Sunday evening we hosted a movie night / discussion at our church about climate change. We started by watching the film “The Great Warming” – a wonderful documentary about the changing weather patterns in the world. Unlike the “Inconvenient Truth”, “The Great Warming” has a positive feel to it – showing that even though the world’s weather patterns are changing, there are things we can do to help soften the impact. It also has a ton of interviews with various scientists and evangelical leaders. If you have a chance to watch it, I would recommend you do so.
After the movie, we had a great discussion about some of the issues surrounding climate change. One topic was about the compact fluorescent light bulbs that are being heavily promoted right now. Some people are worried about the mercury content of the bulbs, which, while small, is an issue. As part of our discussion we discovered that “overall mercury emission by CFLs is less than the mercury released into the atmosphere by coal-fired power generation for series of equivalent incandescent lamps over the same period.” (Wikipedia) Of course, not all power comes from coal-fired power plants so you will need to make your discussion on whether or not you support CFLs. Personally, I like them.
We talked about some other items as well – but the most emotionally charged item was about the “alarmist video” we watched. Since I know some of you don’t agree with the whole “climate change” deal, I would like suggest that the disagreement is not whether the earth climate is changing, but WHY it’s changing. In other words, is this change man made or just a natural weather cycle?
My personal view is it doesn’t matter why. It is happening, and we, as the body of Christ need to be prepared to help those who are affected by changing weather patterns. Nine times out of ten it is going to be the poor, uneducated, elderly, and/or young who are affected. Just think about the recent wave of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico; the drought across the south and west; or, internationally, the elderly in Europe who died due to abnormal heat waves. [@more@]
In addition to being a voice for those in need, it also makes sense to limit the use of non-renewable resources – especially with the rising prices of oil. Regardless of whether or not carbon emissions is causing the earth to get warmer, we do know that carbon emissions is the leading cause of air pollution – which, in turn, is causing high rates of lung diseases among Americans. If we cut carbon emission for no other reason but to reduce air pollution in the fight to improve our general health, I say let’s do it! A carbon offset is what we all need.
Two really good papers about global warming have been written from the perspective of the church. One is written by Tri Robinson of the Vineyard Boise while the other was written by Ken Wilson of the Ann Arbor Vineyard. I would recommend reading them, even if you think it’s all a “liberal political hoax”.