Friday, December 14, 2007

What the Environmentalists Can Learn from Christianity

Posted by Teresa at 12:36 PM


I've heard some say there is a conflict between science and religion; the two don't
mix well. One is based on materialism and the other on dogma. However, earlier
this week I think one religious figure, Pope Benedict XVI, stood up for sound science
when it comes to global warming. Simon Caldwell of the Daily Mail writes:

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate
change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to
global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on
dubious ideology.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested
that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and
causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more
than scare-mongering.

Someone had to finally say it!

I believe there are certain criticisms attributed to Christianity that environmentalists
can learn from and apply when spreading their message. Here they are:
  • Beware of prophesying about the 'end times.' Preaching doom and gloom
    on a regular basis might get you some converters but at the expense of tuning out
    the rest of the world. I've heard so many scenarios on how global warming can
    wipe out civilization such as the polar ice caps melting and drowning us all and
    world wars over scarce resources.
  • Practice what you preach. Celebrities and politicians like Al Gore tell
    the American public to buy fuel efficient vehicles, yet, travel the globe in jets.
  • Don't let the fanatics take center stage. Every religion has its zealots and
    just because the green movement is largely a secular cause doesn't mean it's without
    the wrongly indoctrinated.
  • Stay out of politics! This year the Nobel Peace Prize went to former Vice-President
    Al Gore for spreading awareness of global warming. The U.N. is holding a climate
    conference
    right now in Indonesia. They will probably come up with certain policies
    governments can implement that will reduce carbon emissions. Environmentalists
    seem to believe the world's governments can solve the issue. However, I believe in
    order to get people to conserve resources a change of hearts and minds is needed
    and not more government regulations. To give Al Gore some credit in the video above
    he says that it's more of a "moral issue than a political one." I couldn't agree more.
To put it simply, I, an evangelical Christian, am telling a largely secular and science based
movement to stop being so dogmatic. I'll basically say what the Pope said but in a cool,
hip way, "Yo, stick to the science, alright."

2 comments:

Sloan on 8:40 PM, December 15, 2007 said...

Very insightful. I suppose it's the thing that has primarily kept me from jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon: the fact that I've been watching these people for the past 25 years or so and they've been more consistently wrong than right. I'm deeply suspicious of scare tactics, and the current global warming movement is all about scaring everybody into action...especially governments, as you've pointed out.

Don Pratt on 11:44 PM, December 18, 2007 said...

It's unfortunate that the Pope has not consulted scientists when making this statement. The Church has a reputation for backing the wrong horse when it comes to science (see Church positions on such things as theories of relativity, physics, space travel, mental illness, etc.).

This idea that the climate-change theory was created by environmental groups is plain mythology. The theory is based on sound science and there has never been such a huge consensus of international scientists to agree on one single issue as they have with this one.

Only a small percentage of scientists disagree with the theory, and the conservative media has latched on to them like they are Gods.

Sloan -- you will need to site where "these people" have been wrong in the past 25 years. I still have my first year college notes (1981) that describes the time line for global warming...and we're right on course. It's all very scary. But even scarier when folks ignore the science. The cost-benefit analysis is that we have little to lose if we take the scientist's advice...and it turns out the science was wrong. But the cost is unimaginable if we ignore the science and it turns out they are right.

Scare tactics are used as last resort. Scientists have been talking about climate change for almost 40 years (this is NOT a new theory). It has been ignored until only recently. And has gotten attention for only two reasons: 1) there's more evidence now than there has ever been before that the theory is correct; 2) Al Gore.

Peace.

 

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