In recent decades, environmental issues have emerged as a major source of concern for our society. Churches, except for a small percentage, have largely remained silent on how Christians should approach and even help overcome the environmental challenges.
As a result, Christians have remained susceptible to being deceived by unbiblical principles that demand subscription to radical environmental viewpoints, often antithetical to the biblical doctrines on our relationship with the creation.
These radical theories are often promoted as scientific theories. In reality, they are merely predictive guesses, not hard truth based on solid evidence. With no proactive discourses on such matters in the church, Christians tend to absorb the radical principles and make choices based on them.
Vegetarianism and veganism, for example, are the most common radical environmentalist principles that have infiltrated the church. They have roots in Eastern philosophy and cannot be justified as a morally superior dietary lifestyle.
Other, more radical, principles are often mixed with science to make them more appealing to the masses.
In the 20th century, population control was the most dominant radical environmental theory. Proponents argued that the world will run out of food and other essential resources by the end of the 20th century because of growing population.
But their theories failed. Twentieth-century population growth failed to lead to resource depletion. The world now produces a record number of food crops. Most resource prices are falling—signaling that they are more abundant now, not less. Life expectancy has increased dramatically throughout the world.
Today, a new radical principle is being injected into the church: catastrophic anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (CAGW). In simple terms, CAGW is the belief that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have caused a dangerous increase in global average temperature (GAT).
However, this time, the radical environmentalists—learning from all the mistakes they made in the 20th century—have made their CAGW theory closely resemble science, making it hard to distinguish it from truth.
Yet CAGW is a radical proposal. Unlike climate change, which is real and continuous, CAGW largely relies on assumptions and forecasts about GAT that are far from the truth.
Real science, using paleoclimate data, shows that current changes in climate (predominantly warming) are neither unprecedented nor dangerous. The radical environmentalists want people to believe current climate changes are unprecedented and will worsen in the future.
Real climate science says warming is driven by many various factors, including changes in the earth's rotation and tilt toward the sun, cycles of energy and magnetic wind output from the sun, ocean circulations, cloud cover, changes in concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) and various other natural factors. But the radicals want the masses to blindly believe that increased atmospheric GHG concentrations, driven by human activity, are the primary driving force behind the modern warming.
Real climate science has shown us that climate and weather are unpredictable. CAGW radicals want us to trust their faulty computer climate models as legitimate, dependable, accurate tools of climate prediction. Yet computer models failed constantly in the past two decades to predict the trend and magnitude of change in GAT.
Radical environmentalists use several strategies to silence those who try to critically review their distortion of climate science. One is to call anyone who disagrees with their theory a "denier."
As E. Calvin Beisner put it, "belief in 'climate change' (shorthand for dangerous man-made warming that must be mitigated even at the cost of trillions of dollars and potentially trapping billions in poverty) really is a leap of faith." But unlike the Christian faith, which is based on evidence, CAGW is based on imaginary forecasts about future climate states.
Surprisingly, the church has fallen for this crafty bait. The pope, the archbishop of Canterbury and many other Christian leaders are now ardent supporters of the climate alarmist movement. Even some Christian scientists have joined the chorus.
Not one but many wolves have infiltrated the sheepfold. It is high time that the shepherds equip themselves with sound doctrine on environmental stewardship, the counter perspectives and how to discern between lies and truth.
The church needs to do a great deal of study to understand the complex web of climate science, the radical players involved in the debate, and how it compares with the biblical command to steward the creation while wisely using natural resources to meet people's needs.
The scientists, economists, theologians and other scholars of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation think human-induced global warming is real. They also think empirical evidence indicates that it is relatively small and largely benign. They think efforts to reduce it by substituting wind, solar and other renewable energy sources for fossil fuels would do more harm than good both to humanity and to the entire biosphere. They provide scientific, economic and engineering reasons for this view in hundreds of articles and several major papers on their website.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., environmental science, University of East Anglia, England) is a research contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.
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