Do you believe in climate change? That seems to be the question. It is presented as though one must totally accept or reject a neat package as scientific fact. It is often presented as accepting or denying science. It is really a much more complicated issue involving not purely science, but also politics, economics and theology. I have issues with it on various levels.
The Politics of Science
It is hard to accept Climate Change Theory or Global Warming as science, when it is actually part of a larger political package which includes blatant “science denying”in regards to other key issues. This package is promoted by the party which considers itself pro-science and delights in calling others “science deniers”.
I believe in the science of human biology. When a human sperm containing a Y chromosome joins with a female egg and fertilizes it, it creates a new human being. This being has unique DNA differing from both of its parents. Though it spends time gestating inside of a female body, it is not part of that female’s body. It is not a growth or a condition. It is a unique, individual human being.
Science tells us that it has a beating heart and functioning organs. It moves. It grows. It feels pain. All long before it breathes and lives independently. Science also tells us that humans come in two sexes. These are determined by that little Y chromosome. If someone has a Y, they develop what we call male physical characteristics and are male. They start out as baby boys and become men. If someone lacks a Y chromosome, they become a female. (There may be rare biological anomalies, but this is the rule.) Simple as that. Gender is determined by biology – science – not by how someone feels or what they prefer.
So a political ideology which promotes such denials of scientific facts makes me skeptical of what other ideas they promote in the name of science. They in effect say “trust us that this is scientific – but never mind those other scientific facts.”
I think the scientific process includes questions and a general assumption that we might not understand everything or have enough information to form a final conclusion. In my lifetime, I have seen changes in the weather and climate. I can see daily evidence that the climate has changed in the past. I happen to live in what was an ancient giant lake. It is now technically a desert. I have seen the remnant of that ancient lake grow and diminish in size over time – it appears to be a cycle. At one point it rose so high that wise, scientific men built huge pumps in the desert to be prepared for the next flood. Since then the lake has lowered considerably, exposing more land. Ambitious men have been developing much land near the lake, some which was flooded back in 1983.
My scientific observation skills lead me to see a cyclical nature of change in regards to climate. Man may have an influence on it, but how could man possibly have caused Lake Bonneville to shrink so long ago? I also wonder about the limited time period – in comparison with the whole age of the earth – for which we have actual scientific data. How do we know that the trends of decades or even a few centuries will continue in one direction? If I have seen cycles during my slightly over half-century life, could there not be larger and longer natural cycles? Could there not be other catastrophic influences of weather and climate? It seems rather arrogant to me that men think they have that much influence to alter the course of nature.
Stewardship, Balance, and Human Tendencies
I do feel that we have an obligation to be good stewards of this earth. We also have an obligation to use its resources wisely to provide for the needs of people. There has always been a need for a balance between the use of and conservation of resources. I admit that people have acted unwisely in the past and caused problems, some which had serious effects. The dust bowl comes to mind. The devastation of the landscape through wars is also obvious.
How can man think to solve the problems they cause to nature without even acknowledging, let alone addressing, the underlying human issues? The underlying issues I see are human greed and lust for power. Those are what interferes with the wise stewardship of natural resources. If we used resources simply to meet human needs, the earth should have “enough and to spare.” But when profits and wealth are the main motivators, there is a tendency to overuse and abuse. Those seeking power disregard the needs of people as well as the resources of the earth. I have to wonder how much political agreements about Climate Change are really about power? Would the changes some seek just shift wealth from one group to another eager to make money another way?
The Purpose of the Earth
I believe that the earth was created by God to be a home for man. I believe that men and women are children of God. As His children, we are His priority. The earth is a place for us to dwell and He created it with all of the elements and resources that we would need. He gave us stewardship over the earth. I do think He will hold us accountable for our stewardship and care of the earth.
God also created physical bodies for us. They were created in His image and have been referred to as a “temple” – or a home – for our spirits. I have a hard time understanding why some could be so concerned about caring for nature, even to the point of restricting or denying human needs, yet be so casual about the care of human bodies, to the point of accepting, and in some cases celebrating, the abuse, mutilation, or absolute destruction of human bodies.
God is in charge and He has a plan. The earth has a part in that plan and will fulfill its purpose, regardless of human actions toward its destruction or attempts to prolong its existence. People may suffer the consequences of their own actions in regards to the care of the earth and that should be good enough reason to wisely care for its resources. But I don’t buy into the fears that the earth is on a human-caused path to destruction. And I don’t think that man’s feeble efforts could stop it if it was.
If the earth has a soul, or some consciousness, as some believe, I would think that pollution would certainly be an irritant to it. Considering the purpose for which the earth was created, I would think it would be most grieved by the way it’s human inhabitants – those children of God – are treating each other. I would think the wickedness, bloodshed, cruelty and destruction widespread upon the face of the earth would be much more damaging than gasses emitted into the air. If men can’t come together to work on those issues, what would a change in global temperature matter?