Questions For Pastors About Climate Change
I’m gratified and feel honored that two pastors chose to expend time, energy and intellect to respond so graciously and thoughtfully to my June 17, 2015 letter. I’m especially pleased that pastor Scott Osenbaugh chose in the first paragraph of his letter to characterize our interchange as a “conversation.” Conversations are so much more congenial and less confrontational than debates.
If the pastors will permit me, I choose to defer addressing the very interesting and, I’m sure, heartfelt arguments in their June 24, 2015 letters. Instead, I respectfully present them with another question, one in which I believe everyone should be vitally interested.
The overwhelming majority of reputable climatologists around the world confidently assert that climate change (“global warming”) is real and caused principally by greenhouse gases produced by man’s ever increasing burning of fossil fuels. These concerned, well-qualified scientists predict that, unless greenhouse gas production is drastically reduced in the very near future, “creation’s” planet earth may sooner than expected no longer support life. Of course, contrary opinions abound.
Collectively, America’s churches comprise a huge frequently and regularly meeting audience. Pastors, priests and elders across America enjoy great influence over their congregations. Pope Francis apparently recognized this fact, and his recent encyclical proclaiming the imminent importance of climate change to all people across the globe is a positive example of his taking advantage of his influence in the Catholic community.
Should Protestant Christian leaders open mindedly and conscientiously inform themselves about the legitimate, peer-reviewed science of climate change so that they can accurately and responsibly determine whether it’s appropriate for them to add their voices to Pope Francis’ appeal to all the world’s religions to influence governments to expeditiously and effectively address this critical issue?