At one time in human history it is believed that almost all causes were direct acts of god and so as to appease the apparent acts of nature that god had to be mollified usually by some form of sacrifice. All of the more destructive parts of nature were often seen in this way. Man’s reason would lead him to the existence of god or gods, but it was an error to see all of the destructive acts of nature as part of direct acts of his active will. God had not yet revealed himself to us and so distinctions such as his active will and his permissive will.
Of course these errors are still made today when some religious figure will say that some destructive act of nature was a purposeful act of God as punishment for sinful behavior.
In modern times though an opposite error has arisen. Believers in anthropomorphic climate-change (or whatever they are calling it at this moment) ascribe all destructive acts of nature to humanity. There seems to be more discernment between what changes in climate are part of a normal cycle that have repeated itself throughout history and to what extent human industrialization has played a part. Almost all the arguments are related in terms of any change without taking into account any natural cycles.
Now I am generally a skeptic of “global climate change” in part because I was not a skeptic of all the coming catastrophes I was taught growing up in sixties and seventies. In the Book of Revelation there is an Armageddon that ends with hope, in the books describing the modern Armageddon of environmental catastrophe there is no hope – but there was also no prophecy since the year 2000 came and went without the destruction those books predicted. It is also a subject I am not dogmatic about since it is a subject involving science and usually at some point false theories are discredited and valid hypothesis are proven. Though this is not a post about the validity of global climate change, but of the attitudes concerning it.
The latest evidence of what I am talking about here is the number of people including John Kerry who are saying the recent destructive tornadoes in the South were the result of global climate change. One person even talked about the correlation between politicians in this area who voted against giving the EPA power to control CO2. The fact that NOAA statistics show that the last 60 years have seen a dramatic increase in the reporting of weak tornadoes, but no change in the number of severe to violent ones is of no relevance to them. It was the same with hurricanes a couple of years back where the same claims were made even though the 1930 say more CAT 5 hurricanes and the last couple of years has been relatively mild despite projections. Living in Florida I certainly don’t take hurricanes lightly. But even if there was a direct causation between warming patterns and these storms, how much of the effect is man-made and how much would have occurred naturally? These are of course questions for science and probably questions that will have to be answered in the further since current climate novels are not predictive in the short to medium range.
For the modern believe of global climate change there are not distinction just as in regards to early humanity. One blames the gods and the other humanity. Global climate changists also believe in sacrifice. Though often it is vicarious sacrifice. That is they believe you should give up all the modern luxuries and live like the Amish while they fly in jets burning up fuel to warn us of the catastrophe and make no sacrifice themselves. Carbon offsets is another kind of sacrifice offered to appease humanity from their environmental destructive ways. I wrote a comparison between Corbon and Carbon Offsets some years back.
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother’; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die’; but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God) –then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:10-13
Now I don’t quite understand why Jesus was so upset about this, after all it was the first use of a Corban offset. The Pharisees were just working on their Corban footprint. The logic of the Corban offset is quite understandable in modern times. You can neglect taking care of your parents just as long as you say you have given your assets to God while at the same time still making full use of them and their benefits. You can neglect something and not change your own consumption just as long as you say your neglect is being offset by something supposedly good. Extra points if you can find a way to do a Corban offset by buying them from your own company.
Blaming god for everything and blaming humanity for everything are two sides of the same error. God is the author of nature and it is given to us in stewardship. We praise and worship God by thanking him for his gifts and using them appropriately. Actual environmental damage is a rejection of this stewardship. It takes prudence and discernment to make sure we are using what God has given us appropriately and as G.K. Chesterton wrote the Earth is not our mother, but our sister.