The people of Calgary are stunned in the aftermath of the murderous death of five bright, engaging university students. Our partners in the Philippines continue to put their lives on the line for justice in the wake of more extra-judicial killings (executions on human rights workers). People in Central Africa, Ukraine, Syria, to name a few, live in fear of violent death.
This Good Friday takes us into the dark depth of 21 st Century crucifixion. People devoting their lives to building a better world are cut down by the forces of evil violence in its multitude of forms.
For me, the enveloping context of the evil humankind is capable of unleashing is in the violence known as Climate Change. Humankind is literally murdering our Earthly Home.
The growing evidence over the last three decades confirms that we know what we are doing . There are no more excuses for ignorance.
There is no doubt of the complexity of the science and politics of Climate Change. Equally, there is no doubt of its simplicity. The attack on every square kilometre of Mother Earth is without precedent. No place is sacred any more. The rate at which carbon dioxide, methane, and other Green House Gases (GHG) are being pumped into the atmosphere and oceans needs to be radically slowed down.
I have said for many years that Climate Change is a spiritual issue. What are human beings for? How are we to live together? How are we to live together in our earthly home?
These spiritual questions require personal, political, and economic answers.
Thankfully, many individuals, municipalities, organizations of all kinds, and businesses are creatively reducing their ecological footprint and their GHG emissions. But our governments, and many large corporations are totally irresponsible, and bereft of giving any form of leadership. Instead, they give us spin, greenwashing, and even lies.
This Good Friday, I pray for Mother Earth as my species continues to nail her to the Cross of greed, consumption, and violence.
One final note. Calgary airport is completing the longest runway in Canada, to accommodate the world's largest jet planes. Cost: $600 Million. A huge new terminal will join it. We know that air travel is a large contributor to GHG. One of my modest actions is to refuse air travel, except for necessary business and sometimes visiting family. Not much, I know. I know of only two other people who do likewise.
Besides each of us looking at our personal patterns of consumption, it is morally imperative that governments and large corporations become responsible. Our Earthly Home awaits evidence of our love for her.
Travelling with the Beaconsfield Initiative team from Quebec, Bill is learning about mining in the Cordillera region where Canadian companies operate. To keep abreast of their travels, please visit: beaconsfieldinitiative.tumblr.com
Posted by Carolyn Pogue
Although I am discouraged by the slow progress on Climate Change in Durban, I am encouraged by the millions of people around the world who are taking action in their own communities while continuing to pressure their governments for serious political leadership.
I invite you to read Chris Turner's latest book, The Leap, for a hopeful survey of municipalities and organizations around the world who are shifting to renewable energy, thus reducing their greenhouse gas footprint. I invite all of us to examine where we can put our efforts towards shifting to renewable energy. Every community in Canada has possibilties for greening our world.
May 2012 be a year of surprising renewal and hope. When I return from my time in the Philippines, I will have comments to make on Canadian mining practices and corporate responsibility. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who supported my fast in so many different ways throughout Canada.
May the Christ Child of Peace, Resistence and Hope find a place in our hearts.
Today is the last day of my 10 day Fast for Courage. I have gone 10 days without food, but nourished by Carolyn's terrific vegetable broth (and other liquids). We ended the fast in front of the Constituency office of Stephen Harper, and were joined by 10 people, including 2 young people from Occupy Calgary. Former Alderman Bob Hawksworth, who has been with me in spirit throughout the fast, joined us as well.
While I end my fast, Moderator Mardi Tindal and others from the United Church, continue their faithful inter-faith witness in Durban. I ask you to hold her and all interfaith leaders in your prayers as the conference reaches its conclusion.
During the past 10 days, I've been greatly encouraged by the prayers and actions by people throughout Canada. Although our government is ignoring what most Canadians desire, people in every region of Canada are doing what they can in their own communities. In Durban itself, while countries such as United States and China, who are criticized as much as Canada, seek to engage people, our government hides behind closed doors.
Despite our federal government's climate change blinders, I believe there are positive initiatives throughout our country. For example, the city of Calgary is recognized for its renewable energy policies and is a leader in implementation of Kyoto-style commitments. Similarly, Ontario is committed to solar power with their feed-in tariff program. Therefore, while listening to peoples' criticisms of Canada why not tell the story of the good things we are doing?
Regardless of what happens in Durban, I challenge all of us to do whatever each of us can to maintain the necessary pressures for responsible Climate Change and Renewable Energy policies and actions.
I thank everyone for your support during the last 10 days and wish us all a joyous season and renewed energy for 2012.
Today we stood outside MP Michelle Rempel's office. We were glad to be joined by George Melnyk, Susan Stratton, Don and Rosemary Brown.
The news from Durban is not good, nor is it good from Ottawa. Although I talk with some people who deny the human involement in Climate Change, I believe that most Canadians believe we need some fundamental changes in our world view, and therefore, in our actions.
I am reading Chris Turner's book "The Leap." It raises the question - why is it that Norway, Germnay and Denmark are far ahead in understanding the realities of Climate Change and are vigorously pursuing public policies relevant for the 21st century?
Rather than applauding Rex Murphy and the National Post in their attacks on Archbishop Desmond Tutu, it would be well to cut the rhetoric and face realities. There is no reason why Canada cannot be a leader in the transition to renewable energies. We have resources on both side of the equation.
On Friday we were joined by United Church friends from Ontario, plus people from the Unitarian and Quaker communities in Calgary in front of our new premier's constituency office.
They are symbolic of the interests and support of all generations and faith communities around the country. They ranged in age from 10 to 80!
People from Nova Scotia to British Columbia are engaged in various actions towards encouraging our leaders to respond to the realities of climate change. Since our federal government is giving no leadership, it is up to citizens to act and advocate for the health of Mother Earth.
I was so happy to hear that young people in the United Church in Parry Sound, Ontario are concerned and involved in their own community. May each community throughout our land respond in their own way!
Sunday after church, I hope to meet Chris Turner, whose new book, The Leap, is extremely timely and hopeful.
At the Friday vigil, we had lots of cross-generational conversation.
During the last 3 days, I have been joined by even more people in front of my MLA David Swann's constituency office, City Hall and today at Harper's constituency office. It's been very encouraging. Particularly, it was fun to be joined by Andrea Harrison and her children Sam and Cody Chambre from southern Ontario.
I am dismayed at Peter Kent's comments and the ideological stubborness of our government in not giving bold and principled leadership on climate change, including the talks in Durban. I believe that Canadian people want and deserve better.
On Tuesday evening I was priveleged to join (via Skype) a sustainability class at Trent University in Peterbourgh. I was inspired by their commitment to building a sustainable world, and by the inter-disciplinary nature of the group. Their understandings and commitments are quite different from the leadership in either Alberta or in Canada.
I thank all those who have sent message by email or on this website. The positive response by people around the country gives me hope. Finally, I want to thank Carolyn for designing this website and constantly providing nutritious liquids to sustain my energy. I would surely fall down if it wasn't for her support!
Tomorrow we'll be in front of our new premier, Alison Redford's constituency office.
Reverend Andrea Harrison and sons Sam and Cody Chambre in front of the PM's office.