Fire!! Fire!! Fire!!
We are on FIRE!
Our beautiful Mother Earth is on fire.
All around the world people are talking about the devastating fires happening right now in the Amazon rain forest. “The earths lungs.”

For decades women and men of science have been telling us we were in danger of catastrophic global warming.
In our arrogance, we ignored them.
We continued using cans of vegetable oil spray with ozone killing propellants.
We continued driving enormous, gas guzzling automobiles.
And we continued eating a non-vegetarian diet.
In our arrogance, we believed we were the masters of this universe, that we could continue to live as we wanted without consequence.
We continued destroying our beautiful mountains with the absurdity of fracking, and mountain top removal.
We continued using plastic straws, bags, and packaging, allowing them to be discarded into our beautiful oceans, where innocent creatures of the sea have been poisoned and maimed by our indifference.
By our arrogance.

Fortunately for us, it’s not too late to turn the tide. The same women and men of science are telling us we still have a chance to redeem ourselves, and save our beloved planet. It’s time to take them seriously. We have a responsibility to our children and our grandchildren to fix this, to right the wrong and leave their home as beautiful, as safe and protected as possible. We owe them this.

On Monday, August 26, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to G-7 leaders for “strong commitment” He said, “we have the tools to address the climate emergency, but we need more political will.” Secretary General will be hosting a Climate Action Summit on September 23rd, at the United Nations in NY. It’s expected to be a discussion related to an attempt at holding back the rate of destruction of the melting polar icecaps, the rising sea level, reversing the severely increasing global temperature. We’ll also hear that it’s not too late. We know with dedicated changes in our daily lives the rate of global temperature rise can be stalled, even reversed. Currently the rise is 3.c degrees, scientists believe we can work to lower the rate, they believe we can get down below 2c, perhaps as low as 1.5c, which is what it was before the industrial revolution.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul, and all the Vincentian Family know first-hand how climate change effects people living in poverty to a much more devastating level than those living with more resources. It’s a fact that indigenous people, especially those living in Brazilian Rain Forest, feel the effects more personally than urban people. In many cases urban and suburban people don’t make the connection between their lifestyle and the climate crisis.  With education, we should be able to help make this important connection.

We might start by talking about our responsibility to care for God’s Earth, Mother Earth. As practicing Catholics who believe in our Catholic Social Justice Teaching, we already have the tools needed to discuss this topic. We might start by showing our individual commitment by using reusable water bottles, produce bags, grocery bags, etc.

Again, it’s too late, we can look at the fires in California, and Brazil as our final wake up call, and take this seriously!

For more information about the Climate Action Summit, go to, and look for UN and Climate Action, then also look at The Science for Supporting Documents, And Action Areas.

We may well be at a pivotal point, but it’s not too late to make serious changes.

Pattie Hughes, SVdP