This post is for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change
In 1988 “Beds Are Burning”, Midnight Oil’s infectious rocker, brought the issue of reparations for indigenous peoples to the global spotlight, and now Time For Climate Justice has gathered musicians and movie stars to transform the song into an anthem that demands action for the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen.
In December of this year, the United Nations will meet to decide on the replacement of the Kyoto protocol, a defining agreement that will determine the future of our planet in the face of the climate crisis. People around the world are dying today as a result of climate change and without our collective action, this will continue. The people who are suffering the most from climate change happen to be those who have done the least to cause it and have the least resources to do anything about it. In other words, climate change is above all a justice issue.
For example Ally Ouedraogo has been farming his land on the edge of the Sahel in Burkino Faso for two decades, but in recent years climate change has made it much more difficult for him to grow his crops. As the dry seasons in the region have got dryer, the quality of the soil has deteriorated dramatically. It’s a familiar story everywhere for farmers and their communities in the developing world as climate change begins to take a heavy toll.
Scientists predict that at the current rate of carbon emissions tens of millions more people will go hungry in the next couple of decades as agricultural yields diminish across the globe. And if nothing is done to stem a rise of 2°C in global average temperatures by 2050 they say 250 million more people will be forced to leave their homes, 30 million more people will go hungry as agricultural yields go into recession across the globe, and one to three billion people will suffer acute water shortages.
I hear many Christians asking “should we care about climate change and the environment?” But I think those are the wrong questions to be asking ourselves. Instead I think we should be asking “as Christians, should we care about people who are forced to leave their homes, who will go hungry and suffer water shortages due to climate changes that they did not cause and cannot do anything about?”
In other words we should be asking ourselves… “should we care about justice?”
Go here to find steps you can take to limit greenhouse gas emissions
Go here to donate to help those who are suffering the most from climate change.