Thomas Berry and the UN Climate Conference

If there were ever a time when the voice of Thomas Berry needs to echo across the planet, this is it. The eco-spirituality of the recently deceased Passionist priest and earth-prophet calls on humanity to create a new age of harmony with all other forms of life.

His message assumes increasing importance as it becomes clearer that climate change is the most critical moral issue of the 21st century.

Peace, justice, human life, and dignity -- all these values hinge ultimately on saving the planet itself.

If we don’t act more rapidly than we have been, human lives will be in increasing peril the world over, parts of the globe now inhabited will become uninhabitable, climate refugees will abound, and new wars will erupt over resources.

None of this is new. Climate scientists the world over have been telling us for years that time is running out to solve the problems of the planet before the resulting damage is irreversible.

That’s why I’m disappointed at the lukewarm agreement that the nations of the world negotiated at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun, which ended last Friday, Dec. 10. The conference took a small, positive step. We need large strides. The resulting agreement is not even legally binding on the signatory nations.

It is past time to move religious environmentalists like Berry out of the monastery and the library and into our houses of worship, where the wonders of eco-spirituality can be preached and discussed and implemented.

The future of the planet as we know it hangs in the balance.

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