Year 4, Month 4, Day 7: Only Sky

The Charleston Post And Courier (SC) runs a column from a religious apologist named Todd Levasseur:

I want to take this insight further to argue that religions also have ignored the climate crisis for 25 years. Mirroring American society at large, we see a slow but inexorable shift toward recognizing climate change as being a deeply ethical and religious matter, one that causes us to dig deeply and re-create our respective covenants with whomever we deem to be the creator’s.

Climate change brings an added urgency to the Holy City. We are at its “ground zero” with the emissions of the industrial economy set to trigger a predicted 3-foot rise in sea level this century. If climate models are correct, the standing water on East Bay Street during high tides is only the beginning, and the ports where cargo ships anchor will need to be raised quite a few feet.

We also are at “ground zero” for feeling the impact of ocean acidification, which can trigger the collapse of aquatic food chains and decimate our maritime economy.

Such scenarios call out for sober leadership from politicians and, especially, community leaders.

Religion historically has provided a seedbed from where our society could graft moral concerns onto progressive community change. Climate change may provide yet another occasion for the emergence of ecumenical, interfaith work.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. March 25:

The growing turbulence of a planetary environmental emergency may well bring together adherents of different belief systems in the recognition of a common adversary. But for such a confluence of diverse faiths to have an impact on the climate crisis will require religious adherents to practice a different sort of renunciation. The proximate cause of climate change is the greenhouse gas emissions of industrial society, but at root is something far older and more pervasive — the notion that our species is privileged by providence.

If we are to survive on a climatically-transformed planet, religious traditions can no longer invoke the will of a supernatural being to justify human ignorance of, and antagonism to, the natural world. The faithful must engage in a new form of spiritual discipline, leaving behind the magical thinking of medieval times and recognizing the hard truths offered by climate science about atmospheric CO2 and its impact on Earthly life. There is more genuine evidence for the greenhouse effect than for any of humanity’s thousands of deities.

Warren Senders

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