When you mention climate change, people generally fall into one of two positions. The majority believe in climate change based on what they have read in a newspaper or magazine, what they have watched on T.V., or viewed on social media. A smaller group that is often labeled ‘Deniers’ does not believe the commonly held position regarding climate change. I am not taking an absolute position on this issue, and I am certainly not denying that climate change is taking place. I am not convinced, however, as to what is causing it or how much man is to blame. So, I want to point out some aspects of this issue that people don’t always recognize.
I do this in the light that some of the media doesn’t want you to even consider different aspects of climate change. For example, in a September 2019 issue of Time Magazine entitled ‘2050: How the Earth Survived,’ suggesting how things will look 30 years from now and how people avoided the earth’s total destruction as a result of climate change. So, Time Magazine denies climate change deniers stating, “Notably, what you will not find in this issue are climate-change skeptics. Core to our mission is bringing together diverse perspectives. Experts can and should debate the best route to mitigating the effects of climate change, but there is no serious doubt that those effects are real. We are witnessing them right in front of us. The science on global warming is settled. There isn’t another side, and there isn’t another moment. (time.com)”
In their view, there is no room for questions regarding climate change. Rather, the science is settled, and deniers are heretics and thus are no longer allowed. So with this background, let us look at some issues related to climate change that are not always reported in the mainstream media.
While the majority of scientists accept the view of climate change as being the result of man’s action and thus declare the need to reduce carbon emissions, not all scientists readily accept this conclusion.
For example, Judith Curry, who, prior to her retirement, was the chair of the School of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, doesn’t think that science is ‘settled.’ “In her words, ‘If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However, the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal . . .’
“In other words, we simply don’t know enough about how, as she puts it, the “sun, volcanic eruptions,” and the “interactions between the atmosphere and ocean,” impact the climate to claim that the science is settled. How much of measured warming and recent tropical storm activity is the result of these factors which are beyond human control? How much is increased CO2 the result of human activity? We are simply not sure. (breakpoint.org)”
CLIMATE CHANGE, MONEY AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has floated the concept of the Green New Deal, but is it simply about climate change?
“Just ask Saikat Chakrabarti, the man who was chief of staff in the office of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she first hatched the idea. During an interview with the Washington Post this summer, Chakrab-arti openly admitted- bragged, really-that his boss’s legislation was not primarily motivated by climate. In an on-the-record conversation with the Post, Chakrabarti turned to a staff member from the presidential campaign of Washington Governor Jay Inslee-the most fervent of the climate candidates-and said this: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” Chakrabarti said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do- you-change-the-entire-economy thing.’
By Chakrabarti’s lights, climate change is a subordinate tool in an overall campaign to restructure society. (Thinking MN Fall 2019)”
Add to all this that climate change policies can mean big business, especially when it involves government subsidies. Commentator Bill O’Reilly was even more direct when he wrote, “The Green New Deal is a big con, a power grab attempt. based on the absurd belief that Washington can control the world’s climate. (billoreilly.com)”
ALMOST A RELIGION
John Stonestreet, of Breakpoint, states, “For many people, a certain kind of environmentalist catastrophism has become a religion, and arresting climate change has become a crusade. The first casualty of this crusade is honest pursuit of the truth. David Wallace-Wells’s book “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming” is treated by many in the media and universities as scripture, complete with prophetic warnings about the end of the world. Yet, as my Colson Center colleague Warren Cole Smith points out, there are scientists who strongly disagree with Wallace-Wells. For example, Michael Mann, the creator of the “hockey stick graph.” And he isn’t alone. Another climate researcher called Wallace-Wells’s predictions ‘sloppy’ and hyperbolic.’ (breakpoint.org)”
In some ways, this mirrors Paul’s argument in Romans 1:25, where he declares that people have “exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator.” Or to put it another way, mother earth has priority over Father God. Other commentators see it as part of a move to establish a new world religion and a one-world government. Pastor and author Skip Heitzig writes, “There is an environmental atheism today that essentially worships Mother Nature while denying the God of Scripture. It says that nature is God and God is nature-but the real God will judge their god. If you think we’ve trashed the planet so far, just wait until God begins pouring out His judgement. This planet belongs to Him-He made it” (Heitzig, 2011).
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist, became famous with her speech to the United Nations Assembly, telling them, ‘How dare you?’ I must confess, I have ambivalent feelings regarding her. On the one hand, it is great to see young people getting involved in important issues. But on the other hand, it has almost become a cult, with the ultra-liberal church of Sweden declaring that Jesus appointed her as one of His successors. It reminds me of Isaiah 3:4, ‘I will make boys (and girls) their officials and mere children will govern them (NIV).’ As Janie B Cheany writes in World Magazine, ‘The adoration of Greta Thunberg, the apocalyptic predictions, the self-flagellation all indicate religious fervor running wild. (world.wng.org)’
NO TO CHILDREN
The Alliance of World Scientists, after declaring that planet earth is facing a climate emergency, offered a prescription. What was it? “In addition to emissions reductions, renewable energy, and carbon taxes, the authors think it’s time to say “no” to children. World population, they write, ‘must be stabilized-and ideally, gradually reduced…’ To this end, they urge governments and international bodies to make ‘family-planning services’-including abortion-‘available to all people…(Breakpoint.org)'”
CHRISTIANITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Irrespective of where believers fall on the spectrum of climate change, we should be conscious of our responsibility to take care of the planet, without going so far as to worship nature. The creation story of Genesis reminds us we are to be stewards of the world God has given us to live in. At the same time, we need to realize that we live in a fallen world, and this world will not be put right until Christ returns, and there is a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). Till that happens, let us be good stewards, starting with where we are with the little things, like recycling and taking care of our part in life, as well as being aware of the big issues that we face with climate change.
The issue of climate change is such that it will be affecting our lives in ever-increasing ways, so we need to be aware of all that it involves. I, for one, do not believe the science is settled, and I will be watching to see what develops in the future. Meanwhile, I welcome your responses.
In the next Langstaff Letter, we will look at the bushfires in Australia and also the questions related to India and China.
Heitzig, S. (2011). You can Understand the Book of Revelation. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House Publishers.