redefining the weather

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I personally think that Christians should be more concerned about the way we are redefining weather patterns than the concern that people want to redefine marriage in the upcoming referendum.
If I’m going to get my knickers in a twist over an issue that is going to demolish thousands and thousands of years of human understanding it’s going to be climate change and not same sex marriage.That isn’t to say that it isn’t an important issue but I think climate change is a more pressing issue. It’s a more pressing for the common good of more people in my estimation.Scientists have been saying for years that we’ve got years to sort this out.Yet we’re still here.I don’t take it seriously.

People will say that weather patterns have always changed over the history of planet earth. That might be true but did you have 7billion people on planet earth back then? And did they lead the sorts of high energy lifestyle people like we do?

I have read arguments that redefining marriage would wreck one of the fundamental building blocks of society.

Well choosing to do nothing about carbon emissions will wreck climate patterns globally and hit the poorest most. It will hit us as well. Can you harvest potatoes out of fields where is has rained all summer long? Check out the olive oil harvest last summer. Better get used to paying for flood defenses.

It will cause droughts and mean that people will be unable to grow crops to eat. It will mean that children will not grow up in safe, stable family homes because they will have to flee from lands that will no longer produce food to eat. Or perhaps their home will be flooded as storms get more vicious and unpredictable. Unpredictable unstable weather patterns means unpredictable unstable food production.

If you think marriage is important as ‘it provides for the continuation of the human race and the development of human society’ you should be even more concerned about what scientists have been saying for years about climate change. The soil, water, atmosphere is even more important for the continuation of human race. It’s impossible to be human without something to eat or water to drink.

If we care about society not being demolished then we need to do something about this. I was reminded of this by reading what Alan Rusbridger (out going editor of The Guardian) had to say about climate change:-

‘This summer I am stepping down after 20 years of editing the Guardian. Over Christmas I tried to anticipate whether I would have any regrets once I no longer had the leadership of this extraordinary agent of reporting, argument, investigation, questioning and advocacy.

Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.

So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness the Guardian’s best resources to describe what is happening and what – if we do nothing – is almost certain to occur, a future that one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.’

I don’t want to have that regret either.

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3 thoughts on “redefining the weather”

  1. It’s a very good point . But I just don’t know how to move the conversation forward with some Christians (or, just being more specific, those of an evangelical bent). When something like the ‘Cornwall Declaration’ is help up as being somehow a sensible response to the crisis, but really just fits into the neatly into the US-shaped right politic rubric that holds up sexual immorality issues as the church’s greatest battleground.

    Do you read ‘Third Way’? There’s a very good article by Robert White (http://goo.gl/pdVlNf) that has the sort of sensibility that could make some ground. Still, I find the difficultly with talking about environmental issues that it pushes against the emphasis of personal morality that (to my mind) fuels much of the anxiety about the supposed redefinition of marriage.

    One question I often get and I wonder how you might respond… here you’re making a good environmental case over coffee and scones in the church hall… say the person agrees it’s an issue. But then you get, “But what about gay marriage and abortion?” I’ve seen progressive types in the church being accused of hiding behind issues like the environmental crisis so they don’t have to draw a line on the marriage issue. “Oh, you’re just avoiding the issue,” and so on. True, there is enough breath in me to speak about both, but to be honest, I’m personally fed up with the marriage arguments and, in particular, how they’re made. I do think climate change is a more pressing issue. Just wondering how you might (or do?) respond to the “You’re deflecting!” charge?

    1. sorry man, didn’t notice your comment there! I don’t know how to respond to this stuff. It makes me feel uncomfortable because I feel like I’m being rail roaded into believing stuff I’m not sure I agree with. Lots of the Christians I most admire keep using the ‘redefining marriage’ argument.
      I tend to keep my head down after coffee about this stuff because I wouldn’t know how to explain it either….maybe that’s why I find blogging helpful? Nobody ever got worked up about wealth in the church. Perhaps we need to push back more on what pro-life means? To me that would mean that we don’t deprive kids and families the chance to grow their food or we wouldn’t support war.

  2. Hi, thanks and no worries. Been reading this blog for ages but never got round to posting anything. Sorry, really hope it didn’t come across like I was trying to get you into a corner or anything on the issue. Just one of those things that keeps coming up for me. My tactic is generally avoidance.

    I know what you mean about getting rail roaded into things you don’t really want to. It was at a church where I — wouldn’t say bullied, but close to it — into signing some petition about marriage. I didn’t want to, so left an illegible squiggle to avoid awkward conversation. Outside that setting I was able to have some more nuanced discussions, but that moment where it’s like, ‘Sign here, ’cause this is litmus test of your faith.’ Ugh, awful.

    The great irony was that a couple months before there was some big fuss about Muslims and dialogue, then all that stuff with a popular American preacher saying the pope was a heretic. Then later, there’s a bunch of evangelical folk with their signs out in font of Holyrood with the imam and the Catholic priests on the marriage thing. Multi-faith activity is okay in this situation it would appear (aye, but don’t forget later to kick up a fuss about a vicar allowing some Muslims to pray in his church, as the CI did recently, that’s different because reasons).

    The pro-life framing of issues, in the broad sense, is a useful thing in that it uses categories already accepted by many; sometimes it all feels tainted. But so much of that is so uncomfortably politicised, I often feel the shrill tone of political/religious discourse in my homeland is increasingly in vouge here — at least in the bits of the Scotland and N Ireland I’ve been in, not sure about where you are?

    It all takes time.

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