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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

Scientists make odd discovery: Earliest snakes had feet and ankles Watch

Image of The earliest ancestors of snakes may have retained feet and ankles as late as 20 million years ago.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the science journal BMC Evolutionary Biology has revealed a startling fact about the ancestors of modern snakes, suggesting that the reptiles may have evolved from creatures that had feet and ankles around 128 million years ago on the ... continue reading


Unexpected find in Washington may be last of its kind Watch

Image of This is the group of dinosaurs the Tyrannosaurus Rex is associated with.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When an inter-tidal rock was found in the Sucia Island State Park in Washington State back in 2012, its discoverers had no idea that it would create or cause such excitement and hype. Embedded in the rock is a 17-inch bone fragment, that could not be immediately ... continue reading


DEVASTATING photos show humanity's destruction of Planet Earth Watch

Image of This bird ate too much plastic trash and died, revealing its unnatural diet upon decomposition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Humanity's rapid expansion as the global population increases is taking its toll on the environment. Climate change, overpopulation, pollution, hunting of endangered species and strip mining are running rampant worldwide. A series of shocking photographs now ... continue reading


TOO SOON? Canonization of Mother Teresa next year only hypothetical, Vatican says Watch

Image of There had been reports in the Italian press that Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of various published reports that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata will be canonized on September 4, 2016, the Vatican says that this remains hypothetical. "It is a working hypothesis, therefore there is no official confirmation to be given," Vatican representative ... continue reading


2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse Watch

Image of Land-based glaciers that have also started to slide faster toward the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those polar ice caps keep right on melting. Things have deteriorated so badly - especially the Larsen B ice shelf, that scientist now fear the entire Antarctica ice shelf will collapse by the end of this decade, in ... continue reading


Raining spiders? Large areas of Australia covered in spider webs Watch

Image of Baby spiders

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The worst news for spider haters in Australia and around the globe: a natural migration phenomenon where baby spiders are flying is possible and has recently happened in the southern part of Australia. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Referred to as "Angel ... continue reading


HONEY HOLOCAUST: Forty percent of all beehives died in the past year Watch

Image of Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April of last year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is an alarming figure that may speak of a silent, ecological disaster. According to a federal study, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The survey reports that the worst die-off ... continue reading


Recreating Dinosaurs: Using chicken embryos, scientists learn how dinosaurs got 'snouts' Watch

Image of The team's aim was to understand how the bird beak evolved, because the beak is such a vital part of bird anatomy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An asteroid, crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago, is thought to have caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A group of dinosaurs managed to survive, and is thought to have evolved into modern-day birds. That theory has been around since the 19th Century. ... continue reading


Catfish surprisingly climbs wall and stuns scientists Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inside a cave near Tena in Ecuador, a group of scientists filmed a catfish climbing up the wall to lick food from the roof. Climbing seems impossible for fishes, but evidence of an actual video showing an armored catfish making its way up the cave wall presents a new ... continue reading


Climate change to cause animal extinction in next century Watch

Image of New Zealand's tuataras will be one of the species affected by climate change.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the next century or so, one in six species of plants and animals are likely to be extinct in South America, New Zealand, and Australia. Species in North America are at a lower risk of being extinct. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to a study ... 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, Sirach 35:1-12
1 One who keeps the Law multiplies offerings; one who ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:5-6, 7-8, 14, 23
5 'Gather to me my faithful, who sealed my covenant ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2015 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of ... 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