Recent terrorist atrocities in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut and Mali have shocked our world, and pose a challenge to our common humanity, and particularly to Christian hope. And so we pause…to remember the numerous refugees seeking shelter in Europe and elsewhere and we remember the victims and perpetrators who over two weeks ago carried out senseless acts of terror in Paris, Baghdad and Beirut and Mali.
Two weeks later the world once again, focuses on the wounded city of Paris as people and political leaders from more than 190 nations across the planet are gathered for the U.N. Conference on Climate Change (COP21). Pope Francis has reminded us strongly in his encyclical of the connection between the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor, justice and right relationship. Everything is interconnected and genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others. (Laudato Si, #70)
I joined hundreds of environmentally conscious protesters on the streets of Cork City yesterday afternoon to add my voice to the Global call for action on climate change. The march called for action, saying that the time for procrastination has passed. Among the banners that caught my eye were, “there is no planet b”, global warming; global warning, less pollution is the best solution and It’s our only home, don’t destroy it. It is encouraging to learn that Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Cork were among many other cities, worldwide that marched in support of a safer planet now and in the future. It was gratifying to see the majority marching yesterday were young people. They know and understand the consequences for their generation and their children’s generation if we do not take action now. They need all the support they can get.
As this important event takes place, let us keep our world leaders and policy makers in prayer as they gather in Paris for COP21. If the gathered nations can agree equitable goals on climate, on economic development, on social and environmental issues and do so in a spirit of cooperation, it will be a huge achievement. But, as the French president Francois Hollande told delegates in Paris in May that might be hoping for a “miracle”.We know miracles are possible! Pope Francis reminded us, “The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge”. (Laudato Si #80)
If you need to learn more about it all, visit the COP21 website www.cop21.gouv.fr/en or www.trocaire.org/getinvolved/climateaction.