The November-December issue of FCNL’s Washington Newletter is dedicated to the issue that they call “Climate Disruption.” The focus is on activities and opportunities for the faith community, as well as individuals, to engage this issue. However, along with the articles on various aspects of the climate disruption issues, there is one that caught my attention: “Communication Challenges.”
This article lists six reasons why most people are hard to convince about this real and important issue. I want to make some comments on three of the six, but first let me share my basic thinking on climate change which is: It’s not my problem.
It’s not my problem because I have passed the biblical four score years, and climate change is a slowly developing problem. But I do care about it because of Ali, Ashley, and Christa, my three granddaughters. The youngest finishes college this spring and these three have a lot of years ahead of them. During their lifetimes the problems of climate disruption will be having serious effects unless we begin taking measures now.
The first challenge in the list of six is: “Climate change is abstract and complicated…it doesn‘t immediately affect us emotionally.” I don’t know about you, but finding out that the ocean temperature has gone up by .53 degrees Celsius does not inspire me to fire off a barrage of letters to my senators.
The fourth challenge is: “Uncertainty leads to wishful thinking.” While scientists are nearly unanimous on the fact of climate change, there is less agreement on the affects of change. But basically, when the temperature rises the effects are bad.
The last challenge is: “Climate change hurts ‘others‘ most.” Yes, I foresee that climate change will adversely affect my granddaughters, but they will be among those best able to deal with the adverse effects. Others, especially in the developing nations of the world, will be devastated.
I do not find any one-to-one correlation between climate problems and what is written in the Bible. But what I do find in the Old Testament is that God is concerned about the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the stranger. The prospects of climate disruption will adversely affect these people on a much larger scale than the next generations living in our nation. Jesus stands squarely in the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament in concern for this same demographic sector. We live in the world with needs unique to our era. We, as friends and followers of Jesus, have a responsibility to love the world in ways appropriate for the needs of this world today and into the future.
Contributed by Wilbur Wood, West Hills Friends
Read the whole newsletter at: http://fcnl.org/resources/newsletter/novdec12/FCNL_NL_NovDec_WEB.pdf