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Can We Hope in this Time of Climate Change?

Can We Hope in this Time of Climate Change?

Guest Commentary of Bishop Gretchen Rehberg

I have had a number of conversations recently with people who have said that they are living in “existential angst” because of climate change. I have found those words striking. 

How do we live in a time of climate change? Is it possible for people of all faith and not faith to approach climate change with hope instead of existential angst? Can we find ways to be confident and not fearful? 

Or is this angst necessary in order for us, humans, who are comfortable in the current situation and unhappy with change, to do what is necessary to protect our environment? 

I have been pondering these questions this season of Lent, and I find that the approaching Earth Day celebration, and, in particular, the Hope for Creation Conference, is one way we might come together for learning, for support, for encouragement. 

St. Joan Chittister has said “when fear of the unknown strangles the heart, one tiny act of courage can bring hope alive — frail and sputtering, perhaps, but there to be grasped in the midst of the emptiness.” 

I find it unfortunately true that hope is not needed unless there is struggle. 

Our struggle today is to come together to work for the common good, which means the good of all creation, not just ourselves. 

The Hope for Creation Conference, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, sponsored by many community partners, on Saturday, April 22, is one opportunity for us together as a community in hope.  

Please join us.

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Pete Haug

Thank you, Bishop Rehberg for the thoughtful commentary. I believe the only way to beat this thing is, first, to agree on the facts about its occurrence; second to address the root causes that arise from unbridled global capitalism; and third, to coordinate the best scientific thinking to mitigate and eventually reverse what’s happening. This requires establishing a socioeconomic dynamic equilibrium, operating globally, that allows all humankind to create, and function in, an international cooperative system based on spiritual principals of both justice and equity for all.

A tall order, even for those celebrating the upcoming Easter Resurrection and anticipating the Second Coming.

Thanks again for your observations.

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