In 2013, Rush Limbaugh famously said on his radio show “If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create.” This was in response to John Kerry’s belief that climate change was “a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians–safe guarders of God’s creation.”
Edmonton is no stranger to the battle for the environment. Our city is tightly interwoven with the oil industry, and as the 2014 recession showed, their pain is our pain. As the global demand for oil goes down, how can we stay true to who we are without excising a vital part of our identity and our economy? As the demand for cleaner energy surges in response to the growing threat of global warming, do we choose to follow the words of Rush Limbaugh and let
our faith blind us to the realities of science? Is there no other option than to turn a blind eye to rising tide of evidence supporting the theory of manmade climate change?
We believe that the answer instead lies in aligning our faith with science. The word of our Lord has never demanded our blindness- would not the Lord have us revel in the natural wonder he has created for us? Did he not give us eyes to see his grandeur in the mountains? Ears to hear his voice through the music of birds and bees? Skin to feel his touch in the flow of a stream or the gentle caress of the wind? We cannot be deaf to the destruction of his creation.
Instead, we must become what God intended- guardians and care takers of his beautiful creation. Our challenge becomes reconciling our personal and social dependency on oil with the divine directive to protect. Christians across the world need to take up the cause of environmentalism, and insist upon cleaner energy. How can we be a shining light to the world if there is too much smog to see? How can people hear the word of God if they cannot breath the air around them? Oil is not the enemy. Edmonton is not the enemy. Our beloved city is at a crossroads- whether to double down on our oil dependence, or to find a better, more Godly solution. By working with the oil industry, and leading the way through the light of Christ, we can make our city a beacon for the world to follow.