August 17, 2016
By Kristen Johnson
The photograph above is from an article I read today in The Guardian. To summarize, it is an alarming article about a town in Alaska that is currently voting on moving the entire town because of rising waters caused by climate change. In the past 15 years, they’ve already had to move 13 houses, and have lost 2,500-3,500 feet of coastal land in the past 35 years. Frightening, yes?
As a Liberal Christian, I am obviously concerned about climate change. (It’s really hard for me to talk about climate “deniers” – what exactly are they denying anyway? That science proves categorically that we are completely destroying the environment? The whole thing is bizarre and downright disturbing. It’s like denying I am breathing right now.)
I’ve heard Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and other politicians talk endlessly about climate change. So, I did a little research to refresh my mind, specifically about Donald Trump, because he alarms me, generally speaking.
PolitiFact says that Donald Trump actually did tweet the following statement: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” (Of course, then he says later he was “joking.” Really?!?)
Further research shows a lot of flip-flopping on his part (big shock) but an overall stance of denying that anything is wrong. According to another article in The Guardian, Trump promises to remove the US from the Paris climate accord (truly scary), has threatened to dismantle the EPA entirely (frightening), and has repeatedly referred to climate change as a hoax (among other stronger-language words).
I was curious about the Republican Party’s general view of climate change, so I looked up their official platform. They actually acknowledge the problem (sort of) and have some talking points about it while referencing “ongoing scientific research”, but then they print this statement:
Republicans caution against the doomsday climate change scenarios peddled by the aficionados of centralized command-and-control government. We can and should address the risk of climate change based on sound science without succumbing to the no-growth radicalism that treats climate questions as dogma rather than as situations to be managed responsibly.
I’m still scratching my head.
So, regardless of Trump vs. Hillary, Republicans vs. Democrats, and people who choose to ignore scientific evidence and those who don’t……what does all of this mean for me as a Liberal Christian?
Luke 12:48 (NRSV): But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
If we know we are destroying the earth (and we do know it – politicians and crazy people need to stop “denying” it) – then it is our responsibility to stop what we are doing, and protect the earth that God was nice enough to create for us.
I will likely post many, many articles on this subject, because it’s extremely important to me and it should be important to any Liberal Christian (and conservative Christians too.) But, just to get you started – just a few tips on what you can do to help the environment today:
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Stop buying things from countries with lax or zero environmental controls
- Eat less meat
Serve all with love.