Less simple solutions to complex problems
Understanding the climate change is a threat to all people is critically important to believe in if real changes are to be made. Christians are called to care about things that matter. They are called to be good neighbors. There are many small simple steps that the average person can take to begin to manage and solve the threat of climate change. One person cannot make a meaningful difference by themselves; it takes all kinds of people working together. Some solutions do not require preparation and are able to be started right away; things that just require commitment. Other solutions will require preparation, diligent thought, time, and resources; some of the decisions happen just two are three times in a lifetime though. Not all of these suggestions will apply to everyone, and this is by no means a comprehensive list. It is 7 ways that people can continue to push to make a big impact into changing the future:
1. Become a vegetarian –
In the simple solutions article, the first step to take was to cut down on the amount of meat that is being consumed. It is worth bringing up again in this article because it is by far the most impactful thing a person can do to make an a dent in climate change. Eating less meat is a great start, because becoming a vegetarian is not something that all people would ever choose to do. It is important though to keep pushing the boundaries and making an effort. If cutting back on meat was easy, try going 2 days without it, then try going a week, then see if you can make it an entire month as a vegetarian.
2. Give up the pocketbook wants in life –
It has been quoted, “what you own, begins to own you”, which boiled down, means that the more that is invested into possessions and lifestyle, the less is invested in other things. Possessions create an anchor that prevents people from making changes; this can be good or bad, depending on the situation. It is natural and healthy for Christians to want to have a place to call home, but it is unhealthy when it comes at the expense of robbing others. Robbing others in the sense that God gave possessions and wealth to Christians to invest in things that God desires, not to build up comfortable and lavish lifestyles for themselves (Luke 12:48). These types of lifestyles also produce excessive waste of resources that could be used in a more effective manner. Devaluing material possessions frees Christians from idolatry and allows them to be better stewards, by cutting back on waste which is produced because of their life.
3. Invest in the future that you believe in –
Most people will put their money into areas that they believe will do well in the future. People invest in Apple because they believe that Apple will grow and do well, not because they like the company. Most people choose to buy a product based on the marketing surrounding it, rather than based on the company itself. A company earning money at the cost of slavery is not a good company. Investing in and purchasing from, bad companies encourages the companies to continue to hurt others. Let ideals and morals speak louder than profits and pricetags. In the age of information, it is possible to find good companies doing good things; that is what Christians should be supporting. (Note: Apple was chosen as an example due to recent reports in the news. They are not the only one, or the worst one, to prioritize their profits over the cost of others.)
4. Purchase an electric car or bicycle –
Transportation makes up for a large percentage of the United States emissions that contribute to climate change. Most sources put transportation at approximately 25% of total emissions in the country. By finding ways to cut down on transportation emissions, Christians can be making daily difference to the amount of pollution that goes into the atmosphere. Electric cars today, compared to electric cars from 10 years ago, are a world different. For the majority of Americans, driving an electric car would be a better transportation solution than owning a conventional gasoline vehicle. Maybe an electric vehicle is not needed though; many people can simply cut down on their emissions by riding a bike. Riding a bike is a very efficient way to travel and doubles by being a good source of exercise. Many Americans cannot ride a bike to work every day, but swapping a car for a sunny days or quick errands is a great option to consider.
There are many types of renewable energy sources that limit the amount of emissions going into the atmosphere. This source of “free” energy (as in a free source of fuel), will need to be a needed step in fighting climate change. There is a lot of debate as to whether or not renewables will be able to meet all of the world’s needs in the future, but they can meet many needs right now. Solar and wind installation and their associated costs to run continue to drop at rapid rates. Houses and businesses that invest in renewable forms of energy can start to see payback times in as short as 7.5 years, leading to over 15 years of savings (assuming the system lasts for 25 years). Investing in renewable energy sources are ways for Christians to cut back on emissions, use the gifts that God has provided every day, and save money.
6. Mobilize others –
A church congregation is made up of a vast amount of difference people. It is not a homogenous group of people living the exact same life. Every single person has a different perspective and belief about the world around them. Part of fighting climate change is to recruit others who will be able to makes impacts also; people who share a common goal. You can double the amount of change you can make to the world by helping one other person get motivated enough to start making changes in their own life. There is no limit to the change that can be made by helping others see the world around them in a different way. Christians are called to have community, and part of what it means to have a community is to grow together. Inviting other people along for the journey you are taking mobilizes a group of people to begin changing the larger community around you.
7. Trust in God to use you –
Believe that God cares about the world much more than you do. To trust in God, is to realize that He is ultimately the one in control of the world. Not always do people know the direction that God wants them to take with their life, but Christians should trust that God wants to make their life worthy and valuable. God has created all life to be of the highest worth and value. No one knows the plans or thoughts that God has, outside of what was specified in bible, but that does not mean that there is no plan. God will transform and change this world; He uses people, not just governments to do it. God will bring about a lasting change and invites all people to join Him. Knowing that God wants to do great things in the lives of all people should encourage Christians to push the boundaries of what they are capable of, trusting that God will follow through on His promises.
Nobody knows what the future will hold. Every day is a new experience that is a balance between experiences in the past and the unknown of the future. Taking small and big steps wherever and whenever you can is of greater importance than trusting in the future. Climate change is caused and effected by the decisions that people make on a daily basis. By decided to start impacting the world around you today, you help create a better world for tomorrow. Do not just let yourself hope for a better future for the world, but work diligently and passionately to bring it about for the glory of God.