Yesterday was Earth Day. It was also the day that the climate agreement reached in Paris a few months ago was made official with a signing ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
You might recall that President Obama believed his attendance at the Paris climate change summit in late 2015 was “a powerful rebuke” to ISIS after their brutal attack on Paris that injured hundreds and killed 130 people. As baffling as his statement was, it is perhaps more remarkable that religious leaders seem to be spearheading the mass initiative to adopt that same Paris Agreement into legal systems worldwide.
Just Monday, the “Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders,” was presented at the Church Center for the UN. The document was signed by 270 prominent religious leaders of varied faiths from around the world.
Presentations at the gathering consisted of a strange mixture of assertions related to moral transformation and urgent demands for broadly applied correction in thinking and behavior, paralleled, of course, with a global economic overhaul.
President of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft, explained that the faith community “plays an absolutely critical role in reaching out to followers to change their behavior and demand smart policies.”
Halldor Thorgeirsson, director for strategy, said, “Avoiding dangerous climate change requires fundamental economic transformation. … There is need for a deep moral motivation for change – religion can continue to be a powerful part of the solution. This challenge has injected a new urgency into the dialogue between religions.”
The full “Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders” can be seen here. In addition to other commitments, signers agreed to:
- Urge governments to rapidly sign, ratify, and implement the Paris Agreement
- Strongly advocate the greater flows of finance
- Encourage faith communities to reduce emissions in their homes, workplaces, and, centers of worship
Why are religious leaders being called upon to advocate worldwide systematic support? What does climate change have to do with religion?
“The communion of all things is what is at stake”, according to Bishop Mark MacDonald, who represented the Anglican Church of Canada during Monday’s gathering. “Indigenous peoples are uniquely threatened by climate change, though the least responsible. The Paris Agreement is a beginning; we are called to go further. I invite you all to re-establish that communion and to achieve our moral transformation.”
Did I miss something? A strong, delusional wave seems to be crashing ashore, giving way to a new belief system – a new gospel.
What in the world is going on? Have we forgotten “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales?” (Isaiah 40:12)
God is ultimately in control. No amount of money or man-made schemes can change that. And the amount of money it will take to accomplish the plans set out under this worldwide initiative is massive.
Summarizing the findings of a major study by Stanford University, environmental scholar Ronald Bailey, spelled out that the specific requirements for powering the U.S. alone with only wind and solar parts would amount to $13 to $25 trillion.
“Spread over 35 years that’s $2,589 to $4,979 per household per year, or $90,624 to $174,277 per household for the period,” E. Calvin Beisner wrote in an article referencing Bailey’s explanation of the study.
Many believe this global enterprise is really about consolidating power. But even if it were about controlling the climate, as those who follow Christ, we know that we do not ultimately have control over the earth and the heavens.
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).
A day will, in fact, come when “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).
But, even still, we can look to Scripture for relief, and not look to man to rescue us from quakes, storms, famine, and persecution. We can look to Christ.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:27-28).
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