For an entire generation now, corporate-backed politicians have been resisting action on the growing crisis of climate change. They started by denying that any climate change was taking place. Then they retreated to the idea that human activity was not causing climate change. Then they defended the fringe idea that climate change would not be worth considering in its impact.
At every step, science advanced. Observations and expert analysis have consistently moved in the direction of certainty that climate change is happening, and that it is caused by human beings. No one can predict the future with certainty, but scientific evidence also suggests that the impact of climate change will be catastrophic in the future. The impact of climate change in the present has already reached the level of global crisis.
After all of this, some corporate-backed politicians still cling to their resistance to action. One of these is U.S. Representative John Shimkus, a politician from Illinois who has been consistently funded by the coal industry. Congressman Shimkus cannot plausibly deny the scientific consensus on climate change any more, so he has retreated to his citadel of desperation: The Bible.
The argument Shimkus is now making against action to deal with climate change is that the Bible says that human-caused climate change is impossible. The climate policy Shimkus is now promoting: Let God take care of the climate.
Here’s what John Shimkus said in a recent congressional hearing on climate change:
“I want to start with Genesis 8 verse 21 and 22. ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of man even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood, and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done. As long as the Earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ I believe that is the infallible word of God, and thatâ€™s the way itâ€™s going to be for his creation.
The second verse comes from Matthew 24. ‘And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.’ The Earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy the Earth. The Earth will not be destroyed by a flood. I appreciate having panelists here who are men of faith, and we can get into the theological discourse of that position, but I do believe that Godâ€™s word is infallible, unchanging, perfectâ€¦ There is a theological debate that this is a carbon starved planet, not too much carbon.”
Yes, Representative Shimkus is arguing that if you’re a good Christian, you should let the coal industry have its way. Polluting the atmosphere without restraint is what God wants.
It seems that John Shimkus doesn’t know the difference between his own desires and the will of God. Maybe it’s time for a retreat, Mr. Shimkus.