Re: [asa] Theology of AGW WAS The Climate Science Isn't Settled

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Wed Dec 02 2009 - 16:26:58 EST

On Wed, 2 Dec 2009, John Walley wrote:

> But assuming that both of you are right and this becomes the obvious moral
> course of action, let me ask the following question. What are we to make of
> the theological implications of AGW?

Even if we don't settle the AGW controversy, there is an aspect where theology
is relevant. Genesis seems to indicate that the Lord created us in His image so
that we would be qualified to have stewardship over the creation, but we have
changed the composition of the atmosphere so that it is different from what He
gave us originally.

> I think a good part of the resistance to AGW as a concept is rooted in the
> proud American Christian tradition of Dominionism and "subduing the earth".
> Isn't that what we have done? Looking back, was that wrong? Should we have
> left all that coal in the ground? That coal saved the lives of many a
> generation I think it is fair to say.

Dominion is not the same as license. At the time Genesis was written humans had
already reproduced enough to have spread over much of the earth and ruled over
the other living creatures. Genesis 1:28 tells us that that is God's blessing.

> Further, what do we make of God's plan for the earth in light of this?  Are
> all the catastrophic doomsday predictions of mass starvation and civil unrest
> and violence consistent with an all powerful loving God?  What are we to make
> of Jesus' words where He says he feeds the birds and that He will feed us? 
> Is Lindzen's faith that something else may work out besides the worst case
> scenario misplaced?  Haven't we survived these Malthusian predictions before?
> I recently saw a similar doozy from Jimmy Carter that now makes him look
> really stupid. Isn't there a tad of sensationalistic overreaction in all
> this? How do we assess what is really prudent and what is just eco-guilt?

Scripture seems to indicate that the future may not be so rosy as a lot of
people hope. If God prevents certain unwelcome scenarios from developing, it
may be because He uses certain humans with foresight as His instruments to
institute the policies that will forestall these disasters.

Malthus may have been wrong about when his forecasts will be fulfilled, but it
is certain that human population will not increase forever even if the end of
growth is still a long way off.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Wed Dec 2 16:27:25 2009

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