Reflections on the Climate Strike
Climate change is the most important issue confronting us at this time. What about COVID-19, you say? I agree the present pandemic is affecting all of us in ways that we didn’t expect: for some it is life threatening, for others it has turned their lives upside down. Some people will die and many others will suffer. I find this heart rending but the prognosis is that we will find a way for most of us to return our lives to normal.
What about climate change? Not enough is being done. The earth is suffering. Unless drastic determined action is taken the result will be cataclysmic.
Today Friday 15 May, there has been a huge focus on the need for action to combat climate change, initiated by young people. www.schoolstrike4climate.com. Our government has been a huge disappointment. It lags well behind the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is still not doing enough.
So what happened today? It was a day of hope, of prayer, and of being motivated to do more.
At 10am I zoomed in to a multi-faith service. This was designed to support the young people who had planned for a school strike with demonstrations on this day but due to COVID-19 had changed this to an online event. The service was sponsored by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change network that is comprised of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths (www.arrcc.org.au. ) I found it very inspiring. I was especially encouraged to see how people of various faiths could worship together with a common focus. The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Deidre Palmer, spoke very well. A Buddhist lady included a mindfulness exercise which was very meaningful for me as I am doing a course on this topic but am struggling with motivation despite being persuaded of its effectiveness. Everyone’s presentation joined together in a way that was truly inspiring, spiritual and motivational.
At 3 pm there was another online service, this time sponsored by Common Grace, www.commongrace.org.au. Brooke Prentis who is their CEO and who has preached at our church led the service. The emphasis was on our responsibility to care for our environment. This of course is something that is extremely important to our indigenous people who have cared for country for 50 to 60,000 years, quite successfully, until the arrival of colonists 250 years ago.
Then, from 4 pm, the young people took over. I must admit to being distracted by other responsibilities and saw little of this but what I did see gave me hope. It would be easy to despair as we watch powerful corporations influence governments in favour of their short term interests. The future, however, is in the hands of the young and clearly there are many with great skills that are determined to work for a better future for all.