The first month of this year is over. Since the new year we have seen devastating fires, fierce storms, floods, record snowfalls, and the effects of warming oceans. The planet is issuing warnings and still those who have the power of change are not listening. “For those who care about God’s creation, the present time is one of crisis, and yet it is also a time of possibility. It is a time in which the persistent call of God is reaching out to us amid climate threats, burning forests, and poisoned waters. Fortunately, we are gifted with a rich theological tradition from those who have faced immense dangers and powerful forces in the past. The prophets of our faith have continually pointed to the need to act with all speed to meet the imperatives of justice…we are confronted as much as ever with the fierce urgency of now.” (Creation Justice)
Grant us the courage to act.
Reflect on the “fierce urgency of now.” Absorb its meaning. Take action in whatever way you can. We all have the power of change through electing officials who understand the crisis. Inform yourself and support action groups. Make earth healthy decisions in your use of necessary goods. Support the efforts of young people to fight climate change.
Resources: Job One For Humanity, Climate Network, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense Fund, Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace
Creation Justice, Blue Planet Foundation
Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
Francis of Assisi
Many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
What we do or don’t do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation can’t undo in the future.
We act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions. I don’t—I want you to realize, neither do you… You don’t know how to bring the salmon back up in a dead stream. You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct. And you can’t bring back the forests that once grew where there is now a desert. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
If you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.
We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.
This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation.
While the problem can sometimes seem overwhelming, we can turn things around — but we must move beyond climate talk to climate action.
We must face up to an inescapable reality: the challenges of sustainability simply overwhelm the adequacy of our responses. With some honorable exceptions, our responses are too few, too little, and too late.
Kofi A. Annan
Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.