Friday, 4 April 2008

Climate Debate Daily

OK you climate-changerologists out there, whatever your opinion, you are going to find Climate Debate Daily a regularly useful trigger for your hobby horse. It is a 2 column, frequently updated page with links on the left under the heading 'call to action', and links on the right under the heading 'dissenting voices'. So for example, here's an article published in the last week from the sky-and-everything-else is falling brigade, talking about fast-melting glaciers; right next to it (whether by accident or design, I haven't yet worked out) is one purporting to dismiss any alarmism about the imminent collapse of the Wilkins ice-shelf as a scientific crock.

As a militant agnostic regarding matters climatic ("What's the weather going to be like tomorrow, everywhere?" "Dunno, and I don't think you do either") the Climate Debate Daily page will be of mild interest to me, and will help anyone else with a dog in the fight to stay somewhat up-to-date.

Theologically speaking, my main concern is that most of the current talk about the weather prompts both climate-change believers and unbelievers alike to think about the daily weather God gives without reference to the God who gives it. This is a garment-rending offence, and has been at least since Acts 14:14-18 was written. The key verse, spoken by Paul:

"Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”


Even weather disrupted by the sinfulness of man (if indeed it has been disrupted) is an occasion for thankfulness to God. So the worst-case climate change scenario still leaves us daily offering thanks to God for his goodness through rain and sunlight.

3 comments:

Craig Bennett said...

Hi Gordon.

I just had the thought that if we are sinning against God by not being a good steward in looking after His creation - how would repentance look in the light of climate change and our response to it?

Gordon Cheng said...

I'm not sure Craig. Repentance will look different for 2 year olds than it would look for 42 year olds or 82 year olds.

Reduce, reuse, recycle is not a bad rule of thumb for the average punter, and maybe walking, riding a bike or catching public transport as possible. But those might be pretty good things to do regardless of climate change, and many of us try to do them anyway.

Given that many of the things most people ought to do are good or enjoyable things to do regardless of climate change, I would leave climate change out of the ethical picture and just do those good and enjoyable things anyway. Each day has enough worries of its own.

Dave Lankshear said...

But Gordon, if the majority of experts in the field — as well as all the important climate organisations — all confirm the repeatable, falsifiable Co2 interactions with long-wave energy in the lab, surely this is a sign that the "experts" have something to say that impacts on our social consciences?

I sure hope that in God's grace there's some new climate dampening mechanism out there that undoes all the damage we've done, but at the moment the world's best experts haven't found it. So right now I think you're overstating the dichotomy between thanking God for the good weather we get and caring for the garden. There's just no division between the two as far as I can tell.