The Perpetual Question

Yet Again, for the 21st Century:

The Perpetual Question
Based upon a preponderance of evidence, the question of climate change and its potential ramifications is no longer a valid debate for the 21st century.  Once again, like thunder reverberating from Genesis, comes the ancient and perpetual question:

                             “Am I my Brother’s Keeper”?

As we reach the tipping point of climate and climate departure becomes a global concern through the remainder of the 21st Century, a driving and as yet unaddressed question looms large before us:

          “In light of what we now know, how are we to be the keepers of our brothers and sisters as our world changes and climate stress affects vast populations”?

The UN High Commission on Refuges (UNHCR) and the governments of the world have not yet addressed this question nor adopted a legal definition of “Climate Refugee”.

The year 2020 is a statistical marker, more or less, when we begin to see the first indications of climate departure in the western Pacific near Indonesia.  In the ensuing 50 years or so, climate departure is projected to spread from the tropics to the poles until it becomes global.

The time is NOW to begin the discussion. 

– John Lince-Hopkins, scientist, artist, and developer of (

NOTE TO THE READER: Please chime in here or on and help spread awareness and the consideration of the question. Thank you, John, for raising the perpetual question.

4 thoughts on “The Perpetual Question

  1. Gordon, BJ said to me a few days ago when I was worrying along as usual, “Maybe this is God’s plan, that global warming finally makes the earth uninhabitable.” I wonder? I really wonder? God is good, but there are passages in the Bible … thinking of “He makes rain to fall on the just and the unjust…” And what of the book of Job? “Were you there when I [created the earth! formed the seas…]”. ..words to that effect. After the flood, which probably destroyed some good people along with the evil ones, He promised to never flood the earth again. Do you think there is enough evil in the world that this is His plan for mass extinction? Or, at any rate, did He give us brains and we took the knowledge of good and evil, and He gave us free will, too. If He is all-knowing he must have known we would really mess up, do you think? If people used the brains they were given, they would realize that their actions, their greed would, in fact, make life dreadful for many, even their own heirs. So, God gave us choices, and enough powerful people chosen selfishly…. It’s very late, so this is a batch of confusing musings I haven’t even managed to make into complete sentences, for which I apologize — just random thoughts.


    • Carolyn, It’s going to take awhile – probably years – to reply. For starters, have you read Rabbi Kushner’s Who Do Bad Things happen to Good People? Or read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Creation and Fall (the very best, in my opinion) or his poem in Letters and Papers from Prison about the suffering God? Let’s start there. For me, no I don’t think of this is terms of a “plan”. I think of it as a terrible tragedy consistent with human hubris, as represented by the story of the Tower of Babel, the human urge to control (play God) and bend nature and history to our size.


  2. It still amazes me that there are some humans that refuse to take any responsibility for the effects that industrialization around the globe has had on the environment. It is impossible in my mind that it didn’t have an adverse effect, but that is just me. This does not mean I don’t appreciate the benefits that industrialization has had on the lives of many, but it also doesn’t mean that we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend that has had a negligible impact on the environment. What it all comes down to is money and a lot of it. The corporations that are to the largest extent responsible for this do not want to dip into their profits to help solve the problem because it would upset their shareholders. As a result who suffers, everyone with a much greater skew toward those who have not shared in benefits. It is a sad state of affairs. Sorry for the long winded comment.


    • Dom, Your comment is not long winded at all. It’s to the point and shares your thoughts clearly. So glad you took the time to comment here. John Lince-Hopkins, the author of this, has an interesting history as both a biologist and landscape artist. He’s brilliant with both sides of the brain. He and Susan Lince moved to Chaska several years ago after teaching in northern Alaska.


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