Written by Ally Brodmann
In just the last few decades, rising temperatures have worsened extreme weather events, chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart and wildfire seasons are months longer. Climate change is an on-going issue but has become even more prevalent in the last year. The People’s Climate Movement was led by sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. It is happening right now and people like Thunberg are showing that this generation can make a difference, despite her young age. She led a youth climate strike on Sept. 20, 2019, that included over 150 countries. Each person can lend a helping hand in keeping the environment clean.
Assistant Professor of Ecology at Biola University Dr. Patrick Sun highlights three important reasons why climate change matters to the Christian community: our calling, our witness and the orphan and the widow. “We are gardeners so that if there is a threat to our garden then we should address it,” Sun said. In Genesis 2:15, God tells His people to work the garden and take care of it. Despite the widespread viewpoints, if something is a significant risk to what the community is supposed to be protecting, it should have everyone’s full attention.
Climate change is having widespread health impacts; children, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk from extreme weather and heat. Sun points out that the level of severity of climate change is complicated, as are most of the questions surrounding this topic. “A lot of climate change scenarios are based on models that are trying to predict what will happen in 30 or 80 years,” Sun said. “[Although] those predictions may be a hit or miss, they all highlight this trend of change.” No one is certain about what is going to happen in the future. According to NASA, if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases, global warming would not stop. Warming is complex, and no one has seen the fullest extent of it. “This lag is one of the biggest unknowns and dangers of climate change,” Sun said.
There are many ways one can keep the planet clean and healthy, and students play an important role in this. “I try to turn off my water while I’m washing my face or brushing my teeth and while I’m taking a shower,” 18-year-old Nicole Donahoe said. “It might be small but at least I’m taking some part.” 16-year-old Kate Meschuck said that she follows social media pages and frequently posts her own ideas to encourage herself and others to care for the environment. “I want to keep myself updated on the movement,” Meschuck said. Here are a few different ways to protect God’s creation:
- Use fewer paper and plastic products
- Reduce water consumption
- Don’t cook more than you consume
- Reuse instead of disposing
- Use public transportation, carpool, walk or ride a bike
- Conserve electricity
- Reduce consumption of meat
- Reduce consumption of dairy
- Use a refillable water bottle and reusable lunch containers
- Be mindful of what you throw in the trash
By joining together, people will become more passionate about protecting God’s creation. God has created this world and He wants His people to take care of His creation. Climate change is an important topic that everyone needs to pay attention to. There are ways that everyone can participate in making the planet a cleaner place. Whether it is starting to recycle or being more careful with one’s energy usage, everyone can take part in impacting God’s creation in a positive way.