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Climate Change

Global Warming
Written by Steve Mayo

The Issue

Average global temperatures are rising.

(Oddly enough, this does not mean it is always warmer everywhere.  It snowed in Tasmania and parts of Victoria on Christmas Day, 2006 – well into the summer season!  Long term predictions for Europe and Great Britain are for falling temperatures – because of the slowing of the North Atlantic Drift.  This was the premise of the movie, Day After Tomorrow)

Storms are increasing in severity and damage

Drought intensifying

To be precise, the issue is not global warming, it is climate change.  Is the climate changing?

In the 28 October 2006 Sydney Morning Herald there were…

  • 5 articles on climate change
  • The PM admitted to climate change – and pledged $75 million for a solar power plant that would provide enough energy for over 40 000 homes.  Also noteworthy is the reversal of thinking by both political parties on nuclear energy.
  • SMH reported time is short – 10-15 years window
  • 68% of Aussies believe climate change is a critical threat
  • Walk Against Warming march in Sydney on Saturday, 5 November

In this year…

  • Time magazine Doomsday cover
  • ECI formed (Evangelical Climate Initiative)
  • ISA formed (Interfaith Stewardship Alliance)

Is this the end?

The Debate

Most scientists conclude that the climate is changing.

What is debatable is…

How bad is the change?  And who is responsible?

How bad is the change?

Fiction:  A video made in 1990 claimed temperatures would rise by 30 degrees Celsius by 2050.

Sensationalism:  “Inaction will lead to the submerging of the Netherlands, Bangladesh, many Pacific Islands, and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef” (Wayne Swan, Shadow Treasurer, as reported in the SMH, 28 October 2006)

Fact:  From 1880 – 2005, there has been an increase of average temperature in the northern hemisphere of .7 of a degree Celsius.

The truth is that there is much that is not yet known about global warming.  What is reported in the media, and what is debated in the parliament is partly conjecture.  More research is needed.

No-one knows whether or not the average annual temperature of the earth will continue to increase, and if so, whether that increase will be linear or exponential.

Speaking on the uncertainty of the unsupported “facts” often reported about global warming, Dr Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology said to a meeting of the National Press Club in Washington DC, “Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a sceptic or a believer?”  He goes on to say:

Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, “you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists — except for a handful of corrupted heretics,” Lindzen added.

According to Lindzen, climate “alarmists” have been trying to push the idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change.

“With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science — consensus is foreign,” Lindzen said.

Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said.

“It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want,” Lindzen said.

Comparisons to the past are inexact.

  1. Measuring has only been done in the last 120+ years.
  2. Measuring techniques and locations have not stayed the same.
  3. Damage is not a reliable indicator.  It is to be expected that costs would be greater because of higher populations living near the coast.
  4. In terms of the consequences of warmer temperatures, it is not all bad.  There are some benefits.  If global warming is a long term trend, some parts of the world will get more rain and be more fertile.  Others will have a longer growing season.

Summary:  The earth’s average temperature has increased slightly in the last 125 years.  Some parts of the earth have had significantly higher temperatures lately, but others have been colder.

Much of what is reported about Global Warming is not scientifically verifiable.  More study – of the honest and sceptical kind – is necessary.

What is the cause of the change?

    • Natural cycle – volcanoes, sun spots, El Nino
    • Humans – fossil fuels/degraded rain forests

-Yes, pollution is a problem

-But . . . CO2 accounts for only 5% of greenhouse gases and is one of the weaker factors.  Water vapor is the strongest (clouds)

    • Both natural and humans

This is where there is far more heat than light.  The media and many environmentalists blame people.  Their side of the argument is about all you hear.  Rather than dialoguing with those who may think differently, they shut down the debate by vilifying anyone who disagrees.

Why?  Because the debate is politically charged.  On one side are environmentalists, on the other are economists, and in between are the quiet majority who are trying to discover the truth.

