Ice Sheets Melting

Data around the melting of Arctic ice is profoundly unsettling.  The summer’s low dipped to an ice coverage of the Arctic ocean of 24%.  In the 1970′s that number was around 50%.  This will have profound effects on the earth’s climate given, that as one scientist noted, “The Artic is the earth’s air  conditioner.”

As a pastor, there are areas where we are called to draw attention.  Taking care of the planet, sustainability, is a spiritual concept.  We are driven in our culture but an unquestioned bias toward “more”, at times driven, at least in my life,  by what New Church theology tags as self-centeredness and materialism.   It is much easier for all of us to indulge these more crass loves rather than fight them.  Important to note, the cultural systems within which we live will not call us to task.  Case in point – there appears to be great effort going towards exploiting now accessible resources in the Arctic as well as using now open sea channels.  A recent article in the New York times noted, “Some scientists think the Arctic Ocean could be largely free of summer ice as soon as 2020. But governments have not responded to the change with any greater urgency about limiting greenhouse emissions. To the contrary, their main response has been to plan of exploitation of newly accessible minerals in the Arctic, including drilling for more oil.”  I am frankly left unsure what to say.

As spiritual people, there is need to as best we can shake off the narcotizing effects of our own short term economic interests and speak with hope for a new world, for a change in systems in which the rush is towards things far different than exploitation.

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3 Responses to “Ice Sheets Melting”

  1. Kevin Synnestvedt says:

    Having these conversations is very beneficial. It would be nice however if the minister making the remarks identified themselves in the article. While I recognize the concern about rising temperatures I question the validity of identifying man as the primary cause. 15,000 years ago glaciers covered almost half of the United States. Long before the industrial revolution these frozen masses receded to the Arctic Circle because of “global warming”. I am not sure how anyone can project the influence of man on global warming without first identifying why the world has been in the current warming cycle for thousands of years. Perhaps there is an effect caused by “global economic interests” and green house gases. The most recent estimate by an International fund was that it would cost 37 trillion dollars to start reversing the effect of global warming. Considering the facts that I have just presented is it worth bankrupting our planet for the possibility that man is the cause of something that has been scientifically proven to have been going on for more than 15,000 years?

  2. Chuck.Blair says:

    Kevin -

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful response.

    For me, I don’t see it as a cycle of thousands of years. My understanding of the data is we are looking at rapid change taking place over decades not millennia, at a speed not seen before. The science, from my perspective, appears solid. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

    Rev. Chuck Blair

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