Spirit Quest - 'Wrath To Come!'

Spirit Quest

'Repent, Escape The Wrath To Come!'
 
 
'Repentance can also be good for business'
 
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective
 
You have seen it. A cartoon of a hairy old man with a fanatic look in his eye, brandishing a sign with these words. Funny. However, when the International Energy Association (IEA) proclaims much the same, albeit in different words, it isn’t nearly so funny.
 
The IEA is an autonomous agency linked with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). On November 9 it published its report World Energy Outlook ahead of the  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Durban, South Africa, as you read this essay.
 
The IEA is not known to be a radical alarmist organization. However it does not mince words as it calls for international  “repentance.” It states quite bluntly that the world is headed for irreversible climate change by 2017.
 
“What is needed is a new deal to tackle global warming that covers all major countries. This is not a luxury but an absolute necessity,” stated Climate Change Secretary  for the European Union (EU) Chris Huhne.
 
Efforts by the EU to secure a new deal  to replace the existing climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, with a new legally binding global agreement that failed at the UN talks in Copenhagen two years ago. The Canadian delegation was twice awarded the “Dinosaur Award” for its foot dragging and obfuscation. Will it do the same at Durban? The suggestion of deferring a decision to 2020 is too late.
 
In a report from Greenpeace, Keith Stewart, the climate and energy campaigner, has the following to say:
 
“The Harper government is the only federal government  that is working directly with polluting organizations, contributing billions of dollars in support of projects aimed at the massive expansion of the oil industry at the expense of cleaner alternatives. Federal government officials and CAPP (Canadian Association of Petrolium Producers) lobbyists are working closely to prevent any clean energy regulation in the US that threatens tar sands exports.”
 
The report highlights the global impacts of the Canadian government strategizing with companies like Shell, the world leader in greenhouse gas emissions, to ensure the international market and demand for oil produced from the Canadian tar sands continues to grow.
 
Greenpeace is calling on governments in Durban to listen to the people and not the polluting corporations, and:
Ensure a peak in global emissions by 2015
Close the gap between politics and science on emission reduction targets
Ensure that the Kyoto Protocol continues and provide a mandate for a comprehensive legally binding instrument
Deliver the necessary climate finance
Establish a framework for protecting forests in developing countries
Address the needs of the most vulnerable countries and communities
Ensure global cooperation on technology and energy finance
Ensure international transparency in assessing and monitoring country commitments and actions
Ensure transparency, democracy and full participation in the UNFCCC process
“In Durban, it’s time for governments to listen to the people, not the polluting corporations,” said Stewart. “The Harper government, in particular, must stop working with tar sands companies to derail clean energy legislation in other countries and start taking action here at home to protect Canadians from the impact of runaway climate change."
 
We are approaching the tipping point with great speed , the time when there is no turning back, when the die is cast for a future when soaring heat will affect every aspect of life on this globe.
 
Still there are naysayers when it comes to global warming, who in spite of  reputable scientific  evidence,  believe  that global warming is cyclical, “what goes up will come down,” our thermometers function that way. 
 
This intransigence  is based on a fear, not of ecological wrath but of economic consequences, the pocket book, the stock market, financial stabilitty of nations especially at a time of debt crisis. Standard and Poor rating is the tail that wags that dog.
 
Canada is now one of the world’s top polluters by virtue of its tar sands extraction. Thousands of acres of land in northern Alberta have been savaged in order that we become the top crude producer in the world, rivaling the Middle East. We have a ready market in our neighbour to the south who has almost run out of that resource. 
 
There is a bumper sticker circulating south of the border, a prayer: “O God Give Us Another Oil Boom and We’ll Promise Not To Screw It Up This Time.”
 
“Escape the Wrath to Come” has been impossible for many of our aboriginal people who live downstream  from Fort McMurray who have suffered from ecologically induced diseases. Addiction to the wealth created by the tar sands has made it almost impossible to change course, it seems. 
 
Global warming impacts every facet of the environment, especially that most precious of all resources, water. Fish have migrated to different areas according to their temperature preferences. There are dead zones in the oceans where no life survives. The polar ice cap is melting at an enormous speed. Ocean levels will rise to the point where coastal communities, think New York, will be impacted.
 
The IEA has laid it on the line but its report has been largely ignored by the corporate media. Except for a few columnists little has been communicated to the public for fear that  the 99% rise up again . 
 
Doomsday prophet Harold Camping has twice this year announced a date for End Times. His apostles have driven vans festooned with the prophet’s message “Repent”  around the streets of Ottawa. He was proven wrong. I understand he is still fingering his abacus for a new date. Others have turned to the Mayan calendar to find a date for the world’s demise. However, it is evident that  we don’t need God to bring wrath on earth, we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves.
 
There is a cost and for those who reckon cost only in terms of that bottom line it may seem steep indeed. It has however proven that switching to less invasive forms of energy production can be profitable. Dare I say that “repentance” is also good business.   
 
However the religious message “repent” needs to be taken seriously in a deep concern for the health of the planet, our only home. To love God is to love this planet and all its inhabitants. To love this planet is to love its creator.
 
The IEA still holds out hope for curbing climate change but the time is short and the means ever more demanding.
 
I believe that there is a Spirit alive in people everywhere that is willing to sacrifice to create harmony between humanity and the environment. May that Spirit come alive in Durban in a responsible stewardship of creation. Give life and hope to the Spirit. “Repent!”

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