Why the 2023 UN Climate Report Matters to Christians

What is the recent IPCC Report, and how should Christians respond? For Nate Rauh-Bieri, so much remains possible, and Christians have an opportunity to step up.


A great read, I found the following quotes from the article particularly thought-provoking:

The first:

. Christians ought to face the troubles we’re in without illusion, pretending, or spiritual bypassing, even if it challenges aspects of how we’ve understood our faith or identities. At root, Christians should be able to look squarely at the pain and uncertainty of this difficult planetary era and not turn away or hide. After all, our faith involves beholding a cross-mangled God who calls us to respond to our neighbors’ suffering. In this way, our faith does not easily let us look away from the world’s pain.

A great (and challenging) theological reflection. The second:

Moreover, communities of spiritual transformation have a key role to play. Environmental advocate Gus Speth’s famous quote remains true:

I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address these [environmental] problems, but I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.

This a great reminder that responding to the climate crisis and responding to the gospel in repentance and faith are not mutually exclusive.


Thanks for engaging these ideas, @LM77! Appreciated.


Maybe because they are focused on the Gospel
And not what they deem climate alarmism or maintaining the status quo of a world they see themselves distinct from. The church is in the business of saving souls, not maintaining the longevity of seaside property 2 generations from now.

Matthew 8 : “Another of the disciples said to Him, 'Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father. ’ But Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead. '”

Matthew 6: 25 Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? 26 Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto [a]the measure of his life? 28 And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Mark 8 8These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

Then there is Paul who not exactly pro-marriage:

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

And the Bible is not exactly anti-slavery:

Ephesians 6: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

I’m all for being a good steward but is worrying about the climate 50 years from now something Jesus would really have cared that much about or have been a focus of his mission? Ia climate change just another in a long list of modern distraction from God? I’m not sure Jesus would necessarily care about a lot of the things we seem to take for granted today. All these concerns may ultimately be over earthly treasures.


I would think that this would tie into being a good neighbor. If taken to extremes we could use your view to pollute rivers and groundwater to the point that they were poisonous to drink. We could roll back all of past regulations on car exhaust to the point that LA looked like this again:

Is it wrong for Christians to not care how their actions will impact the quality of life for others? Is that being a good neighbor?


Polluting groundwater is not the same as sea levels slowly rising over half a century. There is still plenty of land to live on. If we had infinite drinking water, I wouldn’t care if you polluted it to be honest, but we don’t. We also have ole Ty of land. Expecting our cities and houses to stand where they are forever is a fools errand. No one is saying it’s okay to pollute rivers that people are actively drinking from and using.

But no one is talking about ending pollution either, only reducing it so let us not mix facts. This is all about the degree of pollution one believes is acceptable. I chose not to have kids so despite not being a climate skeptic I’m already miles ahead of all the internet soap box heroes trying to save the planet 60 years from now based on changing climate computer models. If you want to shun electricity, meat, live off the grid and not have any kids, you are free to do so. But it would be nice if people who adopt for that try not to emotionally blackmail the rest of us with climate alarmism from their soapboxes (probably made in a sweatshop overseas).

You and everyone here could have chosen not to have kids. Some of you may have but most of you probably didn’t. Why is your way of life better than mine? Why is me choosing not to put solar panels on my roof or drive a clown car (mass always wins in an accident!) so bad but everyone procreating is not? If you really care about the climate then really care about it. A child is the absolutely and unequivocally the worst thing anyone can do for the environment. How would you like it if the government regulated who can have babies?

Fossil fuels are a part of the world and their good outdoes the bad a million times over to me. Their benefit to mankind is incalculable! The ONLY realistic solution now is adaptation if this alarmism is true. Sure, we can add solar panels here and there but there are 7 billion people on the planet and we have no business telling developing countries they cannot use cheap, dirty energy just like we and every other developed nation did to grow and thrive. China hasn’t seemed to halt emissions yet and they contribute 30%. Obviously, since most of my purchases come from China I am supporting that and all those delicious sweatshops mass producing goods at affordable prices.

Worrying about climate change decades from now is just a distraction to me. And our government throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at climate change? You think that’s an answer? That has to be a joke. Has the government traded in its hatchet for a scalpel and just not told anyone yet?

I’m not interested in dumping zillions of dollars on a problem that might impact people generations from now while millions live at poverty levels currently. Millions don’t have the healthcare they need, live in abusive homes, foster systems. 25% of the world had no access to drinking water. Throw my tax dollars at that, not maintaining seaside property 50 years from now.

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, inflation is out of control in parts of the world but pay is not increasing at the same rate. Many o people depend on dirty, cheap energy to maintain a modest quality of life.

I’m more of a fix issues today rather than ignore them while spending tons of resources on preventing something that might possibly occur 50 years from now based on computer modeled today.

