Environmental activism heated up last week ahead of Monday’s United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City. The week kicked-off with Emma Lim, a 19-year-old from London, Ontario, who encouraged young people not to have children until policymakers can ensure their safety from the predicted ravages of global warming. More than 3,500 people have already joined the movement #NoFutureNoChildren.
Lim said she became “terrified” when she read the catastrophic warnings in a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As global warming hysteria grows and scientists argue over climate data and how to measure it accurately, they are frightening young people like Lim into decisions and actions that could have a profound effect on their lives. “I am not the only young person giving up lifelong dreams because they are unsure of what the future will hold,” she said. “We’ve read the science, and now we’re pleading with our government.”
Following the launch of Lim’s movement, Union Theological Seminary in New York City tweeted about a ceremony it hosted in which students confessed their environmental sins to a group of plants.
“Today in chapel, we confessed to plants,” the school tweeted. “Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt, and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?"
The accompanying photo showed a group of potted plants sitting on a pile of dirt in a room with a person holding a microphone sitting on the floor, yoga-style, facing the shrubs.
Christians on Twitter responded with a mix of hilarity and criticism. “That’s the gritty Veggie Tales reboot we’ve been waiting for,” Allen Corbin tweeted. “Plants don’t sustain the earth, God does,” wrote Thomas Dierson. “Plants are important to our ecosystem, and we are commanded to care for the earth, but the Plants AREN’T GOD, and the whole exercise is pantheistic and pagan in nature.”
On Friday, schools across the United States allowed students to take an excused absence to attend protests demanding government action to address climate change. The New York City Department of Education tweeted approval for all public school students to skip school for the strike with their parents’ permission. More than 4 million people attended up to 6,000 strikes in more than 1,000 cities in 185 countries, the news site Quartz estimated.
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a WORLD News Group board member, noted last week on his podcast The Briefing that although the #NoFutureNoChildren movement expresses concern for the safety of the next generation, it reinforces the idea that humans are the problem.
“We cannot be pleased with the desecration of creation, but we can also not be pleased, or ever satisfied, with the idea that creation exists unto itself, that human beings are a blight upon creation, and that it is wrong for human beings to exercise dominion over creation,” he said.
Mohler acknowledged that humans bear a stewardship responsibility to this planet, but “it is a God-given responsibility that actually extends far more comprehensively than anything the climate strikers understand or affirm.”