Propelled by the threat (perhaps hysteria) of supposed man-made global warming, the American culture has been convinced to "go-green." From political statements, marketing tactics (remember the Audi “Green Police” commercials for the Super Bowl?)and even one church I read about installing an earth-friendly heating system, we now seem to be much more conscious of protecting our environment. The advocates of global warming have cooled down in recent weeks as a massive cold front and record snow has held an icy grip on much of the Mid-West (including Dallas!), South-eastern states. As a result, one top United Nation's global warming proponent is now going to the opposite extreme and is predicting the beginning of a "mini ice age" (see FoxNews.com's report "30 Years of Global Cooling Are Coming, Leading Scientist Says" on January 11, 2010).
The increased concern of protecting and preserving our environment is a good thing. In fact, it is a divine directive. One of the responsibilities given to mankind is to be a steward and keeper of our earthly abode (see Genesis 2:15). God has given this environment, its creatures, and natural resources for mankind's use (cf. Genesis 2:11-12, 16-17; 3:21; 9:3). Yet, God is displeased when we blatantly abuse his creation (cf. Deuteronomy 22:6-7; Exodus 23:11).
We must be good stewards of the earth and not abuse God's provisions for us. However, we must not fall victim to the doomsday predictions and hysteria of the environmental prophets. Man can abuse the earth and even do great harm (remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989?) However, we do not have the power to destroy the earth. God has reserved that exclusive right having promised that he will be the one to personally destroy the earth and man cannot subvert his plan (2 Peter 3:7, 12). God has personally "reserved" the destruction of the earth with fire for himself on his predetermined day (2 Peter 3:7). Man cannot preempt God's predetermined plans. Even after the oil spill of the Exxon Valdez, scientists were amazed at the "rapid recovery" of the environment which demonstrates that God has designed the earth as a "resilient ecosystem" and not a "fragile environment" (Doughty, Heaven, pg. 48).
From the beginning God designed the environment and weather patterns of the earth to be cyclical in nature (Genesis 1:14). We should expect that there will be cycles of cold weather and decades of warmer temperatures. In fact, God made a promise concerning this after he destroyed the earth by water in the days of Noah. God said, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).
While we should be very conscious of the fact that we must be responsible stewards of God's creation, we should not be fearful that we will destroy the earth. God holds that exclusive right. We must be personally prepared for that day (2 Peter 3:11-13). In this way, maybe we should be more concerned with heaven than with earth!