spring flowers
Where Faith Meets Reality

Global Warming, Butch Cassidy and Morons

Winter 2009/10 is over. Soon spring will be popping out all over. Robins have been gathering in clusters on the lawn outside my window. Days are getting longer, and somehow, blue skies are bluer than ever.

March Madness has arrived. Before getting lost in it or we start complaining about April showers or worrying over a hot summer, we ought to take a moment to reflect on this past winter.

Loads of snow wreaked havoc in areas that never have to deal with the aftermath of snow storms. Washington, D.C. was shut down for a week.

Bitter weather made appearances in the strangest of places, which set-off a flurry of discussion regarding the great bugaboo known as Global Warming. Its enthusiasts had to gear up to protect or explain the “scientific data”.

The spinning and parsing of words was laughable. All kinds of contradictory opinions have been spewed by supposed experts.

Perhaps Al Gore and company ought to hire a new Public Relations firm or here’s a nutty idea: How about actually being honest about the science? Why not acknowledge that much is unknown and there are factors that can’t be figured? Why not admit the possibility of variables beyond human comprehension?

How about explaining the fact that there are fluctuations which can’t be accounted for by computer generated models? And maybe, in this burst of transparency from Global Warming apologists, we’d hear what commonsense figured out a long while ago, which is that politics has hijacked science.

If nature strings together a couple winters like this past one, we’ll hear about the next apocalyptic disaster, the imminent ice age. Oh, but we’ve already been there and done that, haven’t we? In the 1970s it was Global Cooling, which meant we’d soon be seeing glaciers on the move in our backyards.

Call me crazy, but my worldview is shaped by a handful of profound words: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth . . .”

An awful lot is settled for me in that opening line of Genesis: God is; God creates; the heavens and earth belong to him; and all that follows in the Bible is his story; we exist as part of his story. It’s a shocking revelation for some, but our lives on planet earth are about God, not about us.

Unfortunately we humans have an innate need to be in charge and in control. In some circles, Global Warming is religion. Its fiercest defenders approach it with an evangelical zeal that is disturbing. Dissent or disagreement with the tenets of the faith is unacceptable.

Any legitimate enquiries regarding specific data or historical anomalies are shouted down or mocked. Skeptics like me need to be enlightened by its oft-repeated litany: Global Warming is responsible for every imaginable manifestation of natural cycles of weather patterns.

Let me be clear: We are to be environmentally responsible stewards of creation, but that doesn’t mean buying into popular doomsday scenarios put forward by statistics that can be skewed for political reasons and financial gain.

Here’s a question to consider: IF—and I emphasize IF—manmade climate change is real, has it taken God by surprise?

An old hymn proclaims that this is my Father’s world. If that is true and we adhere to it, then this is where faith meets reality; our theology must work itself out in our perspective and attitude. After all, there are truly mysteries about God and his purposes that are too complex for us to know.

Remember Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? In the movie, Butch and Sundance escape the law in the States by moving to Bolivia, where they engage in their occupation as bank robbers and bandits. When they get spooked in Bolivia, they decide to go straight and get hired on as payroll guards.

On their first assignment they are riding down a mountain, with their employer leading the way to pick-up the payroll. Anxious to do a good job, Butch and Sundance are talking about where would-be robbers could be hiding.

The only problem is that they haven’t got the payroll with them yet; they’ve got no money going down the mountain. Their boss overhears them and exclaims, “Morons! I’ve got morons on my team.”

Do you ever think that God hears all our angst and speculations about his world, and has the same kind of reaction: “Morons! I’ve got morons on my team.”?

If so, the good news is that God relates to us in the context of grace. To the Romans, Paul wrote: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Perhaps he should have written: “While we were still morons . . .”