Re: [asa] Live - Gore on Climate Change

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Mon Mar 26 2007 - 10:02:38 EDT

Rich, I think all your points are correct, but I'd also ad these:

4. They (rightly) distrust the only real solution anyone ever seems to
offer, which consists of undemocratic international control over key aspects
of our everyday lives.

5. They (rightly) wonder whether any solution that has yet been offered
will really be worth the cost -- whether it will really make a difference,
whether the pain it inflicts on many people and their livelihoods will
really be a worthwhile sacrifice, whether it will be submarined by special
interests and rogue nations with less benign intentions.

6. They (rightly) wonder how all this fits into the other priorities facing
themselves, their local churches, and the Church generally. People,
congregations, and parachurch organizations have only so much time, energy,
and money. When there are whole villages in Africa dying right now because
they lack fresh water; when Africa and India lie ravaged by AIDS; when tens
of millions of people all over the world have never even heard the name of
Jesus; when our western culture continually assaults us with the immoral and
profane; and when families right next door to me, and my own family, face
illness and suffering on a daily basis -- where does something as long range
and amorphous as "global warming" fit into all that?

I think this last point is actually the biggest one for most people. The
evangelical environmental movement seems to do a good job of laying out the
scientific case for global warming and of explaining the Biblical concept of
stewardship of creation. Personally, I'm convinced of both of those
things. But, in my view, they haven't done as good a job of bringing all
this into a pastoral perspective and explaining how it all fits into the
overall life of the Church. Global warming just seems like one more of
those "big" issues to feel vaguely guilty about. Given only so much time
and money, I'll probably invest it in a project to dig a well near our
sister church in Uganda, ministering directly to my neighbors and family,
etc., rather than crusading about global warming.

On 3/25/07, Rich Blinne <> wrote:
> On Mar 25, 2007, at 10:08 PM, Merv wrote:
> > Try to chase Janice away if you want -- but then also consider this.
> > Our Sunday school discussion this morning was over global warming
> > -- in fact, our discussion leader had a publication which was
> > probably authored by you, George (how many George Murphys are
> > writing on this?) although unfortunately we didn't actually delve
> > into that. What we actually ended up discussing was the
> > partisanship and division over this and why do some Christians
> > (obviously none of us sitting there) are so adamant in their
> > opposition.
> >
> I'll take a bite. Why do Christians are so adamant in their
> opposition? I'll use people I personally know rather than on-line
> ones because this media distorts so badly. Nevertheless, I know many
> Christians who oppose it but they are not nearly as strident as you
> find on-line or on talk radio. These individuals -- the ideologues
> you cannot reach anyway -- hold their positions because:
> 1. They believe that they are true. I have found no evidence that the
> people in the pew who hold to this are being cravenly cynical.
> 2. The believe it to be true because sources they trust say so. Many
> of these people are so battered by opposition in the world that they
> will trust most anyone who at least appears to be on their side. Add
> to this a large amount of the evangelical community -- no longer a
> majority but still significant -- who make a connection between this
> and godlessness.
> 3. Lastly, and this is where the connection with the warfare model in
> YEC comes is there is a general distrust of science. We can study the
> reports and see if they are true but the average lay person doesn't
> have the "chops" to do this. This is not an indictment as such as
> this ability is not necessary for many if not most walks of life.
> They need people that they can trust to help here. Unfortunately, the
> warfare model cuts them off from people like us that can help. I am
> not so naive to think that given the current poisonous atmosphere
> that this will easily happen. I do have a more limited goal, though,
> and that is try to warn my friends of untrustworthy sources of info
> and the earmarks of bad science. They may not in the end listen to me
> but if I can introduce a seed of skepticism with respect to the
> charlatans so that their individual research might more easily
> comport with the truth. Climate change is the battle but the truth is
> the war. Even if I don't convince my friends about climate change I
> may make it so that they can more easily discern the truth when the
> next scientific controversy inevitably happens.
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Mar 26 10:02:58 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Mar 26 2007 - 10:02:58 EDT