The Effects of Climate Change

Climate change

We had a good discussion at my dinner table tonight about the Fourth National Climate Assessment.  As a young evangelical, my seventeen-year old daughter is passionate about this issue and it was fun to see her so engaged.  She is appalled at Donald Trump’s refusal to believe the findings.  By the way, she will cast for her vote a president for the first time in 2020.  She is heading off to a yet-to-be-determined Christian college in the Fall and will represent, I pray, the future leadership of the church on this issue and others.

As I said before, I think evangelicals must take this report seriously and treat it as a “life” issue.  Sadly, I think most evangelicals will ignore it or shrug it off because they are afraid it will divide their churches.  But my prayer is that some pastors and church leaders will have the courage to confront this head-on.  If your evangelical church is addressing this is in some meaningful and purposeful way I would love to hear about it.

Over at CNN, Jen Christensen provides fifteen “takeaways” from the report.  They are:

  1. Crop production will decline
  2. Cows could have it bad
  3. Food sources from the sea will decline
  4. Food and waterborne illness will spread
  5. Bugs will bug us more
  6. It will be hard to breathe
  7. Mental health will be challenged
  8. More of us will die
  9. We won’t be able to work as much
  10. We won’t be able to get around as easily
  11. Water infrastructure will be challenged
  12. Floods will be more frequent
  13. Wildfires will increase
  14. History will be lost
  15. There will be more snakes and other invaders

Read how Christensen develops these points here.

17 thoughts on “The Effects of Climate Change

  1. I’m wondering why the IPCC recommendation of a carbon tax of $135 to $5500 a ton by 2030 didn’t make the “takeaway” list? A $135/ton is only $1.20/ gallon, but at $5500/ton, that’s about a $50 “climate change” tax PER GALLON of gasoline. So let’s split the difference and go with roughly $2500/ton for a gas tax of about $22.50 by 2030.

    Are the “true believers” ready to stand up and preach to the American public that we need to possibly increase gas taxes $2.25 EVERY YEAR between 2020 and 2029 because we have to “do something”??? Are the faithful willing to write and blog that in coming years that we HAVE to be willing to pay substantially more for utilities, transportation, food and everything else we buy because those gas/carbon taxes will ripple through the economy and increase prices? If (supposedly) man-made climate change is a “LIFE” issue, then jacking up the price of gas a couple of bucks every year should be argued as a “LIFE” issue. Gotta put your money where your mouth is, as they say.

    Thanks to earlier hysteria over this issue, we stuff 40% of the American corn crop into our gas tanks in the form of ethanol (biofuels!) which is now viewed as of no benefit and more of a detriment to the environment. However, since “Big Ag” is entrenched in D.C. and benefits greatly from government mandating the use of ethanol, we’re probably stuck burning all that corn instead of eating it for the foreseeable future.

    Given that many of the “takeaways” from the article could almost be cut-and-paste jobs from “expert” predictions from past decades, I am reminded of something George Will wrote: “Predict catastrophe no sooner than five years hence but no later than 10 years away, soon enough to terrify but distant enough that people will forget if you are wrong.”

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    • Ed,
      I appreciate the excellent documentation you posted. I can recall the climate alarmism going back to the 1970s.

      You also surfaced a salient point about the taxes implicit in implementing the radical green agenda. The sad thing is that the taxes would not impact liberal coastal elites in places like Marin County, Manhattan, and the affluent D.C. suburbs. Instead, the lower and middle classes would suffer. It is no surprise because we already know that these elites don’t have a lot of sympathy for Wal Mart shoppers. I am thankful to see the French people protesting President Macron’s efforts to promote this destructive agenda.

