On March the fifth, luminaries from Canadian Anglican and Lutheran churches, along with green politicians and assorted Gaia hangers on, will fast for climate change. The fasters include well known climatologists, Bishop Fred Hiltz and Bishop Susan Johnson. I hope they are successful because the climate needs to change: it was -24C in Oakville yesterday. Personally, I have set aside March 5th to have dinner at the local Mandarin where I will eat as much as possible.
The organiser of this worthy venture is Jennifer Henry from Kairos Canada. She reckons that the justice we most desperately need is not justice for the unborn who are routinely murdered in their thousands or for the increasing number of Christians who are being beheaded, tortured or displaced in so many places but climate justice, a incoherence which has no discernible meaning since climate is an inanimate phenomenon to which it is no more possible to act unjustly than to a bowl of porridge.
Still, to look on the bright side, Bishops not eating for a whole day will considerably reduce global flatulence; now if only they could be persuaded to stop talking.
“Fasting has long roots in our faith tradition,” says Henry. “The fast that God requires is justice and the justice we most desperately need is climate justice for all people who have been impacted, and will be impacted, by the current ecological catastrophe. Fasting for one day is a small gesture of solidarity for the hardship so many now face. Each and every one of our voices is essential to demand of the federal government an effective strategy to meet science-based emissions reductions targets in the lead up to the climate conference in Paris later this year.”
February and March are assigned to North Americans who are hungry for action on climate change. Notable leaders who agreed to fast one day during this period include the Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (March 6); Rev. Susan Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (February 14); Rev. Mark MacDonald, the National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada (March 16); Mardi Tindal, Immediate Past Moderator, The United Church of Canada (March 19); Joe Gunn, Executive Director, Citizens for Public Justice (February 1); Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (March 12); and Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org (March 30). Connie Sorio, KAIROS’ Ecological Justice Partnership Coordinator, will join the fast on February 28.