Climate Change is not just a scientific or political issue, but a moral and spiritual issue of love and justice touching core issues of faith and Christian life. But here we will first look at the basic facts of climate change (also referred to as Global Warming, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Climate Disruption and more, see NOTE below). In brief, It’s Really Happening, Really Human Caused, Really Serious and We Can Still Really Do Something About It!
Climate Change: It’s Really Happening
Gases in the air allow energy from the sun to reach and warm the surface of the earth. Some of those gases block the heat energy of a warming surface from leaving the planet. These greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2) – a product of burning things – and methane – a fossil fuel and major byproduct of animal agriculture.
Lab tests, observing the planet, records from the past and many other types of evidence confirm that greenhouse gases allow light energy to pass through them to warm up a surface. They also confirm that those gases block heat energy from leaving. The heat energy that can’t leave builds up to increase temperatures.
While I appreciate Pastor DeYoung’s sincere desire to “build a Christian foundation” (his very good image) under the concept of Earth Day, the ‘bricks’ he is using to build that foundation, most of which were purchased somewhat uncritically from Jay Richard’s Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition, could have been baked a little longer.
My niece Stephanie Burkard has just finished her freshman year at Old Dominion University and wrote the following essay for a scholarship contest. (See the link toward the end of the piece to help her win…) I post it here with her permission. [And if you are also a student and have a piece like this that you’d like to see published, send it my way. ]
I picked up Blue Like Jazz this week. Chapter 2 coincided with some deeper thoughts I’ve been having. One sentence sums up the chapter. “I am the problem” (Miller, 20).
My wife Susanna and I are in the middle of a two week visit to Singapore. This is an unusually long and delightfully leisurely visit compared with most of my overseas trips. Because our youngest daughter lives and works here, we’ve come to see and experience her world as well as to share the creation care message in two conferences this week – which is why I’ve been able to experience and explore the city in a more relaxed manner than is usually possible. These are some of my impressions after five days here – anecdotal, to be sure, but still valuable, I think. Continue reading →
[This is Part 2 of thoughts coming from my recent visit to the Philippines. Part 1 is here.]
I’ve been working in the field of environmental stewardship for almost 10 years, and have been presenting the Our Father’s World seminar material in various forms for close to three. We’ve been in half a dozen states and will be adding several more in the coming year. The normal subtitle to the seminar is “Why Christians Should Care about the Environmental Crisis”. It has always seemed to me that this is straight forward enough, given that that is what we’re talking about. No one who has been to the seminar can or does question the reality: There is a crisis, it’s real and it’s happening now. Continue reading →
My recent experience of presenting the Our Father’s World seminar material in Manila, Philippines, triggered the following thoughts…
There is a story – a parable, really – that I use at the end of my Our Father’s World seminar presentations. It goes something like this:
Let’s pretend that we’re on a refugee ship of some kind. We’re part of a Christian ministry, and we’re taking a ship load of refugees to a new land, where they can start their lives over again. The ship is crowded, and we have a lot of work to do to care for the passengers and to keep things running smoothly during the three week voyage. Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation