Though the president moved to the center on Bush tax cuts today, news reports over the last month are suggesting that an Obama second term would be full of more moves to left on the issues of climate controls, ozone regulations, tax increases, defense spending cuts, and relaxing missile defense against Russia. Experts also are saying that the president will step down the drug war in favor of treatment and possibly dramatically increase federal control over education policy.
"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea summit in March, unaware of the live nearby microphone that captured his words.
In the case of Russia, experts say Obama was asking the Russian president, and his comrade and current president Vladimir Putin, to lay low on their objections to a U.S. missile defense system in Europe until after the election, at which time he would be more willing to negotiate a compromise. The U.S. currently argues the defense system is necessary to protect Eastern Europe from Iranian missiles. But Russia worries that the system can also be used as an offensive weapon aimed at Russia. more >>
President Barack Obama has said that the most important policy for him to address if given a second term in office is climate change. A new Washington Post/Stanford University poll shows a dramatic drop, though, in concern over global warming.
In 2007, 33 percent of Americans named global warming as the "single biggest environmental problem the world faces today." That proportion has now dropped 15 percentage points in the most recent poll.
Only 18 percent of those surveyed named global warming as their top environmental concern, returning to levels not seen since 2006, when 16 percent said the same. more >>
Editor's note: In part three, the final installment of CP's series on evangelicals and climate change, the focus is on an argument by skeptics that opportunities are being lost to help the poor because of a focus on global warming.
Global warming skeptics argue that while global warming activists say that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is necessary to protect the poor and vulnerable, the science is so iffy and the cost of control so high that money would be better spent on direct aid to the poor.
The Cornwall Alliance is the primary organization representing this view. In 2006, Cornwall Alliance published a document, "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming," that was a direct response to the Evangelical Climate Initiative's "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action," discussed in part two of this series. In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner explained his belief that the global warming caused by burning fossil fuels will be small and may have more benefits than harms to the environment. Beisner, a former theology professor and economics professor, is the founder and national spokesperson for Cornwall Alliance. more >>
Editor's note: In part two of our series on global warming, CP reports on the internal process of a prominent evangelical organization, the National Association of Evangelicals, to reach a climate change position at the urging of evangelical activists.
For evangelicals who are global warming activists, convincing the Christian community to get engaged has been a process.
For example, Richard Cizik, though he was cited in 2008 by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world for his work as a 'green evangelical,' had a very tough time convincing his organization to back him at the time. more >>
Back in April, India's Supreme Court heard a case about a surgeon in the state of Bihar. This surgeon performed 53 operations in about two hours in conditions that can only be described as appalling: "assisted by unqualified staff, with no access to running water or equipment to clean the operating equipment."
The "patients" were left "crying out in pain [and though] they were in desperate need of medical care, no one came to assist them."
But what's most appalling is that butchers like him are acting at the behest and with the support of the West. more >>
When it comes to the issue of global warming, the label conservative and liberal won't necessarily help you determine if an evangelical Christian is a proponent or skeptic. Why? Because even within the inner core of conservative evangelical circles people are divided over the issue, with both sides asserting that science is clearly on their side. Take The Christian Post, for example: Dr. Richard Land, CP's executive editor, is among those who are skeptical that humans tip the scales toward global warming, while Dr. Joel C. Hunter, CP's senior editorial adviser, believes controlling human behavior may be in order.
Moreover, the prospects for a global decision to control carbon because of warming have dropped precipitously over the last three years because of a worldwide economic downturn, much to the consternation of evangelical and secular activists alike. Skeptics are delighted. But activists also point to a recent article in The New Yorker, which reports that President Barack Obama will make climate change a priority if he gets elected to a second term.
So which side is correct? And how should Christians view the future of the global warming debate, both inside the Christian community and out? more >>