Fox News reported today that NASA’s James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a controversial and highly vocal voice of alarm about the planet’s changing climate, will retire as the director of the space institute, NASA announced Tuesday — and plans to immediately sue his former employer.
Apparently Dr. Hansen is aggravated because the government has not been able to implement his (and others) vision of strict policing of industry and the public using the theory that humans are the primary cause of global cooling, global warming, and climate change in general.
All around the globe, ordinary people every day personally feel the effects of such restrictions due to this latest use of a scientific theory to validate state control on its industry and citizens. Fortunately, there was a backlash in the scientific community who knew that the theory of “man-made” climate change was flawed and did not match up with observable science.
Is the man-made global warming theory viable? What does the Bible say about climate change? Let’s find out…
Is the man-made global warming theory viable?
Actual data shows that warming and cooling of the earth directly correlates with the solar activity levels of our sun. Warmer climates encourage more plant vegetation which in turn produces more CO2. When the sun is in a cool cycle, winters are harsher with shorter growing seasons hence, less vegetation and C02 content. Other natural variables such as volcanic activity, forest fires, and even cloud cover can affect the planets warming and cooling cycles.
But what about the man-made pollution? Surely there must be some type of effect on the atmosphere with all the industry and automobiles buzzing around. Anyone who lives in an urban center can look out on a given day and see a layer of smog laying over the city. While on a local level you can see, smell, and even experience adverse health effects of such pollutants, does it really cause global warming?
In the book “Modern Science and an Ancient Text”, author Don Kopp brought to light the actual measured impact of man’s contribution to CO2 into the atmosphere. He writes: “So how much CO2 do humans pump into the atmosphere on a daily basis? The closest estimate given so far is approximately 70 million tons a day. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? But consider this statement made by Dr. Roy Spencer, who was the U.S. science team leader for the advanced microwave scanning radiometer on NASA’s Aqua Satellite, served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and received The American Meteorological Societies special award for his satellite temperature based monitoring work. Dr. Spencer states: “The 70 million tons of CO2 produced by humans on a daily basis is equal to 0.00000083% of the total gases making up our atmosphere and is an insignificant amount.” Dr. Spencer made the above statement before a panel of scientists in Chicago in 2004.
In other words, mankind’s total daily contribution of CO2 into the planet’s atmosphere is eighty three millionths of 1%!
In fact, 31,478 American Scientists many qualified in atmospheric science (not media talking heads or political figures) signed the following petition to voice their disagreement with the Kyoto Protocol. Why? Because they knew that it was politics, money, and control that drove the debate, not observable scientific data.
The Global Warming Petition that was signed by 31,478 Scientist
“We urge the United States Government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.”
Unfortunately many people such as Dr. Hansen find themselves trying to control the effects of the climate without first considering what God’s role is in His Creation and what he says about it. Instead of using the Bible as a starting point in their scientific hypothesis, by arrogance, ignorance, or outright defiance, they do not even consider a Supernatural Creator as a discussion point in their view of the world.
1 Corinthians 3:18-20 states: Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
What does the Bible say about climate change?
While the Bible does not specifically talk about the current claim of man-made climate change, it has plenty to say about how God uses and controls the climate for His purposes. Colossians 1:16-17 proclaims that Jesus Christ hold our material universe together. Exodus 9:29; Psalm 135:6-7; Jeremiah 10:13 proclaims that God controls all weather.
God controls the skies and the rain (Psalm 77:16-19).
God controls the wind (Mark 4:35-41; Jeremiah 51:16).
God upholds and sustains the universe (Hebrews 1:3).
God has power over the clouds (Job 37:11-12, 16).
God has power over lightning and Satan (Psalm 18:14).
God has power over all nature (Job 26:7-14).
We also see in Deuteronomy 11:17, James 5:17, and throughout scripture that God can use the climate to bring judgment on a people who is turned away from Him. Not because He likes punishing them, but rather to bring them to a point of repentance to turn towards Him.
Responsible Stewards of the Planet.
While I do not agree with the claim of man-made global climate change, I do believe that we should be good stewards of our planet.(Gen 1:26-28, Psalm 8:6-8) Below is an article form GotQuestions.org that aptly approaches this responsibility. May God bless you as you seek Him through His Word.
“How should a Christian view environmentalism?”
There is a difference between the biblical view of the environment and the political movement known as “environmentalism.” Understanding this difference will shape a Christian’s view of environmentalism. The Bible is clear that the earth and everything in it was given by God to man to rule over and subdue. “And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth'” (Genesis 1:28). Because mankind wasthey were created in His image, God gave men and women a privileged place among all creatures and commanded them to exercise stewardship over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:6-8). Stewardship implies caretaking, not abusing. We are to intelligently manage the resources God has given us, using all diligent care to preserve and protect them. This is seen in the Old Testament where God commanded that the fields and vineyards would be sown and harvested for six years, then left fallow for the seventh year in order to replenish the soil’s nutrients, both to rest the land and to ensure continued provision for His people in the future (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7).
In addition to our role of caretakers, we are to appreciate the functionality and beauty of the environment. In His incredible grace and power, God has placed on this planet everything needed to feed, clothe, and house the billions of people who have lived on it since the Garden of Eden. All the resources He has provided for our needs are renewable, and He continues to provide the sun and rain necessary to sustain and replenish those resources. And, as if this were not enough, He has also decorated the planet in glorious color and scenic beauty to appeal to our aesthetic sense and thrill our souls with wonder. There are countless varieties of flowers, exotic birds, and other lovely manifestations of His grace to us.
At the same time, the earth we inhabit is not a permanent planet, nor was it ever intended to be. The environmental movement is consumed with trying to preserve the planet forever, and we know this is not God’s plan. He tells us in 2 Peter 3:10 that at the end of the age, the earth and all He has created will be destroyed: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up” (NKJV). The physical, natural earth in its present form, with its entire universe will be consumed, and God will create a “new heaven and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
So we see that, rather than trying to preserve the earth for thousands or even millions of years to come, we are to be good stewards of it for as long as it lasts, which will be as long as it serves God’s sovereign plan and purpose.