Science? Or Heresy? The Question of Christians and Climate Change

Should Christians care about the science of Climate Change? Or are scientists to be ignored as anti-Christian? We talk to two Christians, Tom Cotter and Pastor Tyrone Carter about the earth, and the Christian responsibility to it.


What if the evangelical understanding of the Gospel got it all wrong?

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Podcast Transcript: Transcribed by AI

All right, we’re rocking and we’ll go. All right. Hello everyone. Hello, Craig Sharpton. How are you today?
Good brother. I miss you. I haven’t. No, man. We got a little visit when you dropped off a six pack for my birthday, but, uh, have you had any of the beer yet that we, that we dropped off for your birthday?
Uh, do you all have the 99 is gone. Okay. The, uh, the, uh, To darker beers for when it cools down a little bit. Okay. All right. Cool. Yeah, it was good to get to a socially distance distance visit on your porch. Yeah. You brought a nice balloons and all of that. That was great. Good to see you and Ashley. Yeah, it was, we were we’re hungering to see people.
I can tell you that. So, uh, yeah, it was nice and good to see you on the screen. And so today we’re doing something unique. You know, we do a podcast called two guys talking Fresno together, and I also do sort of a political slash religious podcast called the nonpartisan evangelicalism. And so it’s a combo podcast.
We’re doing both together today. Two birds, one stone. I like it. I like it, except let’s not kill a bird, particularly with the topic we’re talking about today.
Today, can we call it a hybrid? Yes. Thank you. Thanks hybrid. Very nice. Very nice. Uh, that’s the voice of Tom Cotter, who is joining us today, uh, who pastored for a dozen years and worked on staff of a church and has been in solar for the last 14 years.
Also, joining us is. Pastor Tyrone Carter. He’s the pastor of emphasis community church, and also entitles himself as a change agent. So Tyrone and Tom, welcome to the podcast today. Glad to be here. Thank you, Paul, for, uh, inviting me in, uh, I do want to say this to you before we get, we get started. Uh, one of the premier dangers is allowing a preacher to speak to the microphone because we might not stop talking.
So yeah. Yeah. I’ve got you on here to deal with. You could be in trouble today, Craig. So Craig is as a former politician, I’ll do my best to hold my own. Craig. I know that nature and animals and environment all matters to you. And so we’re going to talk climate change today. And it’s an interesting topic, Craig, because as I sort of represent this evangelicalism community ideologically or theologically or whatever reason we, we tend to be in the white evangelical church, sort of climate change doubters.
And so it’s always interesting to kind of talk about what climate change is, why some believe it, why some don’t, but I think it’s an issue that matters to you. Isn’t it? Oh, very much. You know, it’s um, it’s, it’s interesting to me that we were learning about it in, uh, college back in 1981, 82. Uh, called the greenhouse effect, which has, was really how climate change was going to happen.
And here we are, you know, decades later from maybe being out of college and still having this debate about whether it’s real or not. It’s just absurd to me that anyone who can look at the data, you can argue, argue some points of a bit, but the scientific community, all except for a few. They’ve shut the door on, on having any argument at all.
And you know, the thing as representing the agnostic on the panel is that it just baffles the hell out of me that, uh, you know, Christians don’t think of the world as a completely sacred place. And that we have all the things that we need here provided for us already that we need to have this consumptive tear down.
Don’t replace it attitude. And my fear is that, you know, just like the Catholic church denied that the earth around the sun, uh, you know, and it took 500 years or so to get an apology for, for Galileo, right. That we don’t have five years for the church to catch up with us on this one. Um, if we wait 500 years, we won’t be having this debate.
Yeah. Possibly not. Well, Tom Tyrone, you guys tell us, is it, is it real? Is climate change for real? I was eating a lunch Craig with somebody you name may know, uh, Seth Tilly, um, a while back. And his question to me in talking about this topic was why don’t more Christians care about the environment. And, uh, that’s a very good question.
And, you know, part of his. Question to me. And what others have asked as well is, you know, why do you care when so many others seemingly don’t and, uh, you know, I, I didn’t start off caring about climate change necessarily. Um, you know, A turning point for me when I went to an event at Fresno state called the Veritas forum, and there was a, a scientist there who was from Duke university and the topic of his speech was, is God green.
