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Fasting for imagination to solve the climate crisis

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Jennifer Henry

According to the renowned biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann "the key pathology of our time, which seduces us all, is the reduction of the imagination so that we are too numbed, satiated and co-opted to do serious imaginative work."*

Today, March 5, I am fasting for imagination. I want to feel hunger and thirst in a symbolic call for the "serious imaginative work" that is needed to address the current climate catastrophe. I am tired of the zero-sum game that says climate justice equals fewer jobs and ecological integrity means economic ruin. The leaders who accept this trade off demonstrate a huge failure of the imagination necessary to bring about green economies, clean energy strategies, and conservation that enhances true quality of life. 

As earth community, we may have never faced the kind of challenge posed by the climate crisis. But as people of faith and conscience we cannot give up hope -- hope that fuels imagination and motivates the kind of change that is needed.

I am not naive about the magnitude of the challenge, nor could I feel more betrayed by our leaders who are failing to meet the challenge, but the people on the streets in New York and in communities around the globe ... in them, in us, I have the kind of faith that can move mountains. 

The renewed climate movement is crossing borders, historically erected between struggles for racial justice, ecological integrity and human rights. They are demonstrating systemic advocacy -- calling to account world leaders -- while building alternatives from the ground up that no longer depend on the action of those in power.  They are crossing national borders and bridging the deep fissures between those of us who created the climate crisis and those who are its first victims. And their commitments are to interspecies solidarity, biodiversity, and whole earth community.

On streets of New York, in communities in Greenland, Tuvalu, and Canada, and in many other places around the globe, imaginative hope is made visible. May it be infectious, disruptive, restorative and powerful -- so that the transformation we need will come. 

Jennifer Henry is the Executive Director of KAIROS Canada

* Walter Brueggemann, Interpretation and Obedience (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), p.199.

I invite you to continue to take action on climate change:

Contact your Member of Parliament and demand:

  • An end to all subsidies to coal, oil and gas, including those through tax breaks or weak environmental laws.
  • A price on carbon emissions through a tax or fee sufficient to keep the rise in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius.
  • The development of a renewable energy plan for Canada.

For more information from KAIROS, see:

Fact sheets on fossil fuel subsidies, carbon pricing and a renewable energy plan for Canada.

People’s Climate March Spurs Hope for Climate Justice: Policy Briefing Paper

Climate Action: From the Personal to the Political

See also:

Climatefast.ca to learn more about fasting from food or carbon

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