As a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, many people have found themselves spending more time in the outdoors. For some it has been in their backyard vegetable gardens. For others it has meant hiking in the woods.
The increased time spent outside has brought a new appreciation for the therapeutic benefit of nature. The sound of the birds, the wind blowing through the trees, and the feeling of our hands in dirt have a soothing affect for hurried minds.
People of faith have always recognized nature and the environment as a result of divine affection. The beauty and diversity of the Earth was designed as the context for human flourishing. Humanity is interconnected and intertwined with the sustaining health of the environment.
As part of the created order, humanity shares in the intrinsic action of regeneration. Everything in nature is designed to recreate. Plants produce seeds, roots travel to establish new areas of growth, and animals migrate into established territories and bring along new offspring.
And somehow creation is able to balance the inherent conflict as species compete for growth and regeneration.
Humanity also embodies the need to regenerate. However, with the benefit of new technologies and discoveries we have been able to take natural competition to another level. A level that if left unchallenged allows greed to distort a natural creative characteristic into an unhealthy pattern of dangerous consumption. Humanity has the ability to destroy its own environment; the very context for its health and vitality.
This requires communities of faith to be the voice and model of moderation and transformation. Consumption must always be tested against actual personal need and the shared need of others. Only when consumption is filtered through love for God and others will greed be kept in check.
Recognizing the responsibility that humanity has for the care of creation, communities of faith have continued to call on corporations and governments to practice restraint and respect. Growth at the expense of a healthy environment will only bankrupt all of creation. Growth must respect and protect the ability for the entire environment to regenerate.
That is why Citizens for Public Justice has joined with other faith-based organizations and church communities to petition the Canadian government to:
- reduce GHG emissions by 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 through a just transition;
- honour the rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- support climate action and pandemic response in the Global South.
This is a critical moment. Our government is making decisions right now. How we respond to the global pandemic and the international climate crisis will significantly impact the future of life on this planet.
Join me in personally signing the petition and add your voice to help sustain the welfare of creation. For the love of God For the love of your neighbours. For the love of creation.