Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Being green is consistent with being Christian.

"If you believe that God created the world, and basically gave it to humans as this incredible gift to live on, then why would you treat it like garbage? Treating the world like garbage says a lot about how you think about the person who you believe created the Earth." -Katherine Hayhoe, Evangelical Christian and climate scientist.

Katherine Hayhoe is an evangelical and a climate scientist who says we're being lied to about climate change.

Katherine Hayhoe is an evangelical and a climate scientist who says we're being lied to about climate change.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global climate change, global warming, pope francis, ecology, encyclical, katherine hayhoe


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Katherine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist and proud Evangelical Christian has captured the spotlight recently with her very public show of concern for global climate change. It's not what, but who she is that is making the fuss. The notion that the Earth's climate is changing is opposed by almost two-thirds of Evangelical Christians, but Hayhoe has answers for them, both scientific and Biblical.

Hayhoe affirms the nearly 100 percent scientific consensus on climate change, specifically that the Earth's temperature is warming and that trend is caused by humans.

Global climate change affects millions. Pray for a new understanding, a Catholic way of being green.


There's little need to debate the science on the issue any further. The scientists have the evidence which time and again has demonstrated that the planet is warming much faster than at any point in history, a pace which can only be caused by human influence. This doesn't mean the book is closed to new scientific discoveries, but it does mean the verdict has been rendered and it won't be overturned without substantial evidence to the contrary.

What scientists like Hayhoe find alarming is the pace of climate change that we're observing. Despite a plateau in warming (it is still warming, just more slowly with the oceans absorbing more heat) which scientists think is temporary, mass extinction, habitat shift, and the threat of extreme weather events has many scientists worried that humans are less prepared than we think to thrive amid one of the greatest natural calamities in recorded history. 

According to scientists, it is the pace of change which is more deadly than the change itself, because while Earth has seen more greenhouse gasses and heat in its atmosphere before, and climate change is also a natural thing, the human-accelerated pace of change is so great that natural selection cannot keep up. Entire forests, keystone species, not to mention human improvements including entire cities, are severely jeopardized by climate change.

Hayhoe explained that her approach to science was heavily influenced by her father, a science educator and missionary. "For him, there was never any conflict between the idea that there is a God, and the idea that science explains the world that we see around us," she told Slate.

Hayhoe is often asked why she believes in climate change when so many fellow evangelicals reject the notion. Her responses are many-fold, but include discussions of the scientific data as well as Biblical understanding.

She explained that the American audience has been lied to in an Inquiring Minds podcast. "I feel like the conservative community, the evangelical community, and many other Christian communities, I feel like we have been lied to," she said. "We have been given information about climate change that is not true. We have been told that it is incompatible with our values, whereas in fact it's entirely compatible with conservative and with Christian values."

Hayhoe explained that conservation is a Christian value and that it belongs to conservatives. Catholic Online looked to establish this point over a year ago in an interview with ConservAmerica, a conservative environmental awareness organization in the United States. In fact, modern American environmental conservation was started by President Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican president and an avid outdoor sportsman. In an interview with Slate, Hayhoe also explained that God gives us the responsibility to care for the Earth, that we do have the power to harm the planet and that the Bible demonstrates we will be left to live with the consequences.

There is a massive gap between public and scientific understanding on this issue, particularly in the United States where the impacts of climate change are least felt and the misinformation mill runs overtime. Some conservatives fear that climate change is a myth perpetuated by the left to impose strict controls on human enterprise and behavior which can lead to population control, euthanasia, socialist government, and other dreadful policy shifts that are anathema to liberty, faith, and conscience. These fears could someday be well founded, but any danger of them is best avoided by reasonable correction taken in the present, as opposed to a "wait and see" attitude.

A popular comic is circulating with the caption, "what if it's all a big hoax and we create a cleaner, better world for nothing?" The question is valid. Why not follow better environmental policies now, regardless if global warming is a myth or not?

What if it

What if it's all a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?


We are tasked with the care of creation. We are masters of the Earth and we enjoy dominion. Yet, this does not mean we won't also bear the consequences of our action. Look no farther than the story of the Garden or the Flood, or the Tower of Babel to see that God will permit us to reap what we sow. Each of these consequences was the direct result of human disobedience to God's word. Even the story of Cain and Abel proves that man reaps what he sows.

"Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9)

The creatures gathered on Noah's ark were not merely gathered there for food, but also because each kind filled a particular ecological niche as part of God's plan for the world. Naturally, when we drive the descendants of these creatures to extinction, when we disrespect the gift of creation, there will be consequences.

Many of those consequences are being felt already, but the consensus is that the worst is yet to come.

Unfortunately, avoiding those consequences will be difficult because this issue, which belongs in the realm of science and moral theology, has instead become a political issue in the United States. Ironically, it is firmly wedded to the liberals in the US, while it tends to be seen as a conservative issue in other parts of the world.

As Catholics we need to view this issue from a Catholic perspective. The destruction of the environment is the destruction of common natural resources that exist for the benefit of all. We are expected to use those resources, to create jobs, to labor and earn our living, but not at the expense of destroying the future lives of others.

Catholics, Evangelicals, and all Christians are justified in sharing alarm over the status quo which advocates business-as-usual or lukewarm approaches to a significant and threatening problem.

Conservation is not just a matter of politics or science, or faith. It's also good common sense.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Green

Five-foot-long 'bizarre' sea scorpion fossil discovered Watch

Image of Pentecopterus decorahensis, or

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 150 fossil fragments of the well-preserved ancestors of sea scorpions were unearthed in Iowa, according to The Daily Mail. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Named "Pentecopterus decorahensis," the creatures were the largest and oldest species of sea ... continue reading


President Obama shares apocalyptic vision of world destroyed by climate change Watch

Image of President Barack Obama viewing a rapidly melting glacier while on his Alaskan trip.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama shared his vision of the world if global leaders further refuse the facts of climate change. Warning that if we don't act today, "we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World must address climate change or 'condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair,' Obama says Watch

Image of Obama recently gave final approval to Shell Oil's drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years. Environmentalists have called down Obama for hypocrisy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama called upon world to act quickly on climate change or "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair." The president used unusually strong language at the "GLACIER" conference in Anchorage, ... continue reading


Nearly all seabird species expected to have guts full of plastic by 2050 Watch

Image of A bird with plastic netting wrapped around its neck.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently published study stated by 2050, nearly every seabird species is predicted to have plastic debris ingested into their systems. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Senior research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ... continue reading


NASA captures space 'butterfly' with Hubble Space Telescope Watch

Image of  Hubble Scope's new image of Minkowski's Butterfly, a Butterfly Nebula.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A butterfly nebula recently beamed back via NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA reports the phenomenon is the result of good luck, dust, a dying star and a smaller star. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -NASA explained that the occurrence had to do with ... continue reading


OMINOUS DEVELOPMENT: Massive chunk breaks off world's fastest melting glacier Watch

Image of It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise . the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise as the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


First for insect kingdom: Ants able to 'self-medicate' when unwell Watch

Image of It was also learned that the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing that the ants were

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The common ant is typically thought of as being an example of the "hive mind" - acting in concert with their respective colonies, without free will. Researchers have now learned that ants are able to feel when they are sick or unwell - and self-medicate themselves. LOS ... continue reading


WORLD-WIDE POWER OUTAGE: Is a massive solar flare in our near future? Watch

Image of [Photo by: Solar Flare/BENSOW]

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is highly dependent on electricity, even more so now than ever before. A massive solar storm can leave the Earth in bad shape and cause a global-scale of darkness. We must always be ready for such an event to prevent further panic and havoc. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


World's oldest 'first flower' discovered in Spain's mountainous regions Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ancient plant fossil, of what could be claimed as the world's oldest flowering plant, was unearthed in Spain. According to a new study in the online journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the plant, which is approximately 125 million to 130 ... continue reading


Biggest oarfish EVER: Latest specimen washed ashore on Catalina Island was at least 24 feet long Watch

Image of Oarfish washed up onshore on California's coasts in recent years are believed to have been sick, disoriented because of a storm or even responding to underwater seismic activity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oarfish, deep-sea denizens, have been washing up on the resort island of Catalina Island with surprising frequency. Oarfish washed up there June of 2013 - and now, a dead oarfish full of krill washed up there again on Monday. Experts say the more recent ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skšnninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter