Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Baptists about face on Climate Change

CNN has an article on a growing faction of dissent within the SBC. Leaders, including past convention Presidents believe it's time for the bloc to take a more rigorous stance on the issues of Global Warming.

"Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed," the statement says. "We can do better."

The leaders have brought their resources together and dedicated a website to this progressive shift in paradigmn, but this is not a schismatic movement, rather an initiative for change. But what kind of change is it?

In 2006 the convention decried certain aspects of the modern environmental movement (a hold over from the 60s/70s) stating:

WHEREAS, The scientific community is divided on the effects of mankind’s impact on the environmentWHEREAS, Some environmental activists are seeking to advance a political agenda based on disputed claims, which not only impacts public policy and in turn our economic well-being, but also seeks to indoctrinate the public, particularly students in public institutions; andWHEREAS, Environmentalism is threatening to become a wedge issue to divide the evangelical community and further distract its members from the priority of the Great Commission...
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, renew our commitment to God’s command to exercise caring stewardship and wise dominion over the creation (Genesis 1:28); and be it furtherRESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists toward the conservation and preservation of our natural resources for future generations while respecting ownership and property rights... etc

The SBC resolved in June 2007 to take note of the issue as simply cyclical climatological events and declared that governments can proceed forward with efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses with progress in technologies so long as the poor are taken into consideration:

WHEREAS, The record shows that global temperature has risen and fallen cyclically throughout geologic history, with some periods warmer and others cooler than the present; andWHEREAS, The global temperature has generally risen since 1850 as it recovers from the “Little Ice Age” (1550-1850 A.D.); andWHEREAS, The ten warmest years since 1850 have occurred in the last fifteen years; andWHEREAS, The scientific community is divided regarding the extent to which humans are responsible for recent global warming; andWHEREAS, Many scientists reject the idea of catastrophic human-induced global warming...
RESOLVED, That we consider proposals to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions based on a maximum acceptable global temperature goal to be very dangerous, since attempts to meet the goal could lead to a succession of mandates of deeper cuts in emissions, which may have no appreciable effect if humans are not the principal cause of global warming, and could lead to major economic hardships on a worldwide scale; and be it furtherRESOLVED, That we urge governments to begin to take steps to help protect vulnerable communities and regions from the effects of the inevitable continued cycles of warming and cooling that have occurred throughout geologic history; and be it furtherRESOLVED, That we strongly request that all public policy decision makers ensure an appropriate balance between care for the environment, effects on economies, and impacts on the poor when considering programs to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions...etc

Simply put it's a push for admission of the agent, or cause of climatological change, not the solution or response to it. The response is intensified, but certainly not changed - to be stewards of creation, protecting the planet for future generations and always keeping in mind ones actions and the reprecussions for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. Nuanced, eh?

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