And, uh, I took him out to coffee afterwards and said, okay, so you’re involved in all these conversations, you know, in academia and science, you know, Is, is it real? Is it really happening? And his response back was that in the scientific community, the only significant debate around climate change is can we fix it?
And how do we fix it? It’s not about, is it happening? Is it caused by humans? Um, and so that was really the first time that I had actually had a comment with someone who was, you know, on the academic science side. And I think for a lot of people, uh, in. Churches, the only person that they hear from is on the TV, where you have the pro and the con.
And it seems like it’s 50, 50 weighted. And usually the person who is, you know, trying to explain that climate change is real. Uh, usually they pick someone that’s a little bit weird or. Way liberal, you know, so that it’s, it’s, it’s an easy contrast for that media channel or, or any lead or some scientist or something like that.
God forbid, or even the science guy who then, you know, a lot of, uh, Christians will discount as saying, well, he believes in evolution. So, you know, we, we can’t trust them about climate change. Yeah. We’re not done with that debate yet. Yes. So pastor Carter, how about, how about you, where do you, where do you come at this from?
Well, I first and foremost, uh, believe in climate change, uh, and I’m, and I’m, uh, I believe in what the scientific community is saying to us, their responsibility as scientists. Yes, it is to simply give us the facts. And I, I certainly believe this, that, that if people would just open their eyes and begin to look around, damn that they will be again, the see evidence of climate change.
One thing is, uh, I was, I was watching on PBS, uh, a documentary about Yellowstone park. And, uh, the forest ranger said that what was happening there is that the, uh, that’s the ice pack. And, uh, yeah. Well, the snow that is accumulated every year in the mountains is becoming less and less every year. And also when we look at the North pole and the South pole, the same things are happening and people that live here in Fresno, I can actually say this.
When I first came to Fresno in 1986, the winters were more severe fog would be in the Valley for days. The climate was colder. Uh, but now it seems like winter here is becoming. Less and less. And of course when, when Al Gore first came out with global warming, and of course Craig mentioned about, uh, when he was in college and now years later, people are still, I was saying that this does not exist.
But when Gore came out and began to talk about global warming people thought he had a, the like room and smoked some Panama red or soccer. Right. And so, and so they were saying this guy is crazy. And now, uh, what, 20, 30, 30 years later, uh, we are beginning to see more and more. I believe evidence of it. And so, uh, how I really got involved in this, uh, I, I, I went to, uh, a Juneteenth, uh, celebration and, uh, the climate change people then, and there, I met, uh, Connie young.
I don’t know if you know, Connie. Yeah, but I met her, we started talking and I became interested in climate change. Now I do a lot of stuff in the community. Uh, And so, uh, climate change at that time, wasn’t one of the things that I was actively involved. Yeah. But I did connect with Connie, uh, went to my first meeting.
And from that point on, I’ve been an advocate, but I support the scientific evidence, uh, as the true indicator of what’s going on. And also, uh, we just have to look at the environment and what’s going on. Around us. Most people aren’t really aware of their surroundings and able to look, uh, around them and to see, uh, how things are changing.
I don’t believe that it’s changing rapidly. And, and I believe that’s one of the downfalls. If it was something that happened very quickly, I think more people would get on board with it, but because it is happening and this, uh, incremental cyclical way that, that more people can’t see it. And so therefore they have a tendency to refute it.
And those of us who are, who are Christians. We don’t seem to want to get involved in a whole lot of things. So whether it’s climate change, abortion issue or, or, or, or taking it to the street and getting involved in politics, uh, the church has been very silent, uh, and it’s time for us to come out of that corner and be okay then to let our voice be heard.
Right. Uh, assemblyman Jim Patterson. Uh, I was at a prolife meeting and, uh, assemblyman Patterson said, said this, the people in Sacramento simply want the church to be quiet. They want us to shut up, uh, stay in there corner. Uh, but, uh, I’m, I’m not that kind of person. I’m I’m going to let my voice be heard. I want to be another John Lewis, uh, who recently passed away.
And, uh, John Lewis was an inspiration to me because this man, uh, always went towards trouble and didn’t run away from trouble. So pastor Carter. Yes. Before you met Connie young and she talked to you about climate change before that, what was your understanding or opinion about the topic? Well, before I met Connie, I was not actively involved in it, but I did believe in climate change because I was able to look around me.
And, and to watch documentaries. And I’m also a Tom, a big fan, uh, bill Nye. Uh, I’ve been, yeah, I’ve been watching bill Nye since I was working at channel 30 and every Saturday morning when I was working, I would watch bill Nye, the science guy. I became fascinated with his show. Uh, so. Uh, I believed in it, but I was not actively involved in it.
Uh, now I am actively involved in it and I consider myself to be a modern day, Paul Revere. Uh, and, and if you remember, he wrote out on a cool October morning or September morning, uh, in Boston and he. Rolled out because he felt a necessity to warn the colonists that the British were coming. And he had the same message.
He didn’t change his message. He kept saying the same thing, the British are coming, the British are coming. Uh, so that’s my message. Uh, that climate change is here. It’s happening and we need nothing about it. I will say this last thing and, and, and, and release the money. Uh, uh, a Christian lady told me once this, she said the time to prepare for war is not during war, but to time to prepare for war is during peace.
And so, uh, we’ve got to deal with this issue now, uh, whether we want to do it or not. Because it’s coming, we can’t change it. We can’t stop it, but we can stop it. We can change it if everyone gets involved. All right. Yeah. And, and pastor, you’re a Republican too, right? Yes, I am. I am a rarity. I am a black Republican.
Uh, and that’s a rare thing in a black Republican that believes in climate change. I, this is like a unicorn ever since the, the Republican party has a very weak stance, uh, on the, uh, climate change issue. I’ve talked to many of my fellow, uh, Republicans. Uh, the older Republicans are, are, are not in tune with climate change.
Uh, and also most of them. Are trying to get down. Trump re elected. So climate change is not on the agenda. Now I’m actually working with young people in the Republican party and they are into climate change. And that’s who I’m working with. I’m not working with, with the older people because they have basically kind of sorta, uh, written climate change on, sorry.
Yeah, it’s an interesting issue. Uh, and, and probably one thing I might push back, I hear Christians talk a lot about abortion and a lot about gay marriage or those things. And I don’t want to get off on those tangents in this, but I don’t hear a lot of Christians talking about climate change unless it is to poopoo it.
And I don’t know, Tom, why do you think most Christians or a large portion of maybe I should say kind of conservative, evangelical Christians. Don’t. Believe in climate change or aren’t actually sort of in the fight to, to change things that are impacting it. Well, I think because we talked about it for one reason as believing in it, you know, and that’s, that’s faith words there, that’s not science words.
Right, right. Um, you know, science is about what we can observe and measure. And, you know, we talk about, I mean, I fall into the same thing, you know, Hey, you know, do you believe in, it’s not, it’s not, you know, faith in something unseen. We can actually see. The see how ticks, for instance, that carry Lyme disease are spreading into regions that have never had these ticks before we can see, you know, glacial melt, we can see, uh, you know, all these different lines of evidence.
It’s much more. Then just a thermometer there’s somewhere around 26,000 plus lines of evidence that we pull from to understand how the climate is changing. Um, so you, you put it like with the flat earth category, are there, there’s not really an argument and an opinion of whether the earth is round or not.
We’ve kind of settled that question, right? Yeah. I mean, you can talk about the second scientific consensus of climate change and you know, every, every single Academy of science across the whole globe, you know, in all these different countries have issued statements in agreement that the climate is changing and that it’s human activity that’s causing it.
Um, you know, part of to get back to your question, um, you know, part of the challenge I think in, uh, churches is that, um, you know, we have the great commission, you know, to, to go and make disciples of all nations and especially in the West, the. The gospel that we have been preaching and teaching, um, because, because of this idea that if somebody dies, if they do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior, they will go to hell.
That seems like it’s a bigger consequence than, uh, something that’s physical right now. Um, so it’s almost like we’ve fallen into the trap of what, you know, John was writing against, uh, you know, the false teaching of Gnosticism that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh that it was all spiritual and we’ve spiritualized everything now.
And some people have fallen into that same trap that, you know, when you. When you look outside, when you look around that none of this really matters because it’s physical and it’s not eternal. Like the spiritual is. And so the highest calling is to go and rescue people from hell and everything else is not that important.
