As we are on the brink of the climate change talks in Paris, some growl in despair that they shall just let us down again, that nothing real will be accomplished. But those are not the voices of faith or hope or even reality. We are in a new place, poised differently than we have been in the past. The voices of faith are starting to stand up with the voices of science to guide the world to new possibilities, new visions of who we can be.
Many nations of the world and faiths have celebrated their harvest seasons, seeing how many of the poor in their own communities and refugees around the world have so little and are deeply suffering. Climate changes, which have brought on changes in migrations, loss of species, droughts, widllifes, tropical storms, rising seas, shrinking tundra, have intensified their poverty and world violence.
These talks are an opportunity to see with new eyes. To see the connections. And that is why Pope Francis is coming to Paris to address the world community not just as a Catholic, but as a world spiritual leader to insert the call for greater selflessness and wisdom, compassion and connectivity, and long-sightedness.
We of different faiths can fast and pray, on December 1 and throughout these talks in Paris, for God's Spirit to infuse the discussions and change hearts and minds, not just at the talks but in the halls of government and in homes around the globe, helping us to be more truly human in our best sense. And we can pray they remember the effects on the oceans of excess fossil fuels -- and pledge an end to deforestation and a commitment toward reforestation and the restoration of sea grass and kelp forests.
It is not enough to stop the bad behavior; we must replace it with the good! As Pope Francis said of climate change in his recent encyclical, "Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start."
-Marybeth Lorbiecki, Director, Interfaith Oceans
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