On the heels of Nobel…

Todd

comes this lovely story.

This is the second anti-global-warming link I’ve posted recently. I feel this calls for some explanation.

First of all, I’m pro-environment. I think we should do everything we can – within reason – to care for our earth and make sure we’re leaving it in better condition for our children (they are our future after all) than was left for us. However, the whole global warming and environmentalism message is anti-reason, anti-science. It is fueled by emotion and guilt. We need to step back and look at the facts, the previous research and the overall reaction of the scientific community to Gore and friends’ claims before granting our endorsement (or our prizes).

Secondly, this whole EDIT: the Gore-and-friends-led environmentalism movement seems financially motivated. If Gore truly cared about the environment, he would make personal sacrifices rather than buying carbon offsets – carbon offsets that are sold by a company of which he is the chair.

Finally, I don’t believe that humans have the power to destroy the earth. We do have the power to harm, but not destroy.

What do you think?

Have a good Monday.
sig

NOTE: My “why we worship” series is forthcoming. (The more I say it, the more I feel accountable to actually do it).

(h/t: Hayley)

25 Comments

  1. October 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    Well, the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. alone (not to mention the much larger one in Russia) could blow up the Earth several times over. So yes, we have the power to destroy the Earth.

    Plus, I think if the current global warming debate helps us become better stewards of the Earth, it doesn’t really matter whether we want to believe in that particular scientific theory or not. Ireparably destroying what God made and put in our care is never acceptable, especially if we do it primarily so that we can live as comfortably as we want, and then don’t give a damn about the consequences.

  2. October 15, 2007 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    Touché. I forgot the nuclear capabilities. I will say, that our ability to destroy the earth multiple times over is theoretical – though I hardly think that matters.

    While we have the “power” to destroy, I don’t believe God would allow His will to be trumped by weapons of humans. But I’m just old school like that.

  3. Steven
    October 15, 2007 at 1:20 pm — Reply

    A few things: I don’t want to be a jerk, and I even agree that Gore didn’t deserve the Prize, but so that you don’t seem “anti-reason, anti-science” and “fueled by emotion” you may want to change a few things with your post. Global warming isn’t exactly “anti-reason, anti-science”; quite a few reasonable scientists assert that global warming is real and that we are the cause. Quite a few more say that it is real and question whether we are the cause, and another group of reasonable scientists say it isn’t real at all. So when you say it is “anti-reason, anti-science” you are choosing only a subset of the scientific community to listen to and that would indicate that you are “fueled by emotion” and only listening to whoever agrees with you. If you aren’t open to saying that the verdict isn’t completely decided you will only fuel the fire of those who disagree with you.

    When you say “Secondly, this whole environmentalism movement seems financially motivated.” You are doing a grave mis-service to those who aren’t financially motivated, those who in fact feel called by their morals and by their faith to do what they can to make the world a better place to live. Don’t lump all “environmentalists” with the one(s) you don’t like.

    I’m sorry if I came off like a jerk; I think that are some very necessary critiques that need to be made. However, please be careful when you are making those critiques so that you don’t fall prey to the very same ones you espouse.

  4. October 15, 2007 at 1:44 pm — Reply

    Steven,
    No jerkiness felt. All’s fair game here on the Todd Blog and I appreciate your candor.

    That said, I think that man-caused global warming is in fact, junk science. This position is based on the scientific community at large (those who oppose global warming either in word or research are a larger group than those who endorse. See here.), the fact that the methods used to measure temperatures has changed and that we were facing a second ice age in the 70’s. I understand that I’m not a scientist and that there is some real evidence to point to a warming trend, but I think the facts supporting man-made warming are tenuous at best and downright deceitful at worst.

    I agree with your second point. I meant to focus on Gore and friends for the financially-motivated part. I am friends with people who love the environment and want to protect it with no selfish gain in mind. I apologize for the broad brush and I will edit the post accordingly.

    Please know I believe that we, as children of God, have a responsibility to care for that which God has blessed us. I believe we should recycle, use cloth bags at the grocery and turn off our electronic devices when not in use (among other lifestyle changes). I just don’t want to get wrapped up in unnecessary hysteria.

    Thanks for the comment.

  5. October 15, 2007 at 2:16 pm — Reply

    “While we have the “power” to destroy, I don’t believe God would allow His will to be trumped by weapons of humans. But I’m just old school like that.”

    Agreed. God’s post-flood promise of Genesis 8.22 always comes to my mind during this discussion:

    “While the earth remains,
    Seedtime and harvest,
    And cold and heat,
    And summer and winter,
    And day and night
    Shall not cease.”

    I just don’t see a “The Day After Tomorrow” world coming to be.

    All that said, as Christians, sometimes I don’t think we take our stewardship responsibilities as seriously as we should.

