There is no ongoing “debate” on climate change any more than there is an ongoing “debate” on whether the earth is flat or in the center of the universe.
Christians will say, “There are scientific papers on both sides of the climate change issue.” That’s a false equivalency. If I have $1,000,000 and you have $1 there is “money on both sides,” but that hardly makes our positions equal.
Debates end when consensus is achieved, and there is undisputed uniformity of consensus among scientists on the facts:
- The earth is warming.
- We are contributing to it.
- It is getting worse.
- It will disproportionately affect the poor the most.
Climate change is not a political issue.
Climate change is not a liberal or conservative issue.
Climate change is not even a scientific issue.
Climate change is a spiritual issue.
The Christian Response to Climate Change
Christians are called to be stewards of creation (Genesis 2:15), to uphold Biblical justice (Micah 6:8), to pursue the Great Commandment (Matthew 25:35-40), and proclaim Jesus’ good news for the poor (Luke 4:18-19).
Recently I invited renowned Christian climatologist Dr. Hayhoe to speak at an event we call “Justice Day.” She appeared on stage with President Obama recently, so I wasn’t sure if we could get her. But she agreed. One of the things I found interesting is she refuses to do one-on-one debates on television with climate-change deniers because it gives people the false impression there is a 50-50 debate.
One of the things she spoke on was how climate change disproportionately affects the poor. What she shared was frightening. The effects of climate change on the poor are staggering, and it is happening right now. Forget 30 years from now. Look at what is already happening.
Christians need to stop burying their heads in the sand.
If Jesus were alive in the 21st century, he would undoubtedly speak out against those who stand on the sidelines as people obfuscate this issue by appealing to dubious “experts” who purportedly “debunk” the consensus of the scientific community. Pseudo-science has been debunked line by line.
Climate change is already disrupting, displacing, and killing the poor around the world, and it is getting exponentially worse.
I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Hillary.
I don’t care if you watch Fox News or MSNBC.
And I absolutely don’t care if you’re a left-wing tree-hugging hippie that lives on granola or an alt-right wing Neanderthal that drives a souped-up Hummer.
The poor do not care about your politics.
The marginalized do not care about your ideology.
Neither does Jesus.