May 19, 2007

Is God Green? | Part 1

Everyone seems to be going "green" lately. There is this cultural phenomenon, driven mostly by the media, that has sounded an alarm about our role in global warming. It feels like the global community is beginning to go into this "survival mode" as people change everything from their light bulbs to the type of cars they drive. Billions of dollars are being spent to research global warming, educate the global community, and to eventually change the way we live in order to prevent greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.

The basic premise about global warming goes like this...
1. The global temperature has risen since the late 19th century, and more drastically in the last 30 years.
2. Global warming is mostly attributed to human activities where greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
3. If humans don't change their behavior and attitude about these greenhouse gases, then the warming will continue, causing the sea level to rise dramatically.

Celebrities and the media are creating quite a stir that is driving the public to change the way they live and think about the world. We've been told that this is primarily our fault and so we must be the ones to take the responsibility and fix this problem. Is this an exaggeration?

Here are some preliminary conclusions (feel free to disagree). First, climate changes have occured throughout history, not just within the last decade when people have become more aware. I don't think the earth is suprised at all, to be honest. Second, temperatures have risen since the early 1800s, even before the Industrial Revolution began. If the argument is that global warming is due to the gases we emit from our machines, then how is global warming explained before these machines began to exist? Third, there is no scientific consensus about what causes global warming, and yet we are paying all this money in support of something that has not yet been fully proven. Fourth, the media plays a huge role in creating the hysteria that global warming is primarily our fault. Finally, we are very arrogant to think that we are powerful enough as human beings to control the climate by our own technology and will-power. We can't even correctly predict the weather with a 24-hour period.

This brings me to some theological questions. Is God green? Does He care about his own creation as much as the media does right now, and if so, would He go about it differently? What is the Christian's role in caring for the earth? Or the deeper question, why should we care about the earth? What does the Bible say about being green? I'll answer these questions in my next post.

One final note. Yes the globe is warming. Is it primarily our fault? There's no concrete evidence that it is. Also, I do believe it's very important to take care of God's good creation, but should that come at the price of deception and gullibility on a worldwide scale? Or if we "go green", we tell ourselves that we're saving the planet, but isn't this just another way we can feel better about ourselves and raise our self-esteem?

Every time we install a low-energy light bulb or shut off the faucet while brushing our teeth, we need to ask ourselves, "Why am I doing this?" Is it because I really want to be a good steward of God's creation, or do I believe that the salvation of this planet is really in my own hands? There is a difference. And the subversive cultural message that is being preached right now is that we as individuals are powerful enough to save ourselves by what we do. "If we 'go green' we can save the world and ourselves from a coming disaster." Isn't this a false gospel?