In the early 1970s, there were apocalyptic predictions of a looming ice age. A period of extreme cold caused by man-made pollution that could threaten the very existence of humanity. “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age” was the headline in the Washington Post on January 11, 1970.
By the early 1980s global temperatures began to rise and the apocalyptic messaging quickly shifted. Instead of a new ice age, the public was told global warming was going to melt the Artic ice caps and cause sea levels to rise and flood the world's coastal cities.
The environmental activists grew frustrated with having to shift their messaging between global warming and global cooling each decade. The implication all along was that humans were to blame for causing the heating and cooling. To solve this messaging dilemma, the shift was made to rally around climate change as the consistent term used when discussing the topic of earth temperature and other weather trends. For the environmental activist, this was a brilliant change in strategy.
Here is a perfect example of climate change messaging being used in opposite scenarios to stoke fear. In a July 29, 2022 report from the New York Times titled “How Is Climate Change Affecting Floods?” the writer states “Flooding, like other disasters, involves a number of competing factors that may affect its frequency and intensity in opposing ways. Climate change, which is worsening extreme rainfall in many storms, is an increasingly important part of the mix.” So climate change is an “increasingly important” factor behind flooding.
To the contrary, there was a New York Times opinion piece dated August 4, 2022, titled “The Coming Crisis Along The Colorado River” which declared that “overuse and climate change have contributed to its reservoirs drying up.” This is in response to the Colorado River basin facing a severe dry period.
Do you see what the New York Times writers did here? If it rains, it’s climate change. If it doesn’t rain, it’s climate change. Environmentalists can’t lose.
Furthermore, environmentalism movements such as Earth Day which began in 1970 have been partially aimed at convincing fellow humans to be wise stewards of God’s creation even though some people who call themselves environmentalists may not recognize God as their Creator. Raising awareness of stewardship as it relates to creation is wise. In Genesis 1:28 God created Adam and Eve and granted them stewardship authority over the earth by stating “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The problem with today’s environmentalism movement is it blames man for climate change. The climate change movement has become an apocalyptic ideology rooted in fear. As a result of falsely blaming man for climate change, depopulation has become a major tenant of this movement.
A 2019 letter signed by over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries calls for a “gradual reduction” in the Earth’s population to fight climate change. The letter specifically stated, "The world population must be stabilized-and, ideally, gradually reduced-within a framework that ensures social integrity…"
If we buy into the lie that man is to blame for climate change then all options are on the table. From depopulation to carbon limits to any other government regulation that one can imagine. Most people would agree that we should steward God’s creation well. The problem arises when people use environmental stewardship as a pretext to control the masses. That’s precisely the result of today’s climate change agenda.