So what’s the, what’s the biblical mandate from, from your perspective about the earth. Uh, for those who have been to church on Easter morning, the most important thing in the world, uh, from the Christian perspective as Jesus and the life that he gives us. And I think you could argue that, you know, the second or third, most important thing beyond that spiritual life is physical life.
You know, God didn’t create us to be floating around in space. He created our bodies too late, live and thrive in very specific environmental conditions. And so he created us and he created the earth and. To, to take care of this place is to honor and respect the creator. You know, very simply the whole earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
Right. hi, Ron, how do you, I mean, how do you teach this to your people? What, what is the sort of the biblical foundation for you of, of, uh, climate change? One, one thing. Let me, let me, uh, let me answer, uh, same question that you asked Tom about, uh, why the church isn’t involved in, in the political arena and dealing with things that are happening in our culture and in our society, uh, uh, the church, the new Testament church.
Was designed by God to be an agent of change. That’s the first and most important thing, uh, in the great commission. We are commission are given a mandate. Now God did it ask us. He told us and most people don’t get that. When you have a mandate, right. Ex military, it’s a direct order. And those of us who are in the military, we follow orders.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie, a few good men, but I have seen that movie so many times that I can actually be an actor in that movie, Tom cruise, as Jack Nicholson in the movie. Uh, Lieutenant Jessen. Do you believe that this other officer did not follow yours order? And Jess said, this son, you ever put your life in another man’s hands are headed that man put his life in your hand.
He said, son, we follow orders, man, die. So. Or theirs are mandated and they are important. We have a mandate from God to be an agent of change. The church has failed because we have not being obedient to the mandate that has, has been given to us. Instead of us going to make disciples. We are simply going to church on Sunday and there’s nothing wrong with that.
And we come into worship, but we were supposed to go out and serve our community and be agents of change. We have taken the church building and turned it into a Ford. The Ford is designed to keep people out. So, uh, and we’re supposed to be agents of change. We have lost our Florence. Now. I see it like this.
The church is that city on the Hill that can’t be here. And if you go down into the Valley, you have the pollution ecosystem. The church is supposed to influence the political system and the political system. And the church with the church being at the top of the ladder is supposed to influence the popular culture or what we see happening in our communities.
But that hasn’t happened. What has happened is that the political system is at the top rung of the ladder. The problem culture is next and the church is bringing up the rear. In other words, we, we have become the tail and not the head. And so our voices are silent. Let me bring you OnDeck to climate change specifically though, because I do think the church is politically active in some areas.
Wouldn’t you say? But, but it seems like climate change we feel is not an, not an issue we were supposed to delve into. Let me just say this and then flip the script. If you, and I say this all Christians, if you read your Bible, In Genesis chapter one, and I have my Bible here and I’m going to read it to you.
So what, uh, God gives man Damania uh, and it’s Genesis chapter one, verse number 26 and no, I’m sorry. Verse number. Yeah, verse number 26. And God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God gave man rule and dominion over his creation. Therefore, all of us who were Christians are responsible to God. For what goes on in this physical world, in which we live Thompson, wait, wait, can you, can you read a one, uh, 29, one 29? And God said, behold, I have given you every error bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree and the, which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed to you.
It shall be for meat. So the seventh day Adventists take that to heart and they are largely vegans and vegetarians. And we know that, um, , they, uh, large industrial, uh, meet a mate and, uh, factories are either number one or number two, climate change producing. Uh, industries of everything that, in some cases they say that the meat production, uh, produces more climate change than even transportation does.
And we all want to get a hybrid, but if we’re still eating those burgers, uh, which, you know, might be tasty, but the amount of, uh, Methane and carbon dioxide and water consumption for that is huge. And we all know that the, the seventh at Venice also, uh, live longer than other Americans because they’re eating a healthy diet.
I love that part of Genesis. So you’re making a biblical case for veganism, huh? Well, they do all the time. I mean 40% of the seventh day Adventists are vegans. And when I think you talked about the environment, what we eat has to be right up there with what we drive and what powers our light switch.
Interesting. Yes, I will. I will certainly agree with you, Craig, on some of the points that you made, uh, as, as, as far as whether a person wants to, wants to be a vegan or whether a person wants to eat meat, uh, that’s up to that. Uh, I do know, and I do agree with you. Uh, that because of our large production of, uh, for our meat consumption, that there is being produced a lot of methane gas, which is going into the atmosphere and which is effect our climate.
