Summary: A short look at global warming, and the primary job Christians are given. Expanded outline.
WHY I DON’T SWEAT GLOBAL WARMING
This past week, many news outlets reported that President Bush, going into the G 8 summit, changed his position on global warming and now recommends that immediate steps be taken to reduce green house gases, in an effort to stem global warming. This week, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, apologized over comments he made last week, where he stated in a NPR interview that he wasn’t certain global warming was something that had to be dealt with. This week, an article came out warning that many of the world’s monuments may suffer because of global warming; and the leading title on the cover of latest issue of National Geographic, says, “The Big Thaw: Ice on the run, Seas on the Rise”.
It seems that hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear, see, or read something about global warming. Some claim it’s hogwash, while others believe it is a serious problem that must be immediately addressed.
Christians are divided on the subject. Some leading evangelical preachers say that global warming is a serious threat, and it is part of our Christian responsibility to address it. Others, say it is the Devil’s greatest distraction. There are preachers and Christians I respect, on both sides of the argument.
Now listen, I am not a scientist. I am a preacher. As a preacher, it is my responsibility to teach and equip the saints. It is my responsibility to share what God’s Word says. It is my responsibility to share and teach the truth. For that reason, this morning I would like to share some truths about global warming and the Bible.
I. TRUTHS WE KNOW
1. THE SCIENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING IS UNCERTAIN
First I would like you to know that the science behind global warming is uncertain. Most scientists today will tell you that the earth has warmed between .6 and 1.4 degrees during the last 130 years. Few dispute this. There are several areas, however, where there is disagreement.
Some scientists believe that global warming is due to an increase in CO2 levels, while others believe it is caused by increased solar activity. Of those who believe, increased CO2 levels cause it, there is disagreement over whether mankind and industrialization is the cause of the increased greenhouse gases.
We do know that the temperature of the earth has fluctuated over time. Parts of the earth have been covered with great ice sheets, but at one time; most of the earth was temperate. Many are unaware that much of Siberia is filled with the bones and fossils of massive herds of Mammoths, rhinos, and other animals that once lived there. In order for enough plants to grow to support those massive herds, it had to be much warmer than it is now. Antarctica has some of the largest coal deposits, which come from plants and animals, on earth. [Charles Coulston Gillispie Genesis and Geology (Harper & Row, 1951); Byron C. Nelson, The Deluge Story in Stone, (Augsburg Publishing House, 1931)] “Russian farmers farmed northern Siberia for centuries. When the area became cold and desolate, the farmers moved south.”[John Stossel, The Global Warming Myth (Story on ABC News, April 20, 2007] Although Greenland’s temperature has risen in the last 10 years, it was warmer in the 1920’s and 1930’s than it is now. [Petr Chylek et al., Geophysical Letters, 13 June, 2006] The earth has seen temperature changes over time.
I do not have, in the short time allotted to me this morning, to go into all of the science behind both sides of the debate so I will share a couple of web addresses with you, you can see on your outline, that have a number of papers on the subject. I encourage you to check out these papers if you have a real interest in the subject.
2. WE MUST NOT FEAR
This past April, the Washington Post interviewed a 9-year-old who said the Earth is “just starting to fade away.” In 20 years there will be “no oxygen” he said, and he’ll be dead. The Post went on to say, “for many children and young adults, global warming is defining their generation.”
My friends, our children are being taught that the earth is being destroyed; the animals are all dying, and its all our fault. Many of our children and young people are living in fear.
When I was in school, the great fear was the population explosion. I was taught that by today, there would not be enough food grown in the world to continue to support the world’s growing population. My 9th grade science teacher even encouraged us all to become vegetarians because she said it took less land to grow vegetables than it did to support livestock. Today, they’re using food to make fuel; our government pays farmers not to grow crops, (Including some in this state who are paid not to grow peanuts, cotton, and soybeans) and I know of farmland in Mississippi and Arkansas that is being taken out of food production and is having trees planted on it.