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(This is a April’s Fools joke. Obama would never say this, unfortunately).
I was really discouraged when I heard about the new IPCC report, which shows that unless we change our lifestyle quickly we will be heading for disaster that will kill and damage millions of people, especially in poor countries. However, I was very pleased to see President Barack Obama’s response to the report; firstly because he acknowledge that a quick lifestyle change is necessary, and secondly because he referred to Jesus Christ when seeking for inspiration for this lifestyle change. The Guardian reports:
“What we now have is a massive environmental crisis that requires urgent action,” Obama told reporters. “My meeting with pope Francis the other day reminded me of the simplicity and charity of Jesus of Nazareth, a person that is of great inspiration not only to me personally but to millions of other Americans. Christians, of course, but also Muslims, Hindus, and non-believers.”
The president argued that Jesus lived “environmentally friendly” by using a sail boat and his mere feet as means of transport, creating food and other resources out of thin air and commanding the rich to sell everything they have and give the money to the poor. Likewise, Obama said that the United States must end its consumer culture, quickly reduce its emmissions and increase its aid to developing countries.
Oh well, here I am writing again, although I’ve wanted to post something days ago. I just have so much going on in my head that I find it hard to write coherent texts. Focus…
In times like these I tend to be content with shots of wisdom. Tiny relevations shoving my heart and mind into some direction. However, I realize now that this is not enough. This is what most people are open to (to get changed a little bit… you know), but it leaves me in between finding importance in my day-to-day life and at the same time wanting to have a greater impact on the world. In conclusion I change nothing really.
The truth is it’s not one or the other: It’s changing your day-to-day life so that it can change the world!
Focus… sure, there are more things you want to see changed, but there is only so much time and resources you are given. Use it wisely and effectively. If you feel there are more time and resources needed – get more people on board!
That’s how it’s done. Choose your path – wholeheartedly.
And remember that major changes in your day-to-day life cause major changes in the world.
I guess this is what I’ve had on my heart today. My next post is going to be more spiritual/biblical – I promise, haha!
The COP18 Climate Negotiations in Doha resulted in an extremely weak agreement. It becomes more and more evident that the politicians constantly fail to solve the climate crisis – the leaders of the developed countries are out of touch with reality, they are more interested in short-term profit than in saving lives. Since they are the worst polluters and have the most money, this is blocking the whole process.
Christians cannot sit and wait for these slow negotiations to come somewhere, we have to take the initiative. And many churches are indeed talking a lot about climate action and some are even making plans concerning how to reduce their own emissions. This is great, of course. However, my experience that both the church and society as a whole is talking very little about one of the most effective climate actions: becoming vegetarian or vegan.
As the video clip above shows, the current Western meat consumption is wasting resources and destroys the environment. 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. There is nothing as effective, simple and cheap to save the climate than becoming vegetarian or vegan. This is why the UN is calling for “a global shift towards a vegan diet”, something that would also increase our health and, of course, create better lives for God’s beautiful animals.
Today the 18th international climate negotiation conference (COP18) starts in Doha, Qatar. I don’t know how they chose host country for the conference, but since Qatar is rich on oil, owns the “best airline in the world” and has turned into one of the richest country in the world per capita, it wouldn’t have been my primary choice. To end the enormous problem with climate change, we need to dramatically decrease oil use, flying and wealth.
Scripture tells us that the love for money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10), which is evident when it comes to the horrors of climate change. Of course, developing countries have a right to develop and fight poverty, I am defenitely not against that. But I’m against that rich countries, corporations and individuals keep getting richer although they know that this will result in coming catastrophies.
The climate problem has been publically known for 20 years, but global greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing. Recently the World Bank published a shocking report which said that even if all countries implement what they have promised to do, we still risk a rise of global temperature with four degrees, resulting in humanitarian disasters affecting millions. The aspirations of especially rich countries are simply far too weak. We really need to pray for miracles in Doha.
Even though it is difficult to say if hurricane Sandy is a result of weather conditions or climate change, what we do know is that these sorts of natural disasters undoubtedly will increase becuase of global warming. Thus, many see the tragic irony in that the US presidential candidates have to cancel important meetings because of the storm while the climate change issue has been absent in their debates. Instead, the main topic has been how to make the richest country in the world even richer. But in the midst of their passionate discussion concerning economy, GDP, growth and the middle class, Sandy knocks on the door and forces them to stop ignoring nature for a while.
However, it’s a bit unfair to speak about both candidates as uninterested in climate change. Even if he has done far from enough, Obama thinks that the issue is important, he is increasing renewable energy and has participated in global climate negotiations. Romney, on the other hand, has a different approach:
Yesterday, this lovely picture appeared in my Facebook feed. Around the world, polar bears occupy Shell’s gas stations in a desperate attempt to save their home. Not only is Shell melting the Arctic through their fueling of climate change, now they want to go there to dig for more oil, although the ecosystem is extremely vulnerable in the area and Shell’s rutines to avoid oil spills are insufficient.
Of course, polar bears aren’t allowed to occupy gas stations, so they got a bit of trouble with the police force (no polar bear who participated in the occupation depicted above got arrested though). I wrote a month ago about how Greenpeace stated at the Rio+20 fiasco that “we have to intensify civil disobedience” since the legal process to stop climate change s going far to slow. What does climate civil disobediance look like, you may have wondered. Polar bear occupation of gas stations is one example. Human occupation of oil ships is another:
The current global conference on sustainable development, Rio+20, is a fiasco. The draft text that’s being negotiated is extremely weak and lame, and at some points it’s even worse than the agreement at the first Rio conference on sustainable development 20 years ago. The NGOs represented at the conference say that ”the text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality”.
Boy, we’ve heard this story before, haven’t we? Many like to blame the UN at this point, but personally I think they do their job quite well – the leaders of Western countries, on the other hand, are out of control in their sinning behaviour. They cause the mess, and the poor countries will have to pay for it: