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The Church has something distinctive to say about climate change – if only it would say it – CT

I sat down last night – disturbed and distressed at what I see happening in the world in general, my beloved Scotland in particular, and even more so at the desperate state of the Church which seems confused, divided and leaderless.    I started to write something about how much of the  Church has been captured by the Green Cult, but as I began – this just came out.  I will post later about what I believe is happening to the church – but this I believe is the Lord’s message for today.  I sent it to Christian Today and they were happy to publish it here. 

I see too many Christians in despair or dividing about this.  At a time when we should be united around Christ and his word –  and filled with hope. If you think that is helpful – then please do pass it on.

I originally entitled it ‘What Christ has to say to Cop26’ but I like their headline!

The Church has something distinctive to say about climate change – if only it would say it

It’s only day one of COP26 and I suspect many people are already fed up of the endless news, constant commentary, and, to be frank, all the depressing ‘doom and gloom, turn or burn, end of the world is nigh’ rhetoric.

One Minute to Midnight?

According to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it’s “one minute to midnight” for humanity. According to Prince Charles and numerous other leaders, this is our last and best chance to save humanity. And according to a breathless commentator today, “it’s no exaggeration to say the COP26 may be the most important summit in human history.”

But although there may be overkill, this is surely an important subject – even without the hyperbole. That is why Christian Today has some excellent articles on the subject and why I will continue to write on it.

Unanswered Questions

Despite the almost uniform narrative, there remain many unanswered questions. How much can we reduce the CO2 that enters the atmosphere caused by humans? Will it make any difference given that only 3 per cent of CO2 is caused by humans? Will the absence of the Indian, Chinese and Russian leaders make any difference? Should we all go vegan, stop having children, buy up heat pumps and ban all but the rich from travelling by air?

Will the promised green technology provide the answer? What will be the effects on young people of the endless catastrophising? Will the radical proposals for green energy really result in climate justice or will the rich corporates become even richer at the expense of the poor? Is it really as black and white as ‘deny climate change and do nothing’, or go to the whole ‘end of the world, nothing else matters’ extreme? Will the cure be worse than the disease?

The Eternal Perspective

However, there is one angle that will not be covered in the secular media and even in most Christian journals. It’s not one that is immediately obvious, but one that is of enormous importance – both now and for the eternity that many of those who are worried about the here and now, don’t even think about. The ultimate solution to climate change is not the plans of the politicians – in fact the hubris and hypocrisy is likely to cause even more harm. Nor are the mantras and memes of extinction rebellion and the ‘let’s destroy the machine’ anti-capitalists going to produce anything other than frustration, anger and despair. Nor do the Christless religions of this world have any solution – even with all their ‘spirituality’. So, is the only answer that there is no answer? Perhaps darkness is our only friend?

I have been reflecting on this a lot recently and it seems to me that Romans 8 has the perfect message for COP26.

Because ever since the Fall (Genesis 3), the creation has struggled. The whole creation is groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Humanity’s impact on the climate did not begin with the industrial revolution. There is no way back to some kind of primitive Eden. But does that mean we are all doomed? No. The Creation is waiting for something. The pains of childbirth exist because a child is coming. For many people in our society, there is nothing beyond creation – that is all they’ve got and all they can conceive of. But the Christian knows that the creation is waiting for something special.

Gregory’s World

In a beautiful passage in his treatise ‘On the Making of Man’, Gregory of Nyssa (AD 335-395) waxes eloquently about the beauty of the creation – talking about how all things, the stars, sea, earth, living creatures, flowers, animals, birds are “adorned with their appropriate beauty”. And yet something was missing: “The gentle motion of the waves vied in beauty with the meadows, rippling delicately with light and harmless breezes that skimmed the surface; and all the wealth of creation by land and sea was ready, and none was there to share it.”

And so, humanity was created by God, in his own image, that we may enjoy, share and delight in all his works. That we may “behold of his wonders, and by his enjoyment he might have knowledge of the Giver, and by the beauty and majesty of the things he saw might trace out that power of the Maker which is beyond speech and language”.

Modern humanity either sees nature as something just to be exploited, or humans as just another creature which the world would be better without; or as somehow just spiritual beings, one with the cosmos. But the Bible teaches that we are made in the image of God and as his image bearers, we are to rule over creation. And it tells us that, just as the creation was made for us to share, so it waits now for fallen humanity to be renewed.

