Jun 30 2009


Beach morning gloryI am one who studied science in college and actually have bachelor’s and masters of sciences degrees. I have never felt that this was a problem with God or my belief in God. I remember a very wonderful biology textbook that rightly, I think, pointed out that science has no part in religion because you cannot prove or disprove God’s existence by science. That is what faith is all about.

The scientific evidence is very clear about climate change. We are altering the course of the planet’s natural systems. I happen to believe that God created those systems and we are rather arrogant to think that we have no responsibility for them. I don’t believe that man is smarter than God and can alter his work without consequences.

I believe all of this goes further. If we believe that God created our world, plants, animals, us, etc., then we honor God by treating his creations with respect. We would arrest and jail someone who defaced the artwork of an artist such as Van Gogh or Michelangelo, yet it seems okay to arbitrarily disrupt and deface God’s artwork, His creation? I don’t get that.

These thoughts were all brought on by something I found very disturbing about some extreme conservative Christians and climate change, http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/06/29/us-conservative-christians-sound-cap-and-trade-alarms. Now I do think we have to be concerned about dollars and how people are affected. But to claim climate change isn’t possible because it isn’t Biblical is one of the strangest interpretations of the Bible I have seen. The idea promoted is that the Bible says God created the world and said it was good, so therefore, global warming is impossible because that would not be good. That has to be one of the most absurd things I have heard, and a mangling of the Bible. If we destroy an artist’s work, it is evidently okay to do this because when the artist created it, it was good! God created beautiful forests and sometimes we have destroyed them, but by this line of thinking, that is not true, evidently, because the forests were good first because God made them long ago, therefore we cannot make them bad.

In Genesis 2:15, it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  Taking care of God’s creation implies responsibility. I think that as a nature photographer, I have the chance to praise God through sharing a vision about his creation, but I also have a responsibility to take care of it.

–Rob Sheppard