  6. October 15, 2007 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    Um… that strikes me as a marvelously irrelevant quote. The time “while the earth remains” would end when we (hypothetically) destroyed the Earth, you know, as there would be no Earth remaining then, would there.

    More importantly, the logical conclusion of the implicit argument here (i.e. God’s in charge and He’ll return before we manage to destroy ourselves) is what’s called an apocalyptic worldview. That worldview, if carried to its full conclusion, would paralyze us entirely and would give us license to behave however we want before then, since God won’t let us suffer the consequences for our actions and instead will say, Oh you silly humans, and then fix it all soon anyway — the Earth with his creator-powers and our souls with his grace.

    That view isn’t exactly scriptural.

    If Jesus calls us to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven NOW, then we ought not act as if the Earth doesn’t matter. It could just be, I think, that God actually meant what he said when in Genesis he gives us full stewardship of the Earth, and that, just like he gives us the capacity to not love so that our love means anything, he has given us the capacity to not be stewards so that our stewardship means anything. And the conclusion of not being stewards CAN be that we destroy the Earth, just like the conclusion of not loving CAN be that we damn ourselves to hell.

    God isn’t the big bailout. It’d be nice if he were, but I think scripture says otherwise and human history shows otherwise. Otherwise, let’s sin so that grace may abound…

  7. Steven
    October 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm — Reply

    “While the earth remains,
    Seedtime and harvest,
    And cold and heat,
    And summer and winter,
    And day and night
    Shall not cease.”

    What does “while the earth remains” mean? Does that mean the actual physical dirt, layers, and core? Does it mean while humans exist? Does it mean an earth that is recognizable to us? And do you (not specifically Luke) believe that G-d would actually interfere if we set to work destroying the earth as we know it?

  8. October 15, 2007 at 2:56 pm — Reply

    I don’t know that God would interfere. It seems to me, based upon my reading of scripture, that His hour of return isn’t contingent upon human whims.

    Perhaps Jesus’ return and His calling all the saints up to glory (whatever that means/looks like) could happen after we’ve all blown ourselves up or choked ourselves to death with greenhouse gases. That just doesn’t seem to match up with what I read.

    However, if I am proved wrong, it will be too late for me to admit so and If I’m right it will be too late to gloat.

    I think the critical point here, as Jonathan shared earlier, is that we take our responsibility as stewards seriously. This whole global warming debate has certainly caused healthy dialog on this subject and has opened many Christians’ eyes to the importance of being aware of their consumption and disposal and taking the necessary steps to achieve a right balance.

  9. October 15, 2007 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    Personally, I believe we should be pro-earth. We should take care of the earth. I also believe that most of Gore’s science is junk and there are many “quality” scientist on both sides of the issue. However, I believe there are more and more scientist coming out and finding large holes in Gore’s movie.(See the recent lecture at UNC by the professor from Colorado-who is considered one of the most respected scientist in the world.
    His getting the “peace” prize is a joke.

  10. October 15, 2007 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    @ Jonathan,

    Eh, in my first post, there was actually meant to be a transition between where I said “Agreed” and then the rest of it.

    Thus, the “while the earth remains” quote was meant to be in reference to my belief that the earth will never come to be as it is pictured in the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow” (i.e., an earth greatly altered by global warming and largely turned into a barren wasteland). I was not intending the quote to prove that this earth would last forever or was indestructible.

    Basically, as long as this earth exists, I believe it will function as designed.

    Kudos to you though on being thoroughly condescending. Well done.

  11. October 15, 2007 at 7:10 pm — Reply

    Luke,

    Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks for clarifying. In that case, your point makes a lot of sense. But, I still think God’s promise is not an insurance policy against our own ruthlessness. I say that not because I call Genesis into question, but rather because God makes a lot of promises like that (and, you know, prosperity, etc.) in the OT to Israel, and then the Israelites don’t do his will, and all of a sudden God says, Sorry, in that case, I can’t do that for you. I think God does require our obedience in order for his vision of his kingdom to come into being, and that includes us not destroying the Earth.

    And sorry if it sounded that way, but condescending has nothing to do with it. In my real life I teach writing, and pointing out flaws in logic (or in this case, an omitted transition that makes the logic seem flawed) is my job. Of course, you’re not my student, and so I apologize if that takes over sometimes… it’s not meant to reflect my attitude towards you.

  12. terrysj
    October 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm — Reply

    2 Peter 3:5-12 would indicate that God will be in charge of destroying the world by fire just as He did with the flood. We need to be good stewards of His creation, but the final destruction will be at His time and with His power, not man’s.

  13. October 16, 2007 at 9:34 am — Reply

    2nd Peter is not prophecy.

  14. Steven
    October 16, 2007 at 9:50 am — Reply

    Now Jonathan, if you had taken the time to read the passage you would have realized that he is paraphrasing the prophets.

