By Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
Climate change deniers are going to hell. It’s that simple and terrible.
Let me be clear. Climate change deniers are headed for a hell on earth of their own making due to their deliberate obstruction of efforts to prevent and reverse the worst effects of climate change. The sin and the crime is that unless their obstruction is stopped, they will take the rest of us with them down into an abyss of suffering and ultimately planetary death.
Drought, fire, disease, violent storms, rivers drying up, seas polluted, and intense heat are some of the components of the accelerating climate catastrophe we are facing in this country and around the world that can be found in the summary of the “Fourth National Climate Assessment Report” just released by the administration.
Impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.
This hellish scenario has already arrived for literally millions of Americans and their habitat as they are affected by the climate catastrophes now being visited on the planet.
It should come as no surprise to those familiar with the New Testament that the descriptions of this hell on earth are pretty much the same as the“Seven Plagues” predicted in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 16): drought, fire, disease, violent storms, rivers drying up, seas polluted, and intense heat. These occur before Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil.
Despite the fact that this thorough report was ‘dumped’ on the public on Black Friday by an administration hoping to bury it, the report is getting a lot of attention.
When asked by reporters about the dire findings of the report, Climate-Change-Denier-in-Chief Donald Trump flatly said, “I don’t believe it.” Also last Friday, the government quietly released another internal report with bad news about emissions from oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
Confusing Climate Change and WeatherScience, however, is not a matter of belief, it is a matter of fact.
Trump’s “disbelief” of the Climate Report’s findings followed an interview on 60 Minuteswhere he questioned whether climate change is “man-made.” He also undermined the report’s documentation of accelerating catastrophic climate change effects by saying “it could very well go back,” a remark he made offering no evidence.
Armageddon is described as a fiery battle in the Book of Revelation, but it can become a powerful symbol of the struggle between the oppressed people, plants, animals and the earth itself and those who seek to exploit them for their own gain.
On one side of this struggle is the monies and purchased influence of big oil, big gas and big coal that has already succeeded in harming the environment by gutting protections for our air, our rivers and streams, our oceans, our forests and the very ground beneath us. On the other side is you, me and the millions of voters who sent seven newly elected scientists to Congress.
We need more such legislators in Congress and in every statehouse around the country. Let’s put an end to the “I’m not a scientist, but” nonsense of climate change deniers who deliberately confuse weather with climate to undermine climate science.
Teenager Astha Sarmah corrected Donald Trump’s recent climate denying tweet with that basic information:
I am 54 years younger than you. I just finished high school with average marks. But even I can tell you that WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE. If you want help understanding that, I can lend you my encyclopedia from when I was in 2nd grade. It has pictures and everything.
— Astha Sarmah (@thebuttcracker7) November 22, 2018
Clearly, basic science education is also a big part of the change we need.
Harming the earth and lying about the fact that you are doing it is evil. Opposing that and reversing the worst of the harm as fast as we can is good.
Make no mistake, this is a struggle literally to the death and it is rightly described as Armageddon, the fight between good and evil.
Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite—Professor of Theology and President (1998-2008), Chicago Theological Seminary