A new dimension has been given to the debate on climate change. Around this time last year, the Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg was a lone voice demanding greater efforts be made by the authorities to protect the environment. This week on Friday the call was taken up by school children globally as they turned up in millions as Greta’s cause went viral!
What lends poignancy to these protests is the assertion that the life-span of those marching will be shortened because this present generation of rulers did not take the matter seriously. You could say the marchers had a vested interest in their cause – namely their future existence!
Whether or not this is the case is not open to discussion as the consequences, if the protesters are correct, do not bear thinking about. The acceleration in the rise of sea-levels put many seaside communities at the risk of extinction. This, along with our President’s expressed concern for the effects of climate change, may have inspired the placard, “Save the Sea Michael D”!
Another placard, perhaps with Donald Trump’s dismissal of global warming in mind, carried the message, “The dinosaurs also thought they had time!” This points to the fact that the two largest users of fossil fuels, China and USA, have leaders who choose to ignore the global summit on climate change which takes place on Monday. Trump will be there but is to take part in a meeting on religious freedom!
Those who believe the Bible can take some comfort in the fact that after the original flood came the promise that this would not happen again (Genesis Chapter 9 verses 8 to 17). In Noah’s day the 40 days of rain was accompanied by rising tide levels as the ‘fountains of the deep’ were broken up (Genesis Chapter 7 verses 11/12).
After the flood came the recognition that man’s evil heart had not changed but Noah’s altar of atonement created a ‘pleasing aroma’ and formed the basis of the covenant. Now instead of the curse there would be the promises of continuity. We can be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, not because of the ‘balance of probabilities’ but because of God’s promise “As long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis Chapter 8 verses 21/22).
St Peter predicted in the last day’s scoffers would come and cast doubt on the Lord’s return because of this continuity that exists. They choose to forget the flood. But heaven and earth will pass away by fire and St Peter asks in view of this, “what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?” He concludes, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter Chapter 3 verses 3/13).
History will have an end. Jesus’ return will precede it. We are to be ready.