Lynn Willis, LEAD’s Spiritual Guide, attended the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto November 1-7. She will be sharing her experiences and reflections in a series of newsletter articles.
The ice in the heart of man has grown as the ice in the north has melted. Uncle Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Eskimo-Kalaatit Elder, the Arctic.
The reality of climate change is irrefutable, and each of us is responsible for making decisions and taking actions that will shape a future of well-being for humans and all life. The Climate Action Task Force of the Parliament is working to strengthen the growing global faith-based climate movement, bringing people of many traditions together in common commitment and effective actions.
Throughout the Parliament, I heard the warnings and impassioned pleas of people from all across the globe. I share them with you now. I hope your hearts and minds will be open to the wisdom of our brothers and sisters.
My 91-year-old Aunt said to tell you, “it’s too late.”
Uncle Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq
The countdown to Day Zero came to us in Cape Town, South Africa. The water to homes was cut off. People lined up to receive 20 liters of water per person. The climate has changed radically. Drought will be the new normal. Water is heavy. Once you have carried your own water, you will learn the value of every drop.
Cape Town is the canary in the mine. It’s a wake-up call.
Day Zero is coming for us all. This is the human rights issue of our day.
The Rev. Dr. Rachel Mash, Green Anglicans, South Africa
The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. We found alternatives.
Climate change is moving faster than we thought. A tsunami of data requires a storm of response.
The power of love can overcome the love of power.
Faith based organizations have lots of resources – they need to take the lead! We must practice what we preach. As God called Noah to build an ark, we are called to build an ark now.
Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and leading force of the 2015 Paris Agreement
Women have been the water keepers all over the world.
We have allowed our religions to be commoditized and commercialized.
The future requires repentance.
Vandana Shiva, India
The crisis has less to do with climate and more to do with us.
There is an ecumenical imperative to the climate crisis. We need a model of cooperation.
John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne
God said to St. Francis, “go repair my house, which you see is falling into ruin. Creation is the first book of God. Care of the earth is our first vocation. The stewardship of the earthly garden is the first and primary task entrusted to Adam – the first human being, as we read in the creation narratives in Genesis. It is the very first commandment given to humanity.”
Joshtrom Isaac Kuteethadam, the Vatican
There is a midrash that tells of people sailing on a boat. Soon they notice that one person is drilling a hole under their chair. Of course, they object! “It’s my seat! I can do with it as I want!” is the reply. With that attitude, we will all die.
Rabbi David Rosen, American Jewish Committee
We talk with nature. We need to live.
White people need to learn to listen. White people only have concern for cities and minerals. We are the keepers of the forest. White people need to learn from us.
Davi Kopenawa, the Yanomami people of the Amazon
Others in the Parliament of World’s Religions series: