Evangelical Environmentalism

Sadly, a few days ago, a group of about 200 evangelical scientists and academics sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Members of Congress advising them to take immediate action "to reduce carbon emissions."  The letter read in part, "As evangelical scientists and academics, we understand climate change is real and action is urgently needed."

The letter goes on to preach the tired environmental-activist mantra listing the results of man's sinful actions like hottest year on record (for less than two-percent of the Earth), wildfires, droughts, and public health outbreaks (all unfortunate but not too atypical).

The sin of course is modern human activity in prosperous nations.  You know, the kind of sinful activity that has lifted so many out of poverty, protected them from never-ending "unusual" weather events, and dramatically contributed to healthy living.  The very same kind of activity made possible by God's grace.

After all, this activity involves the use of God-given, abundant, inexpensive natural resources--the kind that can truly benefit those Jesus called "the least of these."

But, instead of advocating for good stewardship--which is reasonable and right--and wide, wise distribution of what is readily available to those in dire need, hundreds of evangelicals (mostly biologists) armed with a superficial understanding of atmospheric science and a misapplication of scripture chose to advocate for some sort of climate justice.

As a Christian and an atmospheric scientist with 35 years of experience, I have frequently witnessed the metamorphosis, refinement, and exploitation of the never-ending story that humans are somehow destroying a "fragile" planet--this time by releasing too much carbon dioxide.

But, of all people, Christians should be the least gullible on this untenable position, since Christians have a solid foundation build on the belief that God is creator and sustainer of all things.  Forget about the dubious "sin" of anthropogenic global warming; Christians should focus instead on the arrogance germane to the idea that not only are humans causing long-term global climate change, but that we can fix it.

The climate of the world will benefit the most when Christians renew their commitment to being ambassadors for Christ, rather than activists for the atmosphere.

Anthony J. Sadar, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and supporter of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic's Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books, 2012).

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