If climate change is real, is it a sin to do nothing about it?

Assuming anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is real and happening and harming and killing people (and others of God’s creatures), and we are all responsible for the greenhouse gases we emit (and responsible for reducing them in whatever feasible ways we can), how much of a sin would it be to deny ACC is happening, and refuse to do sensible things to reduce one’s greenhouse gases in practical and feasible ways?

A related question is how much of a sin is it not only to deny ACC & refuse to reduce one’s GHGs in any way, but also campaign vigorously to convince others that ACC is not happening, thereby convincing them not to reduce their GHGs?

I know both these would be wrong (assuming ACC is happening), but are they venial or serious sins? At what point does killing people become a serious sin? 10,000,000 people responsible for killing one person; 1000 people responsible for killing one person, 100 people responsible for killing one person, 10 people responsble for killing one person; or one killing one? Also, the intentionality – a person not really knowing about his/her contributions to others’ deaths (which, it seems, would not be a sin at all); a person not putting forth effort to understand how he/she might be contributing to others’ deaths (even though the information is easily available); a person refusing to accept what scientists, popes, and others (who claim ACC is real) say & not caring if he/she is contributing to others’ deaths; a person actually knowing ACC is real, but yet campaigning to convince others it is not real?

Is there some point at which it is a more serious sin or less serious sin.

NOTE: This is not for a discussion about whether or not ACC is real, only about whether IF it is real, how much of a sin would it be to deny ACC, refuse to reduce one’s contributions to it, and strive to convince others it is not real.

This question is nothing more than an attempt to justify a political position and should be reported and banned.

It’s like playing the “what if” game.

No point to it.

Why speculate on something like that?

Your opinion only. The OP states the basis for the question very clearly.

Excellent question!

To me, if man-made climate change is real and is killing or will kill thousands or millions of people, it would be a huge sin if it meets the test for a Mortal Sin.

To be a Mortal Sin, the person would have to KNOW that this climate change is real, but pretends NOT to know this for some selfish reason.

Many of the people who are most vigorous in denying climate change have no scientific training and so cannot make an independent evaluation of the evidence.

They are simply following the leadership of their political movement.

So, they would not be sinning.

If it were happening, AND the person in question KNEW it for fact. then it would probably be mortally sinful to wring his hands and laugh maniacally as he led us to our doom.

But it almost certainly isn’t happening, it was significantly warmer in 1100 than it is today and I have yet to hear of the twelfth century motorcars emitting vast quantities of C02. :tanning:Besides that the antarctic icecap is growing at a prodigious rate, and we are about due for an ice age (give or take a few centuries.) by the observed rhythms of the planet.

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

It all depends on whether someone can reasonably be expected to believe it is occurring and is a threat to people. The above explains how it works from there. If you truly do believe in made-made global warming that is going to cause catastrophic sea rise in 50 years and knowingly refuse to do practical things to prevent it, then yes that is a sin whether its true or not. Would it be a grave sin? Probably not. I would put refusing to change your light bulbs on the same level as stealing a piece of gum.

The action being committed has to be considered a grave sin. There is a difference in the graveness of stealing a piece of gum and stealing 1 million dollars. The same distinction would apply in this scenario.

Please, praise be to God! I can’t believe what I am reading. There is no sin here. None, may I repeat, none. Take it from someone who is a long time environmentalist, eco-activist, conducted research for the US Forest Service and thoroughly educated in Environmental Science. It is obvious that you possess a good conscience so just live in moderation and responsibly. By concentrating on God’s laws you will do just fine. Have you ever heard of a Saint abusing God’s creation, Earth? Whether it is true or not you have every right to deny climate change and to leave it up to the experts to debate over it until the next ice-age. If any person on this planet has the audacity to suggest that you are sinning on this matter please direct that someone to me.

It is ridiculous to base a the prospect of something being a sin on an assumption about the facts of AGW.

The question is how much of a sin is it to distort the truth in relation to this issue? How much of a sin is it to convince governments to make manifest changes in the way they govern and the way they sanction people when the matter of AGW is not firmly settled.

Considering how a lot of the extreme scares that were promulgated by some very high profile figures have not come true as predicted, then were is the truth in relation to those matters?

Until the truth is determined, no matter how long that may take, it is rediculous to attempt to ascribe the notion of sin to any AGW theory.

The proper alternative is to look to the Catholic Catechism regarding good stewardship of the Earth and decide whether we are living up to that ideal. Not the ideals espoused by Greenpeace, PETA, WWF, or some half baked computer models that can’t possibly analyse all the world’s weather. The Catholic Church has plenty to say on the issue of good stewardship in the Catechism, so let’s focus there.

