Who do you suppose wrote this? ‘The changing climate is causing great damage to people and planet right now, and we are particularly concerned about hunger and poverty hitting the most vulnerable communities, who did least to cause it.’ Tim Flannery? Bob Brown? Richard (‘domestic employer of the year’) Di Natale?
No. This standard piece of environmentalist piety went out in an ‘open letter’ signed by 580 international ‘Christian leaders’, among them the Anglican Primate of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne. You would think that arresting the decline of his own denomination would present the archbishop with more pressing priorities than putting his name to Green blather in a desperate attempt to appear ‘relevant’ to Leftist eco-nuts whose god is ‘the planet’ and who are indifferent or actively hostile to Christianity. (Leftists, the archbishop might note, never stand up for persecuted Christians.)
In leaden jargon and rickety syntax the letter pulls out all the stops in the eco-repertoire. The Melbourne Anglican quotes it as ‘urging’ governments ‘to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to limit global warming to the safe level of 1.5 degrees; invest in 100 per cent clean energy…; support more sustainable, low-emission agriculture, to stop communities going hungry and help them cope better with more floods and droughts caused by climate change; and… move to zero emissions.’
This Athanasian Creed of environmentalist doctrine leaves no room for doubters. For the 580 signatories the ‘science’ of climate change is as settled as infallible Papal dogma (as it is of course for Pope Francis, whose views on the climate might as well have been gleaned from a doctors’ wives’ film group discussion of Al Gore’s cinematic efforts). But for how many ordinary Christians do these ‘leaders’ speak?
How many churchgoers in North Queensland, for instance, subscribe to the propaganda the Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in that region have just disseminated in their ‘joint statement’, entitled, in the usual twee language of eco-Christians, In the Care of Our Common Home: ‘Sister Earth’. Sister, they allege, has been having a hard time in the Top End, what with ‘projected mega-mining developments’ and – but of course – the Barrier Reef, that perpetual martyr, in the Green imagination, to man’s climate callousness. In such a state do these mitred experts get themselves about the ‘health’ of the Reef that they ignore evidence right under their episcopal noses that it’s doing fine, something even the ABC was compelled to admit in a September 29 report, ‘Great Barrier Reef starts to recover after severe coral bleaching’. (Incidentally, is the bishops’ idea that Sister Earth be treated as ‘… a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us’ the first formulation of a new concept of ‘relational fluidity’ in which your sister can identify as your Mum and vice versa?)
The letter signed by Archbishop Freier was ‘coordinated’ by a ‘Christian partnership’ called Renew Our World, which is basically Greenpeace with some theology tacked on. Renew Our World’s website is replete with the characteristic infantilism of much climate crackpottery. It tells you how you to ‘pray for the climate’ with props such as ‘a piece of coal, an electric plug, or toy car or plane’ to symbolise fossil fuels. ‘Encourage people to… reflect how using these objects has accidentally damaged the balance of creation’. There is advice on setting up a ‘24-7 Prayer Room’ with, as a focus of your orisons not holy images or rosaries, but ‘a globe or map’ on which you can colour in the countries ‘which have been most impacted by and are the most vulnerable to climate change, and then use a different colour to shade in the countries which have created the highest carbon emissions. Encourage people… to write prayers on sticky notes on the globe or map.’ Prayers for the conversion of sinners, presumably, since Renew Our World shares secular environmentalism’s Manichaean (and unchristian) distinctions between good (environmentalists and climate change ‘victims’) and evil (exploitative rich capitalist carbon emitters like ourselves).
The prayer room can become a little theatre in which to show your concern for Sister Earth by playing charades. ‘Section off part of your prayer room to act as a hot desert. Add lights and switch on and off a heater or hair dryer sporadically’ – it will be sporadic all right if it’s wind-powered – ‘to ensure this area is a little warmer than the rest of the room. You could also add some dried and withered plants’. In this pretend ‘desert’ Renew Our World devotees can smugly ponder ‘the rising temperature of the earth and its impact on humans.’ When they’ve had enough of this kindergarten game they, unlike the impacted humans, can switch the aircon back on.
Sane people don’t need this patronising and childish feelgoodery to excite their compassion for populations afflicted by droughts and famine, but why do ‘caring’ Christians always fall for the tendentious and disputed theories of politicised scientists that these naturally occurring phenomena are the fault of the West, which in fact is ever ready to spend fortunes on aid projects designed to ameliorate the harshness of nature? By demonising Western ‘selfishness’, these clerics – under the delusion of helping the poor in the spirit of the Gospel – are aiding and abetting an aggressive and Marxist-manipulated ideological movement that uses environmentalism as a mask. Its real aim is to kneecap Western productivity, prosperity and thus survival. If it succeeds, the climate change ‘victims’ will find themselves consigned to the tender mercies of the secularist global governance Leftists advocate, which will ‘help’ them by making them abort or contraceive themselves down to a ‘sustainable’ number.
Respect for the created world is a Christian obligation, not something invented by Leftists using ‘the environment’ as a political weapon. Churchmen such as Archbishop Freier are devoting to the pagan gospel of Gaia the zeal their predecessors once employed in spreading the Christian faith. A world riven by hatred could do with a resurgence of that faith, with its insistence, unique among religions, on love of neighbour and the dignity of every individual. Western society in particular, fractured by identity politics and crippled by self-doubt, must recover its Judaeo-Christian heritage if it is to survive. Christian clergy wanting to save mankind have more important and enduring things to preach about than climate alarmism.