There is a movement sweeping across the globe manifesting itself in the fiery hearts of those preaching the gospel of "the stark truth of climate change," insisting the divestment of fossil fuels will "save" the planet. Even President Obama claims, "the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact." A reasonably dramatic statement, given that nothing is ever settled in the world of science.
Why is the movement so convincing? Is it our eagerness to trust information spoon-fed to us by pop culture and a not-so-fair-and-balanced Internet, rather than rolling up our sleeves to dig for truth? Social media and 140-word tweets have taken the world by storm and have left us dimwitted in their wake it seems. Claiming man can answer what ails the planet when we're not sure if anything is wrong is a fool's errand that largely overinflates man's position in the hierarchy of things.
God did lay out the pecking order. "What is man," asked the Psalmist, "that you take notice of him…you gave him dominion over the work of your hands, and you put all things under his feet…" Clearly, we see man is charged with sensible stewardship and proper utilization of creation. The big stuff is left for God to handle. And that is the tough, faith-y part because then we are forced to consider what we really believe about God. Did the omniscient God who created the heavens and the earth have a workable plan for coexistence in mind when he also created man?
The whole anti-fossil fuel movement relies on an assumption that the utilization of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) is responsible for extreme climate fluctuations and will be the death of planet earth. Of course, they leave out certain facts like the earth has warmed and cooled cyclically, long before fossil fuels were used like the Medieval Warm period. And today's CO2 concentrations pale in comparison to earlier geologic periods.
Contemplate the miraculous: In the beginning, God created carbon-filled plants that inhaled carbon dioxide and released oxygen into the air for man and beast to breathe and comfortably subsist. The earth flourished, and God saw that it was good. The plants die, decay and sometimes burn, sending their carbon substance back to the air, uniting with oxygen, and hence, creating carbon dioxide. And so on. Further consider: Without the presence of this most vital "greenhouse gas," the earth could not retain the necessary radiant energy to stay warm and all life including ours would quickly cease.
This process has worked rather well since day one, yet fear overcomes those who miss the mind-blowing genius of God's creation. Consider what happened after the BP oil spill a few years back. A January 2011 Time magazine article, "After the Great Spill: How the Gulf Cleaned Itself" explains that "microscopic bacteria" swallowed up much of the hydrocarbons "while they were still deep under the surface." Texas A & M University chemical oceanographer, John Kessler, said the spill "helped us understand the capacity of a natural system to handle this kind of event by itself" when "significant amounts of methane" some scientists thought would impact global warming "largely disappeared" when microscopic "methanotrophs" mopped up most of the mess.
This is not license to pollute, but rather a reason to loosen up and maybe dance a little over the idea that maybe God outthought us! He knew that in our honest efforts to stay warm, cook food, and live life, we still have an innate penchant toward mistake making – and created an app for that, namely, "methanotrophs" – an undersea version of Pac-man.
And the earth spins, the seasons change, temperatures rise and fall, and surely, God does not smile at the audacity of mere mortals foolish enough to think they can affect a planet clearly under his control.