My Opinion: The Obama Administration Should Base Climate Policy on Proven Science Rather Than Religion

Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at a ceremony to honor Shaarik Zafar, the man he appointed as Special Representative to Muslim Communities. Among Secretary Kerry’s comments

Our fates are inextricably linked on any number of things that we must confront and deal with in policy concepts today. Our fates are inextricably linked on the environment. For many of us, respect for God’s creation also translates into a duty to protect and sustain His first creation: Earth, the planet. Before God created man, He created Heavens and Earth. Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid down in scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth. And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.

According to his biographical information, Secretary Kerry is a practicing Roman Catholic, as am I. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded us to take care of each other, which would include being good stewards of the earth. However, I don’t remember “climate change” “clearly” being “in Genesis.”

So, perhaps I had forgotten something from my catechism classes. I went to the Vatican’s web site and retrieved Genesis to see what I could find with regard to the Secretary’s contention.

Of course, Genesis begins with God saying, “Let there be light” and the Big Bang occurs. The next ‘day,’ “God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.” —the continents were created, etc. The story of creation is the part of Genesis most familiar to people. But nowhere in the story of creation is there anything about meteorology or climate. So, I had to keep looking.

Found it! But, it is does not say what Kerry thinks it says. It starts in Chapter Six.

[6:17] For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth…

And, the meteorology concludes, 

…the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained,
[8:3] and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated;

After years and years of an unremarked-upon climate, the Bible tells us there was a flood so extreme that all life was extinguished (other than the people and animals on Noah’s Ark) and the flood lasted 150 days. That seems like a pretty severe climate event to me. And, it could not have been caused by humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere. 

I continued my brief review of the next 42 chapters of Genesis but could not find anything about global warming or climate change.

What about Secretary Kerry’s contention? The only “clear” and direct reference to a weather or climate event is the Great Flood and it describes something far more extreme than anything we’re experiencing now or have in recent centuries.

Why do I bring this up?

I dislike Secretary Kerry using the Bible to try to advance a political agenda – especially when he doesn’t even characterize it correctly. If there is a point to be made about Genesis' narrative pertaining to climate change, it is that Chapters 6 through 8 illustrate that extreme weather events occur without humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere – the opposite of the point Secretary Kerry intended.

While this was an interesting evening's project, science is about what can be proven and replicated in the real world. Catholicism is invaluable when it comes to faith and morals, but I do not consult it on scientific matters. Even though both science and religion seek the truth, I believe it is inappropriate to use religion to make a scientific argument. 

Bottom line: I’d be a lot more comfortable with the Obama Administration basing its weather and climate policy on proven science rather than religion.   


  1. Read through the flood again and focus on God's promise. He will destroy the earth again. Not man. Even still we should appreciate and care for what we have, but don't forget God is in control.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

[1:10am Update] Tornado Forecast for Rest of the Night

First Tornado Watch of the Day Issued

Hilary's Forecast Path Shifts West; Updated 9:20am PDT