Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 17, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Join in Action on October 24: International Day of Climate Action! by Sister Lin Neil, CSJ


"If the imagination is to transcend and transform experience, it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at the moment. " (Adrienne Rich)

The July-August CE began a series of articles which the Home/Land Committee will offer on global climate change. Writing articles on any environmental issue can be tricky. If you pile on worst case scenarios, gloom and doom and the apocalyptic, then the tendency is to anesthetize one's self in the cocoon of "It can't be that bad" or "The government or scientists will figure something out for us." If you minimize the consequences, then you have citizens who carry on as if the world isn't facing a major ecological, social and moral crisis! Somewhere in the balance of opposites is the wisdom to present alternatives. That wisdom begins with acknowledging the crises, realizing that we must make different choices and setting out with accurate science to make changes. This place of wisdom is where our Communion with Creation calls us to be!
 
We humans need to transcend and transform our experience of living on Earth in an extractive mode. In the extractive mode we take natural resources from Earth, turn them into products using manufacturing methods that are incredibly wasteful, use products for a short amount of time (intentionally "planned obsolescence") and then send them to landfills where these items will be for hundreds/thousands of years. (Americans generate 2,020 pounds of trash per person yearly!)
 
Our imaginations must question this extravagant waste of Earth's resources. In addition to the moral problem of decimating the habitats of other creatures, in each of the above steps, methane and carbon dioxide are being generated which exacerbates global climate change. Therefore, the personal challenge is: What is my consumer index? Before I buy, do I consider my needs and wants? Do I look at the life of the product? Do I think about the packaging? Do I try to buy locally grown or organic food? This is where alternatives may come in. There is a dazzling and challenging array of "green" products and manufacturers. Check out solutions on www.yesmagazine.org or www.earth911.org or www.sierraclub.org/tips/. We need to cultivate the habit of shopping "green"for clothing, products and food with the same passion that we shop for sales and bargains! We can look at this action as another chore or we can think of it as a creative way of living!
 
Instead of perceiving that using less is a deprivation, we can vision it as a way of expressing gratitude to creation and the Creator. We need to tap into the grace of changing; it is a transforming experience on every level of our human life. It is exciting to see how so many humans are engaged in this life-enhancing process: to take the stuff of disaster and change it into potential for sustainable living. Inspire yourself and check out the www.yesmagazine.org site or watch a couple of Youtube clips on William McDonough's "Cradle-to-Cradle" manufacturing process. Visit www.350.org and see how the world is being roused to initiate all kinds of activities concerning global warming. Participate in the event that Home/Land is sponsoring on October 24 in conjunction with www.350.org Initiate a www.350.org action in your parish, school or office.
 
Personally and communally as a province, we need to challenge the way we are living. These times call for living prophetically, deeply immersed in Communion with Creation. Global climate change can be an opportunity to live creatively! Global climate change must challenge the very life you are living at the moment!