Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Justice and love: why this Christian cares about climate

"The crux of climate change for Christians is the poorest, most vulnerable countries are those hardest hit by global warming. The poor are least able to adapt to the impact of climate change and ironically, have contributed least to it. The carbon footprint of the poorest 1 billion people on the planet is estimated to be around 3% of the world’s total footprint. This is the social injustice of climate change: poor, developing countries will suffer because of the fossil fuels emitted by developed nations. We are commanded to love our neighbour. [...] God requires that His people oppose social injustice and open their hearts to the poor and vulnerable. For the church to turn a blind eye to the injustice of climate change is to turn our back on God’s heart for the poor."
John Cook, founder of the justly famous site Skeptical Science, has written a short piece in Eternity magazine explaining why he takes climate change seriously as a Christian. You can read the rest here.
H/T Liz.


ben said...

Thanks for the link! I wouldn't have come across it without you.

The post is the second in a "debate" with someone who has "studied global warming and what to do about it for five years". Sigh.

byron smith said...

Yes, I am well aware of Rev Palmer's views, having had extensive discussions with him on this blog (e.g. here) and elsewhere.

Here is what I wrote to the editor's of Eternity:

To the editor,

Just wanted to say thanks for the thoughtful and winsome piece by John Cook recently, who succinctly put the case for Christians to take climate change seriously as a matter of justice and love on the basis of sound science.

I was disappointed with David Palmer's, which seemed to imply that because our governments are not doing more about climate change, therefore Christians have no place in calling for greater targets, which ignored the role of our (very high) levels of consumption and the culture of consumerism that goes with it (a problem for us as Christians without reference to climate), and which was happy to play loose with the science by implying that a single mistake in a detailed and complex report running to thousands of pages and summarising the work of tens of thousands of publications is grounds for ignoring the rest.

Grace & peace,
Byron Smith

ben said...

That's a nice response. I'm amazed at your patience and grace in conversation.