Calvin Beisner


E. Calvin Beisner


  • Ph.D, Scottish History, University of St. Andrews (2003). [1]


E. Calvin Beisner is a former Professor of Social Ethics at Knox Theological Seminary. He was a member of the faculty as an associate professor of historical theology and social ethics from July 2000 through December 2007, but left Knox at the end of 2007.

Beisner is known as a “leading evangelical climate-change skeptic,” and was a founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. According to Beisner's personal website, he was a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church in America.

In May 2007 Beisner left the PCA to help plant a new Orthodox Presbyterian Church congregation. He's currently serving on the pastoral staff of Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC).

Stance on Climate Change

Beisner is a signatory to the The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship, which states that there are “Some unfounded or undue concerns include fears of destructive manmade global warming, overpopulation, and rampant species loss.”

Key Quotes

“The idea of human-caused climate change is “un-biblical. The pope should back off. The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science.” [20]

“Sad to say, despite Pope Francis’s best intentions, the policies he recommends to mitigate global warming would make it far more difficult to overcome poverty. And, ironically, by prolonging and even spreading poverty, those policies would put more of the natural environment at risk.” [17]

“Environmentalism, as a movement, is an alternative world view and a substitute for Christianity. My principal concern about environmentalism is a religious, logical, ethical concern. My secondary concern is that its science and economics are often flawed in ways that would point us towards policies that are especially destructive and harmful to the world's poor and, secondarily, everyone else.” [14]

0:56-1:27 “God has said that all of the various cycles on which life depends are going to be sustained by his providential care from now until God ends heaven and Earth themselves in the last judgment. Now that too, I think, is contrary to fears that man-made climate change could bring an end to the various different climate cycles on which we depend and on which other forms of life depend for our thriving.” [13]

“I am convinced that policies meant to reduce alleged carbon dioxide-induced global warming will be destructive.” [2], [3]

Calvin Beisner describes himself as an authority on climate change after having “read some 50 books… on the science of climate change.” (See video below.)

Key Deeds

June 10, 2016

Calvin Beisner wrote an open letter to U.S. attorneys general about climate change, representing the Cornwall Alliance. [21]

The letter responds to recent investigations by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Attorneys General United for Clean Power into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US. [22], [23] 

Beisner writes that the attorneys generals' actions are “a dead giveaway that you’re ignorant about climate science and related climate and energy policy.” [21]

“[U]nlike in the case of tobacco’s health risks, there are innumerable and enormous holes in the case (not for human contribution to global warming but) for manmade global warming dangerous enough to justify spending trillions of dollars reinventing the world’s energy system to mitigate it, particularly when competing use of those trillions might bring far greater benefit,” Beisner addresses the attorneys general. And you, intelligent and learned all, are ignorant of those enormous holes.” [21]

Signatories of the Cornwall Alliance's open letter include: [21]

June 17, 2015

“Sad to say, despite Pope Francis’s best intentions, the policies he recommends to mitigate global warming would make it far more difficult to overcome poverty. And, ironically, by prolonging and even spreading poverty, those policies would put more of the natural environment at risk.
People worried about putting food on the table, clothes on the back, and a roof over the head can’t afford to care or do much about air, water, and solid waste pollution. Gathering enough twigs and branches to cook tonight’s measly meal and heat a miserable hut take precedence over any concerns about deforestation, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss.
Wealth enables people to afford better environmental stewardship. Pope Francis should champion economic development as a solution both to poverty and to environmental degradation. Unfortunately, at least as regards climate change, the leaked draft of the new encyclical does the opposite.” [17]
Calvin Beisner also wrote an article in the Washington Times titled “The ironies of Pope Francis’s climate-change cure” where Beisner claims “The sections on climate change are riddled with vigorously debated, if not outright false, claims.” Beisner also includes “four relevant facts,” most of which refer to innacuracy of climate models. This argument has been thoroughly addressed at SkepticalScience.
Beisner also writes that fossil fuel use and economic development should be promoted as a way to reduce poverty:
“Wealth enables people to afford better environmental stewardship. Pope Francis should champion economic development as solution both to poverty and to environmental degradation.” [19]

April 27, 2015

Calvin Beisner spoke at the Heartland Institute's “Prebuttal” press conference at the Hotel Columbus in Rome as part of an initiative by the Heartland Institute to tell Pope Francis that “global warming is not a crisis.” See the video below. [18]

September 26, 2014

Calvin Beisner attends the “At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit” in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation. Spencer presents in “Panel V: Prosperity and Poverty,” with Leighton Steward. [16]

July 7 - 9, 2014

Calvin Beisner was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [15]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

May, 2010

Beisner was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2010 International Conference on Climate Change. [4], [5]


The Cornwall Alliance released a campaign to combat popular views regarding global warming. The campaign is titled “Resisting the Green Dragon” and includes a video series described as a “biblical response to one of the greatest deceptions of our day.”

The series, designed by Beisner, portrays those who belief in climate change as following a “false religion.” [1]

March 25, 2009

At a 2009 House hearing titled “Adaption Policies on Climate Legislation,” Beisner expressed his “balanced biblical view” on climate change. [2]

A key speaker at the hearing, who Beisner also points to for his evidence, is prominent climate change skeptic Christopher Monckton.

