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The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a conservative Christian public policy group that promotes a free-market approach to care for the environment that is critical of much of the current environmental movement. In particular, the Cornwall Alliance rejects claims of detrimental global warming. Originally called the "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance" it was founded in 2005 in reaction to the efforts of evangelical leaders (such as Rick Warren) to fight global warming. The name Cornwall come from the 2000 Cornwall Declaration. The organization's views on the environment have been strongly influenced by the wise use movement of the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2000, a statement called the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship was put forward and has been signed by over 1500 clergy, theologians and others according to Cornwall Alliance. Signatories include prominent religious individuals from the Roman Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical worlds such as Charles Colson, James Dobson, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, R. C. Sproul, Richard John Neuhaus, and D. James Kennedy.
The declaration states that human beings should be regarded as "producers and stewards" rather than "consumers and polluters". It states:
The Cornwall Declaration further sets forth an articulate and Biblically-grounded set of beliefs and aspirations in which God can be glorified through a world in which "human beings care wisely and humbly for all creatures" and "widespread economic freedom…makes sound ecological stewardship available to ever greater numbers."
An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming
In July 2006, the Cornwall Alliance published an open letter in response to Christian leaders of the Evangelical Climate Initiative who had, in February of the same year, expressed concern over man-made global warming, urging legislators to consider a cap-and-trade system, promoting new technology and reducing carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Advisory board member Wayne Grudem was quoted in reply saying, "It does not seem likely to me that God would set up the world to work in such a way that human beings would eventually destroy the earth by doing such ordinary and morally good and necessary things as breathing, building a fire to cook or keep warm, burning fuel to travel, or using energy for a refrigerator to preserve food." The missive was accompanied by "Call to Truth, Prudence and the Protection of the Poor", a technical paper examining the theology, science and economics of climate change, doubting if anthropogenic global warming was taking place at all, and describing mandatory emission reduction as a "draconian measure" that would deprive people of cheap energy and hurt the poor. The letter was endorsed by over 170 individuals, including atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, palaeontologist Robert M. Carter and former Energy & Environment journal editor Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen.
On December 2, 2009, the Cornwall Alliance issued a statement called "An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming", in which they declare in list form both "What We Believe" and "What We Deny". The first point from each list is;
We believe Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.
Prominent signatories of the declaration include climate scientist Roy Spencer, former climatologist David Legates, meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo, television meteorologist James Spann, and Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center.
Along with the "Evangelical Declaration", Cornwall Alliance issued "A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor". The executive summary of their document states,
The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost. Is that idea true? We believe not. We believe that idea – we'll call it "global warming alarmism" – fails the tests of theology, science, and economics.
Critics of the Cornwall Alliance have accused the organization of being a "front group for fossil fuel special interests," citing its strong ties to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which is funded by oil industry giants such as Exxon-Mobil and Chevron.
- Heritage Foundation
- Christianity and environmentalism
- Evangelical environmentalism
- Climate change denial
- About the Cornwall Alliance, cornwallalliance.org
- About the Cornwall Alliance Dominion. Stewardship. Conservation.
- An Open Letter, cornwallalliance.org
- Event details, heritage.org, July 25, 2006.
- Call to Truth, Prudence and the Protection of the Poor, cornwallalliance.org
- Event details, heritage.org, December 3, 2009.
- An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, cornwallalliance.org
- Prominent Signers of An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming cornwallalliance.org, May 1, 2009, archived April 12, 2015
- A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor cornwallalliance.org
- Global warming: a battle for evangelical Christian hearts and minds skepticalscience.com, October 2, 2014.
- The Oily Operators Behind the Religious Climate Change Disinformation Front Group, Cornwall Alliance ThinkProgress, June 19, 2010
- The U.S. Evangelicals Who Believe Environmentalism is a "Native Evil" The Guardian, May 5, 2011