Acton Institute Powerblog

Global Warming in Narnia

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Dr. Philip Stott at EnviroSpin Watch shares with us an article featuring an interview with Maugrim, head of Queen Jadis’ secret police from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, on the growing threat of global warming to the peaceful nation of Narnia. The so-called “greenhouse gas” in question is Pantheron Dileoxide (PL2), also commonly known as “Lion’s Breath.”

“PL2 is a dangerous, roaring greenhouse gas”, the Chief Wolf, Maugrim, growled. “It melts everything, even frozen fauns and fountains. Climate change is the biggest threat ever to Narnia – we might even have Christmas, and the Queen’s war chariot polar bears will have nowhere to live”, he snarled.

The interview concluded with a demand to return to “zero emissions.”

HT: The Corner

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Nick Sheltrown

    While I find great humor Dr. Philip Stott’s posting, I do have to wonder whether C.S. Lewis would appreciate being used in this way. After all, doesn’t Lewis display profound appreciation for nature throughout the Chronicles of Narnia? Take King Tirian’s reaction in The Last Battle to the devastation of the forest at Lantern Waste:

    “Before long they could hear the hack-hack-hack of axes falling on timber, though they could see nothing yet because there was a rise of the ground in front of them. When they had reached the top of it they could see right into Lantern Waste itself. And the King’s face turned white when he saw it. Right through the middle of that ancient forest – that forest where the trees of gold and of silver had once grown and where a child from our world had once planted the Tree of Protection – a broad lane had already been opened. It was hideous lane like a raw gash in the land, full of muddy ruts where felled trees had been dragged down to the river.”

    Look at the language Lewis chose – “hideous lane like a raw gash in the land.” Is this a guy who takes the environment for granted? It is true that many of these trees had living spirits, called dryads, which were being murdered with each axe stroke, but I think the atmosphere of the passage and tone of Lewis’ words leave little room for alternative explanations.

    Later in the book, we look to the Ape, whose devious plan brought this destruction to Narnia. The Ape gives a brief account of his vision for Narnia, as he addresses the talking beasts who have been sold into slavery:

    “There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in – and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons – Oh, everything.”

    The Ape’s industrial reshaping of Narnia did bring about its destruction. Of course, I don’t think we should go too far with this environmental reading of Lewis’ classic children stories. Rather, my point is simply that Christians today shouldn’t project their politics onto Lewis. I don’t think Aslan would like it.

  • 6) I laughed out loud when I read the headline for this story, but I bet you will too if you know the story in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. “Global Warming in Narnia.” There’s discussion of the greenhouse gas of “lion’s breath” and a hope for a return to zero emissions from the Chief Wolf himself.