Last year’s report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which came out on 8th October 2018, sent shockwaves across the globe. Exploring the consequences of a 1.5⁰C temperature rise, it outlined a frightening potential future for our species and all the life that we cohabit Earth with.
The most recent IPCC report was published today (Thursday 8th August 2019). Titled the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, it highlights the impact that climate change has on aspects core to human survival, such as food security.
Holly-Anna Petersen is a 30-year-old Anglican and mental health worker from London. She is a member of Christian Climate Action, the Christian wing of Extinction Rebellion. She says “Every report which comes out from the IPCC paints an increasingly bleak picture of the state of the world around us. Young people are pleading for us to act, because it is their futures which are at stake. A justice issue is already happening across our very dinner tables. Every minute that we do not take action, is a minute that we put our own desires above the needs of children”.
Fr Martin Newell is a member of Christian Climate Action who is a Catholic priest from Birmingham. He said: “Scientists say that we need change at an unprecedented speed and scale. This isn’t going to happen through actions like just signing a petition – we need to take action which is proportionate to the problem we face. The human race can do this – we have overcome extremely adverse situations in the past. However, change isn’t an inevitability. Change happens because of sacrifice and struggle – because of ordinary, everyday people like you and me choosing to get involved in non-violent direct action. Jesus showed us the power of sacrificial love and that’s something that we need to enact now”.
The October Rebellion is set to be the biggest and most ambitious Extinction Rebellion protest yet. Starting on the 7th October, it is set to involve two weeks of continuous non-violent direct action in central London. The vision is to have a ‘faith bridge’ – where 24/7 prayer would be taking place.
Holly-Anna Petersen says “This climate emergency is something which Christians are well equipped to grapple with. We have the Holy Spirit, who comforts us as we cry for all that we are losing. A Christ who shows us the meaning of sacrificial love. And a God who sustains us to take action. And who reminds us that in these desperate times, we are called to be faithful, not successful. Faith groups are set to play a vital role in the October Rebellion – it is going to be a space where prayer is interwoven with action. We are looking for people to join us in any capacity that they can – both arrestable and non-arrestable roles are needed”.
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Notes for editors:
- Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in acts of public witness and non-violent direct action, as a way of following Jesus in the face of climate breakdown. christianclimateaction.org
- Christian Climate Action has become known as the Christian arm of Extinction Rebellion: https://risingup.org.uk/XR/
- A zero-carbon economy by 2025 will not be possible under the global market economy, which is projected to double in size during the next two decades. Zero carbon targets and protection of life on earth generally is not possible without a completely new economic model. As Pope Francis has said: ‘The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.’
- Last years IPCC report shows that worldwide temperatures are currently heading for 3°C compared to pre-industrial levels, most likely triggering uncontrollable escalation in temperatures, whereas we need to be aiming for 1.5°C http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml