Ethics Scholar Looks At How Your Carbon Footprint Causes Conflict Or Something

Apparently, conflict and war never existed before fossil fueled vehicles

Columbia Theological Seminary ethics scholar looks at how climate change impacts conflict and violence

In addition to the existential threat that climate crisis poses, it’s also a factor in conflict and violence around the world, the Rev. Dr. Mark Douglas said earlier this month on “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast.”

Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics and Lead Professor of the Master of Theology degree at Columbia Theological Seminary, spoke to “A Matter of Faith” hosts Simon Doong and the Rev. Lee Catoe during a 54-minute episode of the podcast that can be heard here. Catoe and Doong posed this question: “We hear a lot about the impacts of climate change on things like loss of biodiversity and weather changes, but are there more human impacts such as increased likelihood of conflict or violence?”

Douglas said he first became interested in how climate change can lead to conflict and violence when he heard a retired admiral interviewed on NPR about security considerations related to climate change. “I thought, I hadn’t heard of anybody in my guild, Christian ethics or religious ethics more broadly, talk about climate change and security issues. I thought, here’s a place where maybe there’s a niche for me,” Douglas said. “What I discovered was entire new fields of study with which I was not familiar.”

How about studying the Bible, rather than joining a doomsday cult? The good Reverend does realize that there were plenty of big wars during the Little Ice Age, right? And during the Dark Ages? There is no existential threat from ‘climate change’.

The first causative impact on security issues and violence driven by climate issues was the El Niño system that began hitting Central America and its neighbors in the early 2000s and returned last year. “This was the first bit of evidence we had, that there is a causative impact on security issues and violence driven by climate issues,” he said.

El Nino is a naturally occurring weather phenomenon that has been going on for a long time.

Climate change also has exacerbated or contributed to conflict, he said. His work suggests “that environmental degradation, climate change, the catastrophic loss of biodiversity and the exponential growth of pollutants, including toxic pollutants, are not only having impacts on human activity, they’re reshaping how we understand the world around us,” Douglas said. To put it another way: “Environmental issues are not only in this new age we’re entering into going to be issues about which we think, they’re going to be lenses through which we make sense of other issues.”

Well, he has the cult talking points down.

There’s also “a theological claim we would want to make: Somehow God is still working providentially, and our confidence in what God does ought to look like a willingness to have and raise children into God’s future,” Douglas said. “It’s an expression of faithful confidence in God in the face of a lot of change, recognizing that the world has always undergone change and, in the middle of it, we’re better off than most people in history.”

The church “has to pay attention to displacement, primarily refuges, and how we understand resources and questions of scarcity,” Douglas said. “As Christians, we don’t start with control and scarcity to take advantage and control markets. We start with the goodness of Creation and a sense of God’s abundance in which there is enough and go from there.”

I’m confident that God doesn’t want His representatives joining a cult.

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6 Responses to “Ethics Scholar Looks At How Your Carbon Footprint Causes Conflict Or Something”

  1. Mad Celt says:

    Been hitting the Communion wine kind of hard there, Rev. Considering no one had an inkling of long term consequences at the start of the Industrial Revolution and nothing was said or written until the rise of Marxism in the Industialized nations. If climate change is an established fact why the clamoring over raising funds to fight it when no solid strategy has been proposed? As they say, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    William Teach typed: El Nino is a naturally occurring weather phenomenon that has been going on for a long time


    During normal conditions in the Pacific ocean, trade winds blow west along the equator, taking warm water from South America towards Asia. To replace that warm water, cold water rises from the depths — a process called upwelling. El Niño and La Niña are two opposing climate patterns that break these normal conditions. Scientists call these phenomena the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.

    During El Niño, trade winds weaken. Warm water is pushed back east, toward the west coast of the Americas. The warmer waters cause the Pacific jet stream to move south of its neutral position. With this shift, areas in the northern U.S. and Canada are dryer and warmer than usual. But in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Southeast, these periods are wetter than usual and have increased flooding.

    El Niño (and the opposite La Niña) is superimposed on the rising temperature contributing to the natural variability seen in mean global surface temperature. The fact that El Niños peaks are nearly always higher than the previous demonstrates how the Earth is warming, which no one doubts any longer. For example, the 2016 El Niño peak was some 0.5°C warmer than the then massive 1998 El Niño.

  3. H says:

    The right wing of both American political parties has always supported the global oil producers and has been willing to accept the most extreme form of Islam, Wahabism. Just as long as they kept giving us oil.
    Iraq was not about “freedom”

    • Jl says:

      Good point, carbon boy-how could someone support an industry that basically runs the whole globe day after day? The horror. Should they instead support your invaders from the southern border?

  4. SD says:

    Judge Jeanine: This was Trump lawyer’s ‘big bang’ during closing arguments

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