Let’s face it, climate change is a tricky topic. Whether from the right or left, politicians and special interest groups are vying for our attention on this issue—and often contributing to the noise that makes progress so complicated.
Our approach at Climate Caretakers is a bit different.
We view our role as caretakers to be a natural response due to our identity as Christians. God’s word is clear that he created humankind to exercise stewardship over his creation. This dominion includes the climate system, which God wisely designed to function within a specific set of parameters, and which we have a role in managing responsibly. Not only are we told to be caretakers of God’s world, but he has also commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In fact, Jesus identified this as the second most commandment in all of scripture—just after loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Love God. Love our neighbors. Care for the climate. These are the principles undergirding everything we do at Climate Caretakers.
As for human-caused climate change, the scientific basis appears sound, and it seems prudent to accept the overwhelming evidence and to trust the testimony of 97% of climate scientists. Regardless, the world is clearly warming; the oceans are rising; natural disasters are increasing; and the climate is clearly changing—to the detriment of millions. These observed changes are not only causing havoc to the world’s climate system, resulting in mass extinctions and enormous biodiversity loss, but are contributing toward the suffering of millions.
Changes to the climate have already resulted in:
- Unbearable heatwaves, such as the recent one in India where parts of the country hit 124 degrees
- Some of the most intense storms in recorded history, such as Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the Philippines in 2013 or Patricia in 2015 (the strongest hurricane ever recorded)
- Climate refugees who have been forced to flee because of rising sea levels, unprecedented droughts, and other disasters
- Significant health impacts, particular for children and the poor
- Altered rainfall patterns, which impact crop production, access to clean water, and desertification
- Many more impacts…
More so than any other challenge in modern history, climate change threatens literally every person on the planet. Yet, the poorest among us remain the most vulnerable and suffer the greatest impacts—even though they play almost no part in contributing to the problem. This injustice (illustrated by the map below) should compel all Christians to ask ourselves what our response to this problem should look like.
As Climate Caretakers, we believe a Christ-like response includes three things.
First, we commit to learn more about the problem. We need to learn about how climate change is impacting our local and global neighbors, but we also need to learn what we can do about it.
Second, as followers of Christ, we pray. We pray because we believe there is power in prayer and that God listens to those who fervently seek him.
Finally, we act. Acting now and acting boldly is necessary to solve this crisis and to avoid the worst impacts.
As Christians we do not despair because we know our ultimate hope rests in Christ. But we also know that God has given us the privilege of being his hands and feet in this world. This means both sharing the hope for which we believe, but it also means bringing justice, reconciliation, and restoration to a world that our actions have negatively impacted.
Inaction can no longer be an option. God’s creation and our brothers and sisters have already suffered too much from our delay. Instead, let us act now with hope, but with urgency—knowing that through Christ we can solve the climate crisis in a way that honors God and loves our neighbors.