“I felt as if a vast endless scream passed through nature”
This copy – one of four iconic paintings by Norwegian, Edvard Munch 1893, is known commonly as The Scream – the disturbing image’s complete title is The Great Scream in Nature. Munch inserted his poem at the base of the painting. He writes of his “wave of sadness”. Which prompts me to equate my sadness at humanity’s self-destruction of our planet.
Always, as a Vincentian, I will contemplate, and then want to act. So what can I do? Is climate change too big for you and me to affect change?
I’m impatient with the abstractions of academic philosophy, like another Scandinavian; Kierkegaard, I try to work out how to be a human being in this world on an authentic spiritual path. Kirkegaard insisted that we must work out who we are, how to live, right in the middle of life itself. So, you have to face – head on – this dilemma of climate change.
Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Scandinavian, is still at school in Stockholm – except on Fridays when she protests about climate change. She spent her school holidays touring Europe by train, warning that we risk “the end of civilization as we know it”.
Even if this apocalyptical message makes us feel uncomfortable when in the midst of a leisure moment or treat, it doesn’t alter the facts and warnings of countless scientists that the world is warming!
A President saying it isn’t warming; it’s “fake news”, doesn’t mean we can safely ignore the warnings of countless scientists.
The threat to our planet is real, and Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters who paralysed London a few weeks ago should be applauded for putting a new urgency into public discourse.
UK, Christian Climate Action, including Catholics, welcomes 2050 Government zero emission targets as we have responded to Pope Francis’ call for care for the environment.
The Christian lobby demands a cross-governmental approach which does not rely on offsets or outsourcing of carbon emissions to poorer nations – the very countries being hit hardest by climate change, despite having contributed least to the problem!
I have been a participating parish leader on the CAFOD Live Simply Campaign and disseminating Laudate Si. What can you and I do now?
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and the founder of the Mary Robinson /Foundation – Climate Justice has set out a three point plan that resonates with me. I hope you agree.
1ST ACTION POINT – Do something personal to make a difference – checklist; https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/How-to-Campaign/Livesimply-award
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead
2ND ACTION POINT – Get informed so you can challenge Government, policy makers and corporations; Check out our Vincentian Family NGOs work at the United Nations in New York; Sign up to the Daughters of Charity and Sisters of Charity Federation FACEBOOK pages. Fr Memo Campuzano CM. AIC & SVP sites for their social justice work
3rd ACTION POINT – Imagine! Yes! contemplate – on the world we want to live in. A world where we don’t need to do some of the things we thought were essential to modern life. A world where relationships are key – happiness and love is central. ‘….As long as we’re filled with ourselves, we can go no further.’ Ref. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander.
Be receptive to receive a change of heart as in The Beatitudes “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3