Global Reflection in the Media
Press Release – A “Time for Global Reflection on Climate Disruption” Will Offer Support for Paris Talks and Interfaith Efforts to Address Terrorist Violence
Washington, DC, November 19, 2015 – A coalition of concerned citizens and organizations, spearheaded by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate and the Climate Crisis Coalition, has declared December 4th – 6th (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) a Time for Global Reflection on Climate Disruption. It’s intended as a way for people around the world to join together to express support for the participants in the COP21 Paris climate talks, as well as the victims of the violence of last week’s attacks on Beirut and Paris. More information about the campaign is posted at www.globalreflection.org.
December 4th – 6th are midway through the Paris climate talks, and mark the beginning of its final, decisive week of negotiations. The campaign urges people around the world of all faiths, beliefs and backgrounds to gather on those days anytime between sunrise and sunset at local places of worship, schools, parks, or other public and private places. They’re asked to join together at this important time in history, to take 30 minutes to reflect on their deeply personal concerns and hopes for the climate and its impact on society, and to offer encouragement to the delegates in Paris, the victims of terrorism and each other through a contemplative activity of their choosing, such as meditation, prayer, mindfulness practice or other form of reflection. The campaign is inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical and other recent interfaith initiatives, including the effective use of mass meditations led by Sri Lanka’s Sarvodaya movement in fostering remarkable reconciliation in the wake of their country’s brutal civil war.
Josh Carroll, a Washington DC-based organizer for the Global Day of Reflection, said, “I believe that in the long run, climate disruption will be the biggest problem our generation will overcome. Through my Buddhist meditation practice, I’ve become a huge believer in present reflection as a way to bring us more thoughtfully in touch with ourselves, each other, and the world. I have strong roots in the evangelical Christian community, so I’m excited about the potential of this effort to connect people together across faith boundaries with the ongoing work to reduce climate disruption.”
“We are all part of the problem and must all be part of the solution,” said Camilla Norris, an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. “As important as it is for governments to address climate change, it is also a moral issue that involves us all. In a world of terrorism, dysfunctional governance, and climate disruption, it’s hard to be optimistic, but we can and must be hopeful. This project is the best way that I can contribute to this hope.”
Ibrahim Ramey, a board member of the Temple of Understanding, said “It is a matter or extreme urgency that followers of the Abrahamic traditions acknowledge the commandment from Our Creator to respect not only each other, but the natural environment that sustains us all. No form of radicalism or religious hatred can be tolerated, especially in this time of collective crisis on such a planetary scale. It is indeed a time for interfaith global reflection.”
“We must try to maintain some sense of balance and even a little serenity in this time of extraordinary turmoil and violence, as difficult as it may be,” said Connie Hogarth, a co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition. “Young people must ultimately deal with the consequences of a worldwide anxiety that challenges our moral compass and challenges our ability to survive the onslaught against Mother Earth. They can take comfort as this deep breath of common humanity will surround us all in this shared meditation for a kinder and survivable world.”
In a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis inspired by the Pope’s Encyclical 425, American Rabbis have call for a time for eco-social justice and reflection: “We call for a new sense of eco-social justice – a tikkun olam that includes tikkun tevel, the healing of our planet. We urge those who have been focusing on social justice to address the climate crisis, and those who have been focusing on the climate crisis to address social justice. Though as rabbis we are drawing on the specific practices by which our Torah makes eco-social justice possible, we recognize that in all cultures and all spiritual traditions there are teachings about the need for setting time and space aside for celebration, restfulness, reflection.”
In a letter urging people of faith worldwide to participate in the Time for Global Reflection, Rev. Dan Hatch, a retired United Church of Christ minister in Terra Linda, California, said “Please join us by taking some time to celebrate and reflect on Earth’s life-giving environment in whatever way you choose – contemplation, prayer, meditation, or other activity. You will be joining a wave of such reflections around the world. Let us see if together we can create a global wreath of energy that enfolds the earth from first sunrise on December 4 to the last sunset on December 6, 2015!”
“The Paris attacks may have been intended to cast a shadow over the upcoming climate talks, and climate change and terrorism are linked in many ways,” said Stephen Kent, a board member with the Climate Crisis Coalition. “Climate-driven conflicts over scarce resources are also breeding grounds for terrorist ideology; drought has already aggravated the Syrian conflict. Recent climate models predict parts of the Middle East may become uninhabitable in summer. Violence against people and the planet are the twin overarching issues of our time, and the days of Global Reflection is one way anyone, anywhere can engage them with the most powerful thing we have – our collective humanity.”
Ted Glick of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate said, “With catastrophic climate changes looming on the horizon, the December 4th, 5th, and 6th Global Reflection days offer us a timely opportunity to connect to our moral imperative and practical obligation to assure the continuance of life on the planet.”