Christ’s Supremacy

Furthermore, the earth is not out of control. God sustains all things. Indeed, it is Christ who created all things – they have been created through him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). Christ is the unifying principle of the universe – not Gaia, not atheism, not ‘the gods’, not the principalities and powers, not impersonal laws. That’s why it is both extremely arrogant and foolish for human beings to think that it is us who control the climate. He’s got the whole world in his hand – not us.

Moreover, we are told that the earth will not be destroyed by natural disasters such as the flood – the true meaning of the covenant sign of the rainbow. And that although there is a promise that the earth will be burned up by fire (2 Peter 3:10), this is not at humanity’s instigation but is the judgement of God before the ultimate renewal of all things. In other words, the earth is not spinning out of control.

The Old, the New and the Renewed Creation

Which brings us back to the pains of childbirth. What child is the creation waiting for? Paul tells us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. In other words, the whole creation is waiting for the new Creation – human beings who are saved by Christ and his atoning death on the Cross. If that is the case, then the best thing that anyone can do for the planet is preach, practise and proclaim the Good News.

And yet just when we have the answers to the questions that the world is answering, it appears that so much of the Church, including some evangelicals, have got caught up in the solutions that the world is offering. All we do is add a little bit of Christian flavouring. But the world does not need a Christianity which just echoes the solutions of the world. What the world needs is the unvarnished, uncompromised Good News of Christ. Instead of seeing the world through the eyes of God’s word, we now see the word through the eyes of the world. It is little wonder that we are so insipid and tasteless.

Jesus taught as one who had authority (Mark 7:29) and the people heard him gladly. If we preached the Gospel of Jesus rather than the bad news of George Monbiot, Prince Charles or Greta Thunberg, then they might hear us gladly as well.

So, what does Jesus say to his church?

“Don’t worry – I’ve got this. I made all the creation. I keep it all together. Do you really think I would let my creation destroy itself?! I came and gave my life for the world. I’ve already paid the price. I’m going to liberate the creation from its bondage to decay, by bringing all my people in. The world won’t end until the appointed day of judgement. And then it’s going to be renewed. As well as being the head of creation, I am also the head of the church. And you get to be part of that. Don’t worry: it’s not your church, it’s mine. It’s not your creation, it’s mine. And nothing will stop me fulfilling my purpose. Why are you worried about the planet? Why, there is not even one sparrow that falls to the ground without my Father knowing! If he looks after the grass of the field, how will he not also care for you? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Behold I am coming soon. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Amen! Even so, come soon Lord Jesus.

David Robertson works as an evangelist with churches in Sydney, Australia, where he runs the ASK Project. He blogs at The Wee Flea.

Romans 8 Road to Hope – No.9 – Christ’s Answer to the Climate Change Question.

Quantum 165 – It’s Not Easy Being Green – A Climate Change Special

Planet of the Humans – The Problem with the Green Movement.

 

 

 

61 comments

  1. Hi David. I agree with your biblical vision. And Gregory of Nysa. But I think you are too anti climate change concerns. The raising of the world’s temperature is exponential change. Arguably not out of control; even predictable. But the issue is: are we human beings going to exercise self-control to enable God’s eco-system to balance sustainably? This is an aspect of the Fsll. We lose individual sel-control and destroy ourselves in addictions. No parson is actually out of God’s control; but it sure feels like it and is the case in practically all cases- repentance required. Same for the natural world. We know Jesus cd return tomorrow. We know this civilisation could crash and things cd start all over again and Jura us cd return in 3000 years when we are all forgotten!
    But we are called to steward this lovely creation and bring God’s rule and vslues from heaven yo earth.
    I recommend your readers to look up the evangelistic evening message 31 Oct, yesterday, at Widcombe Baptist Church, Bath, on YouTube, for a biblical, prophetic contribution into our culture’s debate.
    Sue

    1. We are called to steward the creation – but we need to be careful about just accepting the latest fears and projections (all of which have proven to be wrong in the past). There is no exponential change. That is the dispute. We should not be basing our theology or practice on speculation. There are some things we do know – and others we just do not. Hence all the questions in the article.

