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Waiting For Jesus

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Fundamentalism Creating Indifference To Climate Change

By James Donahue

A new study has found that the belief in the biblical end-times story has been a motivating factor behind legislative resistance to curbing climate change.

Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado found that an overwhelming number of fundamental Christians (mostly Republicans) say they believe in the Second Coming of Jesus and many of these say they feel we are living in the "end times."

The study, based on data from a 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, revealed that believe in the Second Coming of Jesus has blocked the call by many citizens groups to move toward green energy and putting controls on carbon emissions.

The control of Congress by extreme right-wing Republicans, many of them fundamental Bible believers, would create stiff resistance to such legislation "even if every Democrat in the country" favored it, Barker and Bearce wrote in their report which will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.

A report by Eric Dolan in Raw Story noted that Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus, chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, stated in 2010 that he opposed action on climate change. He said "the Earth will end only when God declares it to be over."

The study suggests that it is unlikely that the United States will act on climate change while so many Americans . . . particularly the Republicans, believe in the end times and that they are close at hand.

Thus we find ourselves in a serious dilemma caused by a 2,000-year-old long outdated religious based belief system that promises the return of a "savior" at the last moment to save believers just as the planet is going into self-destruct. This is an extremely dangerous social dilemma that is preventing our government from taking decisive action concerning the most important problem ever faced by mankind.

As the polluted seas raise higher and storms ravage our coastal cities, and powerful storms march like soldiers across the land; as large areas of Midwest farmland suffer from extreme drought while other areas become deluged with floodwater; as our gas filled air brings on asthma, emphysema and other lung problems, our polluted land fails to produce healthy crops and our sea life disappears under the plastic flotsam, doing nothing is not an option. If we fail to act we will all perish.

The Earth is our only planet in space. Perhaps it has never occurred to those zealous Christian cults that maybe Jesus won’t be coming back after all. And if he doesn’t come floating down out of the clouds as those cult followers believe, the inevitable is bound to happen. Humanity and all life on this planet is following a long and painful path to extinction.

Researchers have already concluded that the damage done so far cannot be reversed. What they believe is that drastic action now can only stop this mess from getting any worse. By the time the Christians wake up to reality, however, it is going to be too late for us all.

That is tragic. We already have the technology in place to save ourselves. It is just going to take the kind of money and power furnished by government action to get it done.