Climate Change Is Controversial, but Not Rosalynn Carter

Climate Change Is Controversial but not Rosalynn Carter
First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1977

Climate change is controversial in America today. We can’t factually deny that the climate is changing and that the world’s climate has changed in the past in very dramatic ways. The dinosaurs lived in a very different climate than we have today. It is a fact that there has been climate change in the past five years, causing changes in ocean temperatures and precipitation, melting glaciers, and changing the behavior of hurricanes. Those facts can be easily documented. The debate is over whether human activity has caused these changes or is one factor in them.

Politicians have actively denied or supported the belief that the climate is changing. In Texas, climate change politics has created a war over what school textbooks should say about it. The Texas State Board of Education decides which textbooks the 1000+ school districts can use. Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, has said that some textbooks were removed from the approved list “because of their personal and ideological beliefs regarding evolution and climate change.” Politician Wayne Christian has urged the board “to choose books that promote the importance of fossil fuels for energy production.”

Economic issues are involved in the political wrangling about climate change. Many of the complaints about textbooks come from people who worry about how climate change hysteria will affect their incomes. Texas is “the oil-rich state,” and curtailing the use of fossil fuels would hit them in the pocketbook.

For Christians, this debate distracts from the spiritual message Christ has called us to bring to humanity. Words spoken by Tony Lowden at the recent funeral of Rosalynn Carter reminded me of the difference between the Christian message and divisive politics. The pastor said, “There’s no place on this earth that you can find anyone that has anything bad to say about Rosalynn Carter. Not one word. Not a news article. Not even one person on the left or anybody on the right. I believe … the reason why is because she did not worship the donkey or the elephant. She worshipped the lamb.”

Climate change is controversial, but wherever we stand, let us bring the love and caring of Christ to humanity while avoiding the politics of division.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: Rosalynn Carter tributes on