      1. In exponential I got the wrong word- it us speeding up not so much exponentially but connected yet as one negative change tips into another negative change. And compounds it. As in melting ice moves the winds abs currents that then adds flooding from rain to increased sea levels. I am left puzzled by your apparent claim that facts do not support man made climate change that threatens low lying lands with disaster and food shortages and further disastrous fires as in US and your adopted country. And presumably you mean do not support aiming to keep overall temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. Yet if you mean that is that not the definition of those who are labelled climate change deniers?

      2. Thanks Sue – although it seems fairly clear that the climate is warming – at least in the relatively short term – it is not clear how much of this is due to human activity. I suggest you read Koonin’s ‘Unsettled’ for a more detailed technical discussion – for example sea levels have been rising for the past 22,000 years. Climate change is not threatening food shortages – in fact we are currently producing a food surplus – and Australia has had bush fires for all of its existence. It’s not clear that they are increasing. It would be a nice idea to keep temperatures down to a 1.5 degree increase – but its not possible for humans to do that – and the attempt to do so could result in far more harm than CC. Again I suggest you read the environmental Michael Schellenberger’s ‘Apoclaypse Never’….another brilliant analysis. By the way if people were really serious about reducing carbon emissions they would support nuclear power….

  2. Thank you for the explanation David. I have to confess I felt a bit unsure about the climate change situation. As you rightly say, the denominations have been very quiet on the subject, apart from telling us we are stewards of God’s creation, of which of course, we are very aware. No prayer of-course, but that was to be expected, as I suppose most of those attending the event are atheist!! I love your flower posts, by the way!!

  3. I would think the moderation of excessive consumption was a common theme to both Christian living and the current thinking. Veganism and non-procreation were once considered hallmarks of holiness and are not without use as sound disciplines now.

    If we, the stewards of God’s world, presume on His patience and care for us, we may end up like that other steward Jesus told of, who thought he could get away with wasting his master’s property, carousing and bullying his subordinates. I know I will be accountable for what I have done with my share – and that it has been, by the Father’s grace, an unexpectedly generous one.

    Scale that up to a supposedly Christian country – do we think it’s ok to be individually responsible, but collectively plunder God’s creation without conscience or restraint?

    We must not be put off the message – which is, after all, one we’ve been preaching from the beginning – by any dislike for the latest messengers or their more outlandish schemes. If we can understand – and vote for – the idea that the nation has run up a financial deficit deserving punitive cuts on those least able to bear it, the thought that we might have overdrawn our generation’s share of providence in ever more driven pursuit of “growth” is hardly a huge stepover from there.

    May the Spirit guide even those who neither know nor recognise Him, and direct their decisions.

      1. The only way that response might be true, rather than merely discourteous, is if you define them strictly to their modern names (“vegan” was coined in 1944) and current philosophical backings.

        If you are going to tell me that the hermits, monastics and ascetics of old – in all religions, not just Christ’s – never adopted a vegetable-only diet, or denied themselves the gift of matrimony, for the sake of holiness, and were considered by others accordingly, I can only bow out and wish you, as always, well.

      2. Feel free to bow out. Yes there were ascetics….but no holiness was not defined in terms of marriage – or not eating meat. Paul calls those who forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods as ‘hypocritical liars’ – not the holy ones! (1 Timothy 4:3)

  4. David, I normally am inspired by most of your insights and reflections. I feel somewhat troubled by this article. While accepting your concerns about the Church too often just reflecting whatever is fashionable and the questions you ask that others are not, it seems you are close to suggesting we should be doing nothing about the environment and climate change and just leave it all to God. I am sure that is not what you intended but that is how it came across to me.

    1. Thanks Roderick. I am not even remotely close to suggesting that we should nothing about the environment. Or climate change. The fact that you can get that from the article shows just how deep the climate change all or nothing psychology has set in. Dare to question anything and you are a denier.

      1. Dear David, you need to see how your reader s are supporting your do nothing stance. I agree with you that you do not say this. But you are in fact appealing to deniers. So you too, as we all do, need to be v careful and nuanced. You are being misinterpreted by both ‘sides’ so cl

      2. It is very important that you do not misrepresent what you are arguing against. When you make up your opponent’s argument you are not arguing against them, you are arguing against yourself. Since I do not say that we should do nothing, I cannot answer your accusation. Feel free to comment on what I have said. I would appreciate an apology. I really don’t like being misrepresented.