Uh, I agree with you on that point. And of course, uh, they consume a lot of water, uh, but I still cannot move away away from Genesis one and two. 26. And that mandate that was given to us by God to have the many, we know that man is the hardest form and God’s creation. And man has been given stewardship, uh, and an ability by God to be over everything that God has made and to govern it in the proper way.
So therefore it can bring glory to God. And I believe I’m if I’m the store it over your retirement fund, right? If you, if you put me over your retirement fund and I’ve become the steward, what would be my job, what? Right. To increase it, make sure it lasts right. One to some people I think means. This, we have free reign to, to drill and to clear cut and to strip mine and everything else.
Cause I mean, how, how, how does that work at Tama? I’d be interested in what you think about that too. I love using Chris Paul. I think that might be my first. I know. Well done. Correct. Then the love your neighbor one. I think that’s the furthest I’m straight into chapter and verse. Let me, uh, let me back up to what pastor Carter brought up in Genesis one, uh, that dominion.
So the word for that in the way it was originally written is R a D a H. And. If you look at other places ruin here today and the whole thing, this is awesome. You look at other places in the Bible where that word is used in Psalm 72. Um, May he also redox from sea to sea. He will deliver the needy when he dies for help.
The afflicted also to him has no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy in the lives of the needy. He will save. So ride-on is not just about dominion and stewardship. It’s associated with delivering the needy and compassion and saving. Um, and in Matthew 25, um, it’s talked about. You know, caring and, and loving and, and being responsible for.
Um, and then in chapter two of Genesis, it says then the Lord, God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to abide and Shamar, so to serve and to protect and to guard and to keep, and some translations actually use the word garden. So Craig, to your question, if you, you know, if you were given piece of land by someone that you loved more than anyone else thinking.
Yeah. You know, as far as God, um, and you know, you extract, I acted every dollar from that piece of land, every penny from it and left it in complete disrepair and crumbling ruin, you know, how would that reflect on. How we feel about the person who gave it to you to us, but instead yeah. But who you’re going to leave it to.
Yeah. Yeah. Tom, if you, if I can just jump into, if you think about the, the commands to the, the people of Israel to give. The land of break on a regular basis. And, and, uh, and then the, the year of Jubilee idea. So obviously you, you have to make sure the land is still fertile and working. If you’re, if you’re going to give people back a good piece of property.
So it seems like this is all over the Bible, right? Yeah. And you know, Christians will often respond to a message about caring for creation as yeah. I recycle. But what if we, if we took that piece of, if we took that piece of land and we, instead we cultivated it, we farmed it. We used it to provide jobs for neighbors.
We grew food and the soil was healthy and the natural ecosystem, you know, insects and animals and birds thrived on it. You know, that’s. That’s the, the biblical idea of being, given something and then being faithful in caring for what we’ve been given. No first Corinthians four, two says now it is required that those who have been given a trust, you know, must be faithful.
And that’s that foundation is where you get the idea of caring for God’s creation, you know, being caretakers of what we’ve been given. And within Christiandom, there are, there’s this idea that, you know, there’s a pyramid and humans are at the top of the pyramid and their boot is on the throat of the environment, you know, the creation and they can.
They can have dominion over that in ways, you know, like a King would have dominion who abused his power and, and just took, took, took. And that’s not the biblical view of dominion of creation, but then create Christians. Say, well, you know, those, those environmentalist’s those liberals, you know, they say we’re all equal with creation and that’s not the biblical view.
So you have on one side, you have this top down model that is extracting profits using for own personal gain. Really? And then you have on the other side, this everything’s equal view. Um, and I think the biblical view is someplace in the middle. It’s not egocentric, it’s not ecocentric it’s theocentric, uh, where our role is to, to love and to care for God’s creation and to hold up, uh, with what we’ve been with, what we’ve been given.
So if I were to ask if, if there was a day of reckoning, And the question was, were you, uh, did you try to help, uh, our planet be healthy or, uh, did you make our planet less healthy? Where do you think the Christian Church would fall? You mean for using the, the verse in revelation that God will destroy those who destroyed the earth?
