WASHINGTON – The contentious debate over whether global warming exists and its primary cause came to a close Thursday – at least in the U.S. House – when a passed legislation recognized the "reality" of climate change and called for billions to remedy the problem.
In a vote of 272-155, the U.S. House of representatives passed an environmental funding bill that would provide $27.6 billion for federal investments in research on climate change and create a new commission to review scientific questions, according to Reuters.
Climate change was stated to be a "reality" in a declaration within the House bill, despite the White House's long held questions on whether there is sufficient scientific evidence to back the claim.
The climate change debate, which Christians also refer to as the creation care issue, has also deeply divided believers who, moreso than whether global warming exists, are perplexed if man should be primarily blame for the warming of the earth.
In a Senate hearing earlier this month, a panel composed of mostly Christian leaders across the denominational lines exemplified the differences in opinion on the issue.
While some Christian leaders, such as Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, strongly declared that global warming is real and humans are mainly to be blamed for the problem, others, such as the Southern Baptist representative disagreed.
Dr. Russell Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, contended that although the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical groups are not opposed to environmental protection, science does not absolutely support humans being the main cause of warming.
He also criticized Christian leaders who used the "authority of the Bible" to support their "shifting and revisable" global warming agenda as "trivializing" to the Christian faith.
Still, despite the ongoing debate, many prominent evangelicals have climbed onboard the green bandwagon calling for a cut in carbon emission – the main contributor of greenhouse gases. These leaders include the Rev. Richard Cizik, the National Association of Evangelicals vice president; Pastor Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life; and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., near Chicago.
Meanwhile, in the research arena, scientists backing man-induced global warming predict the problem will stimulate natural disasters such as severe flooding, cause the extinction in animal species, spread diseases, cause food shortages, and spark a refugee crisis.
So far, the Senate has not yet reviewed the House bill and the White House has threatened to veto the bill because of its funding request amount.