Is human activity responsible for climate change?

It is generally accepted that the earth’s climate is changing and that the greenhouse gases produced by the use of fossil fuels are responsible for much of this change.  In 2015 a group of nations signed an agreement known as the Paris Accord in which they agreed to take steps to ease climate change.  Earlier this year President Trump was criticized when the withdrew the United States from this agreement.

President Trump’s action was not as irresponsible as most people seem to think.  There are many scientists who think that human actions aren’t responsible for climate change.  You can read the arguments for both sides of this issue here:  Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?

Both sides are based on the opinions of scientists who have studied the data extensively.  For those who believe the Bible there is a third option.  The Bible teaches that humans do affect the climate but not by burning fossil fuels.

The greatest change in climate was that caused by the flood in Noah’s day.  The flood was just one aspect of a world wide catastrophe in which the geography of the earth was change and the continents that exist today were formed by parts of the earth’s surface rising out of the water.

The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them. (Psalm 104:8)

It is even possible that the speed of the earth’s rotation was affected and the length of the day changed.

How long were the days?

This is what caused the flood.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.” (Genesis 6:11-14)

The people who lived before the flood brought this change on themselves, not by burning fossil fuels or doing anything else which affected the climate directly, but by rebelling against God.

God promised that he will never again destroy the world with flood but obedience or disobedience still have an effect on our climate.  In Deuteronomy 28 God promised the Israelites he would bless them if they obeyed and curse them if they disobeyed.  Some of the blessings and curses involved the weather.

The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. (Deuteronomy 28:12)

And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 28:23-24)

Our weather and our climate are in God’s hands and he sometimes changes our physical climate in response to our moral climate.  We live in a time when many are rejecting God and his laws, and by doing this they are bringing God’s judgment.  Revelation 6-19 describes the events that will take place just before Jesus Christ returns to rule the earth.  People will reject him and he will send judgments, including the destruction of plant life, turning the sea into blood, and a period of global warming that will make our present climate seem like an ice age by comparison.  In spite of this men will continue their rebellion until Christ returns and destroys the army that has been raised up to oppose him.

If you want to have a positive impact on the climate you can do so by serving God faithfully and trying to persuade others to do the same.  A few years ago some proponents of climate change said that is was so important that preachers should make it the subject of their sermons.  In a way, they were right.  A preacher’s job is to teach his congregation the Bible and persuade them to obey it.  Anyone who does this faithfully will have a positive impact on our climate.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Posted on July 10, 2017, in Bible study and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great observation! I had never thought about it that way before…or at least made the obvious connection…that we humans HAVE affected the climate in the past, as recorded in Genesis. I will remember and use that in the future. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 2 people


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