27th July 2019
Having lost the debate about climate science Neville Martin has now moved on to religion (Star letters 20.7.19). If he has grandchildren I wonder if they will be comforted by his assertion that God is in control, so we needn’t worry about the destruction of our life support system.
For those that don’t believe in God Mr Martin’s letter will of course, be an irrelevance. For those of us that do, we must counter his extremely lazy theology. If people agreed with Mr Martin’s view that we shouldn’t intervene in world affairs because God is in control, then none of the great social movements that Christians have contributed to in the past would have happened- the abolition of slavery, the end of child labour and the campaign against apartheid to name just three.
God’s very first command to Adam in the book of Genesis was that he should “work the land and take care of it.”1 We have patently failed to take care of it, and now creation is in such a mess that the very survival of our species is at stake.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has supported Extinction Rebellion since it began last year. He said “It really isn’t an exaggeration to say that the future of the human race is now at stake. The nature of the changes in climate and environment that we are living with threaten not only the wellbeing but possibly the very being of our species on this planet in the long term and in the middle term they threaten some of the most vulnerable populations on earth. It is not at all surprising that people in this urgent situation feel that they have got to take non-violent direct action. They have got to find a way for putting a case for the human race before those in power. That’s what Extinction Rebellion is doing, that’s what the Friday strikes are doing and that’s why I believe wide, deep support from the public is needed.” 2
This week as temperature records were broken yet again Christian Aid found that 71% of the UK public agreed that climate change would be more important than the country’s departure from the EU. Six out of 10 adults said the government was not doing enough to prioritise the climate crisis. The poll also showed that church-going Christians were more likely than the general public to say the climate emergency should be the government’s top priority, at 77% compared with 66%.3
Having delivered talks about the climate and ecological emergency at two local Churches, St Aidan’s on the Manor and St Mark’s Broomhill, I would be happy to receive further invitations. The Church, and indeed all religions, have a vital role to play in saving our planet from climate catastrophe and ecological disaster.
1. Genesis 2:15