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

December, 2016

“One can’t help wondering if his [Pope Francis's] embrace of climate alarmism rests on politics rather than science. 

[…] “President-elect Trump, at whom the pontiff was preaching, should stick to his guns. He should announce that because President Obama never submitted the Paris treaty to the Senate for ratification, which the Constitution requires for the United States to be bound by any treaty, the U.S. is not a party to the treaty. Then, on the day he’s inaugurated, he should submit the treaty to the Senate, where it will die the ignominious death it deserves.” [27]

July, 2016

“Even if global warming contributed to rising temperature and declining rainfall, human activity needn’t have driven it. The computer models on which the IPCC depends simulate warming from rising atmospheric CO2 at two to three times the observed rate, and none simulated the absence of observed warming from early 1997 to late 2015. So they are tenuous reasons to believe human activity was the main driver.

“At most, human activity contributed a fraction of observed warming, so only a fraction of the rise in temperature and decline in rainfall, and only a fraction of that to the drought, and a fraction of that to the conflict over water.

“In short, rising population and expanding industry and agriculture were greater causes of Syrian conflict than climate change—not to mention centuries-old religio-political conflicts, which dwarf them as causes of Syria’s civil war, the rise of ISIS, and the refugee crisis. And that was but one among many reasons for Brexit.” [26]

June, 2015
“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]

Calvin Beisner describes himself as an authority on climate change after having “read some 50 books… on the science of climate change”:

June, 2014

“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]

November, 2012

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]

March, 2009

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

Key Deeds

February 23, 2017

Calvin Beisner was a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [31]

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” Lindzen wrote in the letter. [31]

DeSmog investigated the list, and found that only a small handful of the signatories could be considered “even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’ — but not in the field of climate science.” The list included individuals “interested in climate,” and one signatory who only identified as an “emailer who wished to sign the petition” while some signers provided no affiliation or address whatsoever. [32]

January 5, 2017

Calvin Beisner was a signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator under the Trump administration. [28]

Mr. Pruitt has also demonstrated understanding of and open-mindedness toward scientific insights crucial to the formulation and implementation of environmental regulation. He is prepared to hear all sides in debates over the risks and benefits of various activities that come under the purview of the EPA,” reads the letter.

On January 12, 2017, Senate Democrats raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Scott Prutt's fossil fuel ties. Pruitt had spent years working to combat the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan. [29]

In an open letter to the Office of Government Ethics, members of the Senate's environmental panel commented:

During his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt has blurred the distinction between official and political actions, often at the behest of corporations he will regulate if confirmed to lead EPA,” the letter said. “Public reporting based on documents produced by Freedom of Information Act requests illustrate how Mr. Pruitt and members of his staff have worked closely with fossil fuel lobbyists to craft his office's official positions.”

Pruitt was further grilled on his fossil fuel ties at his confirmation hearing on January 18[30]

Some notable signatories of the Cornwall Alliance letter, as of January 5, 2017, included:

June 30, 2016

Calvin Beisner wrote an article in Townhall describing the supposed “anti-energy agenda” of environmental groups in 2016. He chastises groups who opposed hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at platform committee meetings in 2016. [25]

“Test after test has confirmed that the [fracking] process is safe and, contrary to vocal activists’ emotionally calculated claims, does not impact drinking water,” Beisner said. “Not only would a fracking ban reverse America’s advance toward energy independence, but the cost of heating homes and fueling cars would skyrocket almost overnight.” [25]

According to Beisner, the “green radicals” had another platform demand that was “just plain bonkers.” He describes the “Keep it in the ground” strategy as “tragically naïve” and claims that “higher-priced wind and solar would induce the green energy poverty, already widespread in Great Britain and for the same reason, that literally kills those who can no longer afford to protect themselves from heat and cold.” [25]

“Reasonable people recognize that green activists’ proposed 'solutions' have truly 'jumped the shark' this year,” Beisner concluded. “They have no basis in reality. As we debate ways to protect our environment and our water quality, we must balance the task of sound environmental stewardship with the critical need for abundant, affordable, reliable energy.” [25]

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]

November 19, 2015

E. Calvin Beisner was a speaker at an event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation titled “At the Crossroads Energy & Climate Policy Summit.” Beisner spoke as part of Session III, entitled “Energy Poverty.” [24]

Speakers included:

Robert E. Murray Founder, Chairman, President, and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, the nation’s largest underground coal mining commpany.
H. Leighton Steward Member,
Dr. Don Easterbrook Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University
Dr. Will Happer Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University
Dr. Richard Lindzen Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Dr. Patrick Moore Author and founding member of Greenpeace
Dr. E. Calvin Beisner Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
Horace Cooper Adjunct Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research
Dr. Caleb Rossiter Adjunct Professor, School of International Service and Adjunct Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences at American University
Mark P. Mills Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and founder andCEO, Digital Power Group
Dr. Hal Doiron Former NASA Engineer and Chairman, The Right Climate Stuff Research Team
Walter Cunningham Fighter Pilot, Col. USMCR-Ret.; Physicist; Apollo 7 Astronaut
Dr. George L. Stegemeier President, GLS Engineering, Inc.
Stephen Moore Distinguished Visiting Fellow on the Project for Economic Growth at the Heritage Foundation
Robert L. Bradley Jr. CEO, Institute for Energy Research
Mike Nas Partner, Environmental and Legislative Affairs Practice Group, Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Marc Morano Founder,
Ray Gifford Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Brian Lloyd Executive Director, Public Utility Commission of Texas
John Cornyn U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn

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.

  24. At The CrossRoads Energy & Climate Policy Summit,” Archived July 4, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DesmogBlog.

  25. Calvin Beisner. “Do Fringe Green Activists Want to Ban Energy Sanity from Democrat Platform?Townhall, June 30, 2016. Archived July 6, 2016. WebCite URL

  26. E. Calvin Beisner. “Did Manmade Global Warming Cause Brexit?, July 5, 2016. Archived July 14, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  27. E. Calvin Meisner. “Pope Francis and climate politics,” The Washington Times, December 4, 2016. Archived December 27, 2016. URL

  28. Open Letter Supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator,” Cornwall Alliance, January 5, 2017. Archived January 19, 2017. URL

  29. Ben Jervey. “Mapping EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt's Many Fossil Fuel Ties,” DeSmog, January 13, 2017.

  30. Ben Jervey and Steve Horn. “EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Gets Grilled on Fossil Fuel Ties at Confirmation Hearing,” DeSmog, January 18, 2017.

  31. PETITION” (PDF), February 23, 2017. Richard Lindzen. PDF Archived at DeSmog.

  32. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Denier Richard Lindzen's List of 300 “Scientists” Sent to Trump Is the Usual Parade of Non-Experts,” DeSmog, February 27, 2017.