Climate change and faith

Something that has been dominating my mind over the last year or so is the environmental disaster humanity is facing. I’m not sure what the exact moment or item was that really pushed me over the edge, but I do know that a little over a year ago, while still living in Evanston, I had an immediate awareness of just how bad our climate situation is becoming, and just how dire the future for my kids is really looking.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and thinking and studying, and grappling with just how to do my little part, and also how to engage publicly with the issue. Environmental concerns have really become the primary political issue in my own life; they have driven my thinking about whom to support and vote for in the upcoming Democratic primary for president. But, I have struggled with how to have a public voice about what I see happening, what I think we need to do, and most importantly, the overall ethical and theological implications of both climate inaction and action.

How do I change my own living in light of our looming catastrophe? What do I say? What public role must I take? And, how, as a Christian theologian, do I think about what we are doing to ourselves?

I am actively struggling with all of these questions. And, in that struggle, I know I need to be writing about it, in order to clarify things for myself. I am in the early stages of a scholarly paper on the morality of bringing children into a world of impending ecological catastrophe, and I hope to share some of my thought process as I work my way through that. I also want to work on how to respond to the things happening in our world every day as a result of our climate inaction as a Christian writer.

I don’t know how to do these things well. However, I do know one thing, something I have been thinking about and come quite clear on: I am no longer interested in debating others about the reality of climate change and environmental disaster. I don’t argue with those who deny the reality right in front of their own faces, and I don’t argue with those who deny the established scientific consensus of the world science community. To do so is disingenous, and stupid, and is as useful as debating whether the sky is blue or not. Climate change is real, we are in deep, deep danger, and if you think this is wrong, well, I’ve got a bridge on Alaska to sell you. Climate change denial is irresponsible and not worth engaging.

So, I guess consider this a placeholder and warning for my intention to try to suss out my own thinking about this topic going forward.


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