What do you love and hope never to lose to climate chaos? – a question posited during our Earth Hour on-line service. It is a powerful and potent question and the more so as we grapple with an invisible virus wreaking economic havoc and more desperately, taking the lives of hundreds of thousands across our world. No respecter of geographical borders or social class, its impact of grief and suffering is incomprehensible and wretchedly devastating. Our hearts writhe with the pain of the world and with copious tears.
The pre-existing challenge to COVID-19 is the threat of a heating world rightly recognized as an extreme state of emergency. In the presence of corona virus, climate has slipped off centre stage but in a cruel twist of fate the pandemic may yet sound the clarion call needed to reinstate climate emergency as a global priority. Skies and rivers are clearer of the poisonous pollution that has been damaging lungs for decades. Hope has been galvanized in the search for a vaccine; would that that same rush gather momentum to harness creativity, commitment and technology to eradicate fossil fuels.
While eco-anxiety continues to rise threatening our wellbeing, we are summoned to befriend our fears, grief, anger and despair as a route to empowering us into action. Accepting our feelings with understanding and empathy is sound psychological advice and will help us build inner climate resilience.
Should politics be put aside and let science lead the way in finding a solution?
Or is there something deeper at stake and yet scarcely mentioned in public discourse? Is the climate crisis we face of a different order? Could it be a pandemic of disconnect, a loss of identity, a rupture of relationship with the natural world, with creation itself and our place within it? Could it be, at heart, a spiritual crisis that really defines our deepening dilemma and persistent power play over the forces of nature? Is our search for solutions to our climate emergency really located deep within our being, in our relationship with our Creator?
On 22 May we celebrated the International Day of Biodiversity which focuses attention on the breath-taking variety and beauty of life found on earth. Every species, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has a vital role to play in the entire eco-system – in the delicate running of natural cycles that create habitats for creatures great and small including human communities.
The theme of this Day is ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’.
What a gift to whet our imaginations!
With rising concern for the health and wellbeing of our planet the global community is called to re-examine its relationship with the natural world and one thing is certain: despite our technical know-how we are completely dependent upon a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for our water, food, health, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy. The Lot!
And it is the authenticity, the sheer gift of nature – the wild winds, the roaring surf, the silent forests, the snow-clad mountains, the solitary bush tracks and dry deserts that feed the artist, the poet, the musician, the writer, the gardener, the home maker – the creative impulse in us all.
If our solutions, indeed our very survival truly lies in nature then it behoves us to examine the essence of our human identity and to recognize the benevolence, the mystery, wonder and awe that resides within the natural world and which emanates from a gracious, sustaining and self-giving life-force we call God.
Our task is to live in harmony, humility and reciprocity with creation to which we inherently belong and depend upon for life and breath. This is the underlying force of our faith energised by Love.
Herein lies our hope – for justice, peace and community evolvement across the planet. We have so much to cherish but ever-deepening loss surrounds us.
What is your role and what is mine?
What do you love and not want to lose to climate chaos?