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  2. I have a small, 22 acre, farm. I don’t have a political agenda or a screwed up theology, (in my opinion!), but I have avoided pesticides and thought about how what I do may mess the place up in the future.
    I have lived here 38 years and in the last five to ten I have witnessed ruts eaten in the middle of woods and pasture that had no such thing when we moved here or for the first thirty years. I have seen wilder rain storms. I pay attention because it affects things.
    Why would it have to be over reacting for a church to take care of their property with an eye to their impact on the environment?
    Also, I have about 13 acres of woods. Maybe I have been remiss by not raking the leaves! That would give me a little something to do in my down time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff,
      Responsible conservation has been with us for hundreds of years. I am all for it. This is a far cry from the environmental extremism which has reached religious dimensions in certain quarters.
      James

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  3. Is there a religion better suited to accept the responsibility of anthropegenic climate change than Christianity? God told us we he was leaving it up to us to be responsible for his creation. And when Adam sinned God cursed creation, and when man sinned God flooded the whole earth, killing almost all of creation. I was also taught that flood caused climates to change, which wiped out the dinosaurs, and it’s why we don’t live as long as Methuselah. Boom, Biblical anthropgenic climate change we’re all still suffering from. If Christians can believe that man killed God why aren’t Christians the first to accept it’s within our ability to kill, or at least harm creation, and it is our responsibility not to? If anyone has an incentive to even go out of their way and sacrifice to care for creation it would be Christians.
    Plus, climate denial sure echos of “You will not certainly die”.

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    • Alex,
      Based on your previous postings I know you have strong sentiments about this subject. Please allow me to offer a couple of contrary positions.
      As far as Christianity being the best suited religion to “accept the responsibility” for man made climate change, I am not sure I follow your logic. If God sovreignly cursed the initial creation in Genesis Three and subsequently flooded the earth in Genesis Seven, why would you challenge his decisions? He could have chosen other courses of action to teach man. Clearly, God’s purposes in Genesis Three had more lasting import for mankind than the events of Noah’s day but both events serve God’s ultimate eternal purposes. Our planet is simply a backdrop, a stage, for a far greater drama. “The play’s the thing….”. Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2. Christians are not pantheists.
      Finally, I cannot understand your linkage of Genesis 3:4, “…Ye shall not surely die.” with climate change. That is not the theological idea which is present in this passage. I don’t know of any reputable Bible students——liberal or conservative——who would see 21st Century environmentalism in this passage.
      James

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  4. Sunbury Bible Church is an Evangelical church in Northumberland PA that installed a 207.4 kW solar panel system last year, and now they are 100% powered by the son! I actually called them and they connected me to the former Deacon they say was the driving force behind the installation, Jim Kohl. He was great. He said a congregation member, who was a poultry farmer, installed a giant system at their farm, and it was so great it got their leadership looking into it. They got a quote and the leadership voted unanimously to go solar. He even noted their bylaws required it get voted on directly by the congregation, and it was affirmed by almost 100% of the votes! He said they’ve only gotten positive feedback, with members of the community coming in just to tell them how much they appreciate it, and he’s gotten numerous calls from other churches wanting to duplicate their success. Their shining jewel is that they made a cross shape with the panels, which really emphasizes that creation care points to Jesus. He encouraged me to embrace that caring for creation is one of the ways we tangibly love God and our neighbors, near and far. Quote from the local news:

    “But the move to solar power was more than just good business sense. Church leaders say the decision was based on the responsibility they have as Christian believers.

    “Psalm 24:1 declares, ‘The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it’,” said Mike Miller, pastor. “Our responsibility is to be faithful stewards, or managers, of what God entrusts to us. As He enables us to harness energy from the sun and then use it to make much of Jesus and serve others, that in my mind is being a faithful steward.””

    https://www.dailyitem.com/news/local_news/sunbury-bible-church-will-be-sun-powered/article_70c5c49d-1253-5f8e-83c1-ddd2b53fb14b.html

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  5. There are plenty of countervailing arguments against all of this mainstream media climate hysteria and they are not being given any real time on CNN. (By the way, I don’t make it a point to watch CNN but sometimes I cannot avoid it when I am at the gym and am on a treadmill for an hour or so. These people endlessly repeat the same stories with the same cast of tired actors. Even if I were in ideological agreement with them, I would grow weary of the monotony.)

    Any churches which indorse this sort of climate alarmism need to be classed with lapsed Baptist, Al Gore, and placed into the “spirituality sterile” category. They will soon find their Gospel witness reduced to a peripheral issue. I can state with reasonable certainty that jumping on this so-called green hobby horse will bring a grossly misplaced emphasis which soon trades the next world for this one.

