Climate change is not a topic I am at all qualified to speak about. I, like most people, am a casual observer and I get my information from the usual places. TV news, internet, magazines, etc… These sources give me a glimpse of the world around me. I was never one to get concerned about greenhouse gases, climate change, global warming or any other buzz words that the “liberal media” liked to talk about. Why not? Was I a climate change denier? No, but as a Christian looking forward to a new Heaven and Earth, I was unconcerned by temporary setbacks on this planet. I have changed and I have changed almost as quickly as our climate changes around us…and that’s pretty fast.
I looked at melting glaciers as no big deal. We’ve been through ups and downs throughout human history, so I was sure we’d be okay. Melting ice draining into the ocean? So what? It didn’t affect me here in my tiny town in my tiny state in the Northeastern part of the United States. That stuff was happening thousands of miles away. Big deal. I’ve got to prepare my soul for the return of Jesus. That was what was real to me. That was what was important. The way man has polluted the planet and poisoned it didn’t concern me one bit. Then the change in my life hit me and my views shifted like the sheet ice that breaks off and flows through the ocean. That’s a fast and violent change and it can dramatically alter the landscape. I know it changed mine.
Jesus is not coming back. There is no evidence of that and any evidence that he even existed at all is questionable. It’s all speculation based on ancient hearsay. So what does that mean for me? It means that I cannot sit here and wait for Jesus to come and fix our mess. I cannot wait for God to step in, do some magic and restore the earth. Again, there is simply no evidence to suggest that will happen or even that he exists. Climate change, however does have evidence. It can be observed. It is happening and the results are dramatic and concerning. I have four children who will be inheriting this earth from me and those before me. Our impact here will determine their future. Sitting around and hoping for a magic trick from a being who has never answered a single prayer is foolish. Ignoring the damage and putting on our blinders just add to the problem. I can’t do much about it personally as I am just the average American person; unqualified and uneducated in such things. But I am a registered voter and change can happen with a simple vote if used properly.
Greenland glaciers are not something that cross my mind all that often. I don’t lie awake at night and dream of a country that is 80% covered in ice. But Greenland is a good place to look at to get an idea of how bad things are getting and how fast they are getting there. Here’s a short video about the melting glaciers in Greenland. It’s only about 6 minutes, but there’s some fascinating facts contained in there:
Greenland’s glacial ice has lakes that form as the ice melts. Freshwater from the melting ice flows from the surface of the glacier all the way down through moulins. Moulins are holes or shafts that can go all the way through to the bottom and flow into the ocean. These openings can be small but sometimes can get as wide as thirty feet across.
Some melting is normal of course and is beneficial to keep ocean salinity in check. Too much can be devastating to all kinds of life, not to mention the rise in sea levels and what that can mean to life around the world. Are we going to ignore the change around us and pretend it’s not happening? Are we going to sit back and laugh at facts while we wait for our invisible and unobservable friend in Heaven to swoop in and save the day? How do we explain the changes around us? Is it our fault that needs immediate attention or is it part of a bigger plan and is no threat to us? Are we going to make excuses for the observable glacial retreat happening in front of our eyes? I know that most of us don’t live in Greenland or any of the places where these things are happening so it can be easy to ignore if we choose to. Can the locals do the same? Not very likely that the Inuit natives of Greenland are as blinded as I was when my eyes were clouded by the indoctrination of Christianity.
“Yes?” said Lusa.
“I think the glaciers are getting smaller all the time. Do you think the development of industry here has anything to do with it? I think that what happens here, combined with the rest of the world is destroying our planet.”
“Oh silly Muktuk. Don’t you remember the missionaries that visited us a few years ago? Don’t you remember their message to us?”
“Yes. So what?”
“I asked them about our changing world and why all the ice was breaking away. I asked how that fit into their story of redemption and wonder. Don’t you remember what they said?”
“I do, but…”
“Let me refresh your memory. In order for the end of this world to come, we have to reach a critical point where there looks to be no hope. Then and only then will our savior return. That’s why the ice is breaking so fast. It’s not global warming. No, no, no. We had a great and wise prophet who visited our country many years ago. There’s no local record of him, but the missionaries reassured us that he was real. And who are we to question men of God, right? His name was Eski-Moses. He took his staff made from the tusk of a narwhal and thrust it into the ice. The earth shook and the ice began to crack and melt. This action set the freshwater free that was once held captive. It was the beginning of the end…of this world. But remember, there is a much better world to come. Rest easy and stop worrying so much. It will all be made right if we just do nothing and wait for the savior to come back.”
This is not how most people think. Outside of religion, people take notice of dangers facing us on earth. People outside of religion think of future generations who have to live here and deal with the consequences of our actions today. Religion seems to take the alarming news of climate change and smile, as it is just prophecy being fulfilled. Religion, for me, helped me to ignore or downplay the seriousness of what we’ve done to this planet. Since leaving religion, I’ve have to rethink everything and take a look at things that I would dismiss and ignore as a Christian. When I thought Superman was going to fly back into our lives and fix it all, I was relaxed. Everything was going to be just fine. When he turned out to be just a fictional character designed to make us feel better, things changed and they changed fast.
I’m not here to start a protest or a lead movement. I’m just trying to maybe get people to think for themselves instead of getting caught up in the type of fantasy that will lead to the destruction of this planet and threaten the lives of our children and grandchildren. Following a story in a book without evidence is keeping us from reality and there’s plenty of evidence around us that should scare us. Amazing Grace worked in reverse for me. I once was blind (as a believer) but now I see. Amen.