Home Headline News Science New Reference Work Brings Truth about Climate Change to Thousands of Christian Teachers and Students

New Reference Work Brings Truth about Climate Change to Thousands of Christian Teachers and Students

4 min read

What should we think about climate change? That’s a question thousands of Christians face, especially teachers and students at Christian universities, colleges, and high schools.

In “Climate Change (Natural-Variations View),” an article in the Dictionary of Christianity and Science: The Definitive Reference for the Intersection of Christian Faith and Contemporary Science, Dr. David R. Legates, a Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow and Professor of Climatology and Geography at the University of Delaware, provides an outstanding answer in a new reference work that will reach them for years to come.

After pointing out that “climate has always changed,” “humans certainly can and do influence the earth’s climate,” and “global air temperature [has] increased over the past 160 years”—matters on which pretty much all scientists agree—Dr. Legates then discusses “the more complex questions” on which scientists (including Christians) disagree:

To what extent are humans responsible for the climate change we have observed? What are the future consequences of climate change, from both natural and anthropogenic sources? How should we, as Bible-believing Christians, respond?

He follows with an explanation of what climate is and why, because of “how utterly complex our climate system is,” modeling it, which is crucial to predicting future climate, is extremely difficult and so far has failed to make credible predictions.

Next he discusses and corrects the typical, oversimplified understanding of “climate change” among non-specialists: carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels is the primary control knob for global average temperature; we’re adding more by burning fossil fuels; and the result is likely to be disastrous. On the contrary, CO2 is only one, and by no means the most important, of many controlling factors. Variations in solar irradiance and ocean currents are more important. And CO2’s increase is unlikely to cause dangerous global warming.

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