      3. I will apologise for misrepresenting you. I don’t think I did but as you feel misrepresented I certainly apologise.

      4. My feelings are irrelevant. You completely misrepresented me. Read over what I said. Then read over what you said I said and you will see the difference.

      5. David, I wonder if you are being a little harsh on both Roderick and Sue here. After all, the only statement in your article where ‘we’ can be identified as an agent (“the initiator of some action” (Saeed)) is “All we do is add a little bit of Christian flavouring.” In all the rest ‘we’ are being affected by something else or being described as in a certain state. Did you really mean to make ‘us’ so passive?

  5. Jesus exhorted us not to be afraid of anything that might happen to us in this life, but most Christians I know are terrified of either Covid or climate change or both, and spare very few if any thoughts for the promise of eternal life to come in God’s Kingdom.

    1. These reactions are not dwelling in Christ. Not being confident of being hidden in Christ. That is a spiritual problem. But the climate challenge is not directly connected. We do not fear but there is real concern and need for human action. It is not godly to not care about bio diversity loss, fires and floods. It is god’s creation and Colossians 1 is clear it is for Christ. Who has removed the groaning (but not yet) just as he removed the penalty of sin from us; (gloriously, now!) and we need to dwell in him now. Until the renewal (not burning up, in destruction. The Greek is clear) of all things on his glorious return! Marsnatha! Come lord Jesus!
      Meanwhile let’s act to mitigate climate change out of concern and love for the poor and vulnerable. God’s. Reaction has great powers of renewal even this side of the new earth!!

      1. I agree about concern for the poor and vulnerable…which is why we should deal with poverty. The rich nations will use climate change to keep people poor – and it is the wealthy who will benefit most from attempts to mitigate it. A real concern for poverty would desire to see the poor prosper – that alone would be the biggest factor in helping the climate.

  6. ‘That’s why it is both extremely arrogant and foolish for human beings to think that it is us who control the climate. ‘

    That’s the crux for me. It seems it perfectly acceptable to be a creation denier, proclaim humanity, the earth and universe are mere accidents that happened all alone over billions of years, but God forbid if anyone is a climate change (must be achieved on our terms) denier, and does not accept during our 3 score and 10, we will save the world! What took Billions of years! We will change in a few decades! Arrogant. Pride. The nature of sin. Independence of God in all its glory.

    Climate change is as inevitable as the universe expands! How on earth do we think the Grand Canyon came to being? Where is the vast water expanse that carved its way through? Why is it no more?
    How is it fossils from the sea are embedded in rock? Why was such a disaster not averted by those alive at the time?

    Yes, let’s be good stewards, but the fundamental issues is, stewards of what, on behalf of whom? The appeal is to the creation, which has become the object of worship, but denial of the creator.

    I am to be a stewards on Gods terms, as he has set out, not a steward to the accidental, impersonal, random cause of our existence which does not hold us to account, other than how we accidentally play with the materials we just happen to find at our disposal.

    1. Dave. We have brought a lot of this change in the ast few hundred years and some in the last 40. Not billions. If years! We made the destruction and God’s good creation is v resilient and can recover if the destructive forces cease. Dave you need to be better informed. This is another opportunity to proclaim creation care as part of the gospel. Atheists have no reason to care!? We are gods stewards. Hallelujah

      1. But that’s the issue Sue – you claim that we have brought a lot of this change. To what extent that is true an how it affects the climate is highly questionable. Given that human made CO2 is 3% of the CO2 in the atmosphere, there is some question as to how much we can do about this. Are you also suggesting that you are opposed to the industrial revolution and would want us to return to a more primitive state – a world without so many medicines, agricultural advance, communications etc? A world in which billions would starve or die of disease?

  7. Hi David,

    I found this article to be an interesting read. I take your point about the church being careful about not getting too deep into an all or nothing approach and whatnot. I’m curious what your take is on other popular issues. How about the topic of abortion, or homosexuality, transgender rights, etc.

