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Seven Questions About Climate Change

Here are seven questions that need to be asked and answered about climate change. The first few have been answered, but the last few have not - and indeed some have not even been asked. They have hardly even been formulated as questions.

Seven Questions About Climate Change
Question Been asked? Been answered? Notes
1. Is climate change really happening? Yes Yes
2. Is climate change man-made? Yes Yes Perhaps the conclusive answer came October 2008 from a study of both North and South poles together rather than separately. But evidence had been mounting for years that climate change is man-made.
3. What is the danger of climate change? Yes Yes, but needs more.
4. What should we do? Yes Yes, but much more needed. Partly answered: What individuals can do, what communities can do, what businesses can do, what organisations can do, what churches can do, what local government can do, what national governments can do, what international bodies can do.
Not yet answered: What banks can do, what the international economy can do, what universities can do, what the media can do.
30 December 2020: Mark Carney's 2020 Reith Lectures partly address what banks and the international economy can do.
5. To whom or what is our responsibility? Not really Not really Increasingly CC is being seen as a moral issue, which implies responsibility. But the shape of this responsibility has not really been discussed.
Some assume our responsibility is to planet.
Some believe it is to future generations.
But there has been little discussion.
We believe that humanity is responsible before God, first and foremost, and because of this, responsible to planet and people.
6. Why are we so reluctant to act? A little. No. Governments deny we are reluctant to act, but they all seek to protect what they deem their national interests, with an assumption that economic growth must be maintained at all costs. See Note 1.
But we believe: We are reluctant because of sin (JH), because idolatry (BG), because of selfish aspirations and expectations (AB). See also Averil Stedeford's article "Climate change, denial and the role of faith".
7. How do we overcome this reluctance? No No Not by economy, education or media alone; these have been tried, but the heart of the people was not changed.
Not merely by the action of individuals.
Not merely by changing the structures of society, as XR advocates.
It needs repentance, turning to Jesus Christ, and letting the Spirit of God indwell us and change our very attitudes from the inside, so we *want* to live sustainably rather than selfishly.


Note 1. Why reluctant to act? An example: On 24 April 2012 it was reported (BBC Radio 4 Today Programme) that the UK Government has been criticised by its Public Accounts Select Committee for having no strategy, and adopting a "cut and mend" approach. Over the past year the Government had made reducing its deficit its overriding priority, but this was not on the list of strategic aims. This is not surprising if, as mentioned above, the UK Government worships at the feet of Mammon (the Money god), putting GDP growth first, above all other priorities, including its stated strategic aims. Having a list of strategic aims is never as strong as 'religious' commitment (c.f. Dooyeweerd's pistic aspect.
This page is an expression of part of a project to understand the links between climate change, global economy and other matters including society's beliefs and aspirations. It is designed to stimulate thinking and discourse. Comments, queries welcome.

This page is written on behalf of the CCGE Group by Andrew Basden, but the views expressed herein are his and not necessarily those of the other members of the Group. Written on the Amiga with Protext. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2008 - present, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

Created: 2 November 2008 Last updated: 8 November 2008. 30 April 2012 UK Gov no strategic aims, .end,.nav. 30 December 2020 Added Reith lectures and a few other changes.