Do you ever really talk to others about the climate emergency? And do considerations about it ever really affect your everyday life? Should we be surprised that two out of three people have never had a conversation about climate change – ever?
In June, parishes across the diocese will be holding a ‘Creation Service’ at the request of CAFOD, the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, incorporating a Mass and a get-together afterwards. The services are part of a nationwide initiative to get communities talking about how we should respond to the climate crisis. Parishioners will be asked to sign a petition calling on the Prime Minister to take further, faster climate action. The initiative is inspired by the words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si: “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
It is all too easy for us as individuals to leave it to others, or feel helpless in the face of this challenge. But if we don’t take action now, it will be too late. CAFOD is encouraging people to join others from over 100 like-minded organisations – members of The Climate Coalition – at an event in London on 26 June to tell our political leaders that Britain should no longer contribute to the destruction of our common home.
And at a personal level, we can all do simple things to help: for example, eat less meat, reject packaging and avoid single use items, grow our own vegetables, walk to school or church and switch to a green energy supplier.
Ultimately, though, as a society we will have to rethink our economic models entirely, acknowledging that endless growth is unsustainable. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, writing in the Guardian recently, said: “We appear frighteningly disconnected from real awareness of the effects of our materialistic culture upon the very ecosystem that supports us. The challenge is to develop a value-based economic structure, that is not concerned solely with our material well-being, but embraces the whole human being – body and spirit – as well as the rich biodiversity of the Earth. ‘Business as usual’ will destroy the beauty and diversity of our world.”
For more information about the CAFOD campaign go to: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate/Climate-Change