My heart is moved by all I cannot save.
So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who,
age after age,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.
–Adrienne Rich (from “Natural Resources: The Dream of a Common Language”)
The mood and momentum going into the COP21 talks is unprecedented. Fresh Canadian leadership and potential is showing up for these negotiations, with the goal of preventing catastrophic global warming and assisting those already suffering.
Such leadership has been inspired and formed by loving pressure and good modelling from the margins of our society–from indigenous communities, cities and municipalities and more–often thanks to church-hosted communal conversations and activism.
Following the disappointment of COP15 (Copenhagen) in 2009, in an open letter to Canadians I invited us to use all of our imaginations to engage in this work of planetary healing, saying “The possibilities are abundant. In our homes and offices, in our places of worship, in our families and community organizations, as individuals and acting together, let us choose hope and action over despair and paralysis.”
Church people were already on the job, and continue to be deeply engaged in this moral, spiritual, and practical challenge. Inspiring stories are everywhere. Climate scientists and politicians tell me that we’ve made a difference.
So tomorrow we leave for Paris, to “cast our lot” again with those who have no extraordinary power other than the power of love to “reconstitute the world.”
As a delegation, we’re grateful to be in this together with you.