    You make the fair point that God is ultimately the one in control, and while we are called to be stewards of this earth, God wouldn’t just let his creation destroy itself. Would you see this in a similar light to the issues listed above? Should Christians be reducing their extreme activism on those subjects even if it means that, in the immediate future, less action is taken?

    1. Jacob, yes the Church should not be too absorbed on these subjects. But that is not the same as saying they should say nothing – especially when the Scripture speaks clearly. Likewise with the care of creation – we are commanded to do that. However climate change is somewhat different – it is highly contested – and it is possible to care for creation and not buy into the current climate change hysteria.

      1. It’s possible that I’m coming into this slightly biased. I’m in my mid-twenties so the climate crisis is potentially going to have a very large impact on my life, and my children’s life. Climate change is a genuine threat to my life and is almost certainly the single biggest issue facing my generation.

        I’d agree with you that we should look to scripture and be careful to focus on obedience to scripture. But with that said, I can’t help but feel that we are called more directly to take environmental action than we are called to take action on the issues of abortion, homosexuality, transgender rights, etc.

        Even if we believed that the climate change issue is overblown, there is still an awful lot of things that are actively destroying god’s creation. Whether you think carbon emissions contribute to global warming or not, coal power plants harm a lot of native wildlife. Deforestation is sending countless animals extinct, pollution and overfishing is wiping out all sorts of marine species. Whether you believe in the scientific consensus on climate change or not, humans are still actively destroying God’s creation, yet He called us to care for it.

        Whereas the Bible doesn’t command us to take any action against the legality of gay marriage, it doesn’t tell us to try and make abortion illegal, etc. so I think it’s fair to say that there should be more of a focus on caring for God’s creation than fighting issues that are just as contested as climate change.

      2. Climate change is not the biggest threat to your life – nor your childrens. Yes of course there is a human impact on creation but the way you state it is far too simplistic. Countless animals are not being made extinct. In biblical terms the teaching about marriage is clear….there is no teaching about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere because of humanity or what we should do for it. Can I suggest Schellenberger’s “Apocalypse Never”? It is very illuminating. Or any of Bjorn Lomberg’s works – they deal with facts and figures – not speculation. And they are not ‘deniers’…

      3. You may want to consider what former IPCC Board member Prof Judith Curry has to say about Board members and their insistence that climate change is Man-made.

        She’s at least as well qualified in this field as others but as usual when someone doesn’t take the knee to groupspeak they are shouted down by the bigmouths. You won’t get the corrupt BBC or the equally disingenuous Sky News interviewing Curry and others like her. Oh no. Those are propaganda machines in bed with politicians and ‘scientists’ with their agendas and the public are brainwashed daily with their just-so stories.

        http://www.judithcurry.com

      4. Out of curiosity, if climate change isn’t the biggest threat to my/my children’s lives, what is? But I also never claimed it was the biggest threat to my life, I said it was ‘a’ threat to my life which is accurate. I claimed it was likely the biggest ‘issue’ facing my generation, which I stand by.

        The IUCN would disagree with you on the number of animals going extinct due to climate related issues.

        I’d be interested in your take on what the Bible says about marriage because from what I can see the Bible doesn’t really say anything about gay marriage and it definitely doesn’t say that it’s the role of Christians to try and force those views on others. So I think it would be very reasonable to argue that there is definitely a stronger calling on Christians to take environmental action (regardless of your stance on climate change) than to take action on the legalisation of gay marriage.

      5. Only 800 species extinctions have been documented in the past 400 years – the figures you refer to are computer modelling.

        What is the biggest threat to your childrens lives? cancer, disease, old age, transgender philosophy, sexual immorality, greed, poverty, violence….war, political instability. But the fact is that we all die….and after that face judgement. The greatest threat to your children is that they don’t hear the Gospel.

        The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. It also says that marriage is a key part of society and comes from God. I assume you don’t object to Christians ‘forcing’ (interesting how you put this pejoratively) their views on racism on others – after all we can’t have the view that all people are made in the image of God forced on everyone, can we?

      6. You’re correct that the IUCN’s numbers are based on modelling, but what reasons do we have to distrust the modelling? It may not be 100% accurate but it gives a good indication.

        Cancer and disease are indeed big threats, but (and you may not like this because it’s based on modelling and projections) it’s expected that, without significant action urgently taken to combat climate change, the threat to human life will be huge. I’m also curious why you think transgender philosophy is a threat to my/my children’s lives? I understand that some people feel it’s an issue, but to suggest it’s a mortal threat is hyperbolic.

