Support the Café
Search our site

Addressing climate change with faith and courage

Addressing climate change with faith and courage

by Ellen Clark-King

The large conference room at the Moscone Center where the Global Climate Action Summit was happening had almost emptied before my favourite speaker of the morning showed up. Not surprising – the event was running 45 minutes late, as these things do, and the lunch hour had begun 35 minutes ago. I stayed out of the not very noble reason that I wanted to see a film hero in person. But when the very hirsute Harrison Ford took the stage it was his message that made me glad I was there.

 

He spoke as an advocate for nature, but his most powerful words for me addressed the needs of the most marginalized in society. He called out one of the central tragedies of climate change, saying it was: “The greatest moral crisis of our time – those who are least responsible will feel the greatest cost.” He decried those who replaced science with self-interested denial and reminded us that the time to act was now.

 

The evening before he spoke we had heard other powerful voices at the Interfaith Service of Wonder and Commitment held at Grace Cathedral. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama were there virtually, 9ft walking trees were there in person, and Indigenous peoples, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Christians sang and lamented and hoped and committed together out of a shared care for our beloved and sacred home.

 

The service was long – it takes a while for passionate voices to speak their truths – but its very length spoke to the weight of this topic across faith traditions, and the strength of the need to address it now. This was worship with a very practical grounding in action – large-scale action as churches and faith communities committed to becoming carbon neutral within 5 or 10 years, small-scale action as individuals committed to restricting their eating of meat or to installing solar panels.

 

Like many of us, I usually feel overwhelmed by the scale of change needed to halt, let alone reverse, the human impact on our planet. I ended this week feeling less overwhelmed and more hopeful. There are signs that some of the exponential changes needed are already underway – driven not only by principle but also by profit as more and more companies find their finances as well as their ethics call them to make more climate friendly choices. I also saw again the breadth and depth of commitment to this change in individuals and in faith organisations. This is not only something we care about – this is something we are prepared to act on directly.

 

This is “the greatest moral crisis of our time“. We know “those who are least responsible will feel the greatest cost.” To finish with more words of Harrison Ford, global climate change is ‘a monster’ and we all need to “shut off our phones, roll up our sleeves, and kick this monster’s ass.”

 


The Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark-King is Executive Pastor and Canon for Social Justice, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alvah Whealton

The greatest moral crisis of our time? Can you believe than someone has the audacity to disagree!

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café