Let’s go good news first, we could use some encouragement right now.
I’ve been encouraged, and inspired, by the book Climate Church, Climate World by Jim Antal, a leader of the UCC in Massachusetts. I’ve heard Antal speak before, and would recommend this book to anyone with an appreciation of the value of communities of faith in society. One doesn’t need to be believer in particular scripture to accept Antal’s view that creation (however it arose) was a gift to be appreciated and not squandered. Most people take for granted that the earth is human’s dominion, which is one of several points to address in what he describes as a New Moral Era.
Antal describes the climate crisis as an issue for which the church was created. Avoiding confronting the climate crisis is ignoring the most serious threat to our survival, and there will be no end of misery for vulnerable peoples unless communities work together to stop it.. The point is one of individual salvation vs collective salvation. Antal’s view is that we are in this together, so collectively the choices we make and things that we do together are going to have the most impact, so we should focus on the collective good (happiness, comfort, well-being) rather than individuals.
One of the things I most liked in the book was when Antal talked about approaches to motivate people from dispair and inaction (p 128 in the paperback): The first is to cultivate wonder. Perhaps the best way to do this is to embrace what both Emerson and Thoreau realized: “We are immersed in beauty.” Again and again, natures beauty has drawn out of me gratitude that words cannot express”. So beautifully articulated.
So get that book, which I’d be happy to lend anyone if the library doesn’t have it. And come to see Jim Antal when he visits Concord in early June. Plans are being made but there will be an open community event on the afternoon of June 8th or 9th. Will be posted here when arranged.
Now I can’t remember what the bad news was! I’m sure it will occur to me.
Hoping to continue these Climate Conversations through 2019. I hope you’ll let me know what you think about this stuff! (The “conversation” part)