Frei observes that the possibility of calm, rational scientific-fact-based discussion regarding climate change has been sabotaged by the "poison of partisan politics and the culture wars".
The evangelical movement is split between those conservative Christians who suspect that climate change is an evil secular plot, concocted by the devil, Al Gore and "the global government crowd" [...] and those who passionately believe that good Christians need to be good custodians of the planet.
Two years ago I went to Liberty University in Virginia, the home of the late Jerry Falwell and asked a lecture room full of students if they believed in the threat of global warming. Not a single hand went up.
I travelled up the road to the Eastern Mennonite College at Harrisonburg and asked a similar number of Christian students the same question. Almost every hand shot up.
In the past, ecological activists have made strategic alliances with groups who do not share any common political ground, identifying particular goals such as the protection of wetlands threatened by urban sprawl and working with Ducks Unlimited, for example.
It will be interesting to see how sane conservative christians who are not christofascists, teabaggers or other types of rightwing zealots navigate the divide.