Is Mankind in Control of the Earth?
In the 1970’s the environmental community was warning us that the earth was headed for another Ice Age; the polar ice caps were growing, and if we didn’t all change the way we lived posthaste there would be catastrophic consequences for mankind. Documentaries such as The Weather Machine (1974) produced for the BBC featured leading experts portending doom for the planet. In the 1980’s we were told that acid rain was killing our lakes and denuding our forests, and that if we didn’t drastically alter the way we lived the planet would soon become a lifeless desert.
That environmental cash-cow was short lived, however, so in the 1990’s we were told of the dangers of global warming, holes in the ozone layer, and the calamitous effects on earth’s climate if we didn’t do something and do it fast. Their answer included pumping as much money that could possibly be extorted from corporations and countries into climatology studies.
After all, only environmentalists and their media cohorts, you know, can save the planet. An American politician in the mid-1800’s made the unusually candid admission that the secret to politics is to create a crisis, and then ride in on your white horse to save people from the crisis you have created. This describes much of what passes for science today, especially in the politically charged field of environmentalism.
Now we are being warned of the dangers of “climate change”. That is a nice catchall term that covers just about every climatological or ecological glitch that can be used to support their ideology. Every anomaly, every disaster, and every misfortune becomes proof for the theory. Of course, just like the other apocalyptic predictions, we are to blame.
Mankind now possesses this awesome power to drastically alter earth’s climate, to be the cause of floods, droughts, and famines. Extreme fluctuations in temperature – from unusually hot summers to “record-breaking” winters (even though records have only been kept for about 150 years) – all can be blamed on climate change, which of course can all be blamed on us. Our carbon footprints are to be found everywhere. Some airlines even offer you the option of paying more for your ticket with the proceeds going to offset the carbon footprint you so thoughtlessly created by flying in their airplane. How nice.
Not only are we told we have this remarkable ability to alter the earth’s climate for the worst, but we also have the extraordinary capability to make it better. Everything from natural disasters to wildfires to a seasonal increase in shark attacks to teenage drinking has and is blamed on climate change. The climate industry’s software has proven we are all doomed if we do not harken to their cry and adopt their agenda.
The fact that birds, trees, and insects produce more CO2 than humans, or that the CO2 and methane emission of cows dwarfs that of automobiles is quietly ignored. After all, you can’t regulate the emission of cows. It is hard to imagine the gullibility required to believe that mankind actually has the ability to cause or stop the climate from changing. What incredible haughtiness and arrogance.
God is in Control of the Earth
Of course nothing could be further from the truth taught in Scripture. The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it (Ps 24:1; 89:11; Ps 104). Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all the deeps. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; who makes lightnings for the rain; who brings forth the rain from His storehouses (Ps 135: 6, 7). It is He who withholds rain and turns the sky to iron and the earth to bronze (Lv 26:19; 1 Kg 17:1; Jer 14:1-6).
It is God who sends rain on the earth and makes the grass to grow and gives food to the beasts of the earth (Ps 147:8, 9). He commands the wind and the waves (Mt 8:27). God brought about the greatest ecological disaster in recorded history in which He destroyed every living thing except the eight people and the animals He preserved. It is from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth (Lam 3:38). In all the plagues of Egypt God demonstrated His sovereignty over the natural world. His sovereignty rules over all (Ps 103:19).
The prophet Joel interprets the unprecedented and “record-breaking” (Joel 1:2) annihilation of Judah’s agriculture by locust plague and drought as a terrible judgment for sin – not evidence of some man-made “climate change”. He uses it as an illustration of a far greater judgment to come on all people and nations who have rebelled against God, and to issue a call to repentance.
Would we not be wise to do the same today? To apply Joel’s interpretation to events such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy would today be dismissed as superstitious and unscientific, thereby denying God’s sovereignty over His creation. Mankind has no more ability to alter the climate than the prophets of Baal had of calling down fire from heaven. There is a lot of ranting and raving, but no fire (1 Kg 18:29).
All creation is dependent on God not only for its existence, but also for its preservation, for “If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14, 15; cf. Col 1:17). But we are told if the earth is to survive this blight of mankind, then it is dependent on mankind to save it. We belong to the earth; the earth does not belong to us, so we are told, despite what Scripture says to the contrary (Ps 8:6-8). We are dependent on the earth, they would say, not God, and the earth is dependent on us. The doctrine of climate change is rooted in an evolutionary model of origins and as such is pagan to the core.
God’s authority over His creation, including mankind, is an absolute non-derived authority. All other governments flow from Him; all other authorities depend on Him (Rm 13:1). God’s right over His creation is the right of a potter over the clay; He can do with it as He wishes without any need or obligation to explain Himself to His creation (Rm 9:20, 21; Jer 18:6-12). Things do not happen according to people’s abilities, but according to the overruling authority of God (Jer 10:23; Pv 20:24; Ac 4:27, 28). But even though His dominion is absolute, it is not capricious or tyrannical. He rules and governs all things by His wisdom, goodness, righteousness, and justice. God has given man dominion over His creation as a caretaker, not as a sovereign. He allows man the use of His creation, not sovereignty over it.
Earth’s climate is constantly changing and it has been since recorded history, but not because man is changing it. The earth that existed prior to The Flood is not the earth we live in today. That earth was destroyed (2 Pt 3:6), and this present earth is being reserved by His word for destruction with fire (2 Pt 3:7). God has not given over His sovereignty to man (Ps 115:3). Man does not possess the ability to destroy what belongs to God, and what God is reserving for His day of judgment.
Scientific Sacrilege vs. God’s Sovereignty
All this talk of climate change is nothing more than sinful man once again trying to wrest the scepter out of God’s hand, to exalt himself as sovereign, to be as God. It is merely another expression of mankind’s proclivity to worship the creature rather than the Creator (Rm 1:18-23). It is simply a denial of the sovereignty of God.
The false doctrine of climate change is not science, it is sacrilege. It is to disdain and hold with contempt God’s sovereignty over His creation. It is His sovereignty over creation that gives God sovereignty over all mankind (Rev 4:11); it is this that fallen man cannot tolerate. It is impossible to be a creature and not have God as Lord, yet the dominion of God is not scorned by any of God’s creatures but man.
People wish there was no such Sovereign, or not such a one as God is in His own nature, but would be more like the corrupt model they want Him to be. This is the great quarrel between God and man, whether He or they will be the sovereign ruler. According to the false doctrine of climate change, man is sovereign over the earth, not God. Whatever god these people may profess to believe, it is not the God of the Bible. Like all pagan cultures, they worship the creation and the creature, but not the Creator.