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    • Dismissal of scientific facts because one chooses to reject those facts in favor of unsubstantiated beliefs based on no factual evidence at all deserves no air time. The reality is climate change is happening. It has happened in the past and will happen in the future. The proof is overwhelming. Any religion which rejects climate change is one that isn’t worth belonging to.

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      • Jimmy,
        The fact that someone might be able to document climate change is not really the key issue which Dr. Fea raised. His emphasis was on the evangelical response.

        Let’s assume that there is always a measure of climate change occurring as you seem to imply in your posting. Why does that necessarily involve a Christian response? It might well be that nature is simply going to be fickle regardless of man’s feeble efforts alter events. After all, didn’t the glaciers recede prior to the industrialization of the world and the birth of Henry Ford?

        Once an environmental emphasis gets into a church, it behaves a lot like Gresham’s Law In economics. Specifically, when an economy is in distress the bad currency drives all of the good currency out of circulation. Any local church, parish, or denomination which goes heartily into the green movement will soon find scant traditional Christianity remaining. It will either be replaced by pantheism or more likely by a “baptized” form of social do-gooderism.
        James

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        • By “bad currency”, are you referring to the parts of the Bible that tell us not to pollute?
          “You shall not pollute the land in which you live…. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell” (Numbers 35:33-34)

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          • Alex,
            No, the bad currency is simply all of the peripheral social and political matters which choke the Gospel message of man’s reconciliation with God.
            The pollution referenced in Numbers 33 has nothing to do with environmentalism as we know it today. It refers to moral pollution. Please see the context specifically starting in verse 30. The whole chapter, in fact, desks with murder and manslaughter.
            James

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        • Looks like Pope Francis is taking Catholicism into the green movement. https://catholicclimatecovenant.org/encyclical I’m glad I’m Catholic.
          If you want to see faiths that are losing followers, look at evangelical Protestantism that support Donald Trump and the bigoted racism of their followers. Young people are abandoning those churches in droves. But those churches are just churches in name only. Those church leaders left Christianity a long time ago as they denied the Word of God in favor of power and money.

          Why doesn’t it involve a Christian response? When humanity pursues a destructive self-defeating ideology, it is the duty of Christians to speak up about it. When humanity rejects facts in favor of fiction over money, it is the duty of Christians to speak up about it.

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          • Jimmy,
            Are you aware that mass attendance in the USA is lower under Francis than Benedict or JPII? The two previous popes kept a healthy balance with historic theology driving the church. The current pope is more concerned about plastic straws in the ocean than bishop shielding pederasts.
            James

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            • I’m sure to an outsider that is something they want to see, but the reality is this pope has been fighting for justice and ending the abuse since he took office. It’s not easy correcting what others covered up and allowed to continue, but Pope Francis has been removing people from their positions over this. He isn’t covering it up. He is helping law enforcement prosecute and punish the criminals.

              There are a lot of factors involved in the lower attendance figures. A lot of it has to do with the abuse problems and a lot has to do with some people preferring the money over the Word of God. Some leave because they want a strict church built on tradition and no change but that’s not possible in this world and never has been. That’s why those people are disappointed. They want a church that doesn’t forgive people, that supports bigotry and racism, and that isn’t a church Jesus built. Those people are just going to have to be disappointed.

              I’m glad our pope has the courage to stand up for moral issues. Too bad so many so called evangelicals don’t. They ignore the moral issues so they can feel superior to others.

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              • Good Morning Jimmy,

                I respectfully think you are giving Pope Francis an undue pass on his shielding of the offending bishops. The most notable example is McCarrick but there have been others in South America. The Catholic press is full of stories about these scandals. Most recently, Francisstopped the U,S, bishops from implementing a reform plan to prevent more child abuse. Many loyal Catholics believe that Francis was afraid that his shielding of McCarrick would come to light. Furthermore, Francis has sidestepped Vignano’s serious allegations on this matter. If he has nothing to hide, he should denounce Vignano’s slander. Sadly, it might not be slander but rather fact.

                As far as the drop in mass attendance, you are correct that there are several factors behind this fall. My only point was that Francis has not remedied the problem. Again, his concern appears to be with plastic straws and related matters. Unless he returns the Church to its emphasis upon the spiritual, the declines will continue. Thus far he has shown that his main priorities are in this world and not the next. You may well be in agreement with that. Based on your posting, it seems that way.
                James

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