  15. October 16, 2007 at 10:01 am — Reply

    That’s because 2nd Peter is a homily; he’s exegeting his religious tradition (Jewish apocalypticism), not prophesying. He’s saying “If we believe this…, then what is the lesson you’d want to draw.” It’s not the same thing at all like saying, “God told me yesterday that He’s going to destroy the Earth by His own hand whenever He feels it’s time, so you guys go ahead and do what you want to the Earth until then.”

    Verse 10: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” That doesn’t necessarily imply it can’t be us who trigger that day. I realize it’s seductive to read a blank check for us into this in kind of a perverse, backward way, but it’s not necessarily there.

  16. October 16, 2007 at 11:01 am — Reply

    I think we should destroy the earth as soon as possible so that we can go to heaven & be with Jesus & the angels.

  17. October 16, 2007 at 11:15 am — Reply

    Here’s my two cents, for what it’s worth…

    The reason that Gore (and others) are leading the pack on environmental issues is because of the absence of Christian leaders speaking up. I believe that those in Christian leadership have (generally speaking) completely missed the boat on their responsibility to lead the way in caring for and protecting this place God created for us. Instead, they are busy with other “bigger” issues like homosexuality and abortion. How did we come up with this hierarchy of issues? Every command that God gave us in his Word is of equal importance, despite what the Christian right might have us believe. It’s time we start getting as outspoken about environmental issues as we are about protecting the right to the life and the family.

    Also, one other thought. In my understanding God is coming to US. He’s coming to redeem the earth. Not obliterate it. It seems we’ll be here (albeit a redeemed “here”) for a long time (eternity) so we should start taking better care of it.

  18. October 16, 2007 at 11:40 am — Reply

    […] 2) Todd has an excellent discussion about global warming going on. Check it out. […]

  19. October 16, 2007 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Becky, I’ve heard of such theories before. I’m not well-versed in endtimes theology, but how does your view square with the idea of a new earth or new zion? Will God make what we’ve destroyed new or will we have to live with what we’ve done?

  20. October 16, 2007 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Jonathan,

    No harm done. Besides, as written, my post was confusing.

    I appreciate the point you make regarding the Israelites in the Old Testament, and agree that some (almost all?) of God’s promises are conditional. I’m just not sure that the verse I referenced is one of them.

    To me, it seems tied to the “rainbow” promise, which I think actually takes its meaning from it NOT being conditional—God promises not to destroy the world with water again not because of who we are (certainly, we could lapse into wickedness like mankind had at the time of Noah), but because of who He is. I could be wrong though.

    Nevertheless, I think our role of stewardship is often overlooked. A lot of Christians (myself included sometimes) seem to think that this world is here just to be USED by us, and don’t realize that it is our responsibility to take care of it as well.

  21. Steven
    October 16, 2007 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    I’ve often heard that view that G-d gave us the world to be used at our discernment and that we should use up every resource we can, especially if it can help bring people to Christ. Example: dig for all the oil we can and forget about the pollution and the destruction of the natural beauty of the earth. Use the oil to power planes and boats to get us to Africa so we can convert the pagans. I don’t agree with this, but I’ve heard it most of my life.

    Becky,

    Don’t you know that by focusing on the “bigger issues” we’re protecting the environment. If we can save the sinners G-d won’t flatten their cities with burning meteors and turn people into pillars of salt.

  22. October 16, 2007 at 5:50 pm — Reply

    Todd,

    This is actually a relatively new way of thinking for me. A few years ago I read a book that radically changed my perspective on heaven … I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested. It’s called Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

    As far as your question … at the fall of man, the entire creation, including plants and animals and nature itself, in addition to man, was cursed. That leads me to believe that the redemption process includes all of creation as well. Check out Romans 8:19-23. Pretty clear.

    The last two chapters of the Bible are my very favorite in all of Scripture. And it’s astonishing to recognize the parallels between the new heaven and earth that John describes in Revelation and the heaven and earth that God created in Genesis. Many of the same descriptions and imagery are used in both accounts. Revelation 22:3 is pretty clear to me. It’s talking about the end of the curse. Why mention the curse of the “old” earth if we are going to an entirely new place?

    And Steven, I realize you were being tongue-in-cheek, but …

    Did you know that homosexuality wasn’t the reason God destroyed Sodom? Seriously. Ezekiel 16:49. Sooo … even with us focusing on the “bigger” issues, we probably still deserve to get destroyed.

  23. Steven
    October 16, 2007 at 6:57 pm — Reply

    Becky,

    I did realize that but most people don’t. I was just being tongue in cheek.

  24. October 17, 2007 at 12:12 am — Reply

    Wow. Global warming….an apparent hotbed of blogging activity. I’m with Sam. The Earth is “under the curse” anyway, why not accelerate its decline…..

    Just so we’re clear, I’m kidding.

    The Romans 8 passage is wildly interesting. Thanks Becky.

  25. October 17, 2007 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    I agree with you.

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On the heels of Nobel…