You can pick any one you want. I think that the reason that the church is in the place that pastor Carter described is because we have been extremely deficient in our discipleship. It has been very lopsided. And I think that if, if the church can, uh, Grow into some other areas that it again, will be seen as a positive thing in communities because in many communities that, you know, the same thing that happened in Europe is happening in the West.
Now, you know, people go to churches on tours. Yeah, because they’re empty. They’re beautiful and they’re empty. Um, and that’s where the church is headed here. And that’s why we, one of the reasons why we have this power grab, uh, because it’s the root is what we are discipling followers of Christ to be. I think part of this for me now, tell you my history a little bit here.
When I was growing up in the church, we were taught. Yeah, I’ll use this fancy word eschatology, the end of the world, teaching and, and our eschatology. He was any day. Jesus is going to come. Take the good people out and leave everybody else behind and God’s going to blow up, blow up all those people in the world.
And, and so I think because of that, our mentality a little bit was, well, if God’s going to blow this place up and that’s going to happen any moment of any day, it’s not, it’s, it’s going to happen in our lifetime. Wow. We give a crap about the earth. Why would we even care? Because it’s going to be blown up by God.
And so I think some of that theology has, has played into this. Wouldn’t you say, guys? Yeah, but also also to Paul says, since you mentioned that, uh, what you, what you were given was an incorrect assumption. Uh, that’s not firmly based in the truth of the word of God. Uh, uh, God is going to renovate the earth, not completely destroyed because when you understand your Bible, You understand that the church has a heavenly destination.
And according to the scripture, the church is going to be raptured out or there’s going to be a catching away. And Israel, the nation of Israel go into an earthly kingdom here on the earth. So to believe that the entire earth is going to be. Uh, exploded and there’s no need for us to, uh, to worry about it is a fallacy that is not based in reality.
Also, I might add this to what Craig said. Craig said, if there’ll be a day of reckoning, correct. Trust me. There will be a day of reckoning and every person will stand before God and give an account for it’s on the account. And we cannot escape that. And I will certainly say that to all as it is written.
So it shall be now. The Bible says, I would say if, if, if take care of it down here, I don’t think I did admit you up there. If I I’d say show me, show me the proof of how you take care of things before I let you come up here. I know that’s a very childish view of, of how the whole system works, but I think it sort of illustrates a point like you ought to prove that you’re worthy of taking care of things here, or why would I let you in this, you know, Let’s let you do anything else, you know, take care of your own bedroom first.
Like Jordan Peterson says it. If you think the world is a mask, start by cleaning your bedroom. Yeah. I’d say I think Tom, Tom said it best. Uh, when he, when he gave a wider definition of that word, dominion and, uh, the caring and, and that not only applies to human beings, but that applies to the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and everything working in God’s perfection.
And God’s harmony, uh, to bring forth a system that is. Uh, rooted and grounded in love, because if you love, you will not strip that land and use it for your own selfish pleasure. And then the land isn’t worth anything to be passed on to others. And, and that’s another thing when it comes to climate change, uh, those of us who are in our.
Uh, I would say our closing years and we don’t have as much time on the planet, but our children and our grandchildren will still be here. And so we have a responsibility to them and, and that’s why so many young people have bought into this because they’re going to be on the planet longer than us. Yeah.
That’s I think that’s a big part of it. Like Tom said, people are, are leaving the church in part because of these beliefs. But tell him I got it. Yeah. I’m a little bit of a story from my childhood as well. When I was in the first grade, our teacher told us that by the time we were adults, there would be no paper.
Because there would be no more trees there. The planet would be out of trees by the time I was an adult. And I got to tell you, by the time I was an adult. Cause, cause as a kid, I started like I would not throw away a piece of paper. I would write on every single inch of that paper. Cause I was terrified that we were not going to have any trees.
Has, has there been some sense. And so for me, when I became an adult, I was like, kind of pissed off that I was, had been told there would be no trees when I was an adult. And yet there are a lot of trees. It has there been some overreaction perhaps along the way that then gives people a pass to say, Oh, well, that didn’t happen.
You know? Sure. I think there’s always overreaction. I mean, if, you know, if you go back to the eighties, uh, I think one of the first stories. You know, that somebody told about the eighties, you know, there was newspaper articles about the next coming ice age as well. You know? So one of the objections people have is, you know, well, we didn’t have an ice stage, so those scientists can’t be trusted, but we had the media back then too in the eighties.