Being a good Christian’s means loving your neighbor. It means feeding the hungry neighbor, helping the poor and spreading the gospel. Worrying about seaside property 50 years from now is just a way to ignore the surplus of problems existing all around us every day. Not to mention fixing those problems the alarmists have imagined are ultimately out of our control and beyond help.

I’m not interested in maintaining status quos. Jesus wasn’t either. Our goal is to focus on the kingdom of God in the here and now. As he said, tomorrow will bring its own problems.


Then burning down peoples’ houses shouldn’t be a problem. There’s plenty of other places to live.

What you are saying is just silly. A huge proportion of the world population would be flooded out by rising sea levels, not to mention the economic hardships it would create. Also, rising sea levels are just one problem. Droughts and extreme weather are also effects that can have a huge impact on peoples’ lives.

CO2 is pollution. Levels of pollution that cause droughts, extreme weather, and destruction of billions of homes seems unacceptable, at least to me.

I wasn’t aware that Jesus said you could harm your neighbors as long as others were doing it, too

There’s no reason why we can’t do both…


No one is burning anyone’s house down. This is why we don’t take you climate alarmists seriously. We are living, driving to work and using electricity. We all are doing this. If this means in 50 years sea level will rise then so be it. Droughts and extreme weather always happen. An increase in temperature should theoretically lead to increased precipitation. Droughts somewhere mean more abundant rain elsewhere. And we have the technology to transfer water to drought stricken regions. It just cost money. Unequal wealth distribution is the real crisis, not fossil fuels.

And people have plenty of time to respond to rising sea levels 50-100 years from now. You can foot the bill for that if you want. I have no intention of doing so.

I didn’t know I was murdering people 50 years from now by driving a gasoline operated vehicle. This is silly.

I don’t think of every human breath as pollution. Nor do I think of warming up the globe as a bad thing. Greenhouse gases are wonderful and essential to life.

And sorry, but that’s the cost of driving to work and electric power. That’s the cost of airplanes, lights, heating, cooling, running servers to host an internet website that is accessed by electronic devices, ending slavery and technological advances since the Industrial Revolution. The benefits of fossil fuels outway the costs by far. They continue to outweigh the costs by far in the developing world. They alleviate far more suffering than they could cause.



Why aren’t you? They can just live somewhere else, right?

Using electricity is not the problem. Using fossil fuels is.

Have you been to the Sahara? Death Valley?

LOTS of money. You practically have to rebuild all of the infrastructure. Also, there’s no guarantee that where there is more rain we will find arable land.

Why can’t we both reduce unequal wealth and reduce the use of fossil fuels?

That’s why we can’t take the deniers seriously.

You haven’t heard of electrical vehicles? Hydroelectric dams? Wind turbines? Solar panels? Nuclear fission power?

And Jesus said, “Ignore your own sins while others are also sinning”.


I like the idea of focusing on what can be done and seeing that as an opportunity to do good in the next years. If this is not part of the great commission, I don’t know what is :slight_smile:

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@LM77 I must say I believe you are confusing moderation with censorship because you agree with his position. Every single part of his posts were steeped in emotional blackmail (failing to act is akin to poisoning streams, burning down homes, causing droughts etc). Yes, by merely eating, breathing, using lights and taking a drive through the country we are destroying future lives. Spare me. I merely carried this alarmist logic through to its only naturally conclusion: having children is the worst of the worst in this regard.

It’s quite obvious the the only solution to climate change that will actually work is banning/limiting reproduction. When I point out that people who have children are actually the worst polluters there are, by the mere fact that they had children. I am censored. This is an indisputable fact. Nothing anyone can do pollutes the future or has a bigger carbon footprint than having a child. That is the single greatest act of pollution and environmental strain imaginable. Am I wrong?

So naturally, by the logic being espoused here, having children is akin to “poisoning streams, burning down homes, causing droughts.” I’m sorry if many of you can’t handle that simple truth. Emotional blackmail isn’t nice is it? It isn’t nice to be told that by having children you are murdering people in the future is it? How do you think all this climate alarmism makes other people feel? Just because you agree with it does not mean it’s okay or that it’s cool to censor the opposite viewpoint in the name of a consensus that has not been demonstrated. The consensus is that humans are influencing warming. I agreed with that: The consensus is not that we should all buy smart cars or that that we have a realistic chance to stop the warming or that it will beas bad as some say. Just because most published articles (97%) that directly address the issue of global climate change think humans are influencing warming does not mean they all think it’s severe as you or they all think the same mitigation strategies are needed or would work. You are confusing a consensus on one issue with different beliefs. Maybe it is the consensus there as well. Can you demonstrate that?

