Evangelicals gather in Madrid to address theological implications of climate change
“Let’s begin to raise awareness, respond to this responsibility before God. Let’s plant churches, but also trees”, said Lowell Bliss co-director of the Christian Climate Observer Program.
Protestante Digital · MADRID · 11 DECEMBER 2019 · 12:25 CET
Representatives of the Christian Climate Observer Program (CCOP), a group that is part of the Lausanne Creation Care Network and the World Evangelical Alliance, have been invited by the UN to the Conference on Climate Change, COP25, as observers.
Using the opportunity of their presence in Madrid, they organised a meeting on Saturday December 7, which was attended by around 100 people.
After a greeting by the organizing team of the event (Miguel Wickham and Juliana Morillo), Pedro Tarquis, director of Areopago Protestante (the media group that includes Evangelical Focus) welcomed participants on behalf of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance and the Spain Lausanne Movement, which organised the event.
After a time of prayer and a few minutes of worship time, praising God as creator and for the wonder of his work, there were two presentations. To conclude the meeting, several projects involving CCOP members in different countries and programs, were presented.
A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO CLIMATE CHANGE
The first presentation was given by Antoine Bret, professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, PhD in Physics from the University of Orsay (France), and visiting professor in the Department of Astrophysics at Harvard University.
His presentation focused on four points. First, Bret explained that time is variable and often unpredictable, but the climate is a line that shows clear changes since measurements started in 1800, with an average increase in temperature that had never existed.
Secondly, he pointed out that this climate change is mainly happening due to the increase in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the Earth's atmosphere: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and ozone.
Bret added that this increase in GHG is due 90% to the human factor, mainly fossil fuel combustion and deforestation.
Finally, he concluded saying that there is a gradual and progressive temperature increase which is harmful to nature and human life, so that if it is not acted upon (in the worst case scenario) it would lead to a 5º increase in the average temperature in 2100, with deglaciations, desertification and a non-habitable world, except in areas far from the equator.
Bret emphasized that this is not a prediction, since it depends on the actions that will be made, and he was showing the worst of the possible scenarios.
BIBLE AND ECOLOGY
Lowell Bliss co-directs the CCOP and was the director of the editorial team of the Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel: Call to Action. He is one of the evangelical leaders most committed to practical action against climate change.
In his speech, Bliss recalled that “the Earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord”, so that Christians are the first ones called to care for His creation; beyond political issues, but as part of the integral mission of the disciples of Jesus.
How do we take care of what was “good” in Genesis 1?, excersising a responsible stewardship.
“We cannot change the situation, but as we do when we love our neighbour, let's begin to raise awareness, respond to this responsibility before God. Let's plant churches, but also trees”.