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Jehovah’s Witnesses magazine settles climate change question we raised recently

Hey, this seems kind of fortuitous. Last week, we asked Lloyd Evans how Jehovah’s Witnesses, an end-of-the-world group, thought about actual global challenges presented by climate change.

He said that in general, JWs had a “laid-back” approach to environmental issues because, after all, humanity isn’t really in charge of what happens to the planet:

They point to issues like global warming and damage to the environment as evidence that humans are incapable of ruling themselves, requiring God’s intervention through Armageddon.

A Witness then wrote in disputing that point of view, bringing to our attention a 2007 Awake! magazine article that said people should be mindful of the environment: “We should not be indifferent to the earth’s plight.”


And now we’ve noticed that the first 2019 issue of Awake!, dated March/April, addresses this very question.

In the issue’s cover story, “Threats to Our Safety and Security,” the magazine asks, “Why are many informed people concerned about our future and that of the earth? Consider just some of the challenges facing us.”

One of the challenges listed is about the environment:

“Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates,” states The Global Risks Report 2018, and “pollution of the air and sea has become an increasingly pressing threat to human health.” Also, insect numbers are in steep decline in some lands. Because insects pollinate plants, scientists are now warning of a potential “ecological Armageddon.” Coral reefs are in trouble too. Scientists estimate that about half the world’s reefs have died in the past 30 years.

Hey, that reef destruction situation is definitely tied to climate change caused by human activity, so this is great that Awake! is raising the question.

“Are we able to make the changes needed for a safer and more secure world?” the article then asks, and let’s see what they come up with as an answer.

The article cautions that there’s really only so much we can do.

“Are we asking more of ourselves than we can give? Are we trying to do the impossible?” it asks. “Even if by some miracle we could cure mankind’s hurtful traits, we would still be unable to make the world safe and secure for all. The reason? Our human limitations.”

As Lloyd pointed out, the Watchtower organization counsels letting God handle things, since the Bible promises that, as bad as things are now, Jehovah will eventually take matters into his own hands.

The Awake! magazine points out that everything started to go to shit in 1914, which was all a part of God’s plan.

Writers have commented on how the world changed after that year. For example, Danish historian Peter Munch wrote: “The outbreak of the war in 1914 is the great turning point in the history of humanity. From a bright epoch of progress…we entered an age of disaster, horror, and hatred, with insecurity everywhere.”

But that’s cool, because things are supposed to get really bad before the good times come.

“On the positive side, those conditions are like a storm before the calm. They show that Kingdom rule over all the earth is near.”

So, given that point of view, planet-wide disasters caused by human-influenced climate change is maybe a good thing, as it tends to foretell the coming of Jehovah’s paradise on earth.

Well, we want to thank Awake! magazine for weighing in on this question and settling our little debate.

And heck, bring on the hurricanes and super-tornadoes!


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 25, 2019 at 16:00

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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 (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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