        You might have to point me to some verses that specify that marriage is for one man and one woman only, because I genuinely can’t find one. And my understanding of most of the references to homosexuality in the Bible aren’t particularly broad when taken in their context and seem to be more in reference to things like rape, adultery and pederasty, rather than the overarching ideal of consensual homosexual relationships.

        Your point about racism is a false equivalence. You’re trying to equate someone’s lawful right to engage in a legal and consensual relationship with a person of their choosing, to prejudice and discrimination against a person because of the colour of their skin.

        But as a general rule I don’t believe on forcing my Christian values on anyone.

      7. There is every reason to distrust modelling. Can you give any example of modelling which has proved correct. Models depend on the information put in – firstly it is limited and secondly the bias of those who are doing the modelling. Science works on facts and experiments and falsifiability. You seem to have brought in entirely to the ‘end of the world is nigh’ climate catastrophists. Can I recommend you read Schellenberger’s ‘Apocalypse Never’?

        When your children are taught and believe that gender has nothing to do with biological sex – their humanity is being attacked. The confusion, and disaster that comes from that is already evident. Its an attack on humanity – Driving a car or using a coal fire is not.

        Re marriage – you can’t find a single verse in the bible that says marriage is between a man and a woman. Look at Genesis 1-2, Jesus teaching in Matthew, Paul in Ephesians. If you are trying to be clever and say ‘ah but it doesn’t exclude ‘marrying’ someone of the same sex, then I would suggest that you avoid such illogicality. The bible also does not have a verse excluding you marrying a donkey – that does not mean you should. By the nature of what marriage is – a union between a man and a woman – then SSM does not can cannot exist. Furthermore given what the bible teaches about homosexual acts it could not be clearer. Unless you prefer to read the bible through the lens of our culture – rather than the other way round – ‘your understanding’ is precisely that. What you want to understand – leaving out history, language, logic and Scripture!

      8. And yes you do believe in forcing your Christian values – its just that you will enforce those you think are important. In other words its not the bible you are following – but yourself.

  8. I was at a Harvest church service on Sunday where it was all about climate change. I’m concerned that the denomination in question (Church of Ireland) has been hi-jacked by an anti-Christian cult. Genuine environmental concerns seem to end up as Extinction Rebellion, just as genuine concerns about racial justice end up as BLM.
    The very same people who are so contemptuous of what they call fundamentalism have fallen victim to an extreme fundamentalist ideology which seems to leave no room for Jesus Christ or his Gospel. If all the “climate” problems could be solved at a stroke or (which the establishment will never do) there was an admission that the scaremongering was a bit OTT, what would some of these churches have left to talk about?
    And if the environment is put to rights it still doesn’t solve the problem of the human heart.

  9. It’s the old story: When you don’t believe in God – you’ll believe anything.

    Politicians have ‘taken the knee to science’ and swallow whole the ‘science’ and the data provided by those with a green agenda and links to the hugely profitable ‘renewables industry.’

    The politicians aren’t entirely stupid and in the class of the mainstream Church leaders and when the ‘science’ is exposed – as it will be in due course – they can always make the appeal ‘we listened to the best experts in the field.

    But that’s a falsehood because the reality is the politicians listen only to the sound of one hand clapping. And they’ve done the same thing about Covid and listened only to those with their own agenda. Planet Earth population: 8 Billion. Covid deaths: under 5 million. The Spanish flu killed around 20 Million and the population at that time was about 3 Billion.

    However politicians and ‘scientists’ don’t let facts and evidence get in the way of their agenda.

  10. Excellent! Thank you again Dave.
    Always feels a bit cheeky to call you by your first name Dave as we have never met but I grateful for your truthful witness to the Truth . My father died yesterday and went home – we look forward to the completion of God’s new creation – and we stake our all on Him – as we should – our God and Creator, rescuer and redeemer.

  11. A good piece David. We are all concerned with the office of the Imago Dei (image of God) to be the custodians of the Garden (or the world); and concerned with the apparent adoption of many within and outwith the Church of a certain degree of Idolatry of nature that seems to be ever-growing. Yes, there is beauty in nature but there is also stark ugliness therein also. Remember – God is in the Tapeworm just as much as in an unspoiled landscape.

