1. The Climate is warming

According to the fifth report (2014) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1) (IPCC), from 1850-2012, researchers have found that the average surface air temperature globally has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the industrial age. AR5 draws for 2009 data at the latest. Current studies recently indicated 1.1-1.2 Celsius warmer.

2. We are very certain that human activity is causing this warming- through mainly the burning of fossil fuels

There is strong evidence that increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing global warming. Scientists have been even able to directly measure that those increases are from the burning of fossil fuels by analyzing carbon isotopes (2).  In total there are also over 30 different types of measures that have lead scientists to the same conclusion.

3. We know the impacts

We are already seeing the impacts today that are becoming the new normal. We see higher temperature extremes, extreme droughts, sea level rise, more severe floods, permafrost melt, higher intensity wildfires, migration of species, ocean acidification, and increase of diseases and other impacts on human health.

4. We believe this is one of the greatest justice issues the world has ever faced

Environmental problems like pollution of the air and water, loss of entire species, and the warming of the earth’s climate, harm people, especially the most vulnerable among us. Air pollution harms the urban poor; the loss or scarcity of entire species hurts those who depend on them; flooding in coastal regions threatens the poor who live there. Since the problems are global in scale, we may not be as adversely affected as those in other parts of the world, especially the less fortunate. But Christ’s love compels us to be concerned for our neighbor’s well being.

5. Therefore we call on Christians to love God, love your neighbour and love Creation (not worship it – but care for it)

God declared his Creation very good and commanded humankind care for all of creation

Genesis 1 reveals that God created and sustains everything there is. God’s providence in creation compels a response in itself to treat what God has created with respect and gratitude in expressing love to the Creator. Genesis 2:15 reads,

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”  

Tilling and keeping essentially mean that we are to be God’s good stewards over his creation.  We have a special role and a special responsibility in God’s creation since we are created in God’s image and have free will.

Reconciliation and Shalom

Sin resulted in separation from God. We became less inclined to fulfill our intended vocation as God’s creation stewards. Creation itself suffered and was marred by sin.  But God has reconciled all things to Himself. Christ took the initiative to reconcile us to Himself by removing the root cause of our separation by bearing our punishment for sin. Because of that Jesus has made peace (shalom) by the blood of His cross. And now we are in a renewed and right relationship with Him and with all of creation.

Creation care is a gospel issue.

The gospel, the good news concerning what Jesus accomplished through his life, death, resurrection and ascension includes reconciliation between the creation and God. This includes reconciliation among humans and between us and the rest of creation. We fail to bear proper witness to the gospel if we ignore creation care, especially when there is a significant looming crisis over the entire earthly creation.

(1) IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.

(2) https://www.livescience.com/58203-how-carbon-dioxide-is-warming-earth.html

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