The Paris Accord

President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord, a pact of 196 nations, “to adopt green energy sources, cut down on climate change emissions, and limit the rise of global temperatures — while also cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change.”[1]

Since that announcement, pundits from political, scientific, and faith-based organizations have been hashing and re-hashing the pros and cons of Trump’s decision. After spending the past few days trying to keep my head from exploding, I decided to turn to my Bible:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ … God blessed them [mankind] and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground’ (Genesis 1: 1, 26, & 28).

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

These Scripture passages speak nothing about global warming, greenhouse gasses, fossil-fuel consumption, carbon dioxide, or global surface temperatures.

Putting the Scriptures aside for a moment, all we seem to hear about the Paris Accord are outlandish conjectures on both sides of the issue. Ramash Ponnuru, senior editor of the National Review reports, “The ACLU is calling it an ‘assault on communities of color,’ for some reason, and environmental activist Tom Steyer says it’s a ‘traitorous act of war against the American people.’”[2] Victoria Goebel of the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action wrote, “Already, millions of people in the U.S. and around the world are struggling to adapt to rising seas and more extreme weather. These are the very people that we are commanded by our Lord to love with the same commitment and tenacity that we show to ourselves and our own loved ones. The President’s open disregard for their well-being is a moral travesty and an affront to our faith as followers of Christ.”[3]

The above comments are slightly outrageous, but they don’t compare to what Dr. E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance stated, “It would trap billions in poverty for decades to come,” said Beisner. “Since a clean, healthful, beautiful environment is a costly good, this means prolonging environmental damage and delaying environmental improvement” (emphasis added).[4]

Everyone has their own opinion, and in many cases, those opinions are biased. As a mere onlooker, I have no idea who’s right or wrong. However, one of the things that bothers me most is this:

How much research went into candidate Trump’s promises on environmental issues? And if current studies showed the error in his promise, would he take the time to explain to the American people that his promise was a mistake? Is the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord going to make “America Great Again”?

And the thing I regret the most? We humans have misbehaved by using and abusing God’s beautiful planet Earth. The effects of this tragedy can’t be undone. Perhaps we should think twice before we waste, use up more than necessary, and abuse our natural resources. Perhaps we should love God more than we love God’s gifts, making us ever mindful of the fact that without God our planet wouldn’t exist.

What do you think? If we love God so much that we want to please him in everything we do, would that make us treat his gift with more respect?

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/01/531048986/so-what-exactly-is-in-the-paris-climate-accord

[2] https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-02/the-plain-truth-about-the-climate-treaty

[3] http://www.yecaction.org/young_evangelicals_on_paris_withdrawal

[4] http://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/cornwall-alliance-celebrates-withdrawal-from-paris-climate-agreement/

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