The Evangelical Christian Climate Deniers Behind Marc Morano’s Climate Hustle Documentary

Read time: 4 mins

One unambiguous video title states that “Climate Policies kill. People will die”, while others scream how moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions “devalues human life” and “kills thousands” in Britain.

All this extremist language comes from the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, a US-based Christian evangelical group that rejects climate science and is preparing to release a new documentary in the coming weeks.

Cornwall has been posting preview clips under the banner “Greener on the other Side: Climate Alarmism – Fact, Not Fear” on its YouTube page.

The views in the clips are extreme but represent a grab bag of climate science denialist talking points, ignoring the mountains of evidence gathered from multiple sources over many decades of the impacts of loading the atmosphere and the oceans with carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

The clips cut across energy policy and climate science and claim, amongst other things, there is no evidence to support cuts to the use of fossil fuels which are beneficial to the planet. 

In one segment, the alliance's supposed climate experts promote creationism.  “There has to be a designer – a creator behind this,” says David Legates.

The Cornwall Alliance is preparing to release the full DVD at the end of November under the title “Where the Grass is Greener”, only days before another climate science denial documentary, Climate Hustle, gets its premiere in Paris.

The two films also share a number of experts, including statistician William Briggs, climate denial activist Tom Harris, Australian “sceptic” Bob Carter, British peer Lord Christopher Monckton and blogger Anthony Watts.

But the similarities between Greener on the Other Side and Climate Hustle do not stop there, because both films share the same director in Chris Rogers and were produced by his company – CDR Communications.

Rogers’ CDR Communications was also behind another Cornwall Alliance extremist video effort in 2010 — Resisting the Green Dragon — that claimed environmentalism was a “false religion” and that it was a cover story for a “global government” power grab.

Rogers is also the chairman of The James Partnership, the umbrella arm that includes the Cornwall Alliance as one of its projects and pays the salary of Calvin Beisner, Cornwall’s founder and spokesperson.

While Cornwall Alliance will be unlikely to gain traction for its DVD outside of evangelical Christian circles, Marc Morano has much greater ambitions for Climate Hustle.

Climate science denialist Morano is the bombastic communications director for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

As DeSmog reported, after a “red carpet premier” of the film that Morano modestly claims will “rock the climate debate”, CFACT wants a US cinema release for the documentary, followed by DVD sales and then distribution in schools and colleges.

In the most recent trailer for Climate Hustle, CDR Communications staffer Anna Milograno is credited as the editor, with Rogers as the producer and director. 

In two earlier trailers, CDR Communications staffers Ian Jelliffe and Jay Kim were also credited, alongside “director of photography Joseph Rossell”.

Rossell is a research analyst at the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) who has been writing stories attacking climate science on his IRD blog Juicy Ecumenism and also on the NewsBusters website. NewsBusters is a project of the Media Research Center (MRC), which describes itself as “America’s leading media watchdog in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.”

Morano has previously credited MRC as helping to produce Climate Hustle by providing access to archive news footage.  Morano once worked as a journalist at Cybercast News Service, another MRC project.

Both MRC and CFACT have previously accepted grants from oil company ExxonMobil, which is currently under investigation by the New York attorney general for allegedly lying about the risks of climate change to the public and investors.

In the latest Cornwall Alliance film, Paul Driessen, CFACT's senior policy advisor, says: “I'm often accused of taking fossil fuel money - I'm still waiting for the check from ExxonMobil”.

Understanding the links between Morano, Climate Hustle and evangelical religion reveals an irony.  Morano and other climate science deniers will frequently attempt to disparage climate science by comparing it to a kind of religion, implying that they are blinded by faith.

Yet the very people Morano employed to produce his new documentary are fundamentalist Christians with a warped view on science. The one being blinded by faith, it seems, is Morano himself.

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