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A Witness responds to Lloyd Evans about JW and global climate change

[The Warwick headquarters and its green buildings]

On Tuesday, we asked ex-JW activist Lloyd Evans about the Jehovah’s Witness view on climate change, since it’s an organization so centered around the idea of global catastrophe. Lloyd explained that because the planet was in Jehovah’s hands, Witnesses tended not to be concerned about environmental issues. We then received a rebuttal from Rob, a Witness who disagreed, and we’re very happy to publish his message to us, with his permission…

The main point I am rebutting is this quote from Lloyd: “Jehovah’s Witnesses mostly have a very laid back approach to environmental concerns. They point to issues like global warming and damage to the environment as evidence that humans are incapable of ruling themselves….”

Jehovah’s Witnesses, in fact, do have an active interest in environment, and encourage members to take action to reduce the negative affects we have on the environment. Consider one of our journals, the Awake! magazine, from 2007:

The Bible assures us that every trace of the damage caused by man will be undone when God ‘makes all things new.’ (Revelation 21:5) However, we should not conclude that since God will in time restore the earth, our actions now do not matter. They do!

That article further states that we are not indifferent to the earth’s plight:

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Jehovah God made the earth to be a gardenlike home for mankind. He pronounced all of his work to be “very good” and assigned man “to cultivate [the earth] and to take care of it.” (Genesis 1:28, 31; 2:15) How does God feel about earth’s present condition? Clearly, he is deeply offended by man’s mismanagement, for Revelation 11:18 foretells that he will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” So we should not be indifferent to the earth’s plight.

Lastly, steps are given in this same article that we can or should take, to reduce the negative impact on our environment.

It is proper, though, for us to consider the environmental impact of our choices in such areas as household purchases, transportation, and recreation. For example, some choose to purchase products that have been produced or that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment. Others strive to reduce their share in activities that create pollution or unduly consume natural resources.

This does not represent disinterest in climate change, or feigning interest in it. This is actively discussing ways to minimize our own environmental impact.

So yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do in fact believe that God will undo climate change once and for all, but this does not mean we are indifferent or apathetic, as the article above shows.

Lastly, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ buildings received the highest possible rating of Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings, for environmental efficiency.

Really, the best way to show concern for our planet is to reduce the impact we have. Jehovah’s Witnesses build so to have the least negative impact as they possibly can.

So whoever is suggesting that Jehovah’s Witnesses are apathetic to our environmental concerns is ignoring what’s in print, and how we construct our buildings, and the recognition we receive from authoritative environmental agencies.

 
— Rob

 
UPDATE: Lloyd Evans was good enough to send a reply…

I admire Rob for reading your website and thus exposing himself to information that may help him to one day understand that he is being lied to and exploited by an abusive, self-serving religious hierarchy, but you simply can’t say that Jehovah’s Witnesses are actively involved in any meaningful sense in combating climate change by waving an Awake article that says Jehovah hates man’s mismanagement of the earth.

The same article states: “Furthermore, Jesus refused to get involved in politics as a means of solving the social problems of his day. He clearly stated: ‘My kingdom is no part of this world.’ —John 18:36.” Individual efforts are of course to be applauded, but there is broad agreement that climate change can only be reversed with urgent political intervention, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are against campaigning for any such thing because they are politically neutral and believe the only lasting solution to mankind’s problems involves the wholesale slaughter of every man, woman and child who doesn’t observe the authority of 8 dudes in New York.

As for the Warwick project winning the “Four Green Globes” award, the organization can certainly be proud that they successfully satisfied the environmental requirements for their headquarters build. I have visited Warwick and it is indeed an impressive facility. However, winning an award of this kind does not mean that Jehovah’s Witnesses as a religion are engaged in efforts to respond to climate change and manage earth’s resources responsibly. Indeed, one of the very first articles I ran on JWsurvey uncovered the fact that the organization had been censured by authorities for illegally dumping printing chemicals at its Wallkill facility in the 70s, despite claiming that God would soon smite those “ruining the earth.” As in many things, there are two sides to the story, and the achievements of Jehovah’s Witnesses in being environmentally responsible must be weighed against their failures.

Lastly, if Rob would like to have a debate on this issue on my YouTube channel, he has an open invitation to have a respectful dialogue with me. I am sure there are at least some issues, such as the wrongful ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, on which we have common ground.

 
— Lloyd Evans

 
Rob responds: “The fact is that every step counts, not matter how small or how large. The more organizations we have building eco-friendly facilities, the better. We should be happy to see any organization meeting and/or exceeding environmental standards. In reality, it should not matter one bit if an organization is politically active if they are taking steps to reduce their own negative impact on our environment. I see it as taking personal responsibility. If everyone took personal responsibility, its a good chance we would not be in this situation.”

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on March 21, 2019 at 12:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)

 

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