Stand up against those yelling ‘fake news’ over climate change
To the editor:
Jesus once said to Nicodemus, a politician of his time, “You are Israel’s teacher and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” [John 3:10-12]
I am a follower of Christ. I’ve been baptized and confirmed. I’m a church goer (though not front pew). I pray (but not as well or as often as I should). My life’s foundation is The Beatitudes and Micah 6:8 (“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly”).
And I am also a believer in science. Copernican heliocentrism. Newton’s laws of motion. Einstein’s relativity. Darwin’s natural selection. The 97 percent of climate scientists who stated, “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities” and the 18 scientific associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who publicly stated that “observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” (NASA)
I am not a scientist. But I understand the scientific method enough to trust those who have dedicated their life to it. I also know that scientific exploration of the universe is still young enough that a HEALTHY level of skepticism is necessary to continue to grow. But skepticism in America today has gone awry.
I have been told by more than one person that a belief in science and a belief in Christ are mutually exclusive, but I have yet to hear a convincing reason why.
My faith calls me to act when I see earthly wrongs. Nearly three decades ago, my denomination (Presbyterian Church USA) called for “engagement in restoring God’s creation.” It said “Earth-keeping today means insisting on sustainability — the ongoing capacity of natural and social systems to thrive together — which requires human beings to practice wise, humble, responsible stewardship, after the model of servanthood that we have in Jesus.”
We are seeing the effects of climate change on our neighbors. Our social media feeds are filled with hurricanes, wild fires, oceans of trash, animals and people displaced and dying. While southwest Minnesota has not yet seen these horrors up close, Jesus called on us to “do for the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40)
I humbly ask other people of faith to stand with me against those who yell “fake science.” It is time to testify to the earthly truths we have seen.