You should care, even if it’s not about climate change.

It has been repeated everywhere, talked about all the time, and drilled into the minds of everyone in America, “climate change = more wildfires, less rain (where they need more), more rain (where they need less rain), stronger hurricanes, warmer days, and on and on”. Anyone, believer a not in climate change, can recite a laundry list of the effects that will happen in the future (or effects that are already happening, if you are in a lesser industrialized nation). It is worth admitting that it is exhausting to read and hear about on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The reason that this has happened is simple though: pollution, deforestation, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of water supplies are all bad things that are linked to either the cause or effect of climate change.

This article is not here to shame you or just repeat the same things that have been repeated ad nauseam. You should care though, even if not about climate change, because Christians are told to be diligent and awake. Christians are called to be good stewards, good neighbors, and people who pursue good things.

Many of the current problems in the world are tied to the earth and its resources. Christians should care about those problems. Those problems are things like: slavery, child labor, sickness, greed, poverty, and corruption; all of which are entwined to the natural resources provided by the earth. Those are issues that most Christians in the United States will never see firsthand, and that is a blessing, but there are people all over the world who do not have that same luxury. More people than not have to experience atrocities and great injustices every single day.

The life that the average American (yes, probably you) lives, hurts people. People not only allow for these terrible things to happen, but glory in it, by living careless lives. There is an incredibly high chance that the clothes you are wearing, the laptop or phone you are reading this on, and the last meal you ate, came in part from child or slave labor, or at the cost of someone else’s health.

What does all of this have to do with climate change?

Everything. Pollution and emissions in China (or the United States), from factories and power plants, plays a major role in climate change by:  preventing child-laborers access to education, contributing to pollution, continuing of deforestation and loss of biodiversity, and increasing mismanagement of the earth’s natural resources; all of which are bad things. American comfort comes at the expense of someone else’s life and future. Developed nations sit pretty on the backs of the less fortunate.

Google Earth Images of the tropic rain forest in Brazil in 1990. Small farms, villages, and local operations show up throughout the image as the small tan squares in the midst of the rain forest.

Google Earth Image of the same location in Brazil in 2016. Farms and operations are no longer small, they have grown exponentially. In doing so, have decimated much of the biodiversity in the area. Click here if you are interested in learning more about deforestation in brazil.

For far too long it has been allowed to happen because of carelessness and greed, or in the name of prosperity and economic growth.

For far too long Christians have allowed it to happen by not demanding that those with power act in a way that does not exploit others.

People choose not to fight because they think that they can’t win or they don’t care about the outcome. It is not a hopeless, “that’s just the way the world is”, kind of problem. Americans, and especially Christians, should care enough to not allow it.

If the world is connected enough that these problems are visible from a simple online search, then the world is connected enough to do something about it.

Even If you don’t believe in climate change or do not take it seriously, you can still choose to make a difference and do something that is good for all people. Christians should be at the forefront of calling out and stopping the injustices and exploitations from happening (Zechariah 7:9 and Proverbs 29:7).

To learn more about what actions individuals can take to begin to make in impact, click here .

To read about why God has called Christians to take a stand against climate change, click here.