Many think we are already at the tipping point and many say we are at the edge but I dare say, for the latter crew, if we keep throwing billions at the problem, even if we actually pass the tipping point then we might remain there on the edge as long as the money keeps flowing. I don’t just bow down and acquiesce to the authority of incentivized informants.

Why was this graphic edited out? You want to talk fixing climate change? It’s all about regulating childbirth and the government needs to start telling people they can’t have kids. Thats not nice is it? Telling people how to live or what to do or telling them that their basic every day life is leading to mass casualties in the future? That’s the only mitigation strategy that would work at this point given the current state of the world if we are to believe the IPCC. But no, driving a gasoline powered car is the problem. I’m supposed to just up and buy a $50k electric vehicle then junk it when the battery breaks? I’ll pass.

If people can’t follow your own arguments through to their logical conclusion, maybe don’t hold to them?

The problem isn’t new kids, Vinnie. It’s new kids growing up in a rich culture who then buy into all the lies and indoctrination nonsense you’re peddling here so that they can think “who cares about the future of the world - I’m gonna live in all these resource-draining ways now because I don’t give a **** about the future.” That’s the logical conclusion of what you’re peddling. I’m sorry if you have trouble facing that reality or owning up to it.

The only reason there is such a high column on the right side of your graphic above is … wait for it … because those who think like you go on to perpetuate all the stuff that could be mitigated as shown in all the “lesser” columns to the left of it. Think about it. That right column’s height is redundant. Counted twice. Why? Because its height is merely coming from the assumption that those babies will grow up doing all the stuff that the other columns are busy mitigating. And most children born won’t be doing most of that stuff because they aren’t born into a wealthy enough family for it.

Because I love our kids and future grandkids, I’m going to do every little thing I can because I am unlike you and Ben, I am responsible for my choices, and willing to be called on it too. I did ride bike (several miles - including along a highway this morning - as I do every day) to work for a lot of reasons. I could have driven. We own vehicles. But one of those reasons is because I don’t want to be like those who make all the excuses they can to avoid taking any responsibility for anything. I have a lot of stuff I’m still pretty irresponsible about too. But I don’t brag about it, and want to be challenged to do something about it as much as I can.


The attitudes and perspectives that you are advocating most certainly are repulsive to young people and work exactly counter to your badly mistaken perceptions.

That is incorrect. Maybe you missed the scale change? It goes from 4 to 60 very fast. The cost of every trip to the doctor, all the food and packaging, clothes, toys, family trips/visits and everything a child will use for life, every trip to school, the playground, all the food they eat, lights they use, vehicles they later drive, hot showers they take and so on all leave a carbon footprint. Sorry, but the worst thing for the environment is not me driving to work in a gas powered vehicle 3 miles each day. It is people that have children that are committing the most environmentally disastrous action there is. The best course of action the government could take to prevent alarmist climate scenarios is restricting and regulating live births. It would certainly have better results then the billions of dollars in tax-payer money they already wasted/lost on CCS technology. This is the dirty little secret climate shamers don’t want to talk about: not having children.

Of course it is. Having a child means introducing a new carbon-footprint that dwarfs any other mitigation measures you might otherwise implement because they are born into a world steeped in and reliant on cheap energy. If you truly believe in 100 years millions of people will be displaced by rising sea levels, millions if not billions will suffer due to drought, food shortages and more violent storms, well, the best way to prevent that is by not having kids. That is 100% factual whether a person wants to admit it or not. Even a child born to an environmentally conscious household is going to leave a huge carbon-footprint in today’s world, unless they live off the grid. In my neck of the woods, people don’t live off the grid.

And what resource draining ways do I live in? I have lights, heat/AC, a vehicle to get to work and so on? I use a tv and computer? I like hot showers. Welcome to the United States and the rest of the developed world. I drive 3 miles to work and back each day. Wife works from home. I don’t go around shaming people who have to commute 30 miles a day to work though nor would I brag about riding a bike a few days a week to work. We have no kids but I wouldn’t shame people for having kids anymore than I would shame them for taking hot showers or using AC or taking a joy ride in a gasoline powered vehicle. The best thing we can do in my house for climate change is shed some weight, eat less meat and not buy so many things we don’t actually need. I can admit and accept those faults and happily be called out on them in a loving manner–but not by climate alarmists on the internet that come off as emotional black-mailers and hypocrites. Too many people seem to enjoy the emotional blackmail in the world today though. It is easy to blame others for problems. We as humans love to b****–myself included. I only pointed out the kids graphic because it seems some of you could benefit from a reality check–a taste of your own medicine.

