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God’s response to global warming

Many of our religious faiths tell us that God is all powerful, all knowing and just. I’ve talked to clerics about those messages and many clerics of different faiths see those claims as somewhat contradictory. But skip that for a moment.

If God is all powerful and all-knowing, then God is killing many of us by warming the globe we live on. By warming the globe, God drives powerful storms that threaten everyone in their path. By warming the globe, God lifts the oceans, floods homes and communities along coasts, lakes and rivers, drowning residents and leaving survivors mourning their families. By warming the globe, God lights ever more powerful fires that burn homes and forests across large areas, consuming many of those who live in the path, and replacing our memories with nightmares. By warming the globe, God dries and spreads drought to previously green areas, parching the land and people who lived there, and embittering their lives. And the warming globe spreads disease to new areas. All are modern plagues that drive those who can to escape, with only their nightmares for company.

And they are Biblical catastrophes – storms, fires, floods, pestilence – but humanity is ignoring this evidence of God’s displeasure and constantly tries to build, live and make money in the face of God’s judgment. God is wreaking judgment on us for destroying the world God gave us.

God’s action may save the globe but only by killing the people. The death of humanity will stop global warming because people are the essential link that makes it happen. Killing the people will stop the production and use of the greenhouse gasses that warm the globe. God is solving the problem by wreaking judgment on us.

Biblical peoples did not have a good record of paying attention to the judgment of God. Will we do better? Will we shut down the flow and burning of greenhouse gasses to honor God’s judgment on us. Is a little more spending money justification for ignoring God’s will? Is there some God-given right to make money by producing fuels and chemicals that destroy God’s green earth? Are people immune from divine judgment?

For believers, God’s judgment is clear – we are flouting the judgment of the Lord. The consequences are awesome. And those who ignore God’s teaching and the worldwide evidence of the Lord’s judgment on our abuse of the earth, can’t claim faithfulness to the Lord.

If you are not a believer, then we are merely being killed by fellow humans, but then we have the right of self-defense, to stop them from killing more of us. We have a choice – to fight together, to die together, or to fight each other.

Whether we act from faith, or as atheists or agnostics, we all have religious and secular reasons to fight global warming before our globe burns, parches, starves and destroys us all.

Wake up people and let us join together in the effort to save each other and avoid the judgment of the Lord.

Steve Gottlieb’s latest book is Unfit for Democracy: The Roberts Court and The Breakdown of American Politics. He is the Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Albany Law School, served on the New York Civil Liberties Union board, on the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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