The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of recently reported ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Why U.S. Christian Nationalism Could Sink Our Climate
Dear Diary. Do you ever wonder why Trump was able to get elected as President in the first place in 2016? He was able to tap into aggrieved lower middle class white people’s concerns plus he garnered the attention of Christians who wanted to make abortion illegal and put their stamp onto government for other moral issues, such as same sex marriage.
These evangelical Christians have been labeled Christian Nationalists that want to tear down the wall between church and state. Don’t get me wrong. Not all Christians across the United States are Christian Nationalists. Many Southern Baptists, the denomination I grew up with, definitely want a high wall between the church and the U.S. government to promote religious freedom. Historically, Christians as a whole, though, have been very doubtful when it comes to matters of science and to this day are much more concerned with the afterlife than what happens in the long term to the health of this Earth.
It’s no wonder that fossil fuel interests were able to ally with Christian Nationalists to sink the green movement during Trump’s first term as President. The climate issue is now highly politically polarized with just about all Republicans, many of whom are Christian Nationalists, wanting fossil fuel spigots to flow freely. This has horrified Katherine Hayhoe, an evangelical climate scientist fighting for our planet. Now Christian Nationalism is morphing into fascism and intermingling with white supremist groups. This is an alliance of the worst kind.
So, with the backing of Christian Nationalists, it’s obvious that if Trump or some other politician of his ilk, like Florida’s Ron Desantis, comes to power after the 2024 election, it might be game over for our climate. Already dark clouds are swirling over the 2022 midterms. It’s likely that Republicans will get control of the House of Representatives in 2023. Should they do so, they will try to undo every bit of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act climate initiatives and hold countless bogus hearings to blacken Biden and his family. I ask, is this really what Jesus would have wanted?
Well before Trump came to power over a decade ago Christians of all types were coming to terms with the science of climate change, as reported by this old 2013 Guardian article. Back during the Bush and Obama administrations, Christian Nationalism had not morphed into what it is today. After reading this article, you can see how seeds could be planted by fossil fuel interests among Christians to politically derail climate initiatives. Now Christian Nationalism is a big movement married with fascistic Republicanism that could very well sink our climate:
Christianity and climate change: the relationship between God and green
A new survey suggests that evangelical Christians in the US are more likely to be climate sceptics. Adam Corner investigates
By Adam Corner
Wed 11 Sep 2013
According to a new survey US evangelicals are less likely than non-evangelicals to believe climate change is happening and human activity is the cause. Photograph: Baz Ratner/REUTERS
In debates about climate change scepticism, much has been made of the influence of people’s political beliefs. Especially in the US, but in other Anglophone countries too, climate change has become one of those flagship issues – like gun control, gay marriage and reproductive rights – that are reliable indicators of left and right.
However, in many western democracies, millions of people don’t have strong political affiliations. In fact, many do not vote at all. And in the US in particular, there are other forces at play that affect people’s belief systems.
Some 30% of the population of North America describe themselves as evangelical Christians, with a much larger number following or practising other forms of Christianity. This means that the relationship between humans and the natural environment, from a theological perspective, is likely to be a significant influence on how people think about climate change and sustainability.
In a paper currently in press at the journal Global Environmental Change, Nick Smith and Antony Leiserowitz conducted a survey of over 2,000 North Americans, including approximately 600 evangelical Christians. Their aim was to better understand how evangelicals think about climate change, by comparing their views to those of non-evangelical participants in the survey.
Compared to non-evangelicals, American evangelicals were less likely to believe that climate change was happening, less likely to believe that human activity was the cause, and less likely to express worry and concern. And although a majority of evangelicals supported various policy measures to tackle climate change, they were less likely to do so than non-evangelicals.
Within the sample of evangelicals, though, there was variation in people’s views – and this variation was partly accounted for by their values and political ideologies. To the extent that people in the study were both evangelical and individualistic, they tended to doubt the reality of climate change. But evangelicals who were more egalitarian in their outlook were less sceptical – and more concerned – about climate change.
Partly because of the significant overlap between Christian beliefs and politically conservative ideology, therefore, right-leaning evangelicals were more sceptical than the general population about humans’ impact on the climate. Climate change, as the authors of the survey note, has become as divisive within this group as it has among the broader American public.
The survey is important because it provides the first direct comparison between the beliefs of evangelical Christians and the rest of the US population on the contemporary environmental issue of climate change. But debates about what the teachings of the Bible imply for society’s relationship with the natural world go back a long way.
Did God grant humans dominion and therefore domination over nature? Is nature there simply to be utilised by us? Or does dominion mean a duty of care – a responsibility for stewardship and a mandate to live within our means?
The question of how God and green relate to each other is not confined to the US. Operation Noah is a British Christian organisation that describes itself as “faith inspired, science informed and hope motivated”. It campaigns for the complete decarbonisation of the British economy by 2030, in response to the “growing threat of catastrophic climate change endangering God’s creation”. The theology thinktank sees no contradiction between radical lifestyle change and the teachings of Jesus – and provides resources and support for Christian groups who want to make climate change part of their identity.
And although the Church of England has been in the news recently for defending fracking (arguing that it will reduce fuel bills, and therefore help people with lower incomes), there is also broad-based agreement among British Christian institutions that climate change is a serious threat. International charities such as Christian Aid have been at the forefront of the push for a binding global agreement to limit carbon emissions. So it is certainly not the case that Christian beliefs and scepticism about climate change necessarily go hand in hand.
Even in the US, there have been examples of evangelical groups calling on their supporters to confront climate change, arguing that a commitment to Christianity implies a duty and responsibility to protect the planet. And climate scientists such as Katharine Hayhoe are evangelical about both climate change and their Christian faith. The relationship between God and green is not straightforward: there is no monolithic Christian view on the climate.
Human influence on the climate is a question of science. But the challenge of how to respond to climate change is squarely in the realm of morality – where religious and other belief systems reign supreme. And given the limited impacts of most campaigns to communicate climate change, might our dry, detached discussions of scientific uncertainties have something to learn from the passion and commitment of the pulpit?
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Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:
Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”