“No, I don’t!” I cheerfully replied.
A puzzled silence ensued. Wary of calling out the pastor’s wife, the man haltingly asked, “But aren’t you … didn’t you just say you study climate science?”
“That’s right,” I said with an encouraging nod.
“So how can you not believe in it?!” he asked, perplexed.
And with that question, he opened the door to an incredibly constructive conversation about science, faith and truth. As I always do now when someone asks this, I explained that climate change is not a belief system. We know that the earth’s climate is changing thanks to observations, facts and data about God’s creation that we can see with our eyes and test with the sound minds that God has given us. And still more fundamentally, I went on to explain why it matters: because real people are being affected today; and we believe that God’s love has been poured in our hearts to share with our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are suffering.
After hundreds, even thousands, of such conversations, I’ve grown to understand how much of this opposition to the idea that the climate is changing, that humans are responsible, that the impacts are serious and that the time to act is now, comes from fear: fear of loss of our way of life, fear of being told that our habits are bad for society, fear of changes that will leave us worse off
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