Study: Climate change regulation may be doomed by biblical end-time believers
It’s official. Research released on Friday has concluded that US lawmakers will have a difficult time getting climate change regulations passed, because so many ultra-conservative Republicans and their evangelical Christian constituents don’t believe in creating laws for long-term future benefit since the Bible says that Jesus will be taking them all up to heaven before the Earth dies.
Cataclysmic weather events like Hurricane Sandy, which put a sharp focus on the adverse effects of climate change, are not seen by end-timers as a warning that Earth is being smothered in atmospheric fossil-fuel-based pollution, but rather as a sign the rapture and ascension to the pearly gates are coming soon.
The study was conducted by David Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David Bearch of the University of Colorado, while searching for answers to explain why the federal government has been so resistant to taking bold steps to diminish climate change. They found that, unlike other governments, the US Congress has a GOP-controlled House and a Senate with some Democrats treading lightly in red states—and it must contend with Tea Party mentalities and anti-science representatives who hold key positions on important environmental committees.
“The fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them,” Barker and Bearce claim in their study.
The full report, which was based in part on data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.
The researchers concluded that nonbelievers of the Second Coming would more likely support reduction of carbon emissions to save the Earth for future generations, whereas end-time believers “would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised.”
A few GOP examples of key elected end-timers are Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who wrote a book based on Rush Limbaugh’s theory that global warming is a hoax perpetrated to scam the American people—Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who has opposed climate action by saying, “the Earth will end only when God declares it to be over,” and Rep. Paul Broun (R.-Ga.), who believes the world is only 6,000 years old and that science-based climate research, including physics theories he doesn’t agree with, are “lies straight from hell.”
Barker and Bearce wrote that due to “institutions such as the Electoral College, the winner-take-all representation mechanism, and the Senate filibuster, as well as the geographic distribution of partisanship to modern partisan polarization, minority interests often successfully block majority preferences.”
The recent success of Republicans and a few red-state Democrats to block the Manchin-Toomey background check gun bill is a prime example of the Barker/Bearce conclusion, because numerous polls showed 90 percent of Americans favored the common-sense bill.
Many have said, including President Obama, that ultra-conservatives “cling to their guns and Bibles,” rather than embrace change, science-based facts or the belief in anything that doesn’t fit their interpretation of the Bible; isn’t preached at their church, touted by their home-town lobbyist-bought politicians or the conservative talk-show potentate of their choice.
It’s official. The effort for climate change protection, as promised by Obama, may be in the holy dumpster, due to the theological belief that end-time Christians won’t be around, and are therefore absolved from any accountability for Earth’s future.
“The biggest argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”—Winston Churchill.
Jean Williams, environmental and political journalist; PrairieDogPress writer; Artistic Director, Keystone Prairie Dogs.***PrairieDogPress is the media channel for keystone-prairie-dogs.com, which is a fundraising website to support environmental groups for extraordinary efforts to protect Great Plains habitat and prairie dogs in the wild. PDP uses humorous images, social commentary and serious-minded political reports to challenge government on numerous levels, including accountability to the people, the protection of threatened species, the environment and Earth’s natural resources.