by his penchant for allowing himself to be interviewed wearing nothing but budgie-smugglers and by his assertion that ‘transport is not an election issue’ the day before a peak-hour train breakdown on the Harbour Bridge wreacked mayhem with city traffic (OK he was unlucky there).

NSW Labor Deserves The Flick

… and that mob of gluttonous nest-featherers deserved it years ago, but if Hazzard and the rest of them continue to make unprovable assertions they will mess it up again as in the last Election where Debnam went too far with his allegations.

The Libs are not yet polling that well that they are home free.

NSW Labor has plently of provable ‘form’. Stick to that, it should be plenty…or it should have been.

Nathan Rees, who struck me as a decent bloke from the time he came into office looks like he’s plucked up the considerable guts to take on Tripodi. I wish him well and if he succeeds he might get the NSW ALP back in.

Smoke Etc

In fairness to Hazzard, there’s more than a whiff of smoke around the Richo-Tripodi-Keneally troika. Keneally got her job due to the sponsorship of Tripodi, she deliberately chooses not to know or be informed about her bureaucrats meeting with Richo or anyone else’s parasitically motivated lunches, and Richo by his own admission has phoned Tripodi once. One can safely assume this is would be in relation to Planning/Zoning issues.

Hazzard calls Keneally the ‘Minister for Tripodi’ (to her outrage) which is true enough since the entire cabinet is the ‘Government for Tripodi’, surely the last person on earth you want within barge-poles distance of the public interest.

Here’s Joe and Richo in action, helping their rich mates the community yet again:

Mr Richardson told the Herald that he lobbied the head of the NSW Planning Department, Sam Haddad, last month over his refusal to rezone Mr Medich’s land. If rezoned, the land Mr Medich bought a decade ago for $3.5 million would be worth about $400 million.

Several months ago Mr Tripodi’s friend, the Fairfield jeweller Michael Daniele, took out an option for $5 million to buy the rural block owned by retired concreter Rinaldo ”Ron” Morlin. The land, which is worth less than half that amount, is estimated to be worth $25 million if rezoned.

Mr Daniele, who was praised in Mr Tripodi’s maiden speech to Parliament, is the sole director of Mr Tripodi’s private company, New Arm Investments. Mr Tripodi has previously declared his stake in the company on his pecuniary interests register. Corporate records show that the minister resigned as a director in 2005.

Mr Morlin, 73, confirmed Mr Daniele had taken out an option a few months ago. When asked if the option was worth $5 million, he replied, ”Mamma mia, you know too much about it.’

But you need proof to support specific allegations. Debnam didn’t have it and neither does Hazzard.

For his part, Richo says, I think quite plausibly, that he does not actually need to meet with Tripodi or any Ministers to get his back-room deals done. From the SMH ‘Fixer’ article of Feb 6th

“I don’t have to talk to ministers, I can get things done through other means,” Mr Richardson said.

Asked to expand, Mr Richardson said he did not have to reveal any such thing.

“Often it’s better not to talk to them [ministers] because if I do, people like you want to make something of it,” he said.

“I have known people in the bureaucracy for years. I have lots of contacts, lots of ways to press for things. I can get done what I need to get done…”

In the meantime, if anyone can source any article where Richo says he has met with Tripodi or vice-versa then I would be interested to read it.

What’s With Them Rednecks ?

It is occasionally noted during discussions of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) that Creationists are a stronghold of AGW Denialism. For example, The Guardian (UK) ran an article in April 2009 entitled “Just What Is It With Evangelical Christians And Global Warming” citing a survey from the Pew Forum On Religion and Public Life which showed only 34% of US White Evangelical Christians accept the AGW hypothesis.

Here is an extract from the Pew survey of 1,502 Americans, which has a sampling error of plus/minus 3%

Percentage of Americans who believe in AGW:

Total Sample: Yes 47% No 45% Don’t Know 8%
Non-Religious: Yes 58% No 35% Don’t Know 7%
White Mainline Protestants: Yes 48% No 44% Don’t Know 8%
White Evangelicals: Yes 34% No 55% Don’t Know 11%

What Is The Correlative Factor ?

Given that Pew found that the rate of acceptance of AGW amongst the Evangelicals was significantly lower than that of the general population and in view of the fact that Creationists would be more strongly respresented in this group than the others, it is fair to assume that the correlation between Creationism and anti-AGW exists. This being the case, what is the correlative factor ? What is it about US Creationists that predisposes them to reject AGW ?

