‘For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground (Genesis 2:5b, 6).’
‘So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry I have made them (Genesis 6:7).”’
‘In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the foundations of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11, 12).’
‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).’
Greta Thunberg recently *addressed the United Nations on the subject of climate change. Her message was gravely stark – If homo sapiens don’t respond now with absolute urgency there is no chance of their survival. As other species have become extinct, so too humans will no longer exist. She pointed to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ‘based on indisputable scientific evidence’. To have any hope of avoiding irreversible increased global warming, humans must reduce CO2 emissions by far more than 50 percent in 10 years – 75 percent would be barely enough!
To prevent the average global air temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in 10 years, which is the critical tipping point for irreversible chain reactions causing higher temperatures, drastic action is required NOW. Greta’s message, therefore, is to emphasise there is no time to waste. The world is in a state of EMERGENCY, and yet it is blissfully unaware of the impending disaster (Luke 17:26)!
Despite politicians and world governing authorities being aware of the science for the last 30 years they have failed to address the problem of CO2 and methane emissions. Young as she is, Greta has motivated her contemporaries to speak loudly by their mass protests worldwide. She says those in authority have failed to inform the world of the facts; if they had, parliaments and all governing bodies would have nothing else on their agendas. Indeed, everybody would be talking about nothing else. They would earnestly take drastic steps to reduce their emissions.
Greta accuses those who have been in power of betraying her generation and she insists their persistent policies of pursuing economic growth must stop. There must be change, and there will be change, she says ….. whether we like it or not!
I can understand her anger and sympathise greatly; for it is my generation that has largely caused this calamity. We were aware of the effect of carbon emissions, but we did very little to mitigate the damage being done to the eco-systems of the world. Millions of people have suffered as a result, and thousands have died because of the greed and selfishness of mainly the western world.
We have stripped and pillaged the world’s natural resources of oil, coal and wood – all of which have concentrates of carbon: oil at 87 percent, coal at 78 percent, and wood at 45-50 percent. Thoughtlessly we have burned this stolen booty, thereby polluting the very air we breathe and upon which we depend for life.
As Greta points out, it’s a do-or-die situation. There must be drastic change if we are to respond to the emergency. Each of us can try to play our part, but it will require a miraculous intervention, because we are so accustomed to our lifestyles. We don’t want to give them up. Most of us [in developed the countries] are comfortable as we are, and to make changes will require effort on our part. We need to look at every aspect of our lives: the things we do and the way we live. We should make changes that will significantly reduce our contribution to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere.
A Temporary Fix?
That means adapting to a whole new lifestyle, one in which we are contented with what we have (Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5) and not be forever striving to get more, to become richer (Cf. 1 Timothy 6:10) and to acquire more possessions. None of these things bring happiness. Material prosperity accounts for nothing, but riches in Christ bring **happiness and everlasting joy (John 15:11; 1 Peter 1:8).
God commissioned us to look after the earth, to tend it (Genesis 2:15) and to care for the animals (1:28). He told us to multiply (1:28; 9:7), and this was for the purpose of us having a relationship with Him (Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9), and from us He would choose a nation for Himself (Deuteronomy 7:6-8; 14:2; 1 Peter 2:9, 10) upon whom He would lavish His love (Deuteronomy 10:15) and give them eternal life (1 John 5:11).
Are We in the Last Days?
This world, designed and made by God (Genesis 1:31-2:1; John 1:1-3), is only a temporary construct (2 Corinthians 4:18), and God has predestined for it to end in fire (2 Peter 3:10) at a time of His choosing (Matthew 24:3-6). Maybe the current worldwide ***fires are a precursor of what is to come? And the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:2) is not far away. ‘Therefore, let us not sleep, as the others do, but let us watch and be sober (V. 6).’
‘“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man (Luke 17:26).”’
*Greta Thunberg Addressing the United Nations
**Happiness and Joy