Environmentalism and Its Worldview (II)
I am arguing that in general and by and large, evangelicals should be very suspicious of modern environmentalism and its life and worldview. All this notwithstanding, a number of high profile Christian celebs have put their signatures on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s resolution concerning global warming and its attendant dogmas. Even the secularists are admitting that in its current state, environmentalism is a “religion.” I concur, if for no other reason than linguistic ones. Our English word “religion” is derived from the Latin word religere, which means “to bind [back].” In other words, anything that is taught as settled and binding is in some sense a “religious” statement.
For example, pro-choice abortion advocates are very religious people. Evolutionists are quite religious as well as are the New Age environmentalists. All of these issues—and more—are highly religious and the adherents and those initiated into the flock by means of the sacrament of drinking the ideological Kool-Aid might not attend church or synagogue, but they are, nonetheless, some of the most fanatically religious zealots on the planet. If you don’t believe me, object to what they say and watch them shift into “fundamentalistic” mode. They grow hair on their teeth and preach a version of fire and brimstone known only to a few Baptists. Make no mistake about it: global warming or climate change is a religion with an established set of dogmas. Deviate from those infallible dicta and you are vilified, marginalized, demonized, and accused of not caring a whit about Mother Earth.
In case you missed Earth Day last year, barring a substantial rise in ocean levels and the extinction of the polar bear, you may be able to don your thermal underwear and attend some summit somewhere where there’s two feet of snow and the temperatures have plummeted to several degrees below zero to protest global warming. All kidding aside—and only part of what I just said was kidding—one has to wonder why our Christian celebs who are so cutting edge that they placed their signatures on the IPCC resolutions and explanation, haven’t been equally quick to ask to have their names removed. Apart from the East Anglia University debacle, there are a number of biblical considerations that, you’d think, might give them pause to reflect on what they did and then to inform the general public, their congregations, and their Christian “groupies” that they were wrong and now want to recant. Don’t hold your breath, though.
In order to locate the first major objection that environmentalism has with the Christian faith, you need go no further than Genesis 1:1. In other words, from the outset, from the get-go, Christianity and New Age environmentalism are at odds. As soon as Scripture states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” environmentalists have a major problem and that problem is precisely God. If you are prepared to bow at the shrine of the great god of Green, you must first jettison your Christian faith and then acknowledge that the word “god” in “the great god of Green” doesn’t really mean “god,” it means idol.
Creation by the personal, true God of Scripture is an inappropriate hypothesis for a large number of environmentalists. For them, “Earth and its systems” are “the product(s) of chance…” The Christian life and worldview, on the other hand, sees the created order as coming from the hand of omnipotent Lord God Almighty and under his providential care and control. The Heidelberg Catechism (Lord’s Day 10, Q/A 27) speaks of God’s providence in this manner: “Q. What do you understand by the Providence of God? A. Providence is the almighty and ever-present power of God by which he upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rule them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand.”
The Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter V, Of Providence) says this in section I: “God the great Creator of all things upholds, directs, disposes, and governs all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.”
Both of these biblical descriptions fly in the face of the desired autonomy of many environmentalists precisely because it decimates their secular and godless agenda. Unfortunately, far, far too many Christians are not cognizant of how much of this secularism they’ve assimilated into their support of global warming. I hate to keep pounding the same drum, but why is it that so many Christian celebs, who signed the UN’s IPCC resolution have not recanted? Why do they insist on continuing to cling tenaciously to flawed, faulty information?
The new intelligentsia environmentalist often fails to have an ounce of common sense in his or her globally warmed (or cooled) body. They appear to be students of the renowned Dr. Arrogant Blowhard, who discovered the infinitely expanding research grant—at taxpayer expense, of course! A more pedestrian author, Mark Twain, once quipped that everybody complains about the weather, but hardly anyone ever does anything about it. The point here is simply this: “Once we elevate the concerns of nature above those of people, we abdicate our authority to do the things that are necessary to improve the human condition.”
Let me ask you this: where do you get your information about global warming? Time? Newsweek? Do you just hear it from friends or glean something about it from the major news networks? Spencer warns, “No one does a better job at keeping you misinformed on environmental issues than the mainstream news media, which increasingly tried to entertain you, and the entertainment industry, which increasingly tries to tell you what to believe about the newsworthy event. A large part of the public’s concern about the environment can be traced to editorial bias that exists in the major media sources.” For example, the media has created a scare concerning the amount of CO2 humans are putting into the atmosphere. In point of fact, the total of all global emissions is running about 30 billion tons per year. That might seem like a lot, but when you compare it to the total weight of the atmosphere, there is less cause for concern. That total weight is 5 quadrillion tons. “What or how much is a quadrillion?” you might ask. Good question. Besides being the size of the national debt of the United States at the end of the Obama administration, it is quite a sizeable number. It is the measure after a trillion, so 5 quadrillion would be 5,000,000,000,000,000 tons. When we single out CO2, we discover that for every 100,000 molecules of air, 38 of them are carbon dioxide.
Concretely and in terms of common sense we are led to conclude that the fatal flaw of global warming alarmism is that “there is not scientific evidence indicating that carbon dioxide, much less manmade carbon dioxide emissions, control or even measurably impact global climate. This is true whether you look at data going back 650,000 years, data from the twentieth century, or even data from the past ten years.” This same type of global warming alarmism “exaggerates the harms of global warming and ignores or underestimates the benefits not only from warming but also from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Rahm Emanuel and Saul Alinsky never saw a “crisis” they couldn’t exploit. The propaganda surrounding global warming has been so effective that many today believe the pseudo-“facts” about it without question.What I cannot understand is why the Christian celebs will not remove their names from the IPCC list and why the Christian community at large is not outraged that men like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Richard Mouw, and Dan Kimball remain so intractable. When the “Tea Party” adherents lament the pitiful job Congress is doing, those among those citizens, who are Christians, ought to have an even greater, more vociferous, and more insistent response to those who are supposed to be leading them spiritually. What will it take to awaken the evangelical community and its leaders?
 Roy W. Spencer, Climate Confusion, How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor, (NY: Encounter Books, 2008), p. 5.
 Ibid., 25.
 Ibid., 63.
 Steve Milloy, Green Hell, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2009), p. 5.
Labels: Global Warming/Climate Change