Michael rabidly condemns the entire environmental movement as enviro-Nazi’s — calling on all evangelical leaders to condemn global warming science because some dumb conference organiser got a little carried away on stage. Reality to Youssef — climate change and peak oil are about the SCIENCE. There are certain physical and chemical realities we have to deal with. The danger of global warming does not go away just because Youssef find’s some activist in the movement that might be a nutter!
Well here’s an idea. What if Denialists like Youssef got off their buts and got in the trenches with the actual climate scientists for once and learned the data? What if they bothered to learn a few basic facts? Not just the science, although that would be fantastic. But what about some of the key leaders in the movement? Like the fact that Sir John Houghton, a previous head of the IPCC, is a Christian, as is Bill McKibben! Does that make climate science ‘Christian’? I’d be a fool for suggesting so. Does the fact that my mechanic might be a Christian make all mechanics Christians? What kind of logic is that?
Seriously, do I have to spell this out? We have a problem called climate change which results from our dependence on fossil fuels. We all know that to really solve global warming we simply must stop burning coal, oil, and gas. Oil has peaked and is about to go into decline, and become a lot more expensive. So the focus is on gas and coal. How do we stop society burning this stuff?
This is where every man and his dog has an idea (or every woman and her Mayan goddess has an appeal). This is how politics gets its dirty claws on the problem and makes it even dirtier. How do we agree to stop burning coal? And so every world-view comes into play. Just insert your political, religious, economic, cultural, sociological or psychological preferences here. I have 6 years of experience in environmental forums. It is like sitting in the barber’s shop listening to customers solve all the government’s problems. Everyone has their own opinion. If you hang out at climate meetings you will be rubbing shoulders with hippies, Buddhists, Mormons, Moslems, Catholics, Satanists, Protestants, Atheists, Feminists, Humanists, Hedonists, UFO nutters and even Oprah Winfrey fans. Global warming has become a clarion call for all these different causes.
For example, Socialists see their political system as the solution to global warming. Only the resolution of class conflict through a Democratic Socialist state, assisted in real time by modern communications technology, can effectively stop the waste of capitalism and reduce our energy needs. On the other hand, Earth-loving hippies think we should abandon the modern world and get back to nature and live in a tepee. Only contentment in nature will help us leave behind all our ‘stuff’. Likewise, Buddhists and Anarchists and Localists and Moslems and yes, even some Christians, can all try to claim global warming shows the need for their agenda to save the world. If society just embraces their thang, then we’ll stop burning the coal. The climate movement is a sub-culture which is made up of… us. Citizens of various nations and ideas and cultures and religions.
Michael Youssef seems to have forgotten this. He sees one rather silly speech as an indictment on the whole movement. Michael is just trying to poison the well; or tar us all with the one brush. One lady gushes emotional foolishness in front of the audience, and therefore the whole audience — indeed whole movement — is somehow worshipping a Mayan god. Really? This cheap and nasty tactic would fail a High School debating team.
It’s just rude.
But more than that, it is alienating a whole generation of environmental activists. Environmentalists — whether working against climate change or fighting loggers in an old growth forest — tend to be intense, caring, sensitive people. Many are far more generous in spirit than narrow-minded career focussed businessmen!
Here’s another thing. Unlike the CEO who might only be concerned for company profits, Greenies are often depressed about the future. They are questioning the meaning of life. They need Jesus. They need to meet Christians. Yet Youssef has just alienated them all. He has demonstrated that yet again the church doesn’t care about the environment. He’s confirmed the stereotype that all Christians are right-wing, science hating, conspiracy theory nutters. Nice one Youssef! Way to go building bridges there with a huge group of people! Environmentalists are rapidly become a sub-culture that even big business have taken note of. I’ve been studying marketing and businesses are warned time and again that business success is starting to depend on having ‘green products’. It is this massive grassroots subculture that Youssef has just alienated because ONE woman abused her privilege at a meeting.
Not only that, but global warming is killing people. According to WHO climate change already kills 200 thousand people a year. By sneering at a scientific discipline Youssef is not qualified to rule on, he’s failing to care for these victims of the energy habits of richer nations. He’s failing to demonstrate Jesus to the weak and vulnerable. He’s ignoring Jesus at his door, begging for help. And this could be the greatest tragedy of all. Every time any right-wing American Christian pushes some paranoid conspiracy theory about climate change, they’re sneering at the needs of the poor. Spitting on them. Because it is the poor who will suffer the most.
So what did Youssef actually say? Here it is, in all its foolishness.
Posted on DateTuesday, December 7, 2010 at 01:17PM
I have said for years that, all of those environmentalist fanatics are more concerned about nature-worship religion than anything else. The zeal and fervor with which they worship their gods puts the average Christian worshiper to shame. Their commitment to the tenets of their religion is so extreme that, they are willing to see the entire world industry and economy collapse, if need be, in order to please their nature, fertility, and earth gods.
At a recent climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, these environmental extremists finally came clean and unashamedly called upon a Mayan goddess known as Ixchel. In her opening statements to conference attendees, Cristiana Figueres, the UN kahuna of climate change called upon the goddess of creativity, weaving, and reason to inspire them. In a Washington Post article entitled, “Cancun Talks Start with a Call to the Gods,” Figueres is quoted as saying, “May she [Ixchel] inspire you because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together elements of a solid response to climate change.”
Now that they have left us without a shadow of doubt as to their true agenda, it is time for evangelical leaders across the world to rise up and acknowledge the truth. I realize that, for many leaders who have buried their heads in the sand of cultural popularity, speaking out in truth will be a new experience. But for the rest of us who know the truth, let the words of the prophet Elijah ring in our ears, “Choose ye this day whom you will worship.” If it is Jesus, the Creator of the universe, then say so. But if it is a mixture of Jesus and Ixchel, then this must be confessed.
The lure of false gods has been the greatest temptation for God’s people from the beginning of time. Throughout the Old Testament God warned His people before they went into foreign lands that they would be tempted by false gods. But time and again, they fell for the deceiver’s lies. No wonder Jesus ponders His return to the earth, saying in Luke 18:7-8, “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?” May the faithful say, “Yes, come Lord Jesus.”
No need to worry Youssef. If one woman at a meeting can stick the whole movement on tar-baby of Mayan goddess worship, then surely by the same logic the far more legitimate Christian leaders — like the former head of the IPCC Sir John Houghton and climate author Bill McKibben — can redeem the whole movement! The whole enterprise seems lead by Christians, so the whole enterprise is already Christian! (Nudge nudge wink wink).
It’s time for Christians to leave such simplistic thinking and engage with the world around them, and join in the climate discussion. Because however we do it, with whatever economic, cultural, and technological mix we prefer, we’ve got to stop burning coal. This is one of the discussions of this century, and Christians need to be involved as much as they were involved in abolishing slavery. It’s time to abolish coal and demonstrate the love of Christ as we do so. Let’s get started.