Climate Change and the Church

East Main Street (blog)

East Main Street in Owego, N.Y., after flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in September 2011.

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Deuteronomy 30:19

Especially when it comes to the environment, as a society are we choosing life, or death? David Orr poses this question in December’s cover story “Climate Change and the Church.” Considering how we treat God’s creation, life doesn’t seem to be our choice.

It’s getting harder and harder to deny human impact on climate change. According to NASA, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming trends this past century are due to human activities. Putting heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere traps heat. It’s getting hotter, colder, drier, wetter, windier than it’s ever been, all tied to a disproportionate spike global temperature.

Goddard Institute for Space Studies/NASA

Goddard Institute for Space Studies/NASA

Can the evidence of climate change – melting glaciers, droughts, extreme weather – be continued to be written off as part of earth’s “natural cycle”? Mr. Orr says no. People of faith, he says, those who by calling themselves Christians have promised to be God’s caretakers of the earth, can no longer be deniers – or hopeless – but must be leaders in the effort to curb humans’ arrogant destruction of the earth. Choose to live.

Now here is your chance to tell us how you feel.

What did you think of the article? How did you feel after reading it?

What do we do now? The article points out that we’re locked into the effects from the gasses put in the atmosphere 30 years ago (and that what we are doing today will affect the next generation). Do we figure out how to live in a new world of extreme weather, or do we work to reverse the damage?

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” Are science and faith contradictory or complementary?

As Christians, what is our obligation to the environment?

See photos from NASA’s State of Flux: Images of Change.
Learn more about United Methodist Women’s work with the environment.
Subscribe to response.

About Tara Barnes

editor of response, the magazine of United Methodist Women.
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