We know now with certainty that climate change will affect every human born in the 21st century and beyond. The impact of rising temperatures on our planet and our way of life is evident and indisputable. The implications of inaction are more threatening to human life than the pandemic we are now enduring. While the actions of individuals continue to impact the climate of Earth, it is now clear that it is our collective behavior which must change. As a global community, unless we choose differently and behave more wisely things will not change for the better. The recent reduction in carbon emissions due to travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic have shown it is possible for Earth to heal itself if we change our behavior. All faiths teach that we are to love our neighbors and care for all creation. Faith communities can help us recognize our interdependence, see beyond our science and knowledge to perceive meaning and wisdom, and encourage mutually reinforcing action. And there is a fearsome urgency to this challenge. Parliament of the World Religions
Grant us wisdom and courage.
Become well informed about the implications of climate change and their effect on food supply, fresh water, arable land, clean air, and human and animal habitats. Think critically about the public words of those who deny this reality. Be aware of the positions of public officials on climate change and choose effectively. Join or support groups seeking solutions. Be open to change.
You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I dwell among My people.
It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ becomes evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si
The naïve assumption that the natural world is there to be possessed and used by humans for their advantage and in an unlimited manner cannot be accepted.
I don’t want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacrosanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while respecting the environment.
Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
In addressing the challenge of climate change, everyone has a part to play. Every action taken in favour of a just and more sustainable environment, no matter how small, has an intrinsic value. Action at a global level, as well as every individual action which contributes to integral human development and global solidarity, helps to construct a more sustainable environment and, therefore, a better world.
The Cry of the Earth, Statement by the Irish Bishops’ Conference
Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change? Humanity needs a profound cultural renewal; it needs to rediscover those values which can serve as the solid basis for building a brighter future for all. Our present crises – be they economic, food-related, environmental or social – are ultimately also moral crises, and all of them are interrelated. They require us to rethink the path which we are traveling together.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Climate change is the greatest threat to our existence in our short history on this planet. Nobody’s going to buy their way out of its effects.
We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.
The world is reaching the tipping point beyond which climate change may become irreversible. If this happens, we risk denying present and future generations the right to a healthy and sustainable planet – the whole of humanity stands to lose.
Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.