    We also have to remember that much of what we call nature, has actually been terra-formed, at the hands of mankind, ever since the first hunter-gatherers developed agriculture, cleared and ploughed the first field, cut the first canals for irrigation and for transport; planted crops and orchards, and bred cattle for human consumption. Much of these acts are covered in great detail in the Bible, but never held up for idolatry. We also learn therein of the Seven Bounteous Years and the Seven Lean Years – perhaps indicating that, even then, the climate would sometimes be sub-optimal… Although, paradoxically, crop yields are currently very good indeed…

    Nevertheless – the terra-forming of the planet the laying of roads and building of cities does affect the temperature. We all remember how as school children, in the summer term how after doing athletics on the school field that it was notable how the temperature was much higher as soon as we stepped off the grass, and onto the tarmacadam of the car park. Surely all the roads could account for some of the 0.7°C rise in temperature since pre-industrial times.

    I, like you, am concerned about how the Church seems to have been swept along on this tide. However, it is difficult to be a voice of reason against the ever more shrill voices that reign at the moment.

  12. I am currently reading a book written by Patrick Moore. No, not the astronomer but a founder of Greenpeace. The book is called “Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom”. Moore asks the reader to ponder why it is that so many of the so-called proofs of the warming hypothesis are based on things that are either invisible or inaccessible to the average person. In the invisible category he cites carbon dioxide and radiation and in the remote category he cites Polar Bears and coral reefs. As average people find it hard to carry out a Polar Bear count, they are forced to rely on, and trust, the ‘experts’ who have the financial backing and incentive to perpetuate the story. I strongly recommend the book to anybody who has been losing sleep over things like plastic in the oceans and the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

    1. Mike17, what about the people who live on the coral reefs? Are they not people, or just not ‘average’ people?

      1. Those concerned about coral degradation should consult their kids Lego sets :

      2. Alastair, you might be playing with Lego; I was talking about the people who live on islands like Kiribati, Nauru, Niue …

  13. I don’t think there’s any point in addressing people like ‘Boris’ Johnson on the subject of possible climate disaster. The elite don’t believe it anyway, as you can clearly see from their purchase of luxury homes on coastlines and their merry use of private jets etc etc. (nor of course do they fear coronavirus, which is why the masks are simply used as props). Both Covid and Climate are simply marketing campaigns for the same agenda: the Great Reset. Whatever the crisis du jour happens to be, it can be magically answered by the small people giving up more and more of their liberties and signing up for more and more government control, with a view to the establishment of a digital identity system and central banking digital currencies which will give government control over every single transaction. The danger of this cannot be overstated.
    The characterisation of Covid and Climate as marketing campaigns comes from Catherine Austin Fitts whose work you might know (she provides financial and political commentary on The Solari Report).
    Naturally we should all be concerned about issues of pollution, stewardship and the abuse of the planet. However that is an entirely separate topic from the current scam.

  14. David, I am a bit late to this conversation but could you please tell me where you get your figure of only 3% of CO2 being produced by humans. It puts a very different slant on the big conversation if accurate. And what produces the other 97%?

    1. It was from Koonin’s book ‘Unsettled’. We produce 29 gigatons of the 750 that are in the atmosphere. Nature produces the rest. A small amount severely affects it.

  15. Well written David- important as climate change will be, we know as Christians that the world as we know it will end when Christ returns. As it was in the days of Noah: we need to be warning people to be reconciled to God! Thanks for your faithful witness.

  16. climaon te change is real and we humans have to accept we are destroying god creation and not being good sstewards of our god given environment get real and the only thing you are interested is what goes on in peoples bedrooms

    1. Thanks Stuart…Climate change is real. And we humans do have to accept we are destroying God’s creation. We also need to understand that there are different ways of destroying that creation – including going against God’s teaching on sex and marriage. Can I also suggest that next time you post you check your spelling, use sentences and Capitals….it will help you get your point across better….

      1. Hello David, I do not consider myself an alarmist, but I did find your article some what unsettling. It reads like a cherry picking of the science so that something that could have a significant impact on our lives can be minimised. You discount and play down the concerns of a good majority of scientists and call them alarmists then seem to promote a few voices that you agree with. Would you be happy for me to deny the historical Jesus just on the back of a book by Richard Carrier?

