Forces of Greed & Forces of Justice Joining to Combat Climate Change?

Bill McKibben observes in the CommonDreams article* that if the world economy loses $38 trillion per year due to climate change by the beginning of 2050, it “seems like a lot.”  He suggests that “these findings should persuade major companies to embrace climate action for self-interest reasons.”  

Bill McKibben talks about the impacts of the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries, and why global warming is calling all generations to work together. Brief But Spectacular

Fossil fuel companies and banks are very good at self-interest.  Capitalism breeds self-interest.  Thus, the silver lining. 

Such corporations—for the sake of their own survival—could now get on board with others whose motivations are more justice and compassion and loving the Earth than about money.

As McKibben puts it: These people are supposed to care about money and for once it would help if they actually did.  Stop putting out ads about how green your products are—start making this system you dominate actually work.  

Mister Koch, this means you.  And so many other billionaires like you.

Mini-documentary covering the growing revolt of young evangelical Christians in speaking up for creation and against powerful climate change deniers. The Now.

It means to cease sponsoring politicians and political parties and judges and legislators who are stuck in denial of climate change and instead do something about it.  When those who “care most about money” link up with those who care most about the health and beauty and sacredness of Mother Earth, our survival as a species, along with millions of other species, has a fighting chance.

In the second half of this century, economic losses will average 60% per year come the year 2100.

Study leader Wenz confessed that he found the results “devastating” and “shocking” at the light they shed on inequality between the global North and the global South.  The issue is an ethical one, one of choices we make. 

Share of electricity production from renewables as shown in OurWorldInData.Org. Source: Our World in Data, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Wikimedia Commons.

Co-author Anders Leverman says, It is on us to decide.  Structural change towards a renewable energy system is needed for our security and will save us money.  Staying on the path we are currently on, will lead to catastrophic consequences.  The temperature of the planet can only be stabilized if we stop burning oil, gas, and coal.

McKibben proposes to Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, that if they want to sell their goods in the next century, they should consider how people will have 60% less money to spend on buying their stuff.  They should be putting pressure on their banks to stop making the problem worse.  They should also be unleashing their lobbying teams to demand climate action from Congress.

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

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, pp. 11-34.

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

Banner Image: Renewable energy park: solar panels, wind turbines, and an electricity pylon in an unidentified location. Photo by hpgruesen on Wikimedia Commons.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree with McKibben and do you recognize a special opportunity where forces of greed and forces of justice can link up together in light of the climate change crisis?  How special is that?  What might follow?

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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10 thoughts on “Forces of Greed & Forces of Justice Joining to Combat Climate Change?”

  1. Avatar

    If $38 trillion is the loss to the global economy by 2050, it just does not ‘show-up’ and ‘throw us off the cliff’. As climate change evolves and deteriorates, practices and the means to offset the change are being researched and instituted. For example, people in the US Southwest are facing drought and a severe water shortage today and must react to it today in 2024.
    * Businesses have to deal with ‘threats’ to their own sustainability and profits in the near / long term. It is the ‘shorter term profits that affect the stock price more so than the pain that might entail from acting only on the ‘long view’. It is not a given that climate proponents, governments and business will ‘flex’ and move together at the same time / pace. In actuality, most of the current leaders and decision makers in all these fields will be retired or dead by 2050.
    * For the most part, we are not leaving a ‘clean earth’ to our children as that job has become their inheritance. That leaves those in their teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to start stepping up to enact the changes as required. We need to consider how many of this segment of the population are more focused on their own short-term financial situation ie with home unaffordability, employment prospects and their ‘current addiction’ to consumerism with new phones, new fashion and the like. — BB.
    * PS We can’t stop burning oil, gas, and coal, but can reduce the current rates.

    1. Avatar

      Yes, nice! Bill, as you know, it is a quality of maturity to look ahead to see the ‘big picture’ (the whole) and act accordingly. We need to balance the Spiritual with the material.

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  2. Avatar

    McKibben sure has some good ideas! I am now determined to get solar panels! Here is someone not beaten by the environmental “changes”. I wholeheartedly agree that to put it all on the schoolkids, even college age, even 20’s and 30’s, is completely weird. They don’t have the experience or knowhow to do everything! We must not just join with them, but guide them in effective environmental efforts. It’s just like young politicians. They may look good, vital, whatever, but they really don’t know very much, and know little about making good connections (having powerful friends they trust and count on who know what’s going on). McKibben’s point about capitalists being mostly about making money and will do a lot towards providing for their future, is a good one. I think we can and should join together in this way. This is a powerful documentary.

  3. Avatar
    Martina Nicholson

    Thank you for this interesting and hope-inspiring post. If they care for their own financial well-being, they might join the movement to protect the Earth! Since they seem to put that at the top of the priority list, it is compelling, as a reason to “do the right thing!” Doing things out of self-interest is a good way to get tenacious attention to making it successful! I also want to tell you that FCNL has a great article in this week’s newsletter about the “Solidarity Economy.” Sharing. Land trusts, co-ops. The idea is to put people and the planet ahead of profits, to intend stability and social cohesiveness. The article said that this can even work in an autocratic society, as long as it is not a political power-grab. They point to the Mondragon co-ops in Spain as a long-existing cooperative solution which started under Franco’s dictatorship. Thank you!

    1. Avatar

      I am surprised Franco found time for that in-between having people murdered and imprisoned. Movements towards autocracies will absolutely guarantee there will be no chance to mitigate catastrophic climate change, human deaths, mass refugees, species extinctions, and the destruction of creation. Healthy democracies cooperating together is the only path forward to saving creation.

  4. Avatar

    I am surprised Franco found time for that in-between having people murdered and imprisoned. Movements towards autocracies will absolutely guarantee there will be no chance to mitigate catastrophic climate change, human deaths, mass refugees, species extinctions, and the destruction of creation. Healthy democracies cooperating together is the only path forward to saving creation.

  5. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Cecil’s words, “Humanity needs to face itself” is a powerfully inspiring truth! This is not only the work of prophets, mystics, pastors, artists or activists, but rather is the deep soul work which we are each individually responsible for, within our journey of life lived in the transforming power of the Spirit of love, compassion, mercy and justice. Living this truth, does indeed set one’s soul and spirit free to become the sacred image of it’s divinity embodied within it’s humanity. Cecil reflected the light of this and his life has been a lived testimony of this reality. Thanks be to Cecil, for the blessings given, throughout your journey of becoming! Amen.

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