I really enjoyed the interaction. I think everyone was in agreement that it is our responsibility as Christians to be good stewards of God's creation, and we are all committed to doing that. And that is exciting!
I think we also realize that while climate change appears to be a reality, there is a lot of skepticism as to the cause. Is global warming primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions? If it is, can we make a noticeable impact in reducing global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions? And what cost is too high to pay for making the necessary changes? Those are some of the questions I know we all are asking.
I would really encourage everyone to be prayerful and open as we seek to understand the answers to those questions. We have a serious responsibility to answer these questions correctly and to take whatever decisive actions may be required to ensure a better future both for our progeny, as well as billions of impoverished fellow citizens of Planet Earth.
I wanted to offer some links and resources which we explored Sunday, which you may wish to review prayerfully as you are seeking to answer these questions for yourself.
A primer on climate change issues -- I found the following URLs on Wikipedia to be very helpful and educational. You have to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt, of course, but it is a very comprehensive source of information.
- Global Warming (the Greenhouse Effect) and Climate Change (also see this extensive list of climate change-related terms and topics)
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- UN organization monitoring scientific thought on climate change issues
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- an environmental treaty produced at the UN's Earth Summit in 1997
- The Kyoto Protocol (intergovernmental agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions)
- G8+5 and the Washington Declaration (post-Kyoto Protocol)
Organizations Supporting and Opposing the IPCC Claims
One of the first organizations to seek to mobilize Christians (beginning in the late 1990s) in support of the IPCC claims and what it termed as "creation care" was the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN).
The Evangelical Climate Initiative of 2006 was a declaration of hundreds of evangelical Christian leaders who supported these findings and called for urgent action.
The Cornwall Alliance disagreed with the ECI's stance in support of the IPCC findings. In its 2007 response document titled “A Call To Truth, Prudence, and the Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” (PDF) the organization doesn’t question the reality of climate change/global warming, but it does question the IPCC’s assertion that the undisputed cause of global warming is anthropogenic. It also questions whether global warming could be significantly mitigated through a costly global effort to curb carbon emissions. They argue instead that those resources should be devoted instead to helping the poor to industrialize and gain the wealth that will give them the resources to deal with the effects of global warming.
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Here are three fun and interesting "carbon footprint calculators" on the Web. I can't vouch for their accuracy, but it doesn't hurt to think about the impact your lifestyle is making on our environment, and how you might be able to adjust it to be kinder to the Earth ...
Let's Keep the Conversation Going!
If you have any additional comments or questions related to this "hot topic," please submit them here (by clicking the "comments" link below) and I'll do my best to address them in future posts.