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Lessons from Covid-19 for the Climate Emergency

Environmental Action Group

Lessons from Covid-19 for the Climate Emergency

A series of videos developed by the Environmental Action Group, in cooperation with UCFAMS and support from the South Australian Synod. Click on the underlined text to access the videos.


1.1 Introduction - Presented by Rev Jenni Hughes


The global impact of Covid-19 is acknowledged, especially for those on the margins.This new crisis is contrasted with the developing climate crisis which now threatens the whole Earth and the existence of humanity. The world is approaching irreversible tipping-points, which present an urgent challenge to all societies. How are we to respond? How are the wealthy, the comfortable to respond? While some leaders say that the cost is too great to the economy, others insist that for the sake of the Earth, humanity and all species we must act immediately.


1.2 Learning from Science - Presented by Leigh Newton | Songwriter


It is critical to listen to and act on the advice of science. We followed the roadmaps laid out to defeat Covid-19 and we used technology to improve safety. So, why don’t we do the same with the climate crisis? This crisis was first suggested in the nineteenth century and even Australia’s ‘Black Summer’ of 2020 was predicted if we didn’t reverse course. Various scientists are quoted in describing the situation we are racing towards.


1.3 Compassion and Innovation - Presented by Tarlee Leondaris | Uniting Church International Mission and Covenanting Officer


Covid-19 has demonstrated we can respond with compassion and innovation. These will especially be needed in the climate crisis for the poor and minority groups. Christians are challenged to view the new heaven and new Earth through the eyes of Jesus, who saw that we are participants in bringing them about. This new crisis is rooted in human greed. It will take an urgent profound change in our behaviour to turn this crisis around.


1.4 Connectedness - Presented by Rev John Hughes


Everything is connected in one way or another. Both Covid-19 and the climate crisis have the potential to destroy much of civilisation. David Attenborough said, “We depend upon the natural world for every mouthful of food we eat and every lungful of air we breathe” and in our connectedness we cannot escape the trauma that the natural world is experiencing. He points out that we are already on the road towards the collapse of civilisation and if we are to reverse it, this is the decade and we are the generation who must act.


1.5 How much do we need? - Presented by Carys Penny


Humanity is stumbling into an environmental crisis but there is still much that can be done. We are consuming far more than the Earth can regenerate and there is an urgent need for every one of us to live more simply. Wealthy countries are consuming far more than can be regenerated and can be considered the Earth’s enemy. However, Covid-19 has shown that we can live with more simplicity and responsibility than we thought possible. As a result the environment has had something of a holiday. Jesus’ teachings of simplicity, humility, service and sacrifice are still a clarion call to us all.


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