What I’d say if I was wrong about climate change

The report Hope in God’s Future (link is to the pdf) while adopted by a huge majority at the Methodist Conference upset one blogger.

David Hallam ended up writing four posts against this report, climate change itself, the Methodist Church, the President of the Methodist Conference and commentators like myself who responded in support of all the above. See (Welcome to the house of sin, Global warming – an alternative spirituality?, Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone and Climate change – an impossible debate)

Part way through that debate I made the decision to leave that debate and I have not been back to that blog except to create the links above. I no longer track it or visit it.

My reason for writing now is that I found a helpful response to the challenge “What if I am wrong about Climate Change?” at No Impact Man: What I’d say if I was wrong about climate change. He starts with

I get emails from people, every so often, what I would say and feel
if I was wrong about climate change. What would I say if, after
dedicating years of my life to bringing attention to the problem, I
found out there was no problem.

Well, first, of course, I would praise God in thanks that we have no catastrophe to contend with. Then, since many of the
measures needed to deal with climate change have a lot of positive
benefits, I will think:

There are then 17 positive benefits that he identifies that come from responding to Climate Change, evcen if there is no climate change.

He concludes with this challenge:

And now, to turn the question back on those who say that either there is no climate change or that it is not a serious problem:

What would they feel if we did nothing about climate change and they turned out to be
wrong?

What would they feel if we buried our heads in the sand,
ignored the problem, and then irreversibly damaged the planetary
habitat that we depend upon for our health, happiness and security?

Of course I would also want to analyse Climate Change and our responses theologically (as the Hope in God’s report Future does) but I think these responses provide a good starting point.

In fact I think it is helpful to ask the question “What would I say if it it turned out I was wrong” about many of our beliefs. Why not try it, I have found it illuminating and what have you got to lose – you are probably always right anyway.

6 thoughts on “What I’d say if I was wrong about climate change

  1. PamBG

    I think that the 17 points are good. And thoughts like this are why I don’t understand how people can get angry about the idea of clean air and refraining from waste.

    Reply
  2. PamBG

    Science may be meant to be ‘robust debate’, but I think we’ve all agreed that none of us has sufficient science to be able to be able to genuinely debate this topic.
    What is the purpose of each side going out and finding news articles that support his or her point of view?
    Theologically, if it’s correct that no human-made warming is happening, then none of us are sinning in this way. If it’s correct that human-made warming is happening, then we are all sinning in this way. It seems to me that the outrage isn’t actually about the global warming issue but the (IMO false) impression that the report is saying ‘We who believe in global warming are righteous and you who do not are sinners’. Whereas, in actual fact, we are all sinners.
    It would be nice to feel that one could express one’s opinion without being falsely and negatively represented and caricatured. That’s my gripe; I think it’s bearing false witness against one’s neighbour.

    Reply
  3. Blue, with a hint of amber

    It would be nice to feel that one could express one’s opinion without being falsely and negatively represented and caricatured. That’s my gripe; I think it’s bearing false witness against one’s neighbour.
    In reality is that not always the way though Pam?
    The blogosphere is full of charicature and false representation.

    Reply

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