Not all of us can get to the front lines to highlight the insanity of a new coal mining project which jeopardises our collective future. But some of us can. Greg Rolles is a Quaker and he is one of those people. Here he challenges readers to think outside the box.....
“I know you’ve been through this before, so I won’t bore you with the details.” The Queensland police sergeant had hold of my right arm stretched out in front of me, his constable my other. My legs were like jelly after spending three hours in the tripod. The constable had spent a significant amount of that time tapping a rock on the metallic structure trying to wear me out with the incessant banging, and I wondered how his arm was doing. I drew in a deep breath as I began my stay with Lady Justice. No, not Lady Justice. If the law were just, I’d be set free. Let me do that again.
Greg Rolles on a tripod. Photo credit: FLAC.
Towards the end of 2018, Rabbis across Melbourne were invited to meet with Scott Morrison, who I note is still described as ‘Our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in case you might think that the position has changed hands again whilst you weren’t tuned in!
I had a discussion with my wife about whether I should dress in a suit, or wear my ‘Stop Adani’ T-shirt.
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows the world is headed for even more dangerous levels of climate disruption. The price is being paid now by vulnerable communities facing super-storms, droughts, disruption of weather patterns and sea level rise. However the future of all humanity is at risk long-term. Great progress has been made in the development of low-carbon technologies, but there has been a reluctance to rely on lifestyle change as part of the solution. In the week of October 7 to 14, Australian faith communities attempted to begin changing this. Around 300 people attended Living the Change events around the country, committing to new decisions to walk more gently on the Earth. They challenge everyone to join them.
Week of Living the Change celebration, Melbourne. Photography, Julian Meehan.
People of Faith get Political to Protect the Reef from Adani
Vigil for the Reef, St. John’s Cathedral, 373 Ann Street Brisbane
September 15, 7 to 9pm
People from the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Krishna Consciousness and Muslim faiths will gather in St John’s Anglican Cathedral to celebrate the gift of the Great Barrier Reef and to dedicate themselves to protecting it from climate change.
Dean of St John’s, The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt, said ‘People of faith see the planet as a gift. It is under threat. Not to act is to act. To keep silent is to give consent to the status quo.
Dean of Brisbane, the Very Rev'd Dr Peter Catt with St John's Cathedral sign
We invite you to join us in making a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle as part of Living the Change, a global multi-faith campaign coordinated by GreenFaith in the US.
Living the Change upholds two of our deepest convictions:
- We believe the Earth is a sacred gift.
- We believe each of us has the responsibility to live in a way that supports and sustains our common home.
While world leaders have agreed to keep global warming to a 1.5⁰C limit, current trends have us headed for at least twice that level and a truly devastating future. We urgently need a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
AUSTRALIAN FAITHFUL TO LEAD TOWARD CLIMATE FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE CHOICES
The Australian chapter of a new and ambitious global campaign, “Living the Change, was launched on May 3 at a national gathering of the multi-faith Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). With a byline, “faithful choices for a flourishing world”, this is a fresh faith-led initiative which aims to champion the role of more sustainable lifestyles in protecting the earth from global warming.
By bearing public witness to the vital importance of treading more lightly on the earth, Living the Change intends to challenge the consumerist culture that drives climate change while fortifying more healthy, balanced relationships with the environment.
Image: Buddhist Be Kind Be Vego cooking workshop with demonstrator, Ling Halbert
Faith leaders deliver letter to Adani urging them to invest in solar not coal
Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders delivered an open letter to Adani Corporation’s Townsville office on the morning of April 18 opposing the proposed Adani coal mega-mine. Also present was a small crowd from the local area, some of them from local faith communities. The letter states their concerns regarding water, reef, climate and community with this proposed mega-mine.
A representative of the company came down and accepted the letter in person from the faith leaders, including Rev Dr Peter Catt (Anglican), Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Rev Alex Sangster (Uniting Church Minister) and two members of the Triratna Buddhist Order. The conversation was brief but amicable.
For our common home
Dear Mr Adani,
We are leaders from many faith traditions and communities across Australia. We are writing to you to ask you to abandon your proposed mine and instead use the same money to invest in solar energy in North Queensland.
Our common home, the Earth, is now in great danger due to the effects of our actions as human beings on the climate. On this point the scientific community is united. Today, we too are united as people of faith.
Let us be clear. We are not merely opposed to this one mine. We are opposed to all new coal development in the Galilee Basin. We are at a crossroads. One way lies destruction; the other way, sanity. We need to turn immediately in the direction of a stable and compassionate future based on ambitious investment in renewable energy.
Each time ARRCC holds actions, vigils, meetings and events, people tell us how inspiring it is to see regular people of faith step up - in their homes, in their communities, in their world. And how empowering it feels to know that each one of us can make a difference, when it’s otherwise easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s wonderful to contribute as people of faith - to walk the talk, to be living witnesses to what we believe in.
ARRCC has finally begun to employ Community Organisers to grow our movement. To make this ongoing, we’ve started a fund-raising campaign aimed at raising $20,000 in one-off donations and finding 25 monthly donors.
See our new video clip and link to where you can help.
People identifying with a range of faith traditions will join farmers, scientists, students, doctors and conservationists in a march in Sydney, calling on the State Government to choose a clean energy future for NSW.
Buddhists, Muslims, Anglicans, Catholics and others will join the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) in Martin Place at Midday Saturday, March 24th, bringing a colourful array of banners and signs.