Continued. Question 2 is here.
3. How should the church respond to the present environmental challenges?
I think the church should bury its collective head in the sand while chanting, "There's no such thing as global warming!!" Yeah, that works. My dad, for instance, holds fast to his belief that the hole in the ozone layer is a crazy story Al Gore made up and the increase of skin cancer is just due to the fact that people wear too little clothing these days. Of course, Dad was also recycling and composting before it was cool to do so, so I guess it all balances out.
Oh wait, did you want a serious answer? Again, balance, balance, balance; and thus no easy formulaic answer. I do think it's ridiculous for Christians to claim the earth is our domain and we should feel free to treat it in whatever way seems to benefit us most at the moment. That's like a good ruler handing the throne over to a regent so that his people could be well cared for, only to have the regent turn them into slaves and justify his actions with the fact that the king had turned power over to him so it's his right (or even responsibility) to use and abuse it at will.
I also wish the church would stop trying to pick a fight with the scientific community. It makes Christians look like idiots and there's a long history (see: Galileo, etc.) of the church being proved wrong in the end. The scientific community wouldn't be so anti-religion in general if they hadn't always been treated as the enemies of truth by religious authorities who claimed to have a stranglehold on the concept. I'm not saying science is infallible by any stretch of the imagination, or that scientists don't have their own prejudices but why assume that they're always out to get the church?
A lot of the controversy is over things that we just don't/can't know. Will the polar ice caps melt from global warming? Nobody knows for sure. Some people believe wholeheartedly and with good reason that they will, some believe just as strongly that they are incorrect in their research and reasoning. Maybe side A is right, maybe side B is right, but the future is really just an unknown at any time. It's when we start assigning right and wrong to questions like this that the issues get tangled and discussion stalls. Why is it more Christian to believe that we haven't damaged the world than that we have?