Monday, November 09, 2015
Will You Pray for the Climate?
During the month of November we are including prayers in our bulletin for the upcoming international climate change conference which will take place in Paris from November 30th to December 11th. It is known as COP 21, the twenty-first such conference of Conference of the Parties (hence the COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
I have encouraged our folk to pray every day of this month and who knows whether anyone will take the time to do so. It does have a "dear God, the world is going to hell in a hand basket, so please turn the heat" feel to it. What exactly do we pray for? Do we actually have any faith that the leaders of nations will finally take off their fossil-fuels rules, the-economy-is-everything blinders in order to develop a collective vision for addressing climate change?
It does seem futile when some scientists tell us that even if we repent and change our foolish ways as a result of the conference our planet home will continue to heat up and sea levels rise. Many scientists are convinced that many major coastal cities will be under water by the end of the century and nothing we can do today will change the outcome. They also tell us that there are record concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. As climate scientist and Christian Katherine Hayhoe points out, this isn't about whether we "believe" in climate change, it is about the scientific evidence.
I'm going to keep praying. I'm going to ask God to give me wisdom and determination to make a difference through my personal choices and in my expectations for every level of the governments for which I have the opportunity to vote.
I was convinced that the previous federal government willfully ignored and even suppressed the scientific evidence around the effects of climate change and became an environmental pariah amongst the nations of the world. I am encouraged that the new government will be well represented at COP21 and has invited provincial premiers and leaders of other parties. I'm choosing to view this as an answer to prayer, although it didn't quite fit my timeline! I'm not counting on miracles, but I will hope for change.
Will you pray for a practical agreement and effective change out of COP21? Are you dismayed by what you hear? Would you accept radical change in your lifestyle for the sake of the planet and future generations?