Some people have been working away at linking COVID-19 with climate change. Of course, it would be a long-shot to link the two in any causal way. But if we were to think in terms of systems – biological systems and human created systems – rather than isolating one particular aspect of our environment for analysis there are connections. We are beginning to see the emergence of a kind of thinking that, while not new, is seriously neglected: a systems view of the world. In this view, everything is linked in some way – because everything is a part of a huge complex system and of equally complex sub-systems – from the stars to the virus, from the cosmos to the atom. Sally McFague says it well: “Never before have we had to think of everyone and everything all together”.
As I write, 'unprecedented' fires in the Eastern States of Australia in November 2019 have been burning for days. They are likely to continue for weeks yet. They have already burnt out more than 1m hectares. Lives have been lost, livelihoods disrupted and homes destroyed.
In the previous three northern hemisphere late summers, California has experienced devastating fires. Bill McKibben has recently written that so serious has the situation become, that parts of California may well have become uninhabitable. (McKibben) He notes that already, some large cities in Asia and the Middle East are approaching the point where they will become uninhabitable due to extreme heat. In other places, every high tide event washes through living rooms.
Animal species are going extinct at a rate that is...
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
which was brought upon me…
Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes,
but have seen oracles for you that are false and misleading.
People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
When all the prisoners of the land are crushed under foot,
when human rights are perverted in the presence of the Most High,
when one’s case is subverted —does the Lord not see it?
Why should any who draw breath complain about the punishment of their sins? ...
Featuring eco-theologian, author, and TEDx speaker, Rev. Michael Dowd, ProFuture Faith is a dynamic eight-session DVD and internet-based course that bridges the gap between head and heart, science and faith.
The basic format for each 1 – 1½ hour session includes conversation around the readings, a 20-minute video presentation and guided discussion. Purchase of ProFuture Faith Curriculum Edition includes a one-year renewable license to use the downloadable/printable participant reader and facilitator guide.
Part 1 — Coming Home to Reality (4 sessions)
Un-Trivializing God — Reality as Thou — (20 min)
The Purpose of Religion and Necessity of Science — (20 min)
The Epic of Evolution — A Cosmic Timeline — (20 min)
Thus Sayeth Reality — What is Inevitable; What is Needed — (20 min)
Conserving the Natural World – for its own sake or for ours?
We have just returned from spending time with family on Christmas Island. Two thirds of the island is a National Park, the responsibility of Parks Australia. It's a small island (19km by 14km), most of which is covered by monsoonal forest and it is home to several endemic plant and animal species. Since human settlement in the late 19th century some species have already become extinct. Several of the animal species are on the endangered list. One of these, the Christmas Island flying fox, the last remaining native mammal, is an important pollinator and rainforest seed-disperser. Without the fruit bat, the forest may be endangered. They are the subject of constant monitoring. Two bird species are also endangered (Abbott's boobie and...
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Dr Deidre Palmer, has released a statement relating to the Global Climate Action on September 20, 2019, inviting 'members of the Uniting Church in Australia and all who share in our hope for the healing of the Earth', to participate.
What if, when the Uniting Church in South Australia meets later this year, the Synod were to adopt a proposal that stated: “We accept that global conditions have now reached a state that warrants declaring a Climate Emergency”. Just more words? Or a stimulus for us to wake up and begin taking appropriate action?
In June 2019 the Pope declared a 'climate emergency'. Sixteen countries have done it (including the UK, Ireland and Canada ). World-wide hundreds of local governments have done it. In Australia more than 25 local authorities, including the Cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga and the Australian Capital Territory have made such a declaration.
Why would we even consider bringing such a proposal to the Synod? Isn't this the role of governments? Why would the church do this?...
The EAG wrote recently to the major political parties outlining the issues we thought were important in this election. The ALP has replied with a comprehensive summary of their policies covering all the issues we raised with them: carbon emissions, transport and infrastructure, waste and plastics, drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight, the Murray-Darling river system, bio-diversity and disposal of radio-active waste. As other parties and candidates respond, we will post summaries on this web-site.
A brief summary of the most important points from the ALP follows:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
Labor is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on 2005 by 2030 and that includes increasing renewable energy in our electricity...
Human beings alone are capable of disobeying God's laws, because they try to be wiser than God… Other creatures fulfil the commandments of God; they honour [God's] laws… But human beings rebel against those laws, defying them in word and action. And in doing so they inflict terrible cruelty on the rest of God's creation. Hildergard of Bingen 1098-1179
Below is a list of questions for the candidates who are standing for political office in your electorate, drawn up by the Environmental Action Group. A much-simplified form of these questions will be sent to every party in SA that is fielding candidates. Each party is being asked for a response.
The complete list below is one from which you can choose according to your own sense of priorities. You are encouraged to ask each...