Environmental Stewardship: Science v. Denial

by John Berge
From statements made during the recent political campaign and since, from the persons nominated to cabinet and other positions of power, and from directives written by those now in authority to quash public comments by scientists at all levels, it is apparent that both state and federal governments are in the hands of global warming deniers and advocates of the fossil fuel industry. Since the President has claimed global warming and climate change is a hoax and has pledged to repeal the Clean Power Plan, pull out of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions and boost fossil fuel development, it has become obvious that we can no longer expect the government to act to protect the planet from disastrous global climate change.

Photo by Julie Dermansky in New Scientist

But the way is still open for individuals and organizations to act. As Per Espen Stoknes, the co-chair of the Center for Climate Strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, “No one can do a real shift on this issue alone, but everybody can do something…Especially in the coming four years, these types of action are more needed than before.”

“As a consumer, look for the  most efficient, eco-friendly option when buying anything from a car to a light bulb.” This also applies when buying electricity; I have in previous articles written about the advantages and possibilities of using electricity generated by wind power or solar power rather than coal. “Consumer” in this case certainly means churches, businesses and other organizations as well as individuals and families. If I can help you make the switch, call or e-mail me.

“As an employee, encourage workplaces to be more efficient and, if possible, make the business more climate-focused.” S. C. Johnson employees at Waxdale must enjoy the fact that almost all the energy required to run that factory comes from renewable resources.

“As a stock holder, consider divesting from fossil fuel companies or investing in green bonds and clean energy companies.” May I suggest that one can give stock in fossil fuel companies to the church and let them do the divesting, thus saving any capital gains tax. Letters to management from stockholders are usually well received and eventually acted upon for the good of the environment.

And finally, “Become more active as a citizen in raising awareness around environmental and climate issues.” Be more aware and respond to false news and “alternative facts,” rebutting them when you can and make sure that future elections are not so influenced by them.

Watching the discussions, executive orders and spins on interview programs and newscasts, I find strong similarities between modern day Washington (and Madison) to the Old Testament and our Bible study. Who are the false prophets saying what the king wants to hear and who are the true prophets, saying what will happen to the world if we continue on our present course?

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