Humans as a cancer on the world

(Reproduced courtesy of Dr Geoff Downes, from Anselm Study House).

Conspiracy theories abound in many public debates, climate change being no exception. As Christians we know there is a battle for this world, because Scripture tells us so. That war was won definitively at Calvary and the remaining battles we fight are essentially mopping up operations as the gospel steadily advances over the centuries to fill the earth and renew it.

The battle ebbs and flows in different parts at different times, and at this time and place it seems we (the church) are on the back foot as God disciplines His people to return them to a foundational, presuppositional commitment to His word. That discipline takes part of its form in the current ascendency of anti-christian thought that is naturally and fundamentally opposed to the mind of God. When this is taken to its logical conclusion it will be shown to lead to folly and insanity, for as C.S Lewis argued, "sin is madness'.

Part of that madness is the culture of death that anti-christian (secular humanist) thought inevitably leads to. Euthanasia, abortion, infanticide are a few of the consequences of "freeing" our selves from the law of God. Instead of seeing our role as servants and managers of the world God created, we are being told we are part of a disease. We are told that the sustainable population of the earth is only 1 billion people. Volunteers are being called for to leave this planet. Presumably the promulgators of this view see themselves as an exception to the rule.

To be fair, starting from their presuppositions (i.e. God doesn't exist, there is no higher purpose in life, we evolved by natural processes) they make reasonable sense. However, also starting from their presuppositions, so what? We are all just bags of meat that flop around the earth for a while, and then are recycled into other bags of chemicals of one sort or another.

In 1968 Paul Ehrlich published the book "The Population Bomb" warning of imminent over-population. He predicted mass starvation in the 70's and 80's, caused by food shortages. This was the period when the EU were often subsidising European farmers to not plant crops because of over-supply. Most starvation events have typically been caused by an abuse of governmental power over their people; a good reason to make sure we avoid handing more power to governments than necessary.

In that book, Paul Ehrlich introduced the concept of I = P.A.T. That is human impact on the world is a function of (P)opulation, (A)ffluence and (T)echnology. The more people of greater affluence, the more they will consume and therefore the more they will impact negatively on the world.
That Impact is now being measured as "greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP." The fundamental flaw here being the view that there is a pie of fixed size, and the more people there are, the smaller piece each one gets. In general history has shown that Affluence leads to more time for creative thought and activity, increased investment in, and enhancement of technology, leading to a better use of the resources we have and creation of new ones (i.e. computers, robots, more productive crops etc. etc.).

The underlying premise of all these environmental movements seems to be this view that humans are a disease on the planet and that "Carbon units" need to be eradicated and controlled. Are we just a disease? And if we are, who do we think should do the controlling? But dig below that surface a little and it always seems to come back to money. The flow of wealth from the western countries to LDP's. "There's no real agreement over the amounts of money that should flow from the richer world to the poorer." For Australia it seems the UN wants about $7 billion per year. That's more taxes we'll pay that will limit our ability to develop technologies that will allow us to exercise a more godly stewardship over this world. Less time and resources to deal with any consequences of climate change if it really is a result of increasing carbon dioxide.

Isn't there a case then that the whole climate change debate is just another mechanism to rob from those countries that have developed a stable and productive culture (namely one founded on Christian principles of hard work and thrift) to those whose cultures haven't allowed this culture to develop.
Isn't it really greed? These countries don't need $$, they need the gospel of Christ and the consequential commitment to the principles of Christian law. (nb: that is not to deny that there are times and seasons when the wealthier should help those less fortunate but that (a) it should not be done with a gun to their heads and (b) it needs to be done Scripturally so as not to promote a culture of dependency and laziness.)

These issues all come back to your religious presuppositions. All worldviews are religious. Everyone has a set of beliefs that they use to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. Even atheists. As Christians we start from Scripture and reason from there, as only the Christian worldview gives a basis for logic and reason; we were created in the image of God. God is working throughout history to achieve His ends. Humans are not a cancer and over-population is not the problem. "Seek first the kingdom of God" is a command to all men, families, churches and nations.

Then he will bless us with all the things we need to serve Him.

Dr Geoff Downes (Anselm Study House)

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