        I am curious where the figure of 3% came from for man made carbon dioxide, I could not find a source so conservative myself. I also wonder how much you have looked into the other greenhouse gases and what the combined effect of all the human activities may be on the climate of the Earth? Have you investigated how significant a 3% increase is in terms of the effects? Just because 3 is a small number does not mean the results of the increase are insignificant. If the air that you breath is 3% carbon dioxide then your rate of breathing becomes noticeably faster. Small does not necessarily mean insignificant.

        You appear to be in support of nuclear power. I also think that nuclear fission should encouraged in the short. It is an ill understood form of power and in my opinion has a number of benefits associated with it which I think many are just unaware of. However, it is a short-term solution. The problem of nuclear waste should be considered, and it is not an inexhaustible resource. I also hope that nuclear fusion is a viable option, but it always seems to allude us. It would be a huge game changer for the world if it is a possibility!

        I would like to end on an area of agreement though. I agree that more should be done to eliminate poverty. Regardless of its effects with regards to climate change everyone deserves dignity and a good standard of living.

      2. Thanks Daryl – no I have not ‘cherry picked’ the science nor do I minimise the impact that climate change could have. Why would I want to do so? Nor do I discount and play down the concerns – I simply question them..As do some scientists. That’s how science works. Once you absolutise anything, it is no longer science.

        To equate the current views about climate change with the historicity of Jesus Christ illustrates amy point about climate change now becoming a religion – where questioning its doctrines is heresy!

        The 3% came from Koonin’s book. The IPCC says it is 5%. Of course these figures may be wrong but like everyone who is commenting we rely on the information we get.

    2. Stuart, there’s no denying changes in the climate but what irrefutable evidence can you produce in the way of hard facts and evidence that THE CAUSE is humans?

      You may just want to check out what Prof. Judith Curry, a climatologist at least as well qualified as others in that field, has to say about the board members of IPCC of which she is a former member.

      As usual the BIg Mouths drown out the voices of reason so their agenda is served. And you don’t see the corrupt left wing liberal tolerant of anything and everyone except of course for those who don’t share their biased BBC and Sky News propaganda.

      http://www.judithcurry.com

  17. Thank you for the reply and the source of your figure.

    If you feel that climate science has become religious in nature and fallen foul of the issues that religions can face, how do you feel Christianity has avoided such pitfalls? I am an atheist, but I would like to know what lessons you feel can be learnt from the evidence of the truth of Christianity that we can apply to climate science. While it is not my area of expertise I do have a degree in physics and have a good familiarity with the underlying principles of climate change and cannot see any reason to doubt the consensus of scientist’s at this stage. Why should I listen to Schellenberger and Koonin over other voices?

    I will freely admit that my research into the authors is purely internet based and must be taken with a pinch of salt, but they both have a number of critics that raise objections to their claims that if true do cause their claims into question.

    I fully agree that we should not be absolutist about science. I just feel that you are giving undue weight to the minority when there could be a great deal at stake if that minority is wrong.

    1. Daryl – to be honest I don’t think the Christianity – or at least the churches have avoided such pitfalls. We are sinners too! I think the key lesson to learn is humility and the willingness to accept how limited our knowledge and power is. I believe that Koonin is a physicist as well. I think we should look at the evidence – ask questions – and do so humbly. There is a great deal at stake if the majority is wrong as well. ! Science is not a matter of voting or politics or ideology – or at least it shouldn’t be!

    2. I’d be interested in your response to the views of Professor Judith Curry, a climatologist, at least as well qualified as those on the board of the IPCC of which she is a former member.

      She’s not a climate change denier and seems to be very measured in expressing her views in contrast to much hysteria we hear from certain politicians and climate alarmists.

      As is often the case it’s those with the biggest and loudest mouths who get heard and the leftwing BBC, to the best of my knowledge, haven’t given those on the other side of the debate a hearing. So much for BBC – and Sky News – impartiality.

      http://www.judithcurry.com

  18. David- thanks for your time.

    Let’s end with full agreement. For all such things try to influence it, science is not a matter of voting, politics or ideology.

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