Yesterday on social media some folks asked me to comment on the issues regarding climate change.
This is not really something about which I feel confident making much of a comment. From what I can make out the evidence is extremely complex. Most of all, I’m not a scientist. I’m certainly not a meteorologist. I have a relative who works in the field and she assures us that the climate change scare is a real thing and we should be concerned.
What else can one say?
I think pollution is a bad thing. We should not pollute our environment. Those who are in power should do all they can to stop pollution. Where places are polluted we should clean them up. If climate change does happen and people’s lives and livelihoods are endangered the rich people should do all they can to help the poor people survive and re-settle in more congenial places.
Maybe populations will shift and there will be huge transitions. This is nothing new. For all sorts of reasons populations have shifted, tribes and peoples move. There is climate upheaval. Catastrophes happen. Plagues hit the human race. Natural disasters happen. There are earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars and tumult among men…these things you will have with you always.
I’m no expert, but I do know the human race is very smart, very adaptable and that we solve problems.
Climate change and even man made climate change may very well be upon us. I’m happy to take the experts’ word for it. On the other hand, I can’t help remembering that in the past “the experts” have often been wrong. Not only a little bit wrong, but totally and utterly disastrously wrong. The big scare about over population in the 70s is a case in point. By the year 2000 we were all going to be starving. Famine would be widespread and we were all going to be going to war and resorting to cannibalism. Disastrous predictions about man made climate change? Maybe, but maybe not.
Time will tell, and if the climate does change I’m confident in our abilities to rally round and adapt.
There are three things about the bigger picture, however, that give me further pause. First, I’m suspicious not so much of the facts of climate change. About that I’m agnostic, and err on the side of optimism. What does make we scratch my head are the people who are so upset about man made climate change. The issue has become very political and that makes me smell a rat. Maybe there is man made climate change, but if there is, the issue has certainly become a campaign not just about pollution, but part of a globalist, leftist agenda.
That doesn’t mean we should necessarily be ignorant about the issue nor negligent about its solutions. We can, however, be skeptical about the globalist campaigners and give them a poke about their true, underlying agenda.
As for drafting their children into the campaign…some folks have cried, “Child abuse!” Nah. We pro life campaigners are quite happy to haul all our kids off to the March for Life every year. It’s okay for kids to be involved in the rough and tumble of campaigning and protest. If folks get bumped about a bit as a result of the tussle, that’s all part of it.
Why did you go to war if you did not expect to be wounded?
The third aspect of all this is what, as a pastor, interests me most. I’ve written about it elsewhere, but it is the need we all have for an apocalypse. Everybody needs an end of the world scenario that is big and scary. It might be nuclear war, Armageddon, over population, a possible plague or an asteroid hitting planet earth. It could be most anything, but there is this nagging need in the human heart to focus on some great fear–some great apocalyptic narrative.
That’s curious. Why is that?
I reckon we all have at the foundation of our lives the fear of death. Will the world end? Ours most certainly will. It’s called death.
But we push that away. We don’t want to think about it. But the fear is there and so we project the fear on to another target. We focus on our chosen apocalyptic scenario, and depending on our psychological and spiritual health, we ride that bomb like Dr Strangelove.
I remember an old Anglican priest counseling schoolboys who were worried about a nuclear holocaust. He said, “Boys. The good Lord loves this old world of his far too much to let such a terrible thing happen.” Or as Padre Pio says, “Just pray and don’t worry.”
That’s the best advice. End of the world? Best thing is to prepare for the end of our own worlds….and that might happen today with a sudden heart attack or the road traffic accident.
So be prepared.
You know not at what hour the Master will arrive.