Saturday, October 22, 2011

from A Very Convenient Truth: The Climate of Climate Change Discussion

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Satan stirs the pot

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places.
-- Matthew 24:6-7
The debate over climate change is brutal. What’s odd is that there’s any debate at all: the “brutal” part is the vicious ad hominem nature of the discussion. Whether it’s the vicious attacks faced by scientists who question the findings associated with conventional wisdom on climate change, a prominent activist’s demand that politicians who don’t take the action he prescribed be thrown in jail, or Richard Curtis’ infamous “blow up the children” video, the debate over climate change is especially vitriolic. 
There’s no question that something is going on. While “natural disasters” have always been around, there is an unusual intensity in their force and frequency. There have been unusually severe storms and some of the worst in recent years have had little or no warning. Seasons seem to be out of place: summers in some areas have been hotter and drier than normal, while other areas – like Vancouver, BC, where I live – have experienced harsher-than-usual winters (except during the Winter Olympics – go figure). Forest fires have become increasingly destructive, pushed along by unusually strong winds, coming from an unexpected direction. A variety of scientific predictions has missed the mark – from salmon runs to “surprise” heat waves. 
But is this a man-made situation with man-made solutions?  And why is “climate change” dominating the headlines?  Have you ever stopped to wonder why, with so many undeniable environmental issues to deal with like air and water pollution, loss of farmland, soil degradation and nuclear waste, the one with the shakiest foundations and greatest potential for controversy gets the majority of the attention? 
            This is one of many signs that Satan is driving this issue. Remember, all worldly battles may appear to be flesh-and-blood struggles, but are in fact, as the Apostle Paul tells us, wars in the spirit realm with the sole purpose of distracting our attention away from God. It’s important to recognize this in the environmental issue, particularly with what passes for debate over climate change/global warming: Satan has absolutely no interest in preserving God’s creation; he will do whatever it takes to keep us at one another’s throats and take our attention away from God.  Suddenly, the answer to the question above becomes strikingly clear.
Truth does not need to threaten or suppress its opponents.  Nor is truth a matter of consensus, a word used often when explaining how “the science is settled.” “Consensus” does not necessarily mean “truth”. If 20,000 experts agree on something that is wrong, does it become right? As Graham Cooke has said, “one person, plus God, is always the majority”. One person, plus Truth, trumps 20,000 scientists. 
One person, plus Truth, trumps an army of conservative talk-show hosts, too. And so long as he can keep us at one another’s throats, Satan has us right where he wants us. 
Truth is not about politics. It is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness can’t extinguish it.  Consider James’ words:  
           If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
           This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.
           For where envying and strife [is], there is confusion and every evil work.
           But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
-- James 3:14 - 17
When a “debate” degenerates into a matter of “who wins” rather than “what’s right”, as this has, Truth is often sacrificed. As humans, we must be seen to be vindicated – to be seen as “right” or “right all along”. To do that, we feel that we have to attack our attackers if we can’t convince them with the facts. But when Jesus told us not to worry about what to say if forced to defend our faith, He was not just comforting us that we would not be alone, but calling us to overcome that fleshly desire. We are to let the Spirit do the talking, and if anyone doesn’t receive the message, we shake their dust off our feet and move on, trusting that we have planted seeds that will eventually take root and grow. 

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