The past few weeks seem to have been dominated by storms. The Met Office gives them names, as though they are people, or have personalities. Ciara, then Dennis and now Jorge. They all have one thing in common though – copious amounts of rain, damaging winds, flooding; all weather events that inconvenience many people dwelling in this country and in particular those living in certain low-lying areas, or next to flooding rivers, bringing damage to property and disruption and danger to lives.
Those people involved in weather forecasting give each storm a name, perhaps to shift the blame for bad weather onto malevolent “gods” who are out to get us. The prophets of environmental doom blame “climate change” or “global warming”. They cry out their predictions about global temperature rises and the consequences for us all, with emotion and censure unhelpfully clouding the science and ways to mitigate the consequences. And militant environmentalists try and shift the blame onto previous generations, seemingly blind to the hypocrisy of their own life styles and carbon footprints.
But is there anything we can do to prevent the global warming and climate change that we are currently experiencing? There may well be but there won’t be a “quick fix” because the consequential behavioural implications for global societies would seem to be unpalatable to say the least. We live in a society underpinned by, or even addicted to, the need for unlimited quantities of cheap energy, and it seems that this is where the potential damage is coming from.
So how should Christians approach this thorny issue? Current opinion lies between the extremes of denial on the one hand, and an apocryphal event just round the corner on the other. Unhelpful, to say the least. But common sense should indicate that we all need to do our bit to reduce our “carbon footprint” and look after our environment. And, as with all societal issues, we should pray for our government, our scientists and our communities. And keep open to God and His Spirit – He holds our future in His hands.