By Conference Minister Diane Weible
I spent Labor Day weekend with my daughters. One is a marine biologist and the other teaches intermediate school science. Both live in Hawaii. Much of our conversation was about how hot it’s been. We went to the ocean and even the ocean was warm. I don’t remember it being like that when I lived there. What I remember the most is that you could count on two things: cool trade wind breezes and cool ocean water, even in the heat of summer. I figured I had just been away from Hawaii too long and had forgotten. They told me that, no, it’s hotter this summer. My daughter told me about how the excessive heat is causing coral bleaching. She said the coral barely had time to recover from last year’s heat before it got hot again and if this keeps up, the coral may no longer be able to recover. As you can imagine, this will impact the entire ecosystem, and not just that of the ocean. It affects the entire planet and every one of us.
As I listened to my daughters talk, I realized just how much they live with the fear of climate change and what it will mean for their future and the future of all who come after them. When I was younger, we were beginning to talk about it, but it seemed so far off and not something that couldn’t be undone. We lived in denial too long and now many are worried that it might be too late.
You will see in this week’s newsletter there are several articles about the upcoming Global Climate Strike events. These events are an invitation from the youth of our nation and world to join them in bringing attention to the climate crisis. You would think the increase in devastating hurricanes would have caught our attention, but it hasn’t. Hurricane Dorian is fresh in our minds and I wonder if that is even enough to make us realize we have to do something. It’s not the first hurricane in recent memory to cause such devastation and it will not be the last. People are dying and others have lost their homes and everything they own. These young people get it because they will be impacted in their lives and in their children’s lives by the climate crisis in ways that most of us who are older will never understand. It’s time we listen to them.
The website has a great quote, “Our house is on fire—let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.” Sometimes when you start hearing loud voices crying that the climate crisis is a hoax and global warming is a myth, you just have to be that much louder. This is what these events—this movement—is looking to do. In addition to the articles below, the website above offers an interactive map showing you all the options for finding an event near you.
My hope and prayer for this Climate Strike is that it is not a one-day or a one-week event but the spark that ignites action from all of us. Because, I believe, that we need to do whatever we can to undo the damage that fossil fuels and ignoring reality for way too long has caused God’s creation.