My take on potential global warming.

I'm not a scientist. Neither are most of you. So what to do about all the scientific claims on global warming.

Here is what not to do. Don't think that this issue is in any way actually related to any other issue that has become partisan.

I truly don't understand why virtually everyone that thinks abortion is wrong, also thinks global warming is false. Or why so many who think global warming is true, think the war in Iraq was a mistake from the beginning. One should be able to study an issue and come to a conclusion on that particular issue, irrespective of other issues. To me, the fact that this has become so partisan speaks to what I guess is obvious, the deep divide and mistrust that exists in this country. It is this latter point, as much as anything, that I find so troubling. We should be able to listen to people who are experts in their field, without judging them on every other issue, which they may or may not be qualified as an expert on.

So back to global warming. I chimed in on a facebook discussion page hosted by my denomination, the CRC, here.

What I said follows, and it pretty much sums up how i feel about this issue, one which may be a flash in the pan or something much more dvestating.

Just a thought in defense of Luke's position. Not that I absolutely agree with him, but here is something to think about.

There have been a number of social justice issues that, in the heat of the moment, seemed like partisan issues the church should not be involved in, but which, with the passage of time and 20/20 hind sight there is now clear consensus on.

Racial desegregation and reconciliation is the best example of this, as are woman's suffrage, and child labor laws.

M.L. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, is a powerful call for churches to get off their asses and stand up for what is right. Many churches in the north really thought separate and (supposedly) equal was acceptable. People gave "Biblical" reasons why there should not be interracial marriage. And "science" proved that black people could not see at night, so they were not given important position in the military, but were instead relegated to being cooks, plumbers, and the like. (no offense to those positions, but when it is applied across the board...)

Global warming may turn out to be as devastating as the Y2K bug. But if hundreds of thousands of people suffer because of the effects of global warming, we may be saddled with the same guilt that the church in Germany carries for not standing up to Hitler. Given these two potential outcomes, preparing for the worst by quickly taking steps to mitigate whatever amount of global warming that is caused by humans seems like the only acceptable thing to do.

While I appreciate some of Tyler's concerns about dividing the church in his initial post, I applaud Luke for standing up for what he believes in. And I am very happy to call myself a part of a denomination that stood up for this at some level way back in 94'.


David Baxley said...

Although the science of global warming seems as skeptical as the science of global cooling from the 70's, I still see much value in the drive to make what we do and our affect on the environment more positive and less negative. It not that I don't trust individuals. I don't trust even my best friends sometimes who are ignorant on how their values to tread in and mess with your thoughts and beliefs on other issues.
Just like scientist look at the same evidence and one believes in evolution and the other creationism...Instead of defending and arguing about science how we rationalize the choices we make or don't make that stand for the values that should drive us has Christians. Not scientists or politicians.

David Best said...


I'm not sure what your trying to say with that last sentence. Can you restate that?

The position the CRC took was to take a stand FOR creation care and stewardship.

I like that because, and I think this is what your getting at, it doesn't plunge into the challenges of the scientific community, but rather, states the objectives theologically and Biblicaly, while letting others figure out how to get there, or even where "there" is.

I think that is in large part the call of the pastor/theologian, to call people to Biblical values, while letting them apply those values, particularly when it comes to experts in their field of study.

Justice, Stewardship, Love, Respect, these are Biblical values we can call people to unequivocally, while recognizing that in the devilish details of public policy, good people disagree about what justice for instance looks like, right here, right now, in this particular bill, or that court ruling, etc...

Does that make sense?

David Baxley said...