Darren Kropf, from Kitchener, Ontario, wrote me with his burning questions on my experience in Durban, through the MCC Ontario blog Creation Care Crossroads. This is my response
Thanks for this dialogue. I appreciate your concern and commitment to this important cause.
It is true that Canada’s role in the negotiations in Durban was not very encouraging. The final analysis of Canada’s commitment will need to be assessed when they hold true to their promise of increasing the target for their emission reduction levels, following the development of a new legally binding agreement. Our task now is to encourage Canada to fulfill this promise and to continue to encourage an even stronger leadership role in emission reductions.
I think it is imperative for the church community to position this concern from a moral and ethical perspective. We must resist the temptation to give our appetites free reign. Our love for God and our global neighbours must determine consumption levels. Even a risk that our behaviour could negatively impact our global neighbours is reason enough to challenge our corporate appetites.
What have we got to lose? The impact of curbing consumption and reducing our pollution is always a positive thing. Even those who do not believe that climate change is real or that it is human induced, must agree that as the People of God we ought to work towards an equitable use of the earth’s resources. We cannot blindly consume more than our fair share. Whenever we allow greed and selfish consumption to go unchallenged we will find ourselves drifting away from the original intent of God.
We have all been created in the image of God – a God who is passionate to restore. The God whose sacrifice gave us life longs for us to be aligned with this restorative activity. It is contrary to God’s image in us to live in ways that harm others.
Our conversations in our congregations and with our political leaders must always appeal to the image of God within us. Our hearts and the hearts of our political leaders yearn for the original shalom of God’s creation: whether it is recognised or not. The yearning of God’s image is within everyone. Appeal to it and allow the Spirit of God to awaken the latent lament and rekindle the longing for just living.
The situation is too despairing to give up hope.