10 Reasons Christians Need to Care About Climate Change

As a recent documentary on Christianity and climate change by the Guardian points out, Christians are largely divided on this topic. Here are ten reasons they don't need to be. 

1.       POVERTY. First and foremost, climate change affects the poor and the marginalized. Racial minorities and those in poverty are statistically the most exposed to toxic pollutants (in fact 92% of all pollution-related mortality is seen in low-income and middle-income countries).  Around the world, 3 out of 4 people in poverty rely on agriculture and natural resources to survive. "For these people, the effects of climate change — limited water and food sources and increased competition for them — are a real matter of life and death."

2.       WATER. Water quality and water supply reliability are jeopardized by climate change in a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods. Water quality is diminishing in many areas, particularly due to increasing sediment and contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours.

3.       OXYGEN & AIR QUALITY. The ocean is also losing oxygen, threatening marine life. Why it matters: marine life like plankton provide 70% of the oxygen on earth. Additionally, half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead, which provides food to fish that employ 500 million people around the world and sea life that have vital cancer and disease fighting properties.

4.       REGULATIONS like the clean car rule and clean power plan are being done away with in our country. While you may not agree with big brother tactics, who is to stop big corporations when they put profit and the bottom line before people? Remember, we are the government and it's institutions exist for us. Fact, the U.S. represents 4.4% of the world's population, but ranks #2 or 30% of total worldwide emissions. Our way of life is affecting the world. Since Trump was elected, over 76 environmental regulations have been either revoked or under attack.

5.       COST. Global climate change is affecting us now: more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought, an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms. In fact, the cost of climate-exacerbated disasters in 2017 was $300b.

6.       LIVES. Whether its sea level rise, devastating hurricanes, heat waves, and drought, the gravity of such incidents are exacerbated by climate change and are claiming lives. Not to mention, climate change also threatens human health and has affected billions around the world. And let's not forget the evil twin of climate change, pollution. Not only does pollution affect children, it accounts for 90% of the global mortality, raising the number of deaths from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and asthma.

7.       ANIMALS. This winter's Arctic maximum sea ice extent was the 2nd-lowest ever recorded, you can see it happening here (devastating news for Arctic wildlife that depend on sea ice for survival, not to mention rise of sea level that 140m+ people live within 3 feet of). By 2020, two thirds of animals will have gone extinct and many more will continue to die off without environmental protections. Sadly, climate change is contributing to the mass extinction we have been witnessing over the last several decades.

8.       FOOD. Climate change is poised to affect the world's food supply in three key ways, experts say. "There will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food we produce.” With mass loss of biodiversity, world food supply faces and agriculture are in serious danger.

9.       OUR CHILDREN. Climate change is a dangerous and disruptive force for many children around the world and is particularly impacting the most vulnerable. Global conflict exacerbated by climate change in the form of resource scarcity has displaced millions of children and people around the world. We must ask ourselves, what will our children’s future’s look like without clean air, clean water, food, and a home to live in? 

10.    JESUS. When asked what the greatest commandment was, He said to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" and the second, "to love your neighbor as yourself."  Philippians 2:7 says, Jesus "who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness." 

He gave us the ultimate example of what true power, authority and dominion looks like—selfless love. Most of all, He commands us to care for “least of these,” whom Jesus identifies as the poor, the oppressed, children, and those in need—the very demographic and population most at risk for being impacted by climate change.

Let Him into your heart so that you can share His light with the world. It's simple, if we love Creator, then we will love all that is dear to His heart, on earth as in heaven, irrespective of partisan politics. Fight for climate justice now. 

Elisabeth Soto