I don’t understand why climate change is a partisan issue. This is like having ideas about car brakes, for example, that are based on politics rather than engineering. Everybody agrees that brakes are good and that cars should be required to have brakes. No one thinks brakes take away our individual freedom, or aren’t worth the money, or should be phased in over a decade or two. Whether we are drivers or pedestrians, brakes are essential if we want to live.
Maybe dealing with climate change is more like critical building repairs proposed to the members of a condominium association. It’s too expensive, I might say. My unit seems just fine. Let’s wait. Maybe I’ll be gone when the bill comes due.
Our planet is more than steel and concrete, however. It is alive, says Genesis 1. It is fashioned with plants yielding seed, with swarming creatures in the sea, flying birds, cattle and creeping things, and wild animals—all animated with the life of the Creator. These living things are given life by God’s pronouncement. And in an intricately designed system, our very being as humans depends on the existence of these living creatures.
If the car mechanic or the building inspector is ignored, we know the results might be tragic. Collectively, we are responsible for much more than roads and buildings. All the evidence around us says we cannot ignore the warnings about the potential demise of the place we live.
In a sense, we are all condominium dwellers. Whether we live in apartments or houses, trailers or mansions, we don’t actually own very much. The effects of climate change testify that individually we don’t control the land, air, or water around us. We are part of a community that must act together to protect our global home. My unit may feel like my own, like an individual space, but it’s ultimately dependent on the same foundation and structure as all my neighbors.
Surely we don’t intend to harm what God has declared good. Let us worship the Creator by guarding and protecting the garden—and every living creature.
Wendy McFadden is publisher of Brethren Press and Communications for the Church of the Brethren.