A Sweltering Year Veiled In Tweet Storms
Once again, we see a lie’s allure when matched with the abrasive truth.
The harsh reality: Newly-released NASA and NOAA reports say 2017 was one of recorded history’s three hottest – and the most stifling without an El Nino (NASA ranked it the second warmest while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rated it third; the agencies analyze global temperatures differently). This news comes as Cape Town, South Africa, braces for an impending “Day Zero” in April – when a three-year drought may nix the city’s water supply — and 99 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s temperature-influenced sea turtles hatch as females.
Climate change marches apace, deaf to K Street lobbyists and the tumult of a government shutdown.
But Donald Trump’s administration follows the lie’s allure. Cynicism prevails. He’s the first president in four decades without a science advisor and he hasn’t filled a slew of federal scientific slots. His it’s-all-a-hoax climate stance collides with the US military, which views global warming as a severe security risk. The clipped sentences of generals and admirals may yet shield us from an ecological fiasco.
So how do Christ’s creation-aware followers pray? A hint comes from a survey that posed a question to leading Christian thinkers: “What are the most pressing cultural issues facing Christians in 2018 and what will Christian faithfulness look like in light of those issues?” The answers ranged from sexuality to immigration to abortion to denial of objective knowledge to cultural fragmentation – and then some. No one mentioned climate change. Maybe all the tweet storms blinded them to the hulking behemoth lumbering toward civilization.
So let’s pray our leading lights will see the abrasive truth and then, boldly and prophetically, speak it to power.
Lord God, we pray for the for academics, writers, prestigious pastors, and all who influence Christian thought. We pray they’ll see beyond the social media storms, the momentary headlines, and partisan wrangling. There’s no denying that sexuality and immigration and abortion and the nature of knowledge are vital concerns, but surely Christian thinkers can address them while discerning even greater issues and root causes. One such root cause is the temptation to forget our role as stewards and play God (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:5), the consequence of which is destruction. Awaken our thinkers, Lord, to the magnitude of climate change.
- Drought in South Africa: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/899044/South-Africa-drought-cape-town-water-dam-day-zero
- Survey of church leaders on the most pressing cultural issues: https://stream.org/churchs-response-complex-world/
- NASA study: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/long-term-warming-trend-continued-in-2017-nasa-noaa
- NOAA study: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/global-climate-201712?position=0&list=u7EEQo3TVH9FkDEwgiqluMZodOdRHnZ6vdCDmw9uvmc
- Union of Concerned Scientists report: https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2018/01/abandoning-science-advice-full-report.pdf
- Green sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/science/female-sea-turtles-global-warming.html
By: Chuck Redfern