You don’t have to be a liberal tree-hugger to care about the climate. All you have to be is a human living on this planet.

Identity

The issue of climate change is not a new subject for me. Nor is it my sole focus. This is a follow up to the REVwords post about climate change and a simple step to address it.

For more than 150 years, we’ve known that burning coal, gas, and oil produces carbon dioxide, an important heat-trapping gas. Heat-trapping gases occur naturally in the atmosphere.

They keep our planet habitable; without them, it would be a ball of ice. But by digging up and burning massive amounts of carbon, we’re wrapping an extra blanket around our planet, a blanket it doesn’t need. And that’s why the world is warming.

Climate change is real, we’re contributing to it, and it’s serious.

Last month was the hottest June on record in North America, with more than 1,200 daily temperature records broken in the final week alone. But overlooked in much of the coverage were an even greater number of daily records set by a different — and potentially more dangerous — measure of extreme heat: overnight temperatures.

On average, nights are warming faster than days across most of the United States, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment Report. (NY Times – July 10,2021)

Climate Facts

Human-induced warming reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels around 2017.

If this pace of warming continues, warming would reach 1.5°C around 2040.

The planet’s average surface temperature is rising. 2020 was the warmest year on record.

Oceans are warming.

Greenland and Antarctica have decreased in size.

Glaciers are retreating everywhere around the world.

Decreased snow cover in the last five decades.

Global sea level rose 8” in the last century.

More than 93 percent of the American West is in moderate to severe drought.

If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate the Earth could be 3 to 4 degrees Celsius hotter by the end of the century.

The Arctic will be free of ice in summertime.

Hundreds of millions of people will suffer from food shortages and extreme drought.

Huge numbers of species will be driven to extinction.

Some regions will become so hot and disaster-prone they are uninhabitable.

Warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius would trigger catastrophic sea level rise, near-total loss of coral reefs and a calamitous increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

Comfort

The only comfort, according to Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, is in knowing that action can still be taken. Though the world could exceed 1.5 degrees of warming within this decade, scientists say we can avoid crossing that threshold if we cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about 7.6 percent per year.

Such cuts would require an unprecedented transformation of human society. But look at the alternative, Dr. Hayhoe reminds us.

“We have choices to make. And the quicker we make those choices, the better off we will all be. The future is in our hands.”

“We’ve built our civilizations on… the assumption of a stable climate. Yet the climate is changing faster than at any time in the course of human civilization as we know it.”

We have designed our lives around climate patterns of the past, assuming we can rely on what the drought of record is, what the average temp is, where the flood zones are, where we grow our food, how we design our infrastructure.


Alice Bell, writing in the Guardian observes, “One of the hardest parts about the history of the climate crisis are warnings from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, musing about how things might get bad sometime after the year 2000 if no one did anything about fossil fuels. They still had hope back then. Reading that hope today hurts. We are now living our ancestors’ nightmares, and it didn’t have to be this way.”


Wake Up Call

I know lots of readers believe that “talking” doesn’t provide any solutions.

But, there’s no way to get to a solution if people don’t believe in the problem.

Dr. Hayhoe is trying to get people to believe there’s a problem so that they want to accomplish a solution.

Civil conversations can lead to solutions.

As a Christian and a pastor, I’ll add my voice to that conversation. God loves His creation – humans and planet Earth.

What do you think? What kind of conversations have you had around climate change? Are they political? Civil? Please post a comment below.

Here’s what I wrote about climate change.

Hope grows here.  We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.

We’d love to have you Subscribe to REVwords. We’ll put helpful content into your inbox early Mondays to get your week off to a good start.

Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 41 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

5 Comments

  • Carla says:

    Hi PB. I wish that this wasn’t a political topic, but sadly it is. It would be nice if corporations and individuals could be counted on to do something and to make the changes needed, but without government intervention by creating laws that place restrictions, there will be no change.

  • Natalie says:

    I always enjoy your posts, and these last few on climate change have been particularly engaging for me, considering my career as a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. It’s been refreshing to learn more about Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, someone within the scientific community who demonstrates both a real faith and a concern for our stewardship of Earth. Thanks for bringing this topic out into the open for discussion; it’s good to provoke thought.. you never know where it might lead.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Natalie. I always respected your work when I was at North Pointe. I’d love to know what you think of this… Christians could be so powerful in our witness if we had a united front for people and the planet – all creations of God. Politically, conservatives seem to lack the ability to agree and unite around policy so they end up defeating themselves. Evangelical Christians lack the ability to unite in faith around social and environmental issues, which leads to our ineffectiveness.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Most things end up political. That’s not so unusual or inappropriate. What is confounding is the false dichotomy of Christians between temporal and eternal. We are entrusted as stewards with the temporal as we prepare for the eternal. In fact, Jesus indicated that if we could be trusted with little (temporakl) we would be entrusted with much (eternal). Could it be in some areas we are failing our test?

  • Natalie says:

    I think that you are right, that our Christian witness could be more effective and more powerful if we demonstrated true stewardship in all areas of our lives – in our relationships with each other, in our time, money and resources, in how we take care of people, property and the Earth around us; realizing that everything we have comes from God and everything can and should be meant to bring Him glory. Ultimately it all belongs to Him! In so many ways this life is like a training ground for eternity, and while we all have an individual responsibility to steward our own lives well, God also calls us to unity in the body of Christ to accomplish even bigger tasks.. and that’s so much more difficult to get right, it seems! I don’t know what the answers are and I know I fall short in so many ways, but I do know that we all need more of the Holy Spirit to lead us in wisdom and guidance for every aspect of our lives. Thank God that He’s not finished His work in us yet!

Leave a Reply