Is It Morally Evil to Question Climate Alarmism?

Published November 13, 2013

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, citing her 10 years in which she was president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote a bizarre article in Tuesday’s Washington Post claiming Typhoon Haiyan was “evil” and the typhoon was caused by the “moral evil” of fossil fuel consumption and “the moral evil of climate change denial.”


Thistlethwaite did not mention whether she has any scientific education, training, or expertise regarding the earth’s climate. It seems rather odd that an apparently scientifically uneducated theologian would call scientists “morally evil” for pointing out an ongoing decline in hurricane activity and rather compelling evidence that global warming is having a neutral or benign impact on hurricanes.

But scientific ignorance may not be the most troubling aspect of Thistlethwaite’s incendiary accusations.

Even given the decidedly liberal religious and political views of the Chicago Theological Seminary (see, for example, the Seminary’s “Philosophy” webpage), does Thistlethwaite really believe God is honored and pleased when, for example, she applies the “morally evil” label to sincere fellow Christians – many of whom have substantially more extensive scientific education and training than her – for merely disagreeing with her lay interpretation of climate science?

Reading Thistlethwaite’s incendiary name-calling and imposition of moral judgment on fellow Christians, I can’t help but think of Dr. Calvin Beisner, a sincere, humble, and dedicated Christian who is an elder in his church and serves as spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Beisner, who I will bet dollars to donuts has more extensive scientific knowledge and expertise than Thistlethwaite, agrees with scientists at many of the nation’s most prestigious universities and research institutions that humans are not causing a global warming crisis. Does Thistlethwaite truly believe Beisner is “morally evil” or engaging in “morally evil” activity by not agreeing with her lay scientific opinions?

The aggressive intolerance and downright nastiness of so many global warming activists apparently extends even to people who rise to positions of authority at Christian theological seminaries. Inquisition, meet the 21st century.