Climate Change Protests

A Church of England vicar was arrested in London this week after climbing on top of an electric train to protest against Climate Change. The Archbishop of Canterbury said he supported the aims of the protestors. Should Orthodox Christians support these protests? The answer is simple. No, we shouldn’t. We will discuss our reasons below.

Christ says that His Kingdom is not of this world (see John 18:36) and that the earth will pass away (see Matt. 24:35). Our goal as Christians is to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We're not trying to save the planet, we're trying to save our souls by showing love for our neighbour. Disrupting public transport thereby stopping people getting to college, work and hospital is not Orthodox. It's utterly selfish and immature and shows hate and not love for our neighbour.

Most of these extremist protestors seem to be Marxists or Communists. They openly talk about overthrowing our society and even abolishing money altogether. We cannot support these anti-Christian groups. Communism killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century. Communist regimes destroyed hundreds of churches because they believed that violence was necessary in order to destroy religious belief. Thousands of Orthodox clergy and lay people were killed simply because they were Christians. We commemorate all these New Martyrs who suffered under Communism on the Sunday nearest to January 25th. 

Many mainstream environmental charities are also anti-Christian. Greenpeace, for example, openly supports abortion. There are better charities out there for us to support. Practical Action helps the poorest people in the world harness renewable energy to provide light, heat and clean water. 

Most Climate Change protestors say that they are protesting on behalf of young people. Somehow they think that Climate Change is the fault of the ‘old’. They accuse the elderly of ‘robbing the young of their future’; some even say that old people should not be allowed to vote! Ageism might be acceptable on social media but it's completely anti-Christian. We should obey our parents and respect our elders. 

Climate Change campaigners are wrong when they blame old people for damaging the environment. Young people are a bigger problem. They fly on holiday and are driven to school; they have centrally heated homes; their mobile phones are an environmental nightmare; they wear branded clothes made using child labour from man-made materials. They waste thousands of tonnes of food a year because they are fussy or can’t organize their lives properly. 

Elderly people grew up without the luxuries we take for granted. As a result, their 'carbon footprint' is tiny compared to ours. Of course we should make an effort to cut down on waste and pollution. We should think carefully before we buy things. Do we really need it? Is it just a pointless luxury? We should reuse and recycle and learn to cook properly in order to reduce food waste. We can use the money we save to help people in genuine need.

We must love God’s creation, but hate the sins associated with the world: love of money, selfishness and sensual pleasure. If we follow what the Orthodox Church teaches we will be genuine environmentalists.


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