Beisner proclaims that he is “convinced that policies meant to reduce alleged carbon dioxide-induced global warming will be destructive, devising mischief by decree.”

According to Beisner, “These findings, opposite the expectations of the IPCC, are consistent with the Biblical world.” He describes the IPCC's view as “Atheistic.”

March, 2008

Beisner was a speaker at the the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.

His speech was titled, “Scientific Orthodoxies, Politicized Science, and Catastrophic Manmade Warming: Challenges to Evangelicals Navigating Rough Waters in Science and Policy.” [6]

July, 2006

Beisner co-authored a Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) report refuting the work of an opposing religious organization called the Evangelical Climate Initiative.

The ISA report was titled A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: an Evangelical Response to Global Warming (PDF).

Along with the report was a letter of endorsement signed by numerous representatives of various organizations, including six that have received a total of $2.32 million in donations from oil-giant ExxonMobil over the last three years.

Co-authors of the report included Paul K. Driessen, Ross McKitrick, and Roy W. Spencer.

October 2006

Beisner debated the primary author of the Evangelical Climate Initiative's “'Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action.'”


At the time of ISA's launch, the organization released a report (PDF) titled, “An Examination of the Scientific, Ethical and Theological Implications of Climate Change Policy.”

The purpose of the report was to “examine the scientific questions surrounding global warming, carbon reductions, and puts forth Biblical principles that can guide Christians in making policy decisions on the environment.”

The report was written by Calvin Beisner, Roy Spencer and Paul Driessen.



Although Beisner has not written any peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change, he has written many articles criticizing the science of global warming in the context of the Evangelical faith, including:

A full list of his publications is available on his website.

In 2005, Beisner wrote an article (PDF)  criticizing a judicial ruling barring intelligent design from a biology class curriculum. He wrote: [9]

[t]he aggressive, extreme secularism that would reject all reference in biology studies to intelligent design of irreducibly complex structures is more patently unscientific and more obviously religious than what most people have encountered in discussing evolution and creation. Perhaps a few more will waken now to the fact that the public schools are the enemy, not the friend, and not even a neutral party to Christians, and therefore (a) remove their kids from them and (b) stop working with them.” (emphasis added)

In 1990, Beisner wrote a piece criticizing the need for further federal spending on AIDS research, treatment and education. In the article Beisner asks, “…is it rational to allocate $3.5 billion dollars to fight a disease that is almost 100 percent self-inflicted by people intent on immoral and irrational behavior?” (emphasis added) [10]

Beisner goes on to claim that the “simple fact is that militant homosexuals have a potent lobby on Capitol Hill and at the White House. They know how to get politicians' attention. Only that can explain the irrational policies that have prevailed toward AIDS…” (emphasis added).



  2. Testimony of Dr. E. Calvin Beisner to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the United States House of Representatives, Wednesday, March 25, 2009 (PDF).

  3. Climate change debunkers take stage in US Congress,” AFP, Mar 25, 2009.

  4. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: E. Calvin Beisner.

  5. “4th International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF), The Heartland Institute. Retrieved from University of Hartford web server, March 1, 2012.

  6. E. Calvin Beisner,” SourceWatch.

  7. Prominent Signers of An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” Cornwall Alliance, January 14, 2010.

  8. CFACT Board of Advisors,” CFACT. Accessed November 29, 2011.

  9. E. Calvin Beisner. “Aggressive Secularism Evident in Judge’s Ruling Barring Intelligent Design from Dover Schools’ Biology Curriculum” (PDF),

  10. E. Calvin Beisner. “AIDS and Rationality” (PDF),

  11. Press Release: Mankind Always Adapts to Climate, Barton Says,” House Energy & Commerce Committee, March 25, 2009.

  12. Board of Advisors,” Cornwall Alliance. Accessed November 29, 2011.

  13. Right Wing Preacher: Not Using Fossil Fuels Insults God,” Climate Crocks, November 30, 2012.

  14. Leo Hickman. “The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil',” The Guardian, May 5, 2011. Archived June 27, 2014.

  15. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  16. Calvin Beisner. “Speakers,” At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit, Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, September 25/26, 2014.

  17. Participants in Heartland Institute Mission to Vatican Comment on Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment,” The Heartland Institute (Press Release), June 17, 2015. Archived June 19, 2015.

  18. Tell Pope Francis: Global Warming Is Not a Crisis!” The Heartland Institute. Archived June 19, 2015.

  19. E. Calvin Beisner. “The ironies of Pope Francis’s climate-change cure,” The Washington Times, June 17, 2015. Archived June 20, 2015. 

  20. Suzanne Goldenberg. “Republicans' leading climate denier tells the pope to butt out of climate debate,” The Guardian, June 11, 2015.

  21. E. Calvin Beisner. “Open Letter to Attorneys General about Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance, June 10, 2016. Archived June 24, 2016. WebCite URL

  22. David Hasemyer. “Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon Draws Attention of 17 Attorneys General,” InsideClimate News, March 30, 2016. Archived June 24, 2016. WebCite URL:

  23. Ben Jervey. “State Investigations Into What Exxon Knew Double, and Exxon Gets Defensive,” Desmog, April 1, 2016.