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Ep 44 What does the Bible say about Global Warming?

Climate Stew
Climate Stew
Ep 44 What does the Bible say about Global Warming?

Joseph and the amazing climate adaption plan?

Routinely on this program we look at faith and climate change. Some of the largest organizations in the world are religious, so potentially the biggest players when it comes to climate action. Climate Stew crew member Leah Schade joins us again to talk about a controversial Bible passage that likely has never been seen through a climate change lens before. In Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3 verses 28-30 Jesus talks about an unforgivable sin–blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Leah looks at the Hebrew word for spirit–breath/air to consider our climate crisis and what happens when our pollution goes too far to the point of no return.

Marvin Bloom also weighs in on this Bible theme with his own climate change reading of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. There was a famine and a successful adaptation plan. Pharaoh sure liked it, but was it a just plan? And from our friends at Yale Climate Connections, we hear about a climate change conversion from a meteorologist who went from climate skeptic to climate action figure.

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Climate Stew host, Peterson Toscano

Climate Stew host, Peterson Toscano

Hey there, you have made it to episode 44 of Climate Stew where we will look at climate change from every possible angle. Glad to be with you as we consider the Bible. What does the Bible have to say about Climate Change. Joining us is Climate Stew Crew member Leah Schade with a Bible passage that I never would have dreamed had a climate message in it. Marvin follows up on this Bible theme and reveals a climate connection with Joseph and that Amazing Technicolor dreamboat, but first Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz tells us about a climate conversion experience.

Yale Climate Connections—Climate Conversion

Whenever people switch sides, it catches our attention. Chief meteorologist at WRAL in Raleigh, NC, Greg Fishel was a skeptic who had an epiphany about the climate.

From the Indy Weekly:

Greg Fishel, from skeptic to climate action figure

Greg Fishel, from skeptic to climate action figure

For Greg Fishel, accepting that reality took time. An avid churchgoer and Rush subscriber (that’s Limbaugh, not the band), Fishel has been slower than most scientists to recognize the fact that the planet is warming and we’re to blame. Last week, the meteorologist penned a blog post titled, “Choose science, stewardship in understanding climate change,” a public admission of his previous ignorance and a plea for people like him—Republicans, churchgoers, Fox News fanatics—to approach the topic scientifically rather than ideologically.

Main Section:

Rev. Dr Leah Schade speaks about blaspheming the Holy Sprit


Rev Dr Leah Schade and her new book!

Peterson sits down with Climate Stew crew member, Leah Schade and asks, “What does the Bible say about Climate Change?” They have a lively conversation where the pastor unpacks a controversial passage in the Gospels, a line by Jesus about an unforgivable sin.

Leah has published a new book: Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit

You can read her sermon here: I am Ruah: a sermon on climate disruption preached from the perspective of the Holy Spirit

Video of Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade “I am Ruah”

Your Moment with Marvin


Joseph predicts climate change and offers a plan

Hi, This is Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and this is your moment with Marvin

Have you ever seen the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. I like the book version better, in the book of Genesis, in the Bible. It has more details and less singing.

So Joseph is one of the youngest kids in a large blended family. His father Jacob, who changes his name to Israel has at least four sexual partners, I mean wives, I mean I don’t understand that lifestyle at all. Anyway there is a lot of tension in the family about inheritance rights; who’s gonna get all the stuff?

Since Joesph is the favorite son, and a bit of a brat, his brothers get rid of him. They ship him off to Egypt where he becomes a slave. He then gets in trouble, does jail time and ultimately becomes 2nd in command of the whole kingdom. And then he saves his family from starvation.

And that is the part that is interesting to me—the climate part of it. You see Pharaoh was having weird dreams. They hauled Joseph out of prison to interpret them. It was his thing. He said there would be 7 years of amazing weather with huge harvests. Then he warned of 7 years afterwards of horrible drought, famine, and potential starvation. He predicted temporary climate change AND he came up with an adaptation plan.


Joseph’s plan saved the people, but did it open the door for oppression of the poor?

He suggested that Pharaoh grow as much grain as possible and stash it away in storage for a rainy day, well, many days with no rain. Then when the people are hungry and needy, there is food for them. And it was a successful plan. The famine hit and Pharaoh had mountains of food to feed a starving nation.

It was an effective plan, but it was not a just plan. It wasn’t fair. There is no such thing as a free lunch. In order to get Pharaoh’s grain, people had to sell everything they had and give it to the ruler. This turned Pharaoh into the ultimate 1% leading to oppression and slavery.

So what lesson do I get from this? In coming up with solutions to address the physical needs of people in a time of climate change, we need to calculate how the plan affects people’s right. Because climate change is a human rights issue.

This is Marvin and this has been your moment with Marvin.


Rev Dr Leah Schade in Biblical drag

Rev Dr Leah Schade in Biblical drag

Thanks Marvin and Leah for stirring up a conversation about the Bible and climate change. Here at Climate Stew we constantly look for metaphors and stories to help people better understand the issues behind  our climate crisis. We have lots of articles at our site climate stew dot com. That’s where you can also get links to today’s show including that video Rev. Dr. Leah Schade in costume performing her Ruah Sermon. Music in this episode was by Mark Chapman and Chenard Walcker.

Now you can follow us on Twitter. Just look for @climate_stew . We are getting lots of great ratings and reviews over on iTunes. If you listen there, please rate and review us. We are also available on StitcherTuneIn RadioSoundCloud, and now Spreaker Radio. We are an audio invasive specie. You can always email me

Special Thanks to Neil Grungras for his insights into the Joseph Story, Andrea McClaren, oh and Joe G, who every Halloween dresses up as Joseph in an amazing technicolor princess dress.


Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Singingway on February 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Love the content, but the background is an ADDers nightmare. Can I download the audio without the annoying, insistently intrusive background track?

    • Peterson Toscano on February 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks! Let’s see what I can do to get you a version without music. Funny enough Leah heard a previous segment and thought it was good except that there was no music, and she specifically requested some. Let’s see what I can do to accommodate you. Happy to help and thanks for listening.

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