Oh boy… maybe he’s a Creationist as well? Doesn’t he understand that how Co2 reacts to certain wavelengths of energy is a demonstrable, repeatable, scientific FACT?
How utterly embarrassing for the gospel that this guy parades around as the “Christian” voice in Senate only to utter such incredible GARBAGE! The latest CASE magazine due out soon will have some interesting articles about how Christians are to relate to God’s world, the environment. The article on “Scientific Ethics” uses a completely different route to the normal (and sometimes dumbed down) “stewardship” debates. Indeed, the “Scientific Ethics” debate is not primarily on the environment. However, it makes the point that to truly arrive at any ethic towards the use of something in this creation, it will involve understanding both how the thing functions (scientifically) and what its purpose is (theologically).
Scientific ethics and Christian theology
That is, just as one cannot elevate “the environment” into the position of something we worship because our theological purpose is to worship God alone, we cannot act wisely, indeed cannot act Christianly towards the environment if we do not understand (the basics) of its functionality, its scientific status, or to put it another way…. how it works. Stepping away from the environmental debate, imagine meeting a churchgoer who argued that they were cutting costs in their (hypothetical) manufacturing business which would result in more lead pollution in their local area. “But we’ll save money which we can give to the church”. They might have a good theological goal, such as being more efficient with their business money to donate some more to their church. However, their poor functional understanding of lead poisoning means that they are hardly making a “Christian decision” to poison their neighbourhood!
So when Steve Fielding says “Australia needs to have a bigger conversation about what Co2 actually does in the environment”… he needs to adopt a little humility and admit that HE is not the expert, that the conversation has already taken place by those qualified to do so, and that he should seek their advice.
Scientific fact obscured by political bias.
In my experience Christians of the right-wing conservative bias really need to learn that chemistry and physics are not political. I had one Christian blogger contact me over a year ago. He explained how “Socialists like you don’t get to dictate what people believe” and spent 20 minutes explaining how he believed “Individuals, not governments, can solve most problems!” It was as if I had asked him to state his position on the whole Left V Right wing political perspective, not whether or not Co2 molecules refract long wave length energy, and so trap extra heat in the earth’s atmosphere.
Eschatology mixed up with “just another man made disaster”.
I wouldn’t be surprised if “Fielding and friends” refused to support climate action because they perceived all “environmentalists” as talking about the “end of the world” as if it were an Eschatological event, the end of humanity. At least that’s how Gordon Cheng at Sydney Anglicans and many, many others have consistently responded. (See this post by Kevin Goddard at Mightychurch.com for the latest example, and how I replied on the list.) But the sad reality is that it is just another straw man. Mankind really does have the potential and power to cause horrific disaster on ourselves and our world.
Witness the spate of recent species extinctions, the disasters of WW1, WW2, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or even poor environmental and resource management issues such as the Irish Potato famine (1.5 million died) or even Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” (20 to 40 million people died, they just don’t know!)
It does not have to be THE END of the world — which only God is in control of — to be rightly called “The End Of the World as we know it!” (TEOTWAWKI).
I’m sure families watching their children starve to death in Africa right now would think of it as TEOTWAWKI. Or try New Orleans after Cyclone Katrina. A few hundred million dollars invested in those levee banks would have saved 10’s of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. It seems when it comes to the environment, a little prevention is a lot better than the “cure”.
Strawman after strawman after strawman.
Just had to add that after 5 years of debate with my Christian brothers and sisters, one thing I’ve experienced is paranoid name calling I would not have imagined prior to “coming out” as siding with the science.
Apparently I’m a nature-worshipping pagan, and have been accused of being involved in all manner of conspiracies. (One has to explain away the dominant scientific view somehow.) Right wingers can really rant! I’m sure there are some right wing Christians out there that can admit the science of global warming. I mean, considering that even the “Governator” of California (not that he’s a Christian) is a Republican that can also happens to be one of my environmental heroes for his work on global warming, I’m sure there are probably some right-wing Christians that agrees that Co2 refracts heat energy back down to the earth. In fact, some are in my home group that I’m about to go to!
But here’s the thing. Just as greenies can be rabid, dreadlocks wearing tree-house living ranting screaming wacky-tobaccy smoking anarchists, so right wing Christians can be gun-toting, tobacco chewing, red neck Wall Street SUITS hypocritically dedicated to milking the government for every cent going, all the while sprouting anti-Christian anti-science anti-global warming propaganda on behalf of their big-oil coal kings. (Phew, just had to get that out of my system).
Did I mention physics and chemistry are a-political?
Worth mentioning again. Starving African peasants won’t care whether or not some westerners thought global warming was some “lefty conspiracy”. They’ll just know that their children are starving. Now, from a Christian perspective, what were we to do again? What was that little detail after loving God? Oh yeah, loving our neighbour as ourselves….