Yes, it’s been a warm winter. A couple of weeks of really chilly weather, one or two snows, but that’s about it. Talk to me again in August if it’s abnormally hot, and you’ll have my attention.
That’s the problem with global data, isn’t it? It’s the only thing that can really hurt us is what happens in the long run, but it fails to motivate unless it’s hitting us hard at home right now. Well, if you can be bothered with those far-away markers that impact distant families now and you yourself in the future, please take note of a few developments going on right under our noses.
- February was the hottest month for our common home, relative to historical averages, by a longshot.
- It followed January, which was the previous hottest month by a longshot.
- January followed 2015, which was the hottest year ever recorded.
- 2015 followed 2014, which had been the hottest year ever recorded, until 2015 came along.
- It hasn’t been easy to set heat records since 2000, because 15 of the 16 hottest years ever recorded have occurred since then.
- The Arctic is melting fast. While Arctic sea ice reached record summer minimums in September 2012, winter ice coverage is at a record low right now, beating the previous record-low in 2015, which beat the previous record-low in 2014.
- Earth-warming gas concentrations are now at their highest levels in human history. When the climate was relatively stable, they measured 280 parts per million of CO2. Today, they are more than 404 parts per million.
- With all this scary news, you might think that we’d be doing a lot to stop it, and the growth rate of greenhouse gases would be slowing. In fact, 2015 marked the fastest growth year for earth-warming gases in the atmosphere ever measured.
- What happens during the next presidential term will likely determine whether the world summons the resolve to take action, or continues to race at breakneck speeds toward tipping points from which our children cannot return. Some US presidential candidates take this seriously. Others prefer not to talk about it. Others still call it a hoax.
Beloved Planet attempts to offer a platform to consider “the gospel’s call to care for an injured world.” Given the set of facts listed above, what does the gospel call us to? Is God really in Christ, “reconciling all things” from the effects of human sin? Is God really “making all things new” in the kingdom of his Son, inaugurated in the resurrection of Jesus? If so, how does he call his people as co-laborers with him in this ministry of reconciliation?
How – do you think – is God calling you?