Greta Thunberg of Sweden gave an impassioned speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 last month in New York.
Among other things in her maiden speech, the teenager thundered, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words… We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
It is true that mankind has not been the best of stewards of the earth and its resources that have been entrusted to Him by the Creator. Global warming and climate change have been the result of his actions.
We here in the Caribbean face the effects of climate change each year. Not only are we seeing more storms develop in the Atlantic Ocean – but fiercer ones as well.
But is the situation really as bad as Thunberg has claimed? Are we about to see the mass extinction of the human race – thereby, effectively killing the dreams and aspirations of billions of youth?
Many of the world’s youth certainly believe we are, having been schooled in climate change and its effects by renowned environmental activists. And this feeling of hopelessness, the imminent results of climate change on the planet, has affected many young people mentally and psychologically. No wonder Greta seems so angry as she addresses us all.
In fact, “an Australian website offers counsel to help people (especially young people) deal with stress and anxiety related to climate change” (article by Dr Michael Brown, author and international Christian apologist, www.charismanews.com October 2, 2019).
However, Dr Brown does not believe it is climate change that is threatening the youth’s mental health. Rather, it is “the apocalyptic way it is being reported that is threatening mental health.”
Of course, it is necessary to inform the world about the dangers of climate change, but is it all right to cause people undue stress?
Today’s youth are bombarded with news of very bleak and dismal scenarios. For example, earlier this year they read on the UN website: Only 11 Years Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change, Speakers Warn during General Assembly High-Level Meeting (www.un.org). This and other such future disaster stories are what the younger generation is growing up hearing. Is it any wonder they fear a non-existent future?
But is this really so? Actually, “earth destruction” predictors in the scientific community and environmental movement have not gotten one prediction right, says syndicated journalist John Nolte. And this is in over a period of more than 50 years!
(Anyone interested in researching some of these false doomsday cries can check out the article 10 Times ‘Experts’ Predicted the World Would End by Now at Fox News www.foxnews.com, March 19, 2019).
Indeed, this world will come to an end someday – but in God’s will and in His time. Meanwhile, believers are to conscientiously engage the youth with whom they come into contact about the Bible’s end time prophecies. (See Matthew 24:36; Luke 21:25, 26; and 2 Peter 3:10)
We ought to assure them that with Jesus on their side and in their hearts there is nothing to fear about the end of the world.