You know, we also had scientists who were still, they we’re just trying to figure out this climate change thing and the greenhouse effect. So, you know, too, to narrow in, on one story, you know, from the 1980s and talk about the next ice age coming in. So climate change can’t be real now, um, is ignoring, you know, a mountain of evidence, but, but yeah, you know, people take Al Gore’s movie, an inconvenient truth and.
You know, they say, well, you know, it’s, it’s years later now and you know, we’re not under water, you know? So, so that’s not true, but yeah, there are places in the world that sea level is rising and destroying whole communities and small little Island countries. Um, so I think it’s important to realize that this is science.
And just like in other areas of science that, uh, you know, as the years go on, the science gets better. Um, well, the thing to really think about to me is that once you start seeing its effects, it can be too late. Uh, the way that this works is that once you start heating the planet, you don’t turn off the switch and it stops.
Um, and, and w and we’re still pumping record amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases into the environment. Yeah. You know, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 150 years. So even if we stopped producing CO2 with fossil fuels and agriculture, we’ve still got a long ways to go. And I think the other thing for Christians to, to have with perspective is.
No matter what you think about, you know, the science of climate change. There’s a lot of other creation care issues out there too, that you could start working on. Uh, there are 9 million people a year that die from pollution, air pollution. You know, we have deforestation, we have oceans and fisheries. We have ozone layer, depletion, depletion, waste management, you know, chemicals, toxins, heavy metals.
We just went through a week of having smoke filled air because of the wildfires in California, which seemed to be climate change related. But at the same time, we didn’t stop tilling and, and dusting the air with, you know, for the almonds, just West of us where the wind blows. So even when we have smoke blowing in, we don’t stop doing the other things that that could be helping our air quality.
We keep piling it on and it’s crazy. Absolutely. And it’s insanity. And, and I will also say, say too, and, uh, Paul, you mentioned the smoke. Uh, it, it hasn’t completely left. So I, I wanted to make that point. Yeah. And I also want to agree with something that, uh, Craig said, uh, in this equation of climate change, if we don’t react and do something, we’re going to reach what is known as a point of no return.
And what that means is no matter what we do. It’s going to happen in such a way. That’s going to be very destructive to those of us who are called earth dwellers, who live on this planet. One reason why the Republican party doesn’t agree with the climate change, uh, rhetoric or ideas is because they feel that we are too, uh, Uh, alarming, uh, that we are, we are a psychopathic in our approach and, uh, we are, uh, making a big brouhaha about nothing.
Uh, they don’t understand the clear and present danger. So do so, what would you, what would you say to, uh, people listening to this who either agreeing with us, or maybe you’re open to it? Like, what are the top things that. That people can do to engage in this. I know you’re involved with the solar industry, um, and have been, since we met back in 2006 in a variety of ways, aligning your faith, faith with your, your employment and business goals.
So, but what, what can people do? Cause this can all seem very overwhelming. You know, that’s a really good question and it’s a lot more than recycling. Um, But everybody has to start someplace. And I think everybody can pick one thing. I think that the most impactful thing that someone can do is to on the big picture, because the big picture is what gets overwhelming.
And you feel like you just want to give up once you start looking at everything. Um, I think the number one thing is to vote for elected officials who will put a revenue neutral. Carbon tax in place on a national level. And I think that will be the thing that will drive the biggest change the most quickly when we have a level playing field for energy, um, on the personal level, I think it’s to, uh, you know, Google carbon footprint calculator.
And work through the, that little list and, you know, think about how many miles you drive and what you drive and what you eat and what your energy bills are and, and see where you’re bloated. See where you’re too heavy. Well, one and then make some investments in that is when people fly a lot. Yeah. Yeah.
That you can do really well until you put the three trips to the East coast on. Yeah. You know, one of the biggest things, uh, you know, for me personally, and why I got into solar in 2006 was I started looking at carbon footprint and thinking about, you know, when I flip on a light switch in my house, um, am I supporting.
A, an industry in a system that’s actually hurting people through the pollution that you know, is created from that energy that I’m using in my head house. Um, so it’s been interesting over the last, you know, 14 years in the solar industry to get to the point where so many people now can go solar. And it’s not because they’re trying to, most of them, it’s not because they’re trying to solve climate change.
