Earlier, I compared the views of the Vatican and Jerry Falwell on global warming. The former was sober, accepting the validity of the scientific consensus, and discussing the moral and ethical implications. The latter was more concerned with the rapture and American capitalism. I also recently discussed a plethora of reasons as to why the American right disdains global warming with so much vehemence. Although the post was decidedly tongue-in-cheek, it did raise some core issues, in that many evangelicals have totally bought into laissez-faire individualism, which--combined with a voluntarist de-emphasizing of the relationship between faith and reason and an overwhelming belief that they are the elect and may even be living in the end times-- leads them to downplay and ridicule the burgeoning scientific consensus that man-made global warming is very real.
And yet, I see an prominent Catholic blog, American Papist, has cast his lot in with the worst of the deniers. And by worst of the deniers, I mean Senator James Inhofe, the man who uses novelist Michael Crichton as his "expert witness" and who calls environmentalists Nazis. He claimed global warming was one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, and that even the weather channel is involved in the conspiracy. Huh? Suffice it to say, most of what Inhofe says about global warming is utter rubbish. To see a thorough refutation of all his phony arguments, see here. And yet American Papist links with seeming approval to this clown's latest release, which claims that more and more scientists are switching from believers to skeptics (actually, it's the opposite, as latest evidence suggests that risk analysis underpinning in the climate models is now skewed sharply upwards, meaning that it may actually be worse than the baseline).
Let me not conclude without raising some other facts about Inhofe. He one of only nine senators to vote against the McCain amendment banning torture. He uses a fundamentalist reading of the Old Testament to justify a hyper-support for Israel. And he thinks the 9/11 attacks were part of divine retribution for not doing enough to help Israel. When you piece it together, his global warming denial fits with his peculiar (and misguided) theology. But why would a serious Catholic blogger want to jump on this bandwagon? Does Neuhaus's alliance with the evangelicals really stretch so far? As Topol said in Fiddler on the Roof: "If I bend that far, I will break".