When climate change begins to appear, we reluctantly acknowledge that we must do something about it - sometime, not now, somehow, in a way that does not affect our luxurious, convenient lives. As a whole, we do indeed begin to consume less, use our cars slightly less. When a bit of economic collapse arrives, what do we do? We forget about climate change and the need to consume less, and think only about 'stimulating' the economy by more spending. And by doing this, we consume more and make more climate change emissions, which are already too high.
The two things - climate change and economic collapse are linked, and they both have the same root: and that root is religious in nature. We have made an idol of convenience, pleasure, leisure, entertainment, self-interest and latest technology, and have forgotten justice and faithfulness and responsibility, and so we consume and demand more and more and more and more climate change gases are emitted. Likewise we have made an idol of money itself, wanting ever more of it and assuming it is the measure of all things, so we treat houses as 'investments' rather than living spaces, we gamble on futures, we gamble on the stock markets and even on whether they will rise or fall. Our governments are not better; they make an idol of short-term popularity, of 'energy security', or technological progress, of national prestige, and they make an idol of money in the form of making economic growth the primary goal, which is unquestioned and determines all else. As a result, the global economy is an unstable bubble, which is ready to burst when God chooses to let it burst.
In this way, the root of both problems is religious: idolatry of what should never be idolised. And as a result we forget our responsibility to the True, Living God, to shepherd the rest of the creation and do justice to the poor. And we turn away from this responsibility. Yes, even religious believers forget this. We think that all he wants is to be worshipped and for us to be decent people. He has shown before that worship and religious activity are abhorrent to him when we ignore justice and sacrifice responsibility to self-interest.
God has been patient for 100 years. Now he is letting the structure of created things warn us - the structure of the planet warns us that the climate will change, the structure of economic realities warns us that we cannot rely on the current level of available money. Both warn us that the lifestyle we idolise is unsustainable.
Either we repent now, and gain God's mercy and help to change our attitudes and our ways, or it will end of its own accord, with great suffering for us all, including all those of the poor of the earth who are not guilty. May the Living, Just God protect the poor and pour all the suffering upon us rich of the earth!
Amen, Come Lord Jesus: Be merciful to the poor and to the rest of creation. Lead us to repent.
This page is designed to stimulate discussion on various topics, as part of Andrew Basden's pages that open up various things from one of the Christian perspectives. Comments, queries welcome.
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2008. Please see conditions of use.
Created: 20 November 2008. Last updated: 17 August 2014 dealt with all '../../'.