Our focus is on what the Bible says.  For the sake of argument, let’s accept that pollution from the burning of fossil fuels makes some contribution – no matter how small – to climate change.  What should be done?

The Solution

1.  We must adhere to the biblical worldview

  • God created and is sovereign.
  • He owns this world, so His will is all that matters.

Job 41:11
11  Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.  (NKJ)

Ps 24:1
The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.  (NKJ)

  • He controls this world.

Col 1:16-17
16  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  (NKJ)

Heb 1:2-3
2    has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3    who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  (NKJ)

  • He will destroy this world.

Isa 51:6
6    Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.  (NKJ)

2 Pet 3:10-12
10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  (NKJ)

Rev 8:7-8; 10-12
7    The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
8    Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.
10  Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
11  The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
12  Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.  (NKJ)

Rev 16:3-9
3    Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
4    Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
5    And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things.
6    For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
7    And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
8    Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
9    And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (NKJ)

  • Man is the crown of creation – superior to and more valued than nature.
  • The world is for our use.

Ps 115:16
16  The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; but the earth He has given to the children of men.  (NKJ)

  • Even Jesus roasted meat over a burning fire.

John 21:9-10
9    Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.
10  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”  (NKJ)

  • Man was granted dominion and stewardship.

Yet we are responsible for good management of resources.

Gen 1:28-29
28        Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29        And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.  (NKJ)

  • Sin set in motion destructive forces of nature.  (Sin is the cause.)

Drought and hurricanes cannot be solved as long as there is sin.

Isa 24:5-6
5          The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
6          Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.  (NKJ)

Rom 8:20-21
20        For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21        because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  (NKJ)

2.  We must do our part to limit pollution, even if it costs us more.

The earth is the Lord’s, and we must be wise in managing it for Him.

Should we not, therefore, seek to minimise harmful pollution?  Of course we should!  It is right to make every effort to limit wastage and to maximise recycling.  It is right to refrain from littering, and to seek energy efficiency in our vehicles and appliances.

Does this mean that we should be committed to Kyoto?  And to other, more stringent agreements coming in the very near future?

Not necessarily.  Why?

Firstly, because we cannot accept the motives of those who push for such sweeping reforms.  Their “facts” are trumped up.  And their agenda is actually a religion (it is called pantheism and is diametrically opposed to Christianity).

Secondly, we must let our decision-making be motivated by our submission to God as stewards of His creation – a creation that was given for our use, and for His glory.

Thirdly, we must be realistic about the cost effectiveness of the strategies used.  What if Australia were to stop using coal to produce electricity?  Your electric bills would skyrocket.  What would happen then?  Interest rates would go up.  What would happen then?  An economic disaster.

Would it be worth it?  Keep in mind, we don’t actually know that global warming is a man-caused long term trend.  Neither do we know that it would be fixed by cutting the use of coal.  In fact, we know that environmental disasters will always be with us – as long as there is sin.

What about the impact of green policies on the rest of the world?  The poor nations would suffer.

3.   We must not disadvantage the poor. 

Global warming is blamed on the use of fossil fuels and the degradation of rain forests.  Where are the rain forests?  In the economically poorest countries of the world.  Why are the rain forests being cut down?  So these people can make a living.

What will happen if they are prevented from farming their land?  They will become poorer.  What will happen if energy costs go up?  They won’t be able to afford it.

The poor will get poorer.  Many will die.

Ps 41:1
1          Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  (NKJ)

Additional resources:

Reflective of a biblical worldview:

Fighting Global Warming Hysteria.  www.fightglobalwarminghysteria.com

“Human caused global warming slight so far”, Answers in Genesis, 20 September 2006, https://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/human-caused-global-warming

Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, http://www.interfaithstewardship.org/pages/home.php

Reflective of a pseudo-scientific worldview

Fighting Global Warming.  www.fightglobalwarming.com

Evangelical Climate Initiative. http://www.christiansandclimate.org/

Time magazine cover story.  3 April 2006. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601060403,00.html

Printable version:  Climate Change