For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
I agree with the answer provided by S. Michael Houdman, and wish only to add the following: In Genesis, God created the earth, and all above and below it. Then he created man and gave him dominion over the animals and fishes and birds. In giving man dominion, he also gave responsibility, and this entails ensuring that man do not do harm to what God has created, not only for the sake of man, but for all living things that God has created. This means that we must look carefully and openly at all knowledge, especially that which God has given us, without prejudice or consideration of personal gain, when we choose how to act; if that action affects what God has created. As our knowledge and understanding of what God has created increases, so does our responsibility to act in accordance with His plan, to maintain what He has created.
Every informed Christian will probably agree that we need to be good stewards and protectors of God's creation. The question really comes down to discernment: how do ordinary citizens and Christians who are not climatologists or experts in related fields know which experts are correct when they don't agree among themselves? Our only hope of landing on the right side of this debate is to use scripture, God given wisdom, and common sense to form an opinion on which to base our actions.
Considering scripture and applying all the wisdom and common sense I can muster, I have come down against the climate change alarmists. There are many reasons, but a big tipping point for me is motive; which side of this debate stands to gain the most from their position? Many of the alarmists (principal among them, Al Gore) have made millions from book sales, speaking engagements, government and private grants, etc. (All this, while riding in their limos, flying in their private jets, and living in their obscenely large mansions.) It's difficult to find a financial motive for those who take a common sense approach. They may write a book, but it will never make the NYT Best Seller List!
As I understand the facts, there is no compelling evidence that our current climate is changing any more than it has changed naturally and cyclically throughout history. Until we see the evidence, we should ignore the alarmist profiteers while continuing to do our part to preserve and protect God's creation.
Is the issue of which experts are correct, the important one? Instead of asking whether climate change is a reality or not. maybe we should be ask these questions:
1. If climate change is an illusion, and we act as if it were a reality, have we done any harm? If we work towards clean, renewable energy, reducing pollution and other harmful effects upon everything that God created before He created man; what have we hurt? We wind up with a cleaner, healthier world, not just for us, but for all life that God has created.
2. On the other hand, if climate change is a reality, and we act as if it were an illusion, what are the potential consequences? Is it a risk we can afford to take?
Since we are not sure, which is the safer error to make?
If a fire alarm goes off, we immediately take steps to insure everyone’s safety. That way little is lost even if it is a false alarm.
There are conflicting studies, conducted by individuals, groups, and organizations on both sides in this issue, each trying to paint a picture that serves their own interests, and somewhere between is the truth. There is big profit to be made on either side, but which side is right, or closer to being right is not as important as our choosing to do our part in preserving what we have been given. The only thing the truth about climate change effects is the urgency of how quickly we need to act. The right path, what we need to do, seems to be the same in either case.
I think there is much we agree on concerning this issue. However, I do disagree with the main premise of your most recent discussion post. I think “the issue of which experts are correct” is exactly the issue that needs to be determined. Until we correctly answer that question we cannot not possibly know how to solve the larger problem in a reasonable and effective manner.
Your last two sentences in your post seem contradictory to me. While I agree that the truth should determine the urgency with which we act, the “urgency” is not a minor thing as you suggest, but is actually the heart of the issue. To state it succinctly, if the alarmist are correct we should immediately slam the evil industrialists and capitalists with debilitating environmental regulations, restrictions and sanctions to save our planet from certain impending doom (this seems to be the position of our current EPA in the US). Recent regulations on the coal industry and fossil fuel power production are but two of the many examples. However, if the alarmists are wrong we should take a more measured approach such as enforcing regulations which require industries to continue on a path of gradual improvement of their emissions to reach reasonable environmental goals while permitting them to grow and thrive in a pro-industry, pro-capitalist atmosphere. (Please see next post)
(Continued:) These are two entirely different paths with totally different outcomes. Which path we choose should be based on urgency which should be based on truth. The first path unwittingly sacrifices industry, our national economy, and the livelihood of millions of Americans in a knee-jerk reaction to save the planet from a threat that may not even exist (I am intentionally overstating here to make the point that the actions recommended by environmental alarmists are not nearly as benign as you suggest). The second approach is long term and takes reasonable measures to preserve our environment as well as our economy and our way of life.
So the answer to your first question, “If climate change is an illusion, and we act as if it were a reality, have we done any harm?” is yes, we may do irreparable damage if we act impetuously.
Your fire alarm example is valid up to a point. But, when the alarm sounds, the action we take should be based on the real emergency, not the “worst possible scenario.” We don’t jump out of an upper floor window just because the fire alarm is sounding. We protect in place and wait until the facts are known before taking drastic actions. Over reacting in a detrimental manner – when someone pronounces doom and gloom without producing compelling evidence – is not wise and is not a characteristic of a good steward of that which God has given us.
Thank you, brother, for your passion on this issue. I pray God's blessings on you!
Climate change is a lie which is being reported to demand a global tax. The need for the global tax is to provide funding for a global military under the United Nations which is not a nation. We all know that there will be a one world government but as Christians we are not to be complicit with building it because it is Satan's empire. Christians must take a look at themselves and see how far they have fallen, repent, and ask God for wisdom to pivot this global demise.