What about Population and Climate Change?

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I heard you on Vision this morning and was impressed. I am 76 years old, and not highly cyber competent. I have reached a stage in life, after 50plus years of walking with Jesus that sometimes I think that I have more questions than answers.
Question (I have often asked it but nobody has yet offered any sort of answer.) 100 years ago, Australia had a population of 5mil (round figures) with a mil eac
h living in Sydney & Melbourne. Now we have a population of around 25 mil with 5 mil each living in Sydney & Melbourne. Our media is full of climate change, but assuming on a ten-year rolling average that there is a reasonable consistency in weather cycles, aren’t we expecting five times as much out of similar available resources, farm productivity, industrial & domestic changes to resource usage.What’s changed? climate or human mentality?


Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the question.   I share your feeling that the older we get sometimes we feel as though we are getting more questions than answers.  I think this is wisdom.  It’s good to admit that we do not know.

I am sure you are right that having more people requires more resources – and this will affect climate.   However, Australia is a vast nation with a relatively small population.  Also, the Lord has created human beings in his own image – and as such we are able to develop, understand and create technology.  Our agricultural technology has proved an enormous success although some would argue that it has also at times been detrimental to the environment. 

I would argue that we are to work in harmony with nature and not against it.  I recently read a wonderful book called The Marvellous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for All God’s Creation by Joel Salatin, which argues the same thing.

In terms of climate change I am not a climate scientist and cannot speak with any authority on the subject.  I suspect that we need a lot more people with your attitude – there is much that we do not know.  From a Christian perspective there are basic principles we need to remember –

  1. God is sovereign over all creation and time.  We are not going to be able to destroy the planet with him standing by helpless!
  2. We are to be stewards of creation – not its destroyers.  In Revelation 11 we are warned that a time is coming when God will judge those who destroy the earth.
  3. We cannot control the temperature – but we do have an impact on the environment. 

In terms of the current debate, I would suggest that we should avoid the extremes of either assuming that climate change is irrelevant or thinking that the end of the world is nigh.  I have found Michael Schellenberger’s Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All to be really helpful. 

I have a podcast called Quantum which looks at current issues from a Christian perspective – here is one we did as a ‘Green’ special – https://theweeflea.com/2021/09/24/quantum-165-its-not-easy-being-green-a-climate-change-special/

Finally, can I encourage you to read Romans 8.  I find it to be a chapter full of hope – especially these verses as regards climate change.  I leave you with them….and thanks for being in touch –

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 1:18-21)

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