Seventh Day of Climate Change Novena

Recommit to Paris 2015, April 27, 2017

Pray: 

We join with Earth and with each other
To bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air. 

We join with Earth and with each other
To renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures.

We join with Earth and with each other
To celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars. 

We join with Earth and with each other
To recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to remember our children.

We join with Earth and with each other
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of  Earth and renewal of all life.

– Prayer from UN Environmental Sabbath Programme

Study:

Is the Paris Agreement (1) effectively stalled, perhaps even dead in the water?  Several nations are re-thinking their commitment, primarily due to financial or other constraints.  Others, including Sweden, Germany, France, and China, remain committed despite US threats to back out.  In spite of President Trump’s campaign promise to leave the Agreement, he and his policy advisors are currently divided about US withdrawal. The President plans to make a decision by the end of May. In the meantime he has made drastic budget cuts and policy changes to the EPA and issued an order to dismantle President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (2).

We can bemoan the federal government’s actions and think that all our previous efforts have been wasted, that hope for Earth is, if not lost, then well on its way to being so.  Or we can remember the words of several of the world’s leaders who at the end of the Paris talks admitted that they were moved to action by the considerable efforts of faith communities, that they rely on public pressure to motivate them!  We also need to remember that Earth, though a global reality, acts locally! It is local effort that moves the greater whole. Even after President Trump’s election, many states continue to move forward on renewable energy efforts, even to enacting their own Clean Energy Plan.

Energy and enthusiasm for grassroots efforts and for massive climate marches has not waned. Witness plans for the April 29, 2017 Climate March.

Act:

Google People’s Climate March and find out what events are scheduled in your area. Join your efforts to make it a success, in whatever capacity you have: If you can’t physically attend:

  • Let your legislators know you support climate action
  • Talk to friends, families, others about the need for climate action
  • Pray, plan prayer vigils or services, ask others to join you for a time of prayer to support the event
  • Become more knowledgeable about the effects of climate change on your local area
  • Read those sections of Laudato Si’ that pertain to climate change and the ramifications for the poor and vulnerable
  • Remain positive and hopeful!

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Of water flowing, rising and falling,
Sometimes advancing, sometimes receding.
May the stream of your life flow unimpeded!
Deep peace of the running wave to you!

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Which fans your face on a sultry day,
The air which you breathe deeply, rhythmically,
Which imparts to you energy, consciousness, life.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you!

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Who, herself unmoving, harbours the movements
And facilitates the life of the ten thousand creatures.
While resting contented, stable, tranquil.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you!

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Which stay invisible till darkness falls
And discloses their pure and shining presence
Beaming down in compassion on our turning world.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you!

Traditional Gaelic blessing
(1) Signed in December 2015 and ratified in October 2016, the Agreement commits nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) of pre-industrial levels by 2050.

(2) Each state is required to incrementally reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from power plants 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Regulation is implemented by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

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