People who have been in denial about the serious impact of Global Warming on the environment point to many different isolated events as their proof. The new faces of Climate Change deniers have decided, that “Yes, the climate may be changing, but people don’t have anything to do with it. It is simply a natural cycle of the earth.” They say, that “Any changes we might make would be so insignificant as to not matter.” Too often people who make these statements are Evangelical Christians.
But as *Paul Douglas, one of our local evangelical meteorologists puts it, we have to recognize that climate change and our daily weather are not the same. Climate change looks at long term impacts. Weather happens on any given day. Pretending that we are not in a changing climate and further pretending that we are helpless in the face of it, is both to deny reality and the trust God gave us to tend the earth we were given.
A recent UN statement on the dire prediction our world faces by 2040 should have shaken us up. The crisis in front of us is a moral crisis. Extreme weather is changing the shape of the globe. Islands are being submerged. Consequences are seen in shorelines disappearing, more frequent torrential rains with catastrophic flooding, hurricanes increasingly destructive and forest fires burning longer . . . all symptoms of our warming earth. From a deeply moral standpoint, the poor and vulnerable live in places which are being most impacted by the changing climate. By 2040 predictions include food shortages, emerging viruses, wars over scarce resources and increased hunger.
Facts always win out over denial. The facts continue to tell us that we need to act and we need to act now. God gave us minds to use, to face the challenging times we live in. God did not give us brains to deny reality or pretend that we are helpless.
The Levitical code in the Bible gives us a small example of God’s intention for the earth. “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in their yield; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land.” Leviticus 25:3 The year of rest would replenish the soil. Protecting the land would create blessing for the people.
God intended that we be good stewards of the earth and all that is in it. God didn’t choose, apes or dolphins, blue whales or eagles for this task. God chose us to be earth’s caretakers. God trusted us with this earth that God called good. Our part is to act on the knowledge we have been given, not to run from it or deny it, but to put policies in place that will protect and defend the earth. Given the warning, this task ought to be of the highest order.
*For a Christian World View on Climate Change, check out “Caring for the Creation, The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment” by Mitch Hescox & Paul Douglas