For love...

Submitted by Victoria on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 17:42

Why Concern Universal cares about climate change

On Monday, I packed my bags and headed for London (no mean feat if you live in the Welsh countryside) for a meeting of the Climate Coalition.  This group of 100+ UK NGOs used to be known as the Stop Climate Chaos coalition. The change of name is no accident, nor is it entirely because you feel like you need a lie down by the time you’ve got to the end of saying ‘the Stop Climate Chaos coalition’.

Why Concern Universal cares about climate change

On Monday, I packed my bags and headed for London (no mean feat if you live in the Welsh countryside) for a meeting of the Climate Coalition.  This group of 100+ UK NGOs used to be known as the Stop Climate Chaos coalition. The change of name is no accident, nor is it entirely because you feel like you need a lie down by the time you’ve got to the end of saying ‘the Stop Climate Chaos coalition’.

In fact, the name change and Monday’s meeting are both part of the beginning of a new chapter – for the coalition and for climate campaigning in the UK. Over the last few years, the issue of climate change has become laden with polarising labels and has suffered simultaneously from vitriol and indifference. Those who say we must take climate change seriously have been portrayed variously as scaremongers or tree-huggers.

Now, says the Climate Coalition, is the time to change all this. And I agree. We simply cannot afford for climate change to be seen as the niche hobby-horse of green activists. The new Climate Coalition campaign is called ‘For the love of…’. It is based on the fact that every single person cares about something which is threatened by climate change. People, homes, landscapes, jobs, animals, chocolate, bananas, freshwater – these are the things that are under threat. And these are the things we’re standing up for. I am yet to meet any climate campaigner who is motivated by their attachment to the specific temperature of the earth.

But there is something else which is very important about the new campaign. And that is the third word of its title: love.  For many, I’m sure, it’s just a change of marketing. But, for me, it points to something very significant. And that is that there is a profound difference between acting out of fear and acting out of love. We can campaign for action to mitigate climate change because we fear what will happen if we ‘lose control’ of the earth.  Or we can campaign because we love the people and gifts in our lives and we long to protect them. We can appeal for people to listen in the name of outrage, or we can appeal in the name of love.

Jesus summarised God’s law as complete love for God and other people. Paul’s advice to the Christians in Corinth was to ‘do everything in love’ (1 Corinthians 16:14), and he prayed that the Ephesian church would be ‘rooted and established in love’ (Ephesians 3:17). To me this suggests that the roots of our actions are as significant as the actions themselves; and that action itself is more fruitful when it derives from the purest source.

So on Thursday 10th April, as the ‘For the love of’ campaign kicks off, I’ll be thinking about the important issue of climate change, and posting the things I want to protect from climate change at www.fortheloveof.org.uk (please join me!). But I’ll also be thinking about where my actions come from within myself, and praying that I will act and speak for love.

 

Tags: climate changelovecampaigning