The Silver Lining in Recent Bad News about Climate Change

In honor of the liberation from slavery and the “angel of death” in this Passover season, and in honor of Earth Day this week, yesterday’s and Saturday’s DM dealt with a recent study about Climate and Economics.

English translation of a cartoon by Gerhard Mester on the topic of climate change, licensed as CC-BY-SA. Wikimedia Commons

Is Climate Change an “angel of death” coming to get us all?   If so, what can we do about it other than going into denial (an entire party in American politics is in denial—a denial motivated by their corporate sponsors in the fossil fuel industry). 

Personal denial is at work too because many people feel they have enough on their plate just living their lives and trying to survive and raise their children.  I met someone yesterday who is retired and a poet but says he hardly listens to the news at all because he finds it is so energy-draining.

Denial or acedia is alive and well.  The capital sin often translated as “sloth” Thomas Aquinas understood as “the lack of energy to begin new things” and “sadness at separation from God and the good.  

Protestors in masks call out UK climate-denying politicians. Photo by Alisdare Hickson on Flickr.

People find denial easier and less energy-draining than is facing the sadness and grief and demands of imagination to rebuild politics and economics to turn back climate change. 

Of course, many politicians and their corporate sponsors and their kept media choose to keep people ignorant rather than propose solutions that put the common good first as the Earth heats up.

This is why I consider this latest study on the economic effects of climate change to itself be a (possible) game changer.  

Renowned economists forecast the economic impact of the climate crisis on the U.S. economy. CNBC

It is one thing to ask the question: Do you love your children and your grandchildren?  Should humans be bringing more children into the world?  Have you considered what the “immigration” debate today will explode to become when literally billions of human beings will have to exit their current homes because of the seas rising?

It is another thing to consider these scientific facts: That given the current trend of increasing temperatures of the planet, the global economy will drop by $38 trillion per year beginning 25 years.  (The current entire global economy is about $100 trillion and America’s is about $6 trillion to give perspective).*  What further constitutes a silver lining in this information?  

To be continued.


* Olivia Rosane, “Climate Crisis to Cost Global Economy $38 Trillion a Year by 2050” on CommonDreams.org

See Matthew Fox, “Acedia” in Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 189-236.

See also Matthew Fox, “Your Mother is Dying: A Crucifixion Story for Our Time,” in Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, pp. 11-34.

And Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action.

Banner Image: “I Don’t Believe In Global Warming.” Banksy art near the Oval bridge in Camden, north London. Photo by Dunk on Flickr.


Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize a silver lining in this otherwise disturbing study?


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

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.


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3 thoughts on “The Silver Lining in Recent Bad News about Climate Change”

  1. Avatar

    What is a prophet other than the Spirit in its Wisdom revealing itself? The Spirit holds up a ‘mirror’ to our face that we would rather not see, not out of spite but out of love. Both Jesus and the Father know that the prophets are rejected, because the Spirit is in the world but ‘not of the world’.
    Who are the minimalists? Are they the only ones looking to save the planet from environmental destruction and calm the ‘insane’ weather patterns of destruction that we are experiencing?
    Post WW II, most people were ‘minimalists’ not by design but by circumstances. Without having an overabundance of everything, what you did have you were most grateful for and what better way to show love than to share with others. Without a second car to go to the grocery store, neighbours would lend or share sugar, butter and flour for baking. Most people did not have a garage full of tools, so sharing was commonplace. A family had to share one bathroom, one car, one telephone, one television and one budgeted grocery trip per week. Decisions and sacrifices had to be made constantly and the greatest need and priorities determined.

    Now we have an overabundance of everything, a lot of which we do not need, which draws deeply on the resources of the planet and stress its capacity to maintain a good health. The state of the planet is a ‘mirrored reflection’ of who we are and what we have made ourselves to be. If we change the planet will follow. — BB 10 16 22.

  2. Avatar

    Yes! Hopefully and God Willing, the silver lining will be a serious wake up call for All world governmental, business, social leaders, and All of Us to begin replacing our old capitalistic fossil fuel economies to more sustainable and just economies to save our Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth and Humanity Now for Our ongoing Present Future. We will All have to learn and adjust to a more simplified, sustainable, just and less materialistic way of Life closer to Mother Nature as Indigenous peoples around the world have always lived and continue to teach Us….
    — D. Maureira

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