What Do War and Climate Change Have in Common?

We are told that Hamas’ ultimate goal, set out in its original 1988 charter, is nothing less than “the complete destruction of Israel.” Its vision of a free Palestine is a “theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia).”  Hamas demonstrated its hatred in its heinous attacks on Israeli kibbutzim and small towns on October 7, which killed at least 1200 Israelis, with another 220 kidnapped as hostages.  Four have been released. 

Israeli Defense Force armored brigade operates near the Gaza border, 2014. IDF Photo on Flickr.

In response, Israel has declared war on Hamas and has bombed Gaza daily, aiming to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, even at the cost of high civilian casualties, (with no) clear idea for what a post-war future might look like.* Best estimates are that more than 5700 Palestinians have been killed to date and 16,000 wounded. Basic necessities such as water, food, electricity to run hospitals, etc. are severely lacking.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine rages on, hundreds of thousands dead and injured and vast destruction of homes, infrastructure, globally-needed agricultural fields and critical water sources.

Polar climatologist Ella Gilbz, Ph.D., outlines the dramatic changes taking place due to climate change in western Antarctica. Dr Gilbz

We now have news from scientists that the ice shelf in western Antarctica is melting much faster than expected and will certainly continue to do so even if we alter our fossil fuel dependency this century. 

If the entire western ice flow of Antarctica melts, it will raise the ocean by five meters (16 feet).  Many large cities around the world will be inundated and millions–if not billions–of humans will need to migrate.**

What do war and Climate Change have in common?  They will both end in “nothing less than… complete destruction” of cities and nations and other species and “humanity as we know it”.

The Climate Mobilization intro video, 2016. The 9-year-old nonprofit is building power for a national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society.

All the military know-how and effort that went into Hamas’s successful invasion of Israel and all the Israeli military effort now going into retaliation, and all the military effort exerted by Russians and Ukrainians and all the military effort of China vis a vis Taiwan and southeast Asia and all the military effort of the United States to support Israel and other nations —isn’t it time to put all this effort into saving the planet?

Where are our “defense departments” when we need them? 

Can the climate crisis awaken all humans everywhere to address the common foe:  climate change?  And let our other hatreds go?

* Samia Nakhoul, Matt Spetalnick and Alexander Cornwell, “What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza invasion?” Reuters.

** Damian Carrington, “Rapid ice melt in west Antarctica now inevitable, research shows,” The Guardian.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.

Banner Image: “Danger – Minefield.” Photo by James Emery on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree that seeing the ‘big picture’ of Earth in crisis might put humanity’s local wars in better perspective?  What would change if all nations took a deep breath and looked at the peril Mother Earth, our common home, faces?

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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6 thoughts on “What Do War and Climate Change Have in Common?”

  1. Avatar

    World Beyond War is an international organization of strategic pacifists who are facing off with the global military industrial complex. Their sustained efforts rarely get media coverage. Meanwhile the world holds its breath watching as we blindly march lockstep towards the impending doom of our species and Mother Earth.


  2. Avatar

    There are so many ways to deal with climate change–one is economic, divestment from any stocks associated with the oil industry and their bank and insurance company enablers. My church has done this, and a few others have, but the national organization refuses to adopt it as a policy—out of greed, fear, and self interest. But individuals can divest, and we know that it can succeed because there is such violent push back against it.

  3. Avatar

    The Earth in crisis is Mirror Reflecting the crisis within humanity itself. Yet at the same time the Earth itself is also Mirror Reflecting the healing available, accessible and neccessary in pruning away the root causes of the crisis within humanity.

    Its as if the Earth Herself is the Wounded Healer, healing not only Herself, but willingly offering to nurture, and supportively midwife humanity through this healing, transformative process. Through magnifying our interconnectedness, interrelationships, and interdependence, humanity is consciously and unconsciously being “Oned With”, Her living essence and presence.

    Throughout this transitional cycle of death, change and transformation; humanity is both painfully and at times joyfully experiencing and encountering the solidarity of this reality… our shared woundedness along with the wisdom of Her healing ways; which unfolds, evolves and emerges as we converge through relationship with.

    The all and the everything of creation, moans labourously together in the birthing of the new. This labouring is not in vain, although anguishly painfull… traversing through this birthing canal, potentially leads to healing for all. This is the hope that the umbilical chord, the soul vine of humanity is tethered to in Spirit.

  4. Avatar

    I have life long questions regarding the evil of war and human caused climate destruction:
    1. Why would a loving God that longs to be in relationship with us let evil reign ?
    2. Is evil a separate force beyond the “control and realm” of our creator?
    3. I am confused by the idea of non-duality, because if there is no duality of good and evil, why wouldn’t God just get rid of humanity and this planet since we can not behave ourselves lovingly as a collective species to not war against each other and the planet? I welcome others thoughts on why is there evil?

    1. Avatar

      The knowledge of good and evil is a cosmic observation of injustice. Hydrogen with its consciousness in self importance in that its power could bring death and destruction and the wealth of cosmic influence in the evolution and transfer of this systemic injustice to all matter. It exploded.
      We live in a world of global systemic injustice. We all participate in. The way forward is participate less and less. We begin by forgiving ourselves and others and the power of the Tree of Life feed each other with food. The Spirituality of forgiveness and the physical need for food for all will contribute to our interdependence.
      As we are delivered from the evil of injustice to ourselves, others and the planet. We then can seek the fullness of Life on Earth for all as it is in Heaven.

  5. Avatar

    I just finished Mathew Fox’s Original Blessing and loved it. I am kind of confused by some of Mathew Fox’s political positions … how can one spend 100 pages talking passionately of Eros, love of life, and also support abortion?? This article also causes me to pause … I believe we should be good stewards of the environment: don’t pollute, don’t waste, respect nature, etc. But keep the temperature of the earth the same in perpetuity as it was in 1750 (pre-industrial revolution)? Not only do I think it’s absurd to think that we can keep the temperature of the 4.5 billion year-old earth the same to save the ice caps, why is a spiritual teacher pushing these talking points?

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