Step Up as Catholics on Global Climate Crisis
Patrick Dowling, Cape Town – This is a call to all South African Catholics to respond as purposefully as they can to the global climate crisis that threatens creation.
Following thoughts expressed in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis said earlier this year: “Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetuating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations.”
One of the acts of injustice is the blinkered, obdurate and deadly obsession of many governments, including South Africa’s, with maintaining fossil fuel industries when cheaper, cleaner and reliable technologies are rapidly developing.
The emergency is unfolding fast. Fires in the Arctic and Amazon, increasingly severe droughts, floods, heatwaves, storms and accelerating rate of species extinction, demand all our urgent attention.
This is not a matter about which anyone can say, “This does not affect me.”
Whether as individuals, youth groups, schools, parish congregations or archdioceses, we make a difference through our words, writing, examples, projects, voting, buying choices and more. Joining the Global Catholic Climate Movement (www.catholicclimatemovement.global) is a good way of getting the bigger picture and offers inspiring ideas on how to participate in the Season of Creation in September and October.
Collective action, such as the recent and upcoming climate strikes, gets the attention of government decision-makers and adds momentum to the sort of positive behaviour and policy changes that are already happening, but need to be speeded up for the sake of people and planet. Catholics in their numbers help.