May 24

International Strike for Climate Action
Reflection

It is the young who will have to face the consequences of the current environmental and climate crisis. They know it and they have been moved to action.  They do not have the power of governments or corporations but they are not afraid to speak and act in the only way they can, and they are demanding a response. It began in August 2018 when 16 year old Greta Thornburg went on strike at the Swedish Parliament demanding action to resolve the climate crisis. “Our house is on fire,” she said.  Since then thousands of students across the globe have staged massive demonstrations trying to awaken the population of the planet to the need for emergency measures. There has been no notable response from any nations and today the second strike is being held. (Coincidentally, it is the fourth anniversary of Laudato si, the Pope’s encyclical on the same issue.) These students know that, like their ancestors, they have the right to live on a safe planet. They want and deserve a planet that has not been destroyed by the harmful activity of the flawed system we live in and by the lack of action by people of all social levels. May they have the stamina and the courage to continue to make their demands, and may we have the conscience to listen and act.

Prayer

May our eyes and ears be opened by the voices of children.

Action

Make yourself familiar with the plight of the planet.  Reflect on your life as a child and the fact that this was never a fear of yours.  Think of what life on this planet will be if action is not taken.  If you still don’t believe there is a problem, familiarize yourself with some of the recent scientific reports.

Suggested Reading

Never have we hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years. Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.
Pope Francis

Everyone says that there is no black-and-white issue, but I think this is. Either we go on as a civilization or we don’t.
Greta Thunberg

Children are often told they are ‘tomorrow’s leaders’. But if they wait until ‘tomorrow’ there may not be a future in which to lead.
Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International,

God’s creation is in peril by our own actions. Yet we know it is a gift for us to enjoy, safeguard, and protect for future generations.
Sister Sharlet Wagner, CSC, LCWR

It’s time to heed the deeply moving voice of youth. The Paris Agreement was a step in the right direction, but it’s timely implementation is key.
Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief at the Paris Agreement

Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.
Bill Gates

Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity, perhaps ever. Global temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate, causing drought and forest fires and impacting human health.
Cary Kennedy

I have long understood that climate change is not only an environmental issue – it is a humanitarian, economic, health, and justice issue as well.
Frances Beinecke\

Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.
Tony Blair

All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.
Barack Obama

Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.
Al Gore

If we students do not have a future, then why do we need to go to school now?
Chang Ting-wei, a student at Heng Yee Catholic H S

I love the world around me but the biggest thing I care about is humans. I want us not only to be able to survive but to prosper. If we allow this to continue, that won’t be an option.
Athena Fain, 15 – Seattle, WA

I’m striking for my future, for the air that I breathe, for the land that my grandparents have been living on, and for the land that my children, I hope, can live on.
Kendall Greene, 17 – Atlanta

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