"Man comes first. Not animals. Not the planet."
Richard Land is not worried about climate change.
He believes the world is getting hotter. But he has no idea why. And he says trying to reverse climate change would do more harm than good.
"I am an agnostic when it comes to human-induced climate change," said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "It can't be a good thing that we are dumping all of this carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I think we should do all that we can to reduce emissions within reason. But we have to count the human cost."
Land is a leading voice among conservative Christian climate-change skeptics. These skeptics believe claims of catastrophic climate change are a scam, based on bad science and bad theology. They hope to counter religious leaders who believe climate change is a danger. …
Land also believes that many climate scientists see humans as a threat to the planet. He and other skeptics disagree.
"Man comes first," Land said. "Not animals. Not the planet." …
Robert Parham, director of the Nashville-based Baptist Center for Ethics, thinks Land and other skeptics should take another look at the Bible. Parham, who supports climate-change legislation, says that the Bible also has at least two stories about human-caused environmental disasters. The first is when human beings were cast out of the Garden of Eden, he said. The second came during the great flood.
"Fundamentalists who say that human beings cannot alter the environment are not being faithful to their literal reading of the Bible," he said.
Graham Reside, executive director of the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership at Vanderbilt University, wonders if climate skeptics have too small a view of God. …