Religious Leaders Should Stop Bleating About Global Warming

By Grant Goldman – Re-Blogged From

In July 1937 when the Marco Polo Bridge incident launched Japan’s aggression against China, that was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against Japan.

In March 1939 the German occupation of Czechoslovakia was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the Nazis.

In November 1956 Soviet troops overrunning Hungary was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the USSR.

In October 2013 the massacre of Syriac Orthodox Christians and destruction of 14 churches in Sadad in Syria was not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the Jihadis responsible.


The likelihood that there are more slaves in the world today than at any previous time in human history is not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action against the slave trade.

Three terrible genocides were perpetrated in the twentieth century.  By the Turks against Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians in 1915, by the Soviets against the Ukrainians in 1932-1933, and of course by the Nazis against the Jews from 1939 to 1945.

None of these horrible events prompted Australian religious leaders to act with one voice.

Why am I telling you all this?

What is important enough for Australian religious leaders purporting to represent Anglicans, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews, to get together and write to the Government and the Opposition demanding action?

Well, a person named Thea Ormerod, representing a numerically insignificant outfit called Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, drafted a letter for them all to sign, calling for a 40% cut in the level of carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990 levels by the year 2025, and an 80% cut by 2030.


We are talking here about the comprehensive economic destruction of Australia, with mass unemployment, grinding poverty, widespread hunger and disease, shocking child mortality and truncated lifespans for everybody who is not amongst the elite.

Thea Ormerod is likely related to Neil Ormerod, who is Professor of Theology at the Australian Catholic University.  Oh yes, this is the educational institution which a month ago awarded two scholarships, each for full tuition fees for four years, to honour executed drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

This leads me to observe that the worthy goal of getting Australia to lead a worldwide campaign to abolish capital punishment is not important enough for Australian religious leaders to write to the government demanding strong action.   But strong action against carbon dioxide is what they want.

The Church of England has been pushing the anti-energy barrow for some time. They actually ran a Global Divestment Day on February 14 this year.  It attracted little attention because St Valentine’s Day is the day when most people are busy chatting each other up and eating chocolate.


What issues do you want your Church to concentrate on?  World peace? Ending poverty?  Defeating disease?  Combatting crime?  Protecting minorities? Saving children from sexual abuse?  Helping the homeless?  Maybe, just maybe, even campaigning against sin?

What about preaching forgiveness?   That is what churches used to do.  Or do you want your church to act like basically a subsidiary of the Greens?

It’s your Church, and it’s your money that pays the bills.  If the Churches do forget that, then people will get baptised, married and buried online.  It’s cheaper.

The Church of England is part of a push to reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990 levels by the draconian figure of 80% in the next fifteen years, which would make Australia unable to feed, house and clothe Australians.

In Britain, North America and Australia the Church of England has declared war on coal, through a combination of divestment programs and propaganda from the pulpit.

Time for some facts about coal.   The gerontologist and evolutionary biologist Caleb Finch tells us that since the early 1800s life expectancy in Europe has doubled.  The single greatest factor in the longevity revolution has been coal.


Beginning in the eighteenth century and accelerating into the nineteenth century, coal made possible stunning increases in productivity.  Coal saved from destruction the forests of Britain which by the mid eighteenth century were rapidly disappearing.

Coal dramatically reduced pollution caused by cooking and heating with wood and animal dung.  Coal permitted large scale smelting of metals. Coal made possible modern medical science and modern agriculture. Coal opened the way to commerce and freedom of movement on a scale never before imagined.

Thanks to coal, for the very first time ordinary workers who were not members of the aristocracy nor of the clergy had leisure time.  Life was still tough, but thanks to coal life rapidly improved.

Instead of being permanently enslaved to tasks like collecting wood to heat and to cook, women had the opportunity to learn to read and become educated or musical or artistic or political or charitable as they wished.

Coal made possible the growth of democratic institutions and, vitally important, the abolition of slavery.   Nineteenth-century Britain saw the flowering of culture with bands, orchestras, choirs, drama societies, literary societies, trade unions, and, of course, the flowering of the Church of England.



I’ll mention some of the great hymnists of the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century.  In chronological order (top left to bottom right): John Wesley (1703-1791); Edward Perronet (1726-1792); William Cowper (1731-1800); John Newton (1725-1807); Reginald Heiber (1783-1826); Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886); Matthew Bridges (1800-1894); Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940).

Thanks to coal, hymn books could be printed cheaply and thanks to coal there were trees left in the land to make the paper.

In Britain, by 1860 around 400,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 175 tonnes of coal in a year for an annual total of seventy million tonnes of coal.  In 1913 around 1,100,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 264 tonnes of coal in a year for a total of 290 million tonnes.

This great increase in coal production coincided with wonderful progress in every aspect of society.  People lived longer, ate better and their purchasing power increased year by year.


As the twentieth century dawned, coal was already popularising the wonderful blessing of electricity.  The former major disadvantage of coal-fired power – sulphur dioxide emissions – was overcome with fluidised bed combustion using limestone, and coal has continued as the world mainstay of electrical power.


Tragically, 1.3 billion people – eighteen percent of the world’s population – have no access to electricity and so are deprived of all the wonderful things we take for granted.  Expansion of coal production is vital as part of the energy mix necessary to offer the poor and disadvantaged of the world an escape route from poverty, misery and short lifespans.


By declaring war on coal, people who purport to represent the Church of England are committing a terrible crime against the world’s poorest people.

My suggestion to the people purporting to lead the Church of England is re-read the Parable of the Talents.  It’s still there in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14-30.


The Parable of the Talents (etching): Lucas van Doetechum (floruit 1554-1572)


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