Two recent reports – the U.N. Report on Global Warming (Oct. 7) and the U.S. National Climate Assessment (Nov. 23) – paint a very bleak environmental picture for the world and America. For the sake of argument, let’s agree that the “red sky” these reports are declaring has appeared. Where there seems to be disagreement is whether it’s night or morning. Should we take “delight” at this place and time in our history? Or should we take “warning”?
On the one hand the current administration is telling us it’s night, so let’s have a “great” time. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of scientists are telling us it’s morning. Should America listen to that voice encouraging us to stretch forth our hand just a little further into the night and take what we want because we are strong and wise enough to do so? Or should we heed the plea to turn away from the hedonism and self-absorption that inevitably results in death and destruction? Whose word should we place our faith in?
Perhaps it is providential that the climate assessment report is released at the time of the year when the three Abrahamic faiths are preparing to commemorate a gracious act of God in history. As People of the Book, we read time and again how the prophets were mocked and their words – warning of inevitable future consequences in the absence of repentance – were ignored and even scorned.
I cannot but fear that having failed “to learn from history” we, too, will be “condemned to repeat” the pattern evident from the creation of the world and ignore the prophetic word that might have saved us.