Monday, August 28, 2017

Environmentalist Apocalypse

This post is not about debating different end-times scenarios, but I am only putting forth what has become popular in the church today in order to compare it to the modern environmentalist movement. Since we are seeing that environmentalism has become something of a religion among many, it is noteworthy that we are constantly being warned of a coming environmental apocalypse. Global warming is supposed to cause catastrophes of biblical proportions! Crops burning up and sea levels rising to engulf heavily populated areas are frequently sited as the reason for us to make great changes to our lifestyle and industry. We are told that unless we take drastic action, life on earth is in danger.

How much this reminds us of certain Christian preachers who are constantly preaching gloom and doom scenarios. (We are supposed to preach the Good News so that we can escape judgement.) Now I believe in things like the Rapture of the Church and the rise of an Antichrist and subsequent judgments, including environmental disasters like waters being turned to blood and the grass all being burnt up. But that is not for the church age. And I am not suggesting that we ignore the book of Revelation or the warnings therein. What hurts the church is that someone is always predicting the date of the Rapture (which is always in error) or seeing everything in nature (eclipses and hurricanes, for example) as harbingers of judgement.

Now I don't think that you would find one extreme environmentalist who would not scoff at such things. But then they turn around and do the same things themselves. They make apocalyptic predictions of environmental disasters that will make the earth virtually uninhabitable and bring untold misery. We are told to "repent" of our "sinful" polluting lifestyle and join their program in the hopes that we can be saved. If you oppose their "solutions" then you are labelled a heretic, that is, "anti-science".

They seem to deliberately forget the false predictions made in the past about global cooling (remember the "new ice age"?) or what acid rain was going to do to our forests. People are catching on, though. The latest end-of-the-world scenario is like the boy who cried "wolf". These repeated predictions of environmental doom-and-gloom are beginning to fall on deaf ears. That's a good thing.

Any well trained scientist should know that there is a great deal of difference between observational science, where we get our technological advances from, and predictive science, which is very much a guessing game. Now we can predict certain things on a small scale, but to predict what the climate will be in a hundred years is well beyond our ability and knowledge and it might never be possible. Science has it limitations. We must take that into account. Scientists, however honest they may be, are human and they can be deceived as well as anyone. I have heard scientists, experts in their field, make fundamental errors about the nature of science and what it can and cannot do. It is not infallible and it cannot answer every question we have, especially about the future. For that, let's stick to the Bible.

What is really surprising to me (should I be surprised at anything anymore?) is that Christians often buy into these apocalyptic scenarios and the so-called solutions brought forth. Of course, they speak in more "spiritual" terms like "creation care" and such like. Now I realize that not everyone who uses the term "creation care" falls for the extreme environmentalist scenarios. But I do think that we ought to be careful not to confuse the desire to help our environment with the current extreme agenda put forth by the extreme environmentalism which is becoming a religion to many.

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