Now the whole earth had one language and the same words...
The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
from Genesis 11 NRSV
I have been thinking all day about the beginning of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow It's been suggested that this is the "now or never" opportunity to address the climate emergency, although that was suggested about Paris (2015) and Kyoto (1997) and Rio de Janeiro (1992). It seems that just about the only thing we can collectively commit ourselves to substantively is that there is an urgency to the crisis, Even when we develop an accord (Paris) or protocol (Kyoto) or declaration (Rio) we watch global emmissions of CO2 rise and weather patterns become more unpredictable and volatile.The trouble with normal is it always get worse.
Just before COP26 got underway G20 leaders gathered and issued a climate change statement which didn't promise any new targets despite UN reports that we are on the brink of disaster. What is the point of the next two weeks in Glasgow when those wealthy nations are so mealy-mouthed and China won't even show up at the table.
Do I sound discouraged and cynical? I actually do hope that I am totally wrong about what will unfold during these deliberations.
I walked in the woods this morning and prayed for a reverse Tower of Babel movement of the Holy Spirit, the divine breath or wind. You may know the story in Genesis of a people who in their arrogance decide to build a monumental tower which reaches to the heavens. God punishes their hubris by confusing their common language
My hope is that humanity will come down from the "summit" of hubris with humility and discover a common language in the midst of so many differing outlooks, for the benefit of all creatures on the planet and the web of Creation.