It’s just because they’re trying to solve their budget. Um, you know, they, they just want to pay less for electricity. Yeah. Nice. One economics meets meets your social conscience. Yeah. Yeah. That’s good. Yeah. You know, I, I think if I could throw one more theological concept here, there was a King Hezekiah in the Bible and Hezekiah was going to die.
And then God told him I’m going to let you live a little bit longer. And as he was living longer, he then made some mistakes and God came to him and said, okay, I’m not going to punish you for your sins. I’m going to punish your kids for your sentence. And. And I don’t think the Bible looks very kindly. I think Hezekiah could have said no, no, no, let me have those things.
So my kids don’t have to pay the price for that. And in the end, Israel ultimately gets destroyed under the next generation because it has a Chi allowed his sin to be put upon his children. And the Bible talks about, uh, you know, things to the third and fourth generation. I think it’s clear that. God cannot be pleased with the people that are unwilling to care about future generations.
And period, how, how can we not say we’ll do anything to make sure my great, great, great grandchildren have a, have a good place to live. And that’s what sort of gets me is even when we talk about deficits in these other things, what are the sins that we’re just putting on future generations and saying, yeah, we don’t care.
We refuse to have short term pain for longterm care of our kids. Yeah, let me, let me give another idea from Craig’s question that everyone can do that super easy and super lazy. So it should work very well. Um, just to watch a YouTube video from a Christian, uh, whose husband is a church planter in Texas.
And he was also a climate change scientists. So if you just look on you two for Katharine Hayhoe Christian. Uh, you can find, cause that’s the challenge in all of this for people of faith is they want to make sure that they’re getting accurate information and that’s from a trustworthy source. So, so this lady knows what she’s talking about and she’s all over YouTube and Facebook and, uh, she’s got some good information.
So learn about climate change would be another thing for people of faith. Oh, interesting conversation. Yeah, no, it’s fascinating to me. And I just keep thinking and it’s been really on my mind a lot. It’s like, if people really love God and God created this planet, then you should treat it just with a hundred percent sacred actions.
And. And it’s almost like maybe Christians, I believe in God, the least, because they don’t follow that. Like there might be people out there that aren’t Christians that are caring for the earth more than they are. I’m like, if you have any faith at all, that this was, the story was true. You shouldn’t be all of them.
And, and, and doing everything you can to get between, you know, the destruction of the planet. And, and, and the God that you believe in grace. Yeah. For those who are, uh, very evangelistic in their faith, there’s another reason to take care of God’s creation and that’s because it reflects his glory. And that creation itself is a tool.
So to speak for evangelism that can lead people to God. So of creation. If the world is systems are being diminished, Then it, then it hurts. People’s ability to learn about this loving God, you know, w we’re just about out of time, but I know you guys are involved with a group that are, you know, part of what we need is for this to be talked about, I think in our churches.
And so you guys I know are sort of endeavoring to figure out how to make that happen, right.
Yeah, I’ve been talking a lot, pastor Carter. You want to jump in? Yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been, uh, I am going to, uh, I did, uh, I, I don’t know if you know, Devin Carroll, but, uh, Devin and I got together and, and put together a PowerPoint just for churches, uh, and, and dealing with the mandate that was given in Genesis.
Uh, but we’ve got to connect with the pastors firms. Because if, if, if we don’t connect with the head honcho, there is no way I’m going to get in to the church to talk to the constituency. And so we’re really reaching out to pastors now, and we just began this process, uh, to reach out to pastors and I’m, hopefully we’ll be able to go before the West Fresno ministerial Alliance this week.
Uh, with the, uh, meeting, uh, to talk to them about maybe talking to some pastors about, and I have to talk to the pastors first, so very good. All right. Well, pastor Tyrone Carter from emphasis community church, Tom Cotter, tell it your company’s name is power P O w you are. Yes. Power come power to the people.
Oh, one more thing I wanted to say. I want, I wanted to thank Tom and Craig, any of yourself, of course. And hopefully we will have another opportunity to come on to, to take this a little bit farther. Thank you. I would love to hear how the meeting goes this week. That would be great. A great followup. Okay.
All right. Good stuff guys. Thanks for having the conversation with us and catching us up on climate change. Great to see it, Tom. Thank you, Paul. Thank you, Greg. Can you see you too? Okay. All right.

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