Christianity teaches us that God made the earth, and all that is within it, in seven days, while the proponents of evolution promotes the idea that the world, and the animals (including man) evolved over billions of years. In either case it would seem that the world came about with man as a byproduct. The result in either case was a world where nature was seemingly in perfect harmony with itself, abundant food and water sources, and a natural habitat that corrected itself through the elements of nature.
Christianity also goes on to teach us that one day there will be the second coming of Christ, when God will come back to judge everyone and take back his creation.
On May 7th the New York Times reported on a recent climate study publication (National Climate Assessment), which showed that climate change is no longer something that will happen in the future but that it is here with us today. There has been a 2 degree Fahrenheit increase in average temperature over the past century, the glaciers have decreased by roughly 40 percent, and sea levels could rise by six feet in 2100 (consider this against the fact that sea levels have risen by 8 inches over the past century). The report states that the changing weather patterns we have been seeing in the US is attributable to the increasing global warming effect.
So for all of us who believe in the second coming of Christ, the question that we should be asking is what will man leave for God? In other words when God returns to earth to judge what we have done since creation, will God be satisfied that the condition he gave the earth to us in is the same, or similar to, the condition we will be handing it back in.
The fact is, as the report says, that since the industrialization period the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by approximately 40 percent, and over the past 50 years the primary cause of global warming has been driven by human activities. Further, temperatures are expected to rise another 2 to 4 degrees F in most areas of the US over the next few decades, and around 6 degrees F by the end of the century.
One can only imagine what climatic conditions we will face if we continue on the same path, as the past decade has also been reported as one of the most active in earthquake activities. What is more is that this tells us how short sighted we are as humans, because the main motive behind the destruction of our climate (profit and improved living standard) is the same things that we are ensuring will be threatened for ourselves and our children, who we claim to love so much. So we are ensuring that when we are no longer here to protect our children that they will be at the mercy of vicious climatic conditions.
But this is just one of the ways in which the so called most intelligent animal (humans) have sought to bring about our own destruction. We kill each other through wars and murders in society, abuse our children, keep others in poverty for our own riches, create more destructive weapons every day, produce foods and other inventions that lead to our ill health and own devise, and the list goes on. And then we say that we are civilized. In fact, I think people acted in a more civilized manner to each other before many of the technological and luxury advances we have seen.
I was commenting to someone recently that it is no longer fun living in Jamaica, because we are so fearful of the crime and for what can happen to our children and loved ones. We have created an environment where people thrive on news from the media about the downfall of others, and celebrate the fact that our children are baring themselves naked and drinking alcohol at various events.
And still we say that we have advanced and call ourselves intelligent and civilized. We know for example that certain lifestyle habits are not good for us, but we still do it and say we are intelligent. Is it any wonder then that even though there have been many warnings about climate change effects from the use of fossil fuels and other carbon emissions that we ignore the warnings and continue to live as if actions have no consequences, negatively or positively. Or maybe because we are in an era where everything is fixed for cosmetic reasons we believe that when the climatic conditions get really bad we can solve it like we do with liposuction or a diet pill, when we want to lose weight for an event, not thinking about the long term health effects.
Climate change is a serious thing. This is not something that affects one part of the world and not the other, or one section of society only. It is the great equalizer and if we do not take care of how we treat the climate, or how we allow others to treat it, then we all suffer.
So the question is, what will man leave for God when he returns? Based on our behaviour the likely answer is that when God returns there will be nothing left as we will have destroyed everything. However, as human beings we do in fact have the intelligence (even though difficult to believe) to understand and act to ensure that when God returns we can give back the earth in the same or better condition. Which one will we choose?
Dennis Chung is a chartered accountant and is currently Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica. He has written two books: Charting Jamaica’s Economic and Social Development – 2009; and Achieving Life’s Equilibrium – balancing health, wealth, and happiness for optimal living – 2012. His books are available on amazon.com. He blogs at dcjottings.blogspot.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is published with permission. It was published on Dennis Chung's blog, dcjottings.blogspot.com, on Friday, May 9, 2014.