This was the warning of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a speech made in response to a report by scientists from the European Copernicus Climate Change Service and World Meteorological Organisation, stating that July was set to be the world’s hottest month on record (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2023/jul/27/scientists-july-world-hottest-month-record-climate-temperatures).
Meanwhile, in his one-man campaign to save the planet, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has won the right to roll out his controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) across the whole of London (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ulez-expansion-london-high-court-ruling-2023-sadiq-khan-8h65kk8qx).
What on earth is going on? Is Secretary-General Guterres right, and we’re all doomed unless we cut out all carbon, gas, foreign holidays, and meat? And is Sadiq Khan the brave forerunner of humanity’s salvation? If we stop within our 15 minute zones (https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/02/21/what-is-a-15-minute-city-the-eco-concept-that-has-been-jumped-on-by-conspiracy-theorists), can we even now reverse this horrific trend?
Climate activists would have us believe we can. The problems we face, they say heatedly, are purely the result of mankind’s selfish exploitation of planet earth. So, just as we have caused the problems, now we can put them right. So fervently do they believe this, that to all intents and purposes ‘climate’ has become a new religion.
Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion, Climate Action … Stop Oil, and many more, are brave acolytes of this new faith, and they will seemingly stop at nothing to proselytise the unredeemed and save humanity. As for any part God may have to play … such an idea would seem to be a bit of a non-starter. For our eco warriors, God – if He exists at all, which most of them appear to doubt – either doesn’t care or, more to the point, is powerless. They are absolute in the conviction that it’s down to us to become the architects of our own salvation.
Well and good. Certainly, we should do all we can to protect our world. But it is well said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the obvious question is, can they deliver? On current evidence, the answer to that would seem to be a resounding no. If anything, in fact, the downward spiral of planet earth into chaos would seem to be increasing. So is it not perhaps time for them, and all of us, to consider Plan B?
The Bible teaches that God is the Creator and Sovereign of all, and that He intimately cares for the whole of His creation. He is a God who not just sees, but who responds. In particular, God responds to evil and to our failure to observe His commands. Not because He’s nasty and vicious and wants us to live in servitude to a list of unreasonable decrees – but because those commands, as set down in the Bible, are the template for our existence. If followed, they set us ‘free’, leading to peace, harmony, fulfilment and joy. If ignored, they operate to our destruction.
Across the world, over the last hundred or so years, men and women have increasingly denied God, prioritising their own selfish and self-centred ‘wants’ over anything and everything else. We have made gods of self-gratification, consumerism, and sexual licence – in our hubris, even attempting to rewrite creation. The result has been a progressive breakdown in social order, with ever-increasing violence on our streets, and even in our homes, and horrifying rates of mental illness, anxiety, and depression that seem to affect both young and old alike. Our sacrifice on the altar of self-indulgence and excess has yielded only bitterness, enslavement, and death.
So yes, our own actions have brought about climate change – but not in the way climate change campaigners would have us believe. If we simply follow their demands now, we will only fall deeper into the pit, becoming victim to the strangulation of an authoritarian ideology that will not allow dissent. In fact, the only way we can save ourselves from the suffocating and suppurating chaos that seems increasingly to dominate the world, is by repenting our rebellion against God, and turning back to Him before it all becomes too late.
The Bible promises that if we will only humble ourselves and pray, turning from our wicked ways, then God will hear us from heaven and forgive … and will heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14). God commanded us, at our creation, to care for the Earth. That is still His command to us today. If we turn to Him and repent, then God – Creator of the Sun, Moon, stars, and Earth, and Lord of the wind and rain – will help. Yes, we are obliged to do what we can, but to succeed, we must act only in obedience to God and with His guidance.
But should we remain obdurate and refuse His Lordship and guidance, then no amount of effort, however well-intentioned, can save us from the judgement that even now hammers at the door.