An Overlooked Aspect of the Climate Change Debate

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An Overlooked Aspect of the Climate Change Debate

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On Monday the UN climate change conference began in Copenhagen with 192 countries represented. About 100 world leaders are expected to attend various parts of the two-week conference intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. An international survey commissioned by the BBC found that “64% of people questioned said that they considered global warming a very serious problem—up 20% from a 1998 poll.” But the recent so-called “ClimateGate” scandal has led to “widening concern about the state of climate science” that “could jeopardize any agreement at this week’s summit in Copenhagen,” said CBS correspondent Declan McCullagh. “To be sure, many—perhaps even most—climate researchers say any flaw in the leaked data assembled by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) does not mean the theory of man-made global warming is false. Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, calls evidence for that theory ‘overwhelming,’” Mr. McCullagh wrote. Still, a Rasmussen Reports survey shows many Americans are not convinced. Over half think it is likely that some scientists have falsified research data, and 35 percent believe it is “very likely.” Also 49 percent think the United Nations is not a reliable source of information on global warming. Besides these doubts, economic realities and different priorities between industrialized and developing countries seem likely to limit the final agreements of the conference. But in all the debate, is there an important aspect of climate change that is being totally overlooked? The Bible talks about a cause of future climate change that no scientific model can predict and that no amount of debate can debunk. The core of the Bible teaching is simple, but the future predictions are earthshaking. Cause and effect One of the key lessons of the Bible is the lesson of cause and effect. There’s the farming analogy that says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
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). The wisdom of Proverbs 26:2 Proverbs 26:2As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
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tells us that “a curse without cause shall not alight.” And two long chapters in the books of Moses spell out the causes of blessings and the causes of curses (Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28). These blessings and curses include physical things like good or bad weather and agricultural abundance or famine. Interestingly, the cause of these climate changes goes far beyond our decisions about how to treat the environment. God says the blessings and curses are the consequences of whether we obey His laws (Deuteronomy 28:1 Deuteronomy 28:1And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth:
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, 15). Part of God’s commands deal with how we care for His earth, and God is angry with those who destroy the earth (Genesis 2:15 Genesis 2:15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
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; Revelation 11:18 Revelation 11:18And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
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). But God tells us that how we treat each other and how we treat Him is also a part of the cause-and-effect equation. Sin—disobedience to God’s laws—will lead to disastrous climate changes. Punishment for sin The mysterious book of Revelation is full of warnings of end-time plagues brought about because of humanity’s rejection of God. The calamities predicted include the death of “every living creature in the sea” and the sun scorching people with “great heat” (Revelation 16:3 Revelation 16:3And the second angel poured out his vial on the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
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, 9). Sadly, God tells us that these plagues on the physical environment are necessary to wake people up to the evil effects of sin. But thankfully the God who sends these plagues will also reverse them, and will create a beautiful new environment in which to start over. In the Kingdom of God under Jesus Christ’s rule, the nations of the world will learn not only to care for the environment, but to obey the spiritual laws that create a peaceful climate between people and with God. The prophet Isaiah pictured it like a return to Eden, with hunger and disease removed and joy and gladness in their place (Isaiah 51:3 Isaiah 51:3For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
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; 35:1-2, 5-7) For a deeper understanding of God’s warnings for the end time and the hope He offers on beyond, read Are We Living in the Time of the End? More details are available in “The Destruction of Satan’s Kingdom” from the booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled.