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The Topic. Climate change? What does that have to do with fiction or a Christian worldview? A lot, I think, at least when it comes to the latter.
Climate change, many in the media say, is a direct cause of man’s misuse of the environment, and if we but change our habits we can preserve the earth for future generations.
Christians often counter with skepticism. For one thing “climate change” used to be called “global warming,” but since the science isn’t there to support the theory that the earth is heating up, the term has changed.
Also, the cause of any perceived change can’t actually be traced to human practices (manufacturing, use of fossil fuels, etc.) since there are too many other factors and no way to run an experiment isolating one potential cause over the others. In other words, there is no real way to use the scientific method to determine the truth or error of the hypothesis.
So in view of this shaky science, why am I suggesting we should embrace global warming?
I believe liberals unintentionally are reporting what the Bible said nearly two thousand years ago, namely that Man is to blame for the decay of our environment. The difference is that liberal environmentalists claim this decay started with man’s use of fossil fuels whereas the Bible says the decay started when Man first sinned.
For one thing, God told Adam he would have to earn his food by the sweat of his brow. Perhaps this was only because of Adam’s change of address—from #1 Place, Garden, to Some Where, Out There.
But other changes occurred. The animals, once friendly with each other and with Man, no longer were. The land mass which was at one time together, divided. A catastrophic flood covered the earth. Devastating plagues decimated the Nile basin.
In fact, the Bible records numerous droughts and resulting famines. Major rivers the Bible mentions have all but dried up; some have vanished. According to Hillary Mayell of the National Geographic News, “8,000 to 10,000 years ago, what is now desert was probably lush savannah and grasslands. Today the Sahara is hot and arid, the land sandy, rainfall minimal, and vegetation sparse.”
A study in 2008 at Lake Yoa in Chad bears this out:
[The study] found evidence for a slow decline in tropical plants, followed by the gradual loss of savanna-type grasslands, and then the eventual spread of desert species.
Pollen samples revealed, for example, that the decrease in tropical trees accelerated after 4,800 years ago, while desert plants took root between 3,900 and 3,100 years ago.
– James Owens, “Once Lush Sahara Dried Up Over Millennia, Study Says,” National Geographic News.
Zoom forward to more recent times. Scientists have noted that for years the Sahara Desert, larger than the size of the US, has been encroaching on bordering savanna. In the decade between 1980 and 1990, the southern boundary moved south over 80 miles.
Of course, one scientist has now reported that in the last twenty years images reveal “extensive regreening” of the semiarid savanna in the south due to global warming.
The transition may be occurring because hotter air has more capacity to hold moisture, which in turn creates more rain, said Martin Claussen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany
– James Owen, “Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?” National Geographic News.
I can’t help but wonder just how warm the air has to become for it to hold moisture. Weren’t the hundred-plus-degree days previous to “global warming” enough to hold moisture? But I’m getting sidetracked.
Why should we embrace climate change? Because the idea that the earth isn’t what it once was is completely consistent with what the Bible says:
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
– Rom 8:20-22 (emphasis mine)
In addition, taking care of our environment is completely consistent with God’s direction to Adam in the beginning.
Why, then, should we not embrace what the Bible says? The liberal media may have the facts wrong and certainly have the wrong idea that Man can fix a broken earth, but their conclusions and Scripture lead to the same place: Man is at fault for the mess we’re in, and Man should act responsibly to care for our world.
Why would we fight those conclusions?