The Wall Street Journal of Sept. 28, 2007 ran an interesting article, “Split Over Global Warming Widens Among Evangelicals”. In this article the views of pro- and anti-AGW Evangelicals are canvassed and the following anti-AGW viewpoints/rationales given:

– Senior US Evangelicals believe that AGW distracts clergy/believers from their core responsibility to elucidate Jesus’ message. A similar argument has been advanced by Cardinal Pell of the Catholic Church in Australia.
– Theological reasons advanced against AGE by certain Evangelicals.
– White Evangelicals are overwhelmingly Republicans hence toe party line.
– Conservative inertia. Southern Baptist Convention cites Climate Change not settled among scientists. 50 years ago refused to acknowledge Racism as an issue.

In my opinion the correlative factor between Creationists and anti-AGW is that of political allegiance to the Republican Party, the third factor cited in the Wall St. Journal article.

Creationist and Republican

The Religious Right is a constituency of the Republican Party. In the 2008 US General Election 73% of Evangelicals voted Republican according to the Pew Research Centre in this article, Voting Religiously

Republicans, Republican Pastors and AGW

The Republican Party is haven and wellspring for anti-AGW ideology.
Environment Magazine in Sept/Oct 2008 carried an article entitled “A Widening Gap: Democratic and Republican Views On Climate Change”. In data, data sourced from Gallup Polls showed that only 40% of Republicans subscribed to AGW compared to 72% of Democrats.

In a similar vein, Pew Research Centre in Oct. 2009 found that belief amongst AGW is very low amongst Republicans. In April 2008, Pew found only 27% of Republicans subscribe to AGW, dropping to 18% in Oct. 2009. The comparitive figures for Democrats were 58% and 50%.

Despite the disparity between the Gallup and Pew figures, both polls make clear that Republicans are far less likely to subscribe to AGW than Democrats.

To summarize the Pew Data:
27% of Republicans believed in AGW as of April 2008
18% of Republicans believed in AGW as of October 2009
34% of Evangelicals (mostly Creationists) believed in AGW as of April 2009.
73% of Evangelicals vote Republican.

In general terms then: Creationist correlates to Republican correlates to anti-AGW.

Some hard data which supports the above correlative chain comes from Lifeway Research, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. They polled 1,002 pastors and found that the more conservative their political beliefs, the more likely they were to reject AGW. The research appears in their article LifeWay Research studies global warming beliefs among Protestant pastors

When the pastors’ personal beliefs are factored in, the differences grow even more pronounced. Among pastors who consider their political ideology liberal or very liberal, 93 percent agree that global warming is real and man-made, and 79 percent of self-perceived moderates agree. Among those who identify themselves as conservative or very conservative politically, however, agreement is only 37 percent and 16 percent respectively

Disseminating Republican AGW Denialism To Creationists

The Religious Right (RR) has a very effective network of radio and television stations through which it can disseminate its opinions to members and sympathizers. These TV and Radio networks are controlled by the older members of the RR who are more conservative and more pro-Republican than the younger members.

AGW represents a massive challenge to the economies of the West, addicted as they are to chronic over-consumption. For the Republican Party, with its array of prominent financiers and backers from Big Oil, AGW represents a second and even more immediately serious challenge which is how to maintain the legitimacy of unlimited Oil Production and Consumption. AGW represents a threat to the power, money, authority and thus the very survival of the Republican Party. These challenges can only be met by de-legitimizing AGW.

Fissures In The Religious Right Over AGW

From the Pew figures it can be seen that Evangelicals, and hence Creationists, are less likely to reject AGW than the average Republican. (34% vs. 22% approx.)

During the 2008 US Federal Election campaign, fissures in the Religious Right began to appear as younger members began to assert their agreement with the AGW hypothesis and pressure Evangelical organisations to adopt AGW platforms and practices.

The younger Creationists turned to the Biblical concept of ‘stewardship’, a centuries old cross-denominational position on mankind’s relationship to the environment to support their notion of ‘Creation Care’ and argue for an AGW-friendly agenda in the RR media and secretariat.

For Senior Evangelics acceptance of AGW represented a second-order heresy of ‘turning Democrat’ the party not only of Al Gore, whose entire political career was predicated around the environment and Climate Change, but also associated in their minds with Gay Rights and Abortion.

Those that control the RR, with their established links to Republican politicians and centres of influence use theri position and control of RR resources to broadcast their anti-AGW opinions at the expense of pro-AGW opinions to the Evangelical rank-and-file.

The Contempt Of The Left For The Bible And Christianity

It is sometimes posited by left-leaning journalists and bloggers that the Creationists are anti-AGW for theological reasons: that Creationists believe the Bible teaches anti-AGW, or that Creationists are simply anti- or non-scientific because the Bible, itself putatively an anti-scientific document is the arbiter of truth for them.

Such leftists group Creationism and anti-AGW as equally non-scientific beliefs. Creationists are held to be innocently or defiantly ignorant of good science. A contempt for Creationists is apparent among many leftists, prominent in this contempt being the general refusal of Creationists to accept the Theory Of Evolution as incontrovertible fact. This contemptuous tone is very evident in the Guardian article cited above.

The contempt of leftists for Creationists leads them to attempt to locate the reasons for Creationist anti-AGW sentiment in the Bible, a document leftists love to mock as being non-scientific, not least because it is the source for the Creationist position.

The desire of leftists to mock and ridicule the Bible thus causes them to overlook the most obvious reason for US Creationists being anti-AGW. They are Republicans.

Theological ‘Proofs’ For Anti-AGW

To be fair to leftists, it is absolutely true that theological ‘proofs’ are used by certain prominent Creationists to argue against AGW.

But the quality of these ‘proofs’ is very poor, suggesting that theological argument is being coerced from the Scripture by certain Creationsists in order to to buttress a political (anti-AGW) position, rather than being derived inductively from Scripture. These Creationists are trying to force the Bible to say something that it really doesn’t say.

In short, anti-AGW interperetations are being retro-fitted onto Scripture by those with motive to coerce such interperetations from the Bible.

A theological ‘proof’ for anti-AGW is very palatable to the senior RR movers and shakers as it allows them to reconcile their Political and Theological ideologies into a coherent whole and stave off leadership and/or policy challenges from younger members.

Consequently, senior RR members allow such ‘proofs’ airtime or print space and leftists gleefully pounce on these theologically impoverished proofs to support their own bias, that the Bible is anti-Scientific and to give them further excuse to ridicule Scripture and Christians (not that they generally need much encouagement).

But again, to be fair, most leftists do not have sufficient Biblical literacy to properly evaluate theological argument.

Theology and Anti-AGW

The concept of Dominion as expressed by certain Creationists to theologically disprove AGW relies on a highly innovative understanding of Dominion. It is in fact so ‘innovative’ that I suspect that it has been invented expressly to cover the proponents real objections to AGW which I would say is that it challenges the rapacious corporate-government ‘free market’ paradigm beloved of the Republican Party.

The US Evangelical organisation Cornwall Alliance, a faith-based ant-AGW advocacy group, strongly infer that the Dominion of Humankind over Earth means that Humans can only ever be an agent for improvement in the natural environment and never an agent of destruction.

Cornwall, quoted in the Guardian article say:

Many people mistakenly view humans as principally consumers and polluters rather than producers and stewards. Consequently, they ignore our potential, as bearers of God’s image, to add to the earth’s abundance… Our position, informed by revelation and confirmed by reason and experience, views human stewardship that unlocks the potential in creation for all the earth’s inhabitants as good. Humanity alone of all the created order is capable of developing other resources and can thus enrich creation, so it can properly be said that the human person is the most valuable resource on earth… While some environmental concerns are well founded and serious, others are without foundation or greatly exaggerated… Some unfounded or undue concerns include fears of destructive manmade global warming, overpopulation, and rampant species loss.

The concept that humans can only ever exercise a positive effect on the natural environment is not taught in scripture. What is taught is that it is God’s mandate and gift to humanity that we, of all creatures, have the primary responsibility for the care of the planet and the most capacity to enjoy its beauty and wonder, as it was prepared very much for mankind’s enjoyment, but not solely for that purpose, as other scriipture goes on to tell us.

Other creationists teach, as did for example John Shimkus, a Republican House Of Representatives member testifying before the US House SubCommitte On Energy And The Environment in March 2009, that since God is sovereign, only He can destroy the planet, not humanity, thus AGW cannot be real.

Shimkus also ingeniously posited that AGW cannot be real because it would cause a second Noah’s Flood, which God said He would not do. This ignores the fact that God is not causing AGW (note that ‘A’).

Theologically Agnostic To Climate

Finally on climate and theology, it has been sometimes posited that Evangelicals are anti-mitigationist because they believe in The Rapture (thus it doesn’t matter what happens to the climate) or because they are looking forward to the destruction of the planet beause that’s when Jesus will return.

It is plain that the first belief should not be correlated to anti-AGW as it renders the entire debate moot, while the second could easily lead to a pro-AGW position because it makes Jesus’ return more likely to be sooner.

To Summarize

Creationism correlates to an anti-AGW belief because Creationists are Republicans.

Creationists are less likely than most Republicans to be anti-AGW because traditional Christian concepts of stewardship undermine the Republican position that humans are not responsible for Climate Change.

Theological arguments in support of anti-AGW exist but are theologically impoverished. Their role is to reconcile the political beliefs of Republicans with the Bible, but do not successfully do so.

