Creation Corner Column, May 2019
Care of the Earth; Student Climate Activists, etc.
Care of the Earth
One series of informative lessons for people of faith is the
15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications.
Let's Talk faith and climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders.
Both can be accessed from elca.org/environment
A 5-page study guide "For the Sake of the Earth" can be found at livinglutheran.org by clicking on the "Spiritual Practices and Resources" tab for the April issue of Living Lutheran article by the same name.
Student Climate Activists: "Your house is on fire!"
"Adults keep saying, 'We owe it to the young people to give them hope.' But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is." Greta Thunberg, 16, who inspired 1.6 million people worldwide to participate in "Fridays For the Future" climate strikes on 3/15/2019. She was inspired by the USA student March for Our Lives movement after the Parkland FL school shootings of 2/14/2018.
"Why study for a future we might not have?" Holly Gillibrand, UK child protester.
"If I don't have a future, why go to school? Why go to school if we're going to be too focused on running from disasters?" Alexandria Villasenor, 13-year-old climate strike protester outside the United Nations.
Quotations Worth Noting:
"I believe that climate change denial is not just ignorant, it is malign. It is evil, and it amounts to an attempt to deny human rights to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet." Mary Robinson of the international group, "The Elders."
"We can't save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed." Greta Thunberg,16.
"Are We the Last Generation?" Banner slogan by persons born after 1990 at an Extinction Rebellion protest 4/19/2019 at Heathrow Airport, UK.
"No more coal, no more oil, keep the carbon in the soil." Chant against the burning of fossil fuels that release CO2 into the atmosphere.
"On February 6, 2019 U.S. scientists revealed that global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, adding to a stretch of five years that are collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began." "Days of Doom" article, The Guardian Weekly, 2/15/2019, p. 14.
"Climate change is the deadliest legacy we will leave the young." John Lancaster
June 5 World Environment Day focus is on Air Pollution. Held annually worldwide to raise awareness and action for the protection of the environment, this year's celebrations will be in China. In 2018 the theme was "Beat Plastic Pollution."
June 4 is the expected hearing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Portland OR) where Juliana v. United States will he held. Kelsey Juliana, 22, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit to force the United States government to act on climate issues. She initiated the suit in 2015 when she was 18.
2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages hosted by the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and pursues a the goal of preserving, revitalizing and promoting indigenous languages as well as promoting a theme of "Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission and Protection." The cultural survival of many peoples is threatened, just as the survival of non-human species is threatened.
Recent Headlines from the Williamsport PA Sun-Gazette
"UN Report: Humans accelerating extinction of other species. AP Science story, 5/7/2019.
"'Total disaster' if warming not stopped." AP story 5/9/2019
Recent Magazine Feature Stories of Interest
"Science's Newest Miracle Drug is Free", a Special Report on The Nature Cure, is the cover story in the May issue of Outside magazine. Inside article by Aaron Reuben is "Ask Your Doctor if Nature is Right for You." Sidebar columns on how insurers are encouraging us to spend more time outdoors; the rise of the Nature Rx movement; the Healthy Parks Healthy People program; and one on opening up your mind and saying "awe" (having awesome moments in nature).
Not to be outdone, "Everybody Needs Beauty: Time in Nature Should be a Human Right" is the feature story in the May/June issue of Sierra, the magazine of The Sierra Club. The inside article "Outdoors for All" is by famed Children and Nature Network advocate Richard Louv. His tenth book will soon appear. Sidebar columns are devoted to the Natural Leaders Network, and participation in nature rates along various dimensions. (Note: Richard Louv once spoke at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport PA, where I was privileged to meet him).
Adding to this "message thread" is the cover story in the Spring magazine from The Nature Conservancy,
"Unplug: Rediscovering Nature in a Digital Age" with the inside story titled "Nature Every Day: How to hook kids on the great outdoors" by Jaime Gonzalez.
"Twenty Minutes in Nature May Help Lower Your Stress Hormone Levels" is a news brief headline from an article summarizing a recent study published in Frontiers of Psychology, as reported in the June 2019 issue of the "Mind, Mood & Memory" newsletter from the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mike Ochs blogs at http://lutheransrestoringcreationblog.blogspot.com .
He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College (1965), and a Master's from Lock Haven University (1989), where he studied the international Green Party movement.