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However, we cannot pretend there is no connection between the two issues. Evangelical Christians are among those with the highest rates of doubting the scientific consensus about both evolution and human-induced climate change. Very few people are working directly with the empirical evidence for either of these, so most of us have to rely on the expertise of others in drawing our conclusions. And it is natural for anyone to doubt conclusions that we perceive to be in conflict with our faith. This is a constant issue in discussion of creation and evolution, when evidence from God’s world prompts us to reconsider how we interpret God’s Word.

The issue with climate change has a different dimension, though. It’s not that the science itself is in dispute. There is no real debate that the overall temperature of the globe is increasing, and there is no debate at all that the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased. The question is whether there is more than a correlation between these two data sets. Have human activities caused the increase in greenhouse gases? Almost certainly, the answer to that question is yes. From burning coal and oil to dramatic increases in beef consumption (cow manure is one of the leading sources of methane emissions), our lifestyle has changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere. So we must ask whether this has caused the global warming (and its attendant increase in severe weather and sea levels) we’ve observed? The overwhelming scientific consensus is that it has.

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