The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report went out today, August 9, 2021. The last report was on 2013. The report warns of “extreme” and “unprecedented” impacts. The damaging impact of humans on the climate is a “statement of fact”, say UN scientists in the report. “Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanity,” said UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
Written by more than 230 leading scientists from countries around the world, the report is a synthesis with over 14,000 research citations. According to Prof Ed Hawkins, one of the authors, “It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet.”
Going back to the Bible, what can we learn about God’s mandate to us?
First, we should remember that we were created in the latter part of the sixth day.
Why is it important to take note that humans were created last? The reason is for us to be reminded that God created the environment around us so that we will be sustained and nurtured, and survive.
God has put in place everything that we need in order to live. If we realize this truth, then it is imperative for us to take care of this world. Our survival depends on it.
Second, God has given us the responsibility to be responsible stewards of Earth.
In Genesis 1 and 2, we can see there that God has given us the command to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” This was a command with a blessing. Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them…”
In the same thought, Genesis 2:15 also states that God put mankind in the Garden of Eden “to work it and take care of it.”
It is very clear then that it is a God-given mandate to be responsible stewards. We are not the owner of this world but God. So, let us obey what God has commanded us to do.
As we ponder on the U.N. Report, let us deeply reflect on our role to make this world a better place to live in.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University