Haha the problem is a lot of people out there really and truly do believe it. As discussed in other threads it is possible to commit a subjective mortal sin. So whether or not they are actually right about global warming and whether their actions are actually hurting people, it would be a sin for them to do something that so thoroughly against their conscience.

As I said though even if the OP is someone that truly believes in it, I can’t imagine that you could consider any of the day to day actions you would be committing to be grave sins. At worst you would be committing venial sins in my opinion.

No sin at all, since it is utterly bogus, politically-driven junk science at its worst.

Global warming is a hoax , plain and simple. Parts of Alaska and Europe have record cold temps this winter.

That wasn’t the OP’s question.

Thanks, Nate and also Bartolome Casas,

I am a Secular Carmelite and the topic I have to address today is St. Teresa’s FOUNDATIONS, Chapters 1 & 2, on “Salvation of Souls.” I have also been concerned for 22 years about the souls of those who refuse to accept what I communicate to them about ACC…long before it ever became a political issue (both political parties were bad on it back then).

In fact, there was virtually no one into this, except JPII and a few religious people. We formed the Illinois Interfaith Council on Climate Change. Now in Texas, I’ve tried to do something at my parish, but my priest is afraid of the Rush Limbaugh Catholics in the parish; at least he has allowed me to leave a pamphlet in the vestibule, “A Catholic Response to Climate Change,” in which I promote “The Little Way of Environmental Healing,” calling on people to do whatever tiny things they can to mitigate climate change.

Anyway, since my efforts have fallen completely flat, some years back I was about to give up and remain silent on the issue, just continuing to do my own small and large deeds to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, when that very week the Sunday reading was on how it is a sin when someone sees someone else doing wrong not to try and correct him or her. I can’t remember the verse, but I figured I must continue to inform people about ACC and the many solutions, most of them cost-effective.

My motives are simple – to help reduce harm to life on earth and to save souls. I’ve done a terrible terrible job on both front. I just alienate people further. I’m not a people person.

All I have is my prayers. And it is interesting that is how St. Teresa of Avila felt when hearing about all the souls being lost in the Indies for want of Christian instruction. She writes,
“I cried out to the Lord, begging Him that He give me the means to be able to do something to win some souls to His service, since the devil was carrying away so many, and that my prayer would do some good since I wasn’t able to do anything else. I was very envious of those who for love of our Lord were able to be engaged in winning souls, though they might suffer a thousand deaths. And thus it happens to me that when we read the lives of the saints that they converted souls, I feel much greater devotion, tenderness, and envy than over all the martyrdoms they suffered. This is the inclination the Lord has given me, for it seems to me that He prizes a soul that through our diligence and prayer we gain for Him, through His mercy, more than all the services we can render Him.”
I realize that contributing to ACC by not inflating one’s tires or failing to carry a hanky to wipe hands in public restrooms, or a failing to bring reusable bags are not in and of themselves sins. But it seemed to me that the complete refusal to do anything at all over many years and decades, especially since JPII and BXVI have repeatedly called us to do so, could amount to some sin; and when such a huge portion of the population together is causing such terrible harm (since 2008 I’ve been made aware by a top NASA climate scientist that we could be headed for runaway warming and annihilation of all life on earth, if we continue a business-as-usual path), somehow this did amount to a sin, though I wasn’t sure if it was a serious or venial sin.

You have cleared that up now. I’ll continue to pray that people mitigate ACC, but I don’t have to be as concerned about their souls…a huge burden off my mind & heart.

I would recommend you talk to people about it and focus on the common sense things that make sense to do regardless of whether man-made climate change exists. Everyone should be recycling if they have easy access to a recycling center for example. The new light bulbs are much more efficient and will save people money with the only downside being they take longer to fully light up when you turn them on. Your not going to get anyone to stab themselves in the leg though in the name of man-made climate change if they don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in it, but I can tell you I can appreciate making smart choices that save everyone money.

I’m so glad you do. It is just prudence to do things that not only reduce our GHGs, but also reduce our other environmental harms (like local pollution, etc), AND at the same time save money. That is all I’ve ever been asking people to do.

As a Carmelite, I am also willing to sacrifice (we’re supposed to be detached from material things), but I am not asking anyone to sacrifice, only do sensible things.

I really appreciate that you are open to that.

That’s what it was.

The bigger sin, in my opinion, is to buy into the anthropogenic global warming scheme, which ultimately harms the poor and the unborn.

Fluorescent light bulbs are far more toxic in manufacture than regular light bulbs. Believing that recycling is a must and having these dangerous bulbs forced on us is just one more step in the direction of marxism, and we’ve already come a long way down that road.

Lol buying them or recycling should not be mandated, but they save money in some cases and are more efficient. I really don’t look into how environmentally friendly they actually are. Any idea how environmentally friendly the new led lights are? I believe those are the newest fad.

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