Global Scaremongering

We have had a wonderfully hot summer in New Zealand, since Christmas. Yes, I realise it has hurt many who depend on the rainfall to keep drought conditions at bay, but it could have been worse if we didn’t have the last two wet months of 2012; I think a lot have forgotten that.

The media have had a field day with our long, hot summer, again offering doom and gloom and prophecies of the negative effects of the planet warming. The earliest mention of global warming I have come across is from a newspaper published the year I was born, 1959, which was found in the wall cavity of an old bungalow I was renovating with my husband in 2004. It talked then of the dire consequences we were to experience then, that are yet to take place to the full extent they predicted half a century ago.

So, you will understand my scepticism about how fast our planet is warming, and how soon our Pacific islands will be covered with water. I believe we have been experiencing an upward pressure on our temperatures due to climate change, probably caused in most part by the greenhouse gases that have built up in the atmosphere. What I won’t accept is the scaremongering that accompanies it to try to hurry people into changing their ways.

I believe it would be far better for the media to give a fair and accurate account of the facts that we could depend upon to make our own minds up as to what are the best courses of action. I also wished people themselves would all have enough of a backbone that they respected and understood they can’t expect our planet to meet our needs for fresh, clean and green if we continue to disrespect it as we do!

Why are people so ready to accept the media as correct? Yes, it has been an unusually hot few months, but no more so than an unusually wet few months we had back at the start of this new  millennium. It was then, just prior to Easter that the Whangaehu River valley experienced some atrocious flooding with people cut off for days, and having to helicopter into school. We didn’t see the media start talking about another global flood then, just because we had an extreme wet season.

Why don’t people spend time themselves studying what is happening in the world they call ‘home’ instead of just listening to media out to sell a story? Are we too lazy and selfish doing ‘life’ as we want it, rather than understanding our responsibilities to look after our planet for our children’s children?

In comparison to total numbers, few people pass through our education systems learning much about what they need to learn to be responsible for within our environment. Some clearly have passionate guidance from their parents and this is to be valued. But many are ignorant of environmental issues as the generations before them have been.

‘Enviroschools’ are happening now, offering students guidance in how to care for the planet and hopefully building within at least a small percentage of the population, on-going concern for the environment. Degrees that specialise in Environmental Science are also offered as freely as Chemistry or Biology, so we are capturing the attention of some academics.

But, sadly, a visit to a meeting of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society recently had a surprisingly large proportion of grey hair in the audience. We seem to have a generation lost somewhere, between these very experienced conservationists and the up-and-coming young conservationists we have started developing.

I think there is too much scaremongering happening in our media and the public is very gullible. In fact, more than that, the majority really becomes unstuck when Mother Nature wields a savage blow. We don’t need to be so shaken (excuse the pun)! As I ponder over the Easter story this year, I realise how ‘unstuck’ some of the followers of Jesus became as they approached his final days, and they realised all He had said about His impending death was unravelling before them.

In my faith in God, I believe He is looking out for me, no matter what the outward appearance might be. He does want the best for us, and we should be anchored in our faith, not shaken and shifting when the winds of change deal a savage blow. God doesn’t promise us a life free of trouble; He does however say we are to have faith in Him. I have had troubles at times, but as many of my Christian friends will attest to,

“My hope is in you, Lord. I am anchored; I will not be moved!”

(Taken from a song we are currently singing at church!)

If you are experiencing troubles right now – seek wisdom from the Bible. It is an unchangeable book of truth – still valid nearly 2000 years since it was first published. It is not corrupted by the whims of the media. It does not need advertising to remain at the top of the bestsellers’ list year after year. You can be confident that many, many others have read, understood and followed its teaching before you.

And while you are in a contemplative mood, think about what you can do to help keep our planet on the right side of green in the future?