Discussion Prompt: The Climate Change (“Global Warming”) DebateBackground Information:The topic of climate change has been in the headlines for many years now. Because the temperatures on earth have increased since the early 1900s, many refer to this phenomenon as “global warming”. However, recently there has been ample controversy sparked over this topic. The main questions that are commonly debated are:What has caused the earth’s temperature to increase and will the temperature continue to increase?Is “global warming” mainly due to human activity or is it a result of natural processes on earth or in our solar system?Many environmental-climate models and scientific data suggest that the earth’s temperature will continue to rise in the near future. Therefore, one might ask:Are we entering into a global environmental crisis or is the media inflating the issue, thus, creating unnecessary fear?Do humans encompass the knowledge and methods to intentionally change the earth’s climate for the good or bad?Examine the pro and con arguments regarding the climate change debate by reviewing the following article: Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?Assignment Instructions:Part 1: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist, associate professor, and devout Christian. Please watch this short video: Katharine Hayhoe Video Video transcript (pdf) Video transcript (pdf) – Alternative Formats available for downloadDr. Hayhoe discusses that climate change is human-caused and explains that some of the natural causes of climate change cannot account for the rapid and intense climate warming that has been observed by scientists.Select one of the natural causes below and research the issue using credible scientific sources. Changes in the sun’s energyNatural climatic fluctuationsVolcanoesDo you believe this natural cause can account for climate change? Explain why or why not. What evidence do scientists point to that shows that climate change is human-caused?To gain a better overall understanding of the various perspectives on this issue, you may wish to view the following resources:The Globe Is Warming, But It’s Not Your Fault! (article)Evidence for Global Warming (article)Part 2: Watch this short video (2:49) on the “The Climate Change Evangelist”.Dr. Hayhoe claims that God is the God of love, not fear. Instead of acting out of fear we are to act out of love and protect the poor and the disadvantaged. Based on your reading in the Biblical Perspective, how should Christians respond to the issue of climate change?
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