It is interesting to see how the term ‘climate change’ is replacing ‘global warming’ as the catch cry of environmentalism. Some scientists are certain that human activity, primarily greenhouse gas emissions, are affecting the environment. What they are not sure about is exactly what the impact will be. About 35-40 years ago, ‘global cooling’ was the scare, with warnings of a new ice age. While most scientists today believe that global warming is the major risk, uncertainty has led to ‘climate change’ being used as a less specific warning.
Basically, the climate change message is this: greenhouse gas emissions are damaging the environment, and, while we are not certain what the effect will be, we know it will be bad.
Climatologists, ecologists, geologists, etc., are unanimous in recognizing that the earth has gone through some major temperature/climate changes in the past. Despite the fact that these climate changes were obviously not caused by human activity, many of these same scientists are convinced that human activity is the primary cause of climate change today.
Why Do They Believe It?
First, a minority of scientists fully believe that greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change. They honestly examine the data and have come to that conclusion.
Second, some hold to the climate change mindset with an almost religious fervour. Many within the environmentalist movement are so obsessed with protecting ‘Mother Earth’ that they will use any argument or any means to accomplish that goal, no matter how biased and unbalanced.
Third, some promote the climate change mentality for financial gain. Some of the strongest proponents of climate change legislation are those who stand to have the greatest financial gain from ‘green’ laws and technologies.
Before the climate change mindset is accepted by thinking Christians, it should be understood that not everyone who promotes climate change is doing so from an informed foundation and pure motives.
Most of the scientists that accept the ‘we-are-causing-it’ line are employed by government institutions which obtain huge grants to universities and other bodies to continue to research the accepted line.
On the other hand most of those who oppose the notion are retired scientists or privately employed – they are not beholden to the government for their current positions or salaries and are therefore freer to express their concerns publicly.
What Does the Bible Say?
But how should a Christian view human-caused climate change?
I believe we should view it as a theory, sceptically and critically, but at the same time honestly and respectfully.
Most importantly, though, Christians should look at the causes of climate change biblically. What does the Bible say about climate change? Not much at all in fact.
Probably the closest biblical examples of what could be considered climate change would be the end times disasters prophesied in Revelation 6–18.
Yet these prophecies have nothing to say about the causes except that they are the result of the wrath of God, who will pour out justice on an increasingly wicked world. Also, a Christian must remember that God is in control and that this world is not our real home. God will one day wipe out this current universe and replace it with the New Heavens and New Earth. The Bible makes this very clear .
How much effort should be made ‘saving’ a planet that God is eventually going to obliterate and replace with an earth so amazing and wonderful that the current one pales in comparison.
Should We ‘Save the Planet’?
So is there anything wrong with the conservation of nature? Of course not. Is trying to reduce your ‘carbon footprint’ a good thing? Possibly. Are solar panels, windmills, and other renewable energy sources worth pursuing? Maybe.
But I don’t believe any of these things to be the primary focus of followers of Jesus Christ. As Christians, our focus should be on proclaiming the truth of the gospel, the message that has the power to save souls.
Saving the planet in a physical sense as pushed by the Greens is not within our power or part of our Christian responsibility.
Climate changes are real, but they may or may not be caused by human activities. What we can know for certain is that God is good and sovereign, and that planet earth will be our habitat for as long as God wants it to be. Psalm 46:2-3,
“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Our only responsibility towards our children is to teach them by love and example that Christ died for them and all people.
What Should We Be Doing?
The Biblical answer is found in 2 Peter 3:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Like all writers I get a lot of my ideas from other writers. In this issue I have borrowed extensively from the answer to this question provided by the website “Got Questions”. It so happens that I agree with most of the sentiments and the means of expression used in that answer. Since neither the writer of that article nor I receive one cent for our work, I have no problem with repeating some of it verbatim. I pray no-one is offended by this. LS.