A leading Christian climate activist has defended the disruption of sports events by protestors, claiming that God “wants us to do all we can to rescue” the planet.
Retired Bristol vicar, Rev Sue Parfitt, 81, was speaking after a university student and a former museum worker were arrested for disrupting Snooker's World Championship by throwing paint and climbing onto snooker tables at the Crucible Theatre, in Sheffield.
“We need to take dramatic, dramatic acts to call attention to this crisis”, Rev Parfitt told Premier Christian News about the action by members of ‘Just Stop Oil’. “And that will inconvenience people”, she added.
“But quite honestly, the amount of inconvenience compared with the extinction of the human race, the total breakdown of society and law and order, it's a matter of proportion”, she continued.
Rev Sue Parffit is part of the group Christian Climate Action, associated with Extinction Rebellion, who have been campaigning to keep fossil fuels in the ground. As someone who has herself been arrested and convicted for staging direct action protests, Rev Parfitt says radical measures are justified:
“The extreme emergency in which we find ourselves is an existential emergency for the human race. Everything has to be tried.”
“I spent much of my life writing to my MP and lobbying my MP and going on marches and going to meetings. And so far, it hasn't made the slightest difference at all”, she told Premier Radio listeners.
“Carbon emissions are going up every year, when we know that they have to decrease by at least 45% by 2030, if we have any chance of keeping the warming heating planet below 1.5 degrees of post-industrial global warming”, she added.
The environmental group, Extinction Rebellion, has threatened the government with "new and inventive" disruption if it doesn't meet its demands - which include ending fossil fuel projects.
It's getting together dozens of groups in London this weekend for a big protest, including Christian Climate Action.
Rev Sue Parffit said she hoped Christians would come to what she said would be a lawful protest, with no civil disobedience:
“I follow Jesus a radical, revolutionary figure who stood up for justice at every point in his life”, she said.
“This is a justice issue - the climate crisis – as the people who are suffering most are the people who have contributed least; that is the global south. And we in the global north have for years been contributing to this crisis”, she added.
“We will be taking our concerns to the government and saying, look, this number of people in the population are so concerned as to give up their four days and to be in London. You must listen to them. You must.’