We hear on the news about many hot-button topics nowadays, but few are discussed with such intensity as climate change. Discussions about global warming often involve dramatic descriptions of a grim future—along with drastic suggestions on how society should change.
Climate change scientists and activists paint a frightening picture of increased CO2. Here are just a few predictions:
In 2006, Al Gore claimed the world would reach “a point of no return” within 10 years.
The solutions activists point to are equally drastic, the latest of which includes a nationwide economic lockdown—while ignoring China and India whose mildly-regulated economies alone account for over 1/3 of all world emissions of CO2. Under this “climate lockdown,” governments would “limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil fuel companies would have to stop drilling.”
To avoid this climate lockdown, the author says, we need to “overhaul our economic structures and do capitalism differently.” But is this a biblical approach?
A Biblical Response to Climate Change Activists
Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham says these kinds of radical solutions do more harm than good. He points out that by wanting to exert such control over people, these activists are essentially worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. Many radical climate change activists lack a biblical worldview.
When people reject what God’s Word says about history, they make wrong decisions for our earth and government that ultimately hurt people. If the USA and other Westernized nations, whose well-regulated economies produce minimal CO2 emissions, are to lock down, then nations that spew massive unregulated CO2 into the atmosphere will merely pick up the slack and the world emissions will be far worse than before!
God gave mankind dominion over creation to use it for man’s good and God’s glory.
Furthermore, nature is not inherently “good” but was cursed in Genesis 3, and as a result, all creation groans because of sin. This means we need to proactively take steps to cultivate and care for the earth.
Lastly, we know that Noah’s Flood triggered an Ice Age about 4,350 years ago. After that massive (and rapid) climate change, God promised that “while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
The truth is that the science of climatology is still in its early stages of development and has often been wrong in predictions and interpretation. As a result, it’s difficult to be certain of how serious the risk of climate change is. Since sin, the Flood, and the Ice Age, climates have been changing. This is to be expected. What we do know is that the global temperature has been fluctuating for about thousands of years.
Around 1850, scientists began getting actual limited measurements of global temperatures. In the 1950s, we began using weather balloons to get better measurements. And in 1979, we were finally able to use satellites to measure global temperature with microwave emissions. With this data, we must honor God’s command to care for our earth.
So what does that look like for Christians?
Taking Care of Our Earth as Stewards, Not Out of Fear
Just because radical activists are offering destructive suggestions doesn’t mean we as Christians should go the opposite direction and ignore our earth’s health. Things like pollution, deforestation, and animal extinction should matter to us because God made us stewards of His creation.
If someone loaned you their $1,000,000 car, you wouldn’t drive it recklessly, would you? Of course not! Neither would you let it break down. You would take good care of it, fill up the gas tank, check the coolant, transmission fluid and oil regularly, and wash and wax it every so often.
That’s the attitude we should take with the world—not to go to extremes or elevate plants and animals above humans, but to steward well what God has entrusted to us.
Practical Ways to Steward the Earth Well
Taking care of God’s creation can easily become a part of our daily lives. Here are a few tips that can help:
Limit the amount of trash you make, and recycle.
This can include repurposing our old clothing, bags, or furniture; shopping with reusable bags; and drinking from a reusable water bottle instead of disposable ones—or at least recycle them. These small steps not only help reduce trash in landfills, but they also can save you money.
Walk and bike to destinations when you can.
This isn’t feasible for everyone, especially if you have a lot of little kids or work far away from your home. But if you’re able, walking and biking to places instead of using your car can save you gas money and reduce emissions. But one thing to keep in mind is that CO2 is actually good for the environment. Without it, plants and phytoplankton struggle and without those—the entire world would crumble! The key is balance.
Currently, our atmosphere is about 400-420 ppm (parts per million) CO2. In plant grow rooms, concentrations of CO2 are often increased to have better growth and production. In some cases, depending upon the species, CO2 can be increased to 1,200-10,000 ppm, and many plants thrive and do much better! Bear in mind that above 3,000 ppm, it gets dangerous for humans.
Volunteer to help clean up your local community or nearby beach.
Nobody likes trash littered across their parks or beaches. Volunteering with your kids to clean up trash is a great opportunity to work together as a family to steward God’s earth.
Plant a garden or shop local.
Growing your own produce can be a worthwhile venture if you have the time. If not, shopping for local produce is a great way to support your local farmers and balance the local ecosystem.
There are plenty of other ways individuals and businesses can help reduce pollution. And as long as we do it as a way to honor God—not cave to fear or worship the creation—then we are walking out our role as stewards of God’s earth.
Learn More About Climate Change From a Creationist Perspective
If you’re curious to learn more about climate change from a Christian perspective, you’ll love our videos on Answers.tv.
In this 55-minute teaching, he covers common questions Christians have about climate change, such as: “Do we really know the cause of global warming?” (many think we do); “Is the temperature of the earth likely to spiral out of control?” and “Should we drastically change our lifestyles in the hope that we can slow the rise of the global temperature?”