When I read the story of the new king being coronated it made me think of you and your bike riding. He claims to be pro-climate while having a private jet and thousands of people from all around the world were invited to jump on airplanes and come see his coronation as King. Is that a sad joke or it is just me? Meanwhile you are shooting marshmallows at a tank by riding a bike to work a few days a week. Its nice and noble you are making such an attempt and if you enjoy riding a bike have at it. I have a mountain bike, not a street bike. But I don’t think riding a bike to work a few days a week is going to do anything of significance for the future climate. Climate, terrain and safety also dictate how and if one should engage in such an action. But after the coronation I turned on a basketball game and saw 20,000 people drove to a stadium to watch a game. Many flew there. While what you are doing may be commendable, its a mitigation strategy that is orders of magnitude smaller than what is actually being dumped out every minute of every day throughout the world. Again, marshmallows at a tank.

And most people today aren’t going to pay a lot more for the same services today in hopes that people not born yet in 100 years will have a nicer life. It would be nice if that is the way the world works, but it doesn’t. We can’t just blame “rich entitled Americans” for this because many people in the world, including Americans struggle to get by still. Single mothers certainly can benefit from cheap and affordable energy as can kids in poorer communities that are the result of prior red-lining and racism. Cheap energy is also a blessing to developing nations around the world and improves the quality of life of billions of people on this planet. right now. How doe one trade in “quality of life today” for someone 100 years from now not even born yet?

Should I support the government pumping a half trillion dollars at climate change today? How did the billions we lost on CCS plants work out so far? Should we try to stop future food shortages of people not alive yet with billions of dollars when millions of people go hungry in this country today? I get the sense that some in the climate change business are just interested in preserving their status quo. I see why the wealth would like that but the radical message of Jesus was anything but that. Tomorrow will bring its own problems he said. Focus on the kingdom of God right here, right now. If you are doing that one might argue that you should already be living a modest life. The issue for Christians should not be “climate change” but being a faithful member of God’s kingdom everyday and spreading the gospel to make that number increase. Today has enough troubles of its own to worry about.

I don’t make excuses or avoid responsibility. I have many faults and areas I need to work on. I’m not apologizing for taking a hot shower or turning on the AC in the summer though.


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Using fossil fuels to move a vehicle is not a fundamental human right. We can have vehicles that don’t burn fossil fuels, and we can generate energy without using fossil fuels. You are aware of this, right?

  1. Freedom is a fundamental human right in my opinion. That covers your comment about using fossil fuels. My car my choice.

  2. Not all of us can afford to run out and buy electric cars nor do many of us even want them (see point #1). This is a first-world country problem.

  3. Yes, 40% of my states energy comes from nuclear power which I support. But many of these things cost a lot of money and are more expensive than what we have going on now. But I have no complains with wealthy, developed nations building nuclear power plants, adding windmills (sorry birds!) or solar panels to limit our reliance on fossil fuels. New constructions can certainly move towards energy efficiency and cleaner solutions. I do have problems with letting the government spend half a trillion dollars on climate since much of it will be wasted (as it was in CCS plants) and I also have big problems with letting the government (and climate alarmists) tell me what to do (see point #1).

And you are aware that people don’t actually have to have children? They can overcome their biological indoctrination and even if you are determined to do so, adoption is a wonderful thing and doesn’t add an extra carbon footprint to the world.


I just came across this after reading your comments:

It doesn’t. There is no fundamental right to use fossil fuels.

Not everyone can afford a new car that runs on fossil fuels. The prices for electric cars are coming down quickly, and there are even models that are comparable in price to their fossil fuel burning compatriots.

A lot of regulations that prevent pollution cost money.

Stick our heads in the sand, got it.

Having children is a fundamental human right. It isn’t under question here.

Reminds me of my cousin in Texas who considered gun ownership a “God-given right”

No there isn’t. And the excessive use of fossil fuels is insane. But what about the right of third world countries to feed their people and drag themselves out of an economic dark ages – something we did with fossil fuels. Thus the manufactured self-righteousness of rich countries can be hypocritical in this regard. If the rich countries (who still burn the lion’s portion of fossil fuels) pay the price for the transition from burning fossil fuels then that is another matter.

And there are alternatives to reduction of emissions. Anyway emissions are not the principle problem. There is nothing wrong with emissions as long as the source isn’t fossil fuels. I think we should also be looking at the damage to the natural processes which convert CO2 back into O2.

And… it seems to me that science has become the new religion to use for political power. Not all of it looks like honest science to me any more. To be sure, I think that the old religion is used for political power far more than science. But replacing one with the other is not a way forward.

My best friend is all about nuclear power while I am more interested in biofuels (like from algae and bio-waste). Nuclear power makes us nervous because of all the accidents and toxins we have with fossil fuels and worry that nuclear power could be worse in this regard. I am not adamantly opposed but think caution is needed… can we leave this to private companies? My friend is skeptical of many ecological “solutions” because they can be quite fraudulent. We have to keep our eye on where the energy (of electric cars) is ultimately coming from and where the waste is really going to.