The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report provides clear scientific documentation that our world is truly in crisis.
While it could be easy to be overwhelmed with the weight of this heavy news, our prayer is that it can also be a source of inspiration to continue critical work and activism to care for creation as God’s hands in the world.
So what can we do?
Our friends at Presbyterians for Earth Care have reviewed the reporting in a variety of sources and suggest reading and sharing the following:
The Guardian has an excellent, short accurate summary. The Guardian also provides the best coverage in their two articles: One article provides more details on IPCC science . While a dramatic headline, this second article, and even the headline, are dead on, with a biblical ring even.
The unmistakable conclusions and attribution extrapolated from the science in USA Today is also quite good. The statement “code red for humanity” is not in the report itself but comes from United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
This Washington Post article is excellent but requires an inexpensive subscription. This New York Times article (also needs a subscription) has the most hopeful start of any of them and more quotes with some degree of optimism.
Our friends at Blessed Tomorrow have recently released a series of action sheets to help. They are each two pages. The front includes “What You Need to Know” and the back includes “What You Need to Do.”
- Climate Solutions for Your Home and Neighborhood
- Climate Solutions for Your Workplace and Congregation
- Climate Solutions for Your Community
- Climate Solutions Advocacy with Policy Makers
Today’s news is a perfect time to help people learn more, connecting faith to news of the day and preparing to act. Perhaps one day this week or next, you can show one or more of these at your church in person or online? Inviting the public, others in your Presbytery or the press is a great way to spread the word.
Christianity and Climate Crisis is a new series of nine online videos by Christians in Scotland featuring Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned Christian climate scientist from Texas. The videos are only six minutes long with excellent content covering important topics:
- What the Bible says about the natural world;
- Climate change is a poverty issue,
- How to persuade others to care about climate change,
- What we can do as a church,
- Speaking to other Christians about climate change,
- Grateful for fossil fuels but time to move on,
- Climate change is a threat multiplier,
- There can be a better future and
- It is not too late.
See also the PBS short videos Global Weirding with Katherine Hayhoe.
Contact your senators and congressional representatives while they are on break. MomentUs Summer Campaign – ecoAmerica | The Path to Climate Action
Take Action this August! – CREATION JUSTICE MINISTRIES
Demand Climate Action by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a variety of ideas from local community to national.
Please give financially to the ongoing work of organizations that fight Climate Change. Consider donating to the Restoring Creation fund.
We offer this Prayer for our Earth from Pope Francis below for this moment and note that the 2018 edition (pages 559-590) of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship has a section on Creation and Ecology, for planning worship services with a Climate focus.
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as (siblings), harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.