I really wasn't going to say anything more about AGW; my list of posts was going to be the last thing because I'm wanting to move on to more interesting things, more spiritually rewarding things... but perhaps a programmatic summary would be of use.
1. our present industrialised Western society is going through a great dislocation and that in 10-20 years time we will be in a completely different place.
2. we are called to prepare for this shift; that, for example, it makes eminent good sense to change our patterns of life towards reduced consumption, sustainable energy supplies, localised food and so on. In other words, I think the Transition Town agenda is what needs to be followed.
3. the above is true irrespective of the truth of AGW. However, I think AGW has become a distraction, for the following reasons:
- it is neither the most immediate, nor the most pressing, of the Limits to Growth (Peak Oil is much more immediate and will achieve most of what the anti-AGW advocates recommend; deforestation is probably more pressing);
- the politicisation of the science has obscured what is actually KNOWN about what is presently happening. Clearly the climate is changing, it is probable that human activity is contributing to that change - but the extent of that contribution, the possibility of negative feedbacks in the climate system and, most especially, the reliability of the models used for long-term forecasting (which have not exactly had a good record so far) - all these things are much less certain than the "consensus" would have us believe;
- this politicisation often takes the form of 'apocalypticising', ie forecasting a dread future. I see such apocalypticising as theologically corrupt and corrupting and no Christian should indulge in it as it demonstrates a lack of faith (NB I accuse myself in saying this);
- this lack of faith has a correspondence in a form of ecological Protestant Work Ethic - that if only we can be righteous enough, in the form of reducing our carbon footprints etc, then we can achieve our salvation. This too is sub-Christian.
4. "He has shown you, O Man, what is good." I don't believe that Christians need to be convinced about Global Warming - or about Peak Oil - in order to move towards the way of life that is God's intention for us. The root problems that we face lie in particular idolatries - idolatries of Mammon, of Baal, of our own egotistical choices - and the principal manifestations of those idolatries are our worshipping patterns and our abandonment of social justice. I firmly believe that if the Christian community gets its worship right (especially through recentring upon the Eucharist, our new covenant which renews creation) and - on that basis - gets serious about tackling social injustice both locally and globally, then God will heal the world. In other words, all the environmental crises are but symptoms of the more fundamental spiritual crisis.
5. I am therefore convinced - and this may just be for me and not universal for every Christian - that the most important thing that I can do to alleviate the ecological crisis is help Christians to become serious in their discipleship and pursue all that Jesus taught. If we become the fully human creatures that God intends for us to be, then the creation's groanings will finally cease.