The International Panel on Climate Change has released yet another report, proclaiming environmental doom if big changes are not made in the way we live. This past Friday, in my city and around the world, people took to the streets to demand those changes and castigate governments of all stripes for not “doing more” to combat climate change.
There is an underlying implication that nothing is being done to combat climate change, but that is ‘way off-side. For the past half-century, people, organizations, private corporations and yes, even governments have taken action to save humanity from itself. Look at the neighborhood recycling programs, the lobbying for tighter pollution and emission regulations, the cleanup crews hauling trash off shorelines and out of waterways.
Look at the reams of treaties, accords and solemn promises that governments have made over the past 30 years. Heck: let’s go back more than 60 years, to the “ban the bomb” movement and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
Look at the human cost: the thousands upon thousands of jobs lost — and families put into turmoil — due to industries closing.
(I remember hearing an Australian friend gush about the decision to close the Holden car-manufacturing plant in Australia: “That’s great for the environment! Maybe not so good for people losing their jobs — but great for climate change!” Hmm.)
Don’t tell me “nothing has been done”.
But have the actions taken been the right actions? They’ve certainly seemed like good ideas at the time, but as I mentioned on Earth Day earlier this year, even plastics recycling — that most basic of home-environmentalist actions — has not done what it was supposed to do.
The thing is. the IPCC reports — both the one specifically on rising sea levels and the one released just before Earth Day — are classic cases of science confirming the Bible. We’ve been warned about all of the events predicted in those reports — nearly 2,000 years ago and more. And you don’t need to be an end-times wonk (which I’m not) to see that.
Throwing people into a blind panic and stirring up anger because “someone else” isn’t “doing enough” to ameliorate the situation only distracts attention from what’s really going on and what we’re really supposed to be doing in this situation.
And what are we supposed to be doing?
- Turn to God (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
- Repent for our personal failure to “tend His garden” (Genesis 2:15) and move forward with new life (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Love others unconditionally and stop pointing fingers
- Minister hope to the poor
- Keep asking God where He is in this (Matthew 7:8)
- Learn more about what He says we should to for His creation. His Word actually has practical instructions, which we all can follow
Hope that human intellect, science and technology will save the earth is a false hope. This is too important for humans to tackle alone.
Climate change, racial tension, violent crime and earthquakes, are all products of human intellect. But more importantly, they are the symptoms, not the disease itself. The disease is the falling-away from God. Praise Him, there is a Cross-shaped door that is always open for us to come back.
Starting next Monday and over the next few weeks, this blog will run excerpts of a book I first published in 2008, and am now revising. A Very Convenient Truth — or, Jesus Warned Us There’d Be Days Like These, So Stop Worrying About the Planet and Get With His Program! is what you might call a “Bible Journey” through the issue of environmental trauma — not denying the situation, but suggesting that we re-focus our attention on the root of the issue, rather than the symptoms. Edition #4 will be ready soon.