God will save us from global warming

The reporter’s task was to interview people from rural areas in conservative states. She was in central Texas in a rural community interviewing a middle-aged woman that had recently lost her job at a farm-related business. She was African American and was in a great deal of stress, not only because of her job situation but because she was not used to being interviewed.

After the reporter set the scene by asking about the venue, labor situation and dire finances of the interviewee, she asked, “I understand that your company closed because of especially dry conditions in the area that limited their access to products, is that the case?”

“Uh, yea, it hasn’t rain good for a long time and what we get is just short gully-washers.”

“How long have you lived in the area?”

“I was born near here and have never lived anywhere else.”

“Is this the worst dry season that you have experienced?”

The woman thought for a moment, as if she has not considered this before and responded, “Yes.”

The reporter then asked the main question for the interview, “Do you think that Climate Change or what others call Global Warming has anything to do with the extra arid conditions?”

This threw the woman for a loop. She had heard these terms but had never felt the need to know what they meant. Her experience was that if she tried to provide an answer to a question she did not understand, a follow up question would make her look foolish. She wisely said, “I am not sure I know what those words mean.”

The reporter searched for a way to answer without sounding patronizing. “I don’t blame you, the terms are difficult to explain, and I don’t really know a lot about it myself. What I understand is that using coal, oil and gasoline produce gases. These gases go into the atmosphere and prevent the earth from cooling normally causing increase in the temperature of the earth. Since these fuels are caused by human activities, it appears that we are ourselves the cause of the problem.”

The woman weighed her answer and then responded, “So what does that have to do with me losing my job?”

“Well, the theory is that as the planet warms up, the weather is changed causing extreme cases of dryness or wetness. The very many extreme storms that we have had in the last 50 years are unprecedented in recorded history.”

“So, people making things in factories, driving and heating their homes cause the dry weather here?”

“Well that is the theory that is accepted by 97% of weather and air scientists in the world.”

The woman smiled and said, “I don’t believe that, just doesn’t make sense.”

The reporter taken aback asked, “Why is it that it doesn’t make sense to you?”

The woman stood and offered some lemonade to the reporter. She brought the drink and some cookies before answering.

When she did, she appeared to have had an epiphany. She responded softly, “Because only God controls the weather.”

After the reporter ate a cookie and drank the lemonade while making small talk about the best barbecue in the area, the woman stood up and wished the reporter a good day. She then walked her to the door.

 

5 thoughts on “God will save us from global warming”

  1. Great scenario, Mario. And, tragically, not surprising. After all, organized religion has spent centuries convincing the poor, the under educated and everyone in general that God is omnipotent and all powerful. That all we need do is trust in (fill in blank for religion’s name) and their ministers/imams/rabbis/priests/bishops/etc. That this life is hard and cruel, but thatn it is merely a test for mankind to show their worthiness to attain a better next life (varies from religion to religion, but the goal is always the same). Suffer now, believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful deity who has a plan that we mere mortals cannot understand. And it does provide comfort for many people. Because it is easier to believe that everything is in the hands of an unknown god, than to face the cause and effect of our own actions.

    I just read an article (Atlantic Mag) by a Christian minister trying to explain why so many young people are atheist. In it he mentions the “Christian worldview”. I have no idea what this is, but I do know from many years as a former member of a mainstream Christian religion, that it will be patronizing, focused upon supporting the power of the church and will give scant consideration to the poor or to women and children. Why the poor? Because despite the bible morality stories, poor people do not give money to the church. Why women and children? The power dynamic should be obvious. If not, just search for examples of religious control over women (their access to power in organized religion, their rights, their reproductive health and control) and the level of incidents of children being abused in religious organizations (from orphanages to schools to hospitals).

    The bottom line for me: it is all about control and power. Religiosity is merely the mechanism to support the control and sustain the power of the system. It is also about exploitation of the human need for comfort (clinging to the platitudes of religion) versus accountability for our own actions (which means discomfort and necessary change).

    I have recommended this book before, but it is the perfect example of this framework in action: “Better Off Without “Em” which focuses upon the political framework of the Fundamentalist Christian religions in the US, the local political structures controlled by the GOP with other conservative forces, and the belief that climate change is a positive thing because it is evidence of the “end times” when the true believers will be rescued by God and the rest of us will suffer the consequences.

    I hope the forces of rational thought will prevail. I know that science will aid us in the changes we have to make. I am encouraged that an early candidate for president in 2020 is making Climate Change the highest priority of his campaign. Even if he does not win, he will be elevating the discussion of the many powerful positive benefits we will experience from a focus on new energy and new methods over the brutal consequences of the Industrial Revolution still playing out in our world.

    Thank you for highlighting the denial that many people face as they confront the chaos that comes from climate change.

    1. Thank you Connie. I based this on a VICE interview a couple of years ago. It caused such an impression on me that I decided to write about with some license. See you Tuesday.

    2. Thank you Monique for such a lucid comment. I obviously agree with you and will look up the book you suggest.
      After leaving the church I continued reading about religion as it is a fascinating subject. Why do we humans keep adhering to these explanations of our physical universe, when science has progressed so that we now have logical answers?
      In any case, you should write about this and I will be honored to publish it in this blog. You can also participate in our Zoom meeting, the next is on 7/21.

  2. Bueno, Yahve despues fe todo es el colérico dios de las tormentas de la cultura sumeria de hace 4300 años.
    Imagínate un pueblo pastor de cabras y ovejas siguiendo las nubes de tormenta para aprivechar el rebrote y reverdecimiento efímero de los desiertos de arabia…
    abraham salió de Ur de los caldeos en el año 2112 antes de Cristo, año en que las tribus seminómadas de los montes Zargos llamados los Gutti, asaltaron la ciudad y los pobladores huyeron hacia es noroeste.
    Same mentality, perhaps will produce same results.in an allready over crowded planet.

    1. Si querido Gonzalo. Como te parece que después de miles de años hay gente que todavía no acepta o trata de entender ciencia. Abrazos de nuevo año.

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