The Author Speaks

I contacted the author of the Guardian article, Leo Hickman, and said I felt he had left out the obvious fact that Evangelicals are Republicans. He was kind enough to reply and said:

Not sure why I didn’t make that direct reference at the time but I think perhaps I felt many would make that link instinctively.

In other words, its obvious.

In which case the opening sentence of Mr. Hickman’s article just looks more like he’s enjoying putting the boots into Christians due to standard leftist antipathy. That sentence:

Just what is it with evangelical Christians and global warming? I
doubt we’re ever going to get a satisfying answer to this long-running

So Why Do Creationists Vote Republican ?

Evangelicals have identified with the Republican Party since the 1960’s. Prior to that time they were politically disengaged, but several issues coincided in the 60’s, to make Evangelicals identify with the Republican Party as the party of traditional Christian morality.

These isues were the advent of a the Catholic presendential candidate, John F. Kennedy, fielded by the Democrats, the rise of the 1960’s counter-culture with its ‘progressive’ social views and libertarian sexual morality and Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion and banning prayer in schools.

This identification solidified during Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign and presidency such that by 1984 the formation of the Evangelicals as a Republican Party constituency was completed in the form we know today.

While, the Evangelical vote is overwhelmingly Republican, it is not monolithic. African American Evangelicals (15% of all Evangelicals) vote Democrat because they place jobs and the economy of higher electoral importance than Abortion and issues of traditional morality.

As noted above, in recent times the younger Evangelical vote has fissured from the more conservative older generation. The younger generation of evangelicals did not favour the Iraq War and are AGW-friendly. Only 45% of younger Evangelicals were in favour of the Bush administration during 2008.

In general, however, Evangelicals vote Republican because they see the Republican Party as caring more for issues of concern to them. A survey commissioned by the Barna Group in January 2008 and reported at World Net Daily found:

Evangelicals’ top concern – by a wide margin – was abortion (94 percent). This was followed by the personal debt of Americans (81 percent), the content of television and movies (79 percent), homosexual activists (75 percent), and gay and lesbian lifestyles (75 percent,)”

So, Why Are Evangelicals Sceptical About Global Warming ?

From, Evangelicals Go “Green” with Caution, Barna Group, Sept. 2008

In particular, evangelicals express the greatest caution regarding their perception that media has hyped the story (65%), their belief that cyclical climate change is not primarily caused by human activity (62%), and their concern that proposed solutions would hurt the poor, especially in other countries (60%).

While Evangelicals enunciate specific objections to the AGW or mitigationist view , the overall picture given by history and data is that the Evangelicals associate the AGW hypothesis with the Democratic Party and its legions of godless liberals.

AGW is perceived as a Democrat cause along with Gay Rights, Abortion, and the banning of prayer. On the other hand, the party that Evangelicals identify with and trust, the Republican Party is anti-AGW. The specific reasons given by Evangelicals to oppose AGW are Republican Party propaganda points.

Sure, Evangelicals do not say ‘I oppose AGW because the Republican Party say so’, but that is in effect the case.

The Basic Issue Is Trust

…and Evangelicals do not trust the Democratic Party.

An evangelical couple from Texas, Katharine Heyhoe and Andrew Fairley who are respectively a climate change scientist and a pastor have specifically identified lack of trust as central in Evangelical resistance to the AGW hypothesis.

They have wrotten a book aimed at answering questions commonly put to them by the Evangelical community.

When it comes to conservative Christians, I think the real question is who can we trust on this issue?” Farley said. “The scientist who has opposed us in the past, perhaps on issues such as evolution versus creation? Can we trust the local radio talk-show host on conservative radio who seems to be vehemently opposed to the idea that climate change is happening and speaks out quite passionately? Should I trust my local pastor who has a B-minus in high school biology?”

Many of the questions put by Evangelicals are recycled from the arguments of conservative celebrities who act wittingly or not as Republican Party functionaries

“Glenn Beck is saying this, Laura Ingraham is saying that, Rush Limbaugh is saying this, and these people are well-respected in conservative communities, so where are these talk-show hosts wrong and how can you show that they’re wrong with data, not slick talk?” [Fairley] said.

Older Evangelicals will not abandon the Republican Party while it is their personal Hezbollah (Party Of God), nor will they abandon their mistrust of the godless Democratic Party.

While these factors are salient and the Republican Party opposes AGW, so will older Evangelicals.

But the younger generation is moving on and this is fuelled in part by the Bible because its natural reading on the environment supports an ecology-friendly approach to living. The tortured, coerced and debased Dominion Theology used by Republican Party loyalists in the Evangelical movement falls to pieces in the face of the genuine article.