Do not read this if you don’t want spoilers…
If you’ve not seen it, Don’t Look Up is a fairly unfunny comedy commenting on humanity’s response to a crisis. Some scientists discover a comet hurtling towards earth that will hit in six months, causing a ‘mass extinction level event’. They warn the president of the United States, and, well, basically chaos ensues. Because of greed, the comet hits the earth and pretty much everyone dies. Except for the rich elite who escape on a spaceship. The end. It’s hard not to see the reality of the situation, making the whole viewing experience tense and rather unfunny.
Despite this, its power is undeniable. If the comet represents the climate crisis, the film demonstrates how a mass extinction-level event becomes more real every year. It showcases societal divisions, lies and fake news fed by social media and a population who are ‘ill-educated and want comfort’. By the end, the sense of dread and anxiety is undeniable.
But the truth is, we’re not at the end yet. So what can we do to change the ending? Pondering this, I decided to read Revelation, and I realised three things:
1. Don’t Look Up, Look to Jesus.
As a Christian, the first thing you can do is to look to Jesus so that anxiety is fuelling you and never ruling you. Allow it to create a sense of righteous anger with the unjust systems destroying God’s beautiful creation. Evaluate how you contribute to them. Do this with Jesus, as only by being rooted in the truth and redemptive power of the cross can we realise God’s promise of restoration.
By looking to Jesus, we cultivate belief in the promise of a new creation. We must know what we’ve been saved for. The truth helps us act faithfully and from a hopeful and grace-filled response to the climate crisis.
2. Don’t Look Up, Look for Unity.
I’m sitting on the train home from a Kill the Bill protest as I write this. The Policing, Crime and Sentencing bill will do several things, including restricting the right to protest and increasing police powers. The bill has been described as ‘Draconian’ and ‘a direct assault on the democracy’ of our nation. Still, it’s already reached the House of Lords for the third time.
Protesting has brought together many groups who have become famous for protest movements in the last few years – a hopeful response to a terrible bill. It has shown me that community breeds hope in the face of a critical situation. But despite this, I am tired.
It has shone a stark light on the fact that I am yet to see the Church come together and form a response. It is a Biblical mandate that we are ‘one body in Christ’. Yet it seems that we are too busy disagreeing to develop a unified response to the climate crisis.
So put your differences aside, and remember that we have a unique and perfect hope to bring to the climate crisis.
3. Don’t Look Up, Step Up.
By constantly looking to Jesus and remembering the hope that he brings, you have the strength to consider your response to the climate crisis.
Maybe it’s one of these options:
- reducing your meat consumption
- stopping flying
- writing to your MP
- joining protests
- teaching those around you about the climate crisis
Maybe it’s even teaching other climate activists around you about the hope available to them in Jesus.
Every Christian has a unique role, so let’s step up.