Her conversion to environmentalism is the result of a years-long international campaign by British bishops and leaders of major U.S. environmental groups to bridge a long-standing divide between global-warming activists and American evangelicals. The emerging rapprochement is regarded by some as a sign of how dramatically U.S. public sentiment has shifted on global warming in recent years. It also has begun, in modest ways, to transform how the two groups define themselves.
Neither is it surprising to see Sir John T. Houghton – ‘British atmospheric scientist and an evangelical’ (and erstwhile scientific co-chair of the IPCC) – popping up in there. After all, this is the man whose faith in the Kyoto Protocol is based on everything but scientific evidence that it might actually do any good, as he demonstrated at the 2002 Edinburgh Science Festival with his concluding slide summarising why he thought Kyoto would work:
1. The commitment of scientists.
2. The availability of the necessary technology.
3. God’s commitment to His creation.
Or, as the article in Washington Post explains,
“The United States is absolutely key to the question of climate change,” said Sir John T. Houghton, a British atmospheric scientist and an evangelical. For nearly a decade, Houghton — who said he has long sought to “put my science alongside my faith” — worked to convince Hunter and other American evangelical leaders that their shared beliefs should compel them to focus on global warming.
Floods, plagues, pestillence, divine vengence, judgement, guilt. It’s not a huge leap from fire and brimstone to environmentalism.