Blue marble minute for the climate

My concern was, and is, that governments will fail to act to stop carbon dioxide emissions before it is too late.

This led to the idea that if world leaders were held in the Light daily at 21:00, for one minute, they would find the courage to resist the huge fossil fuel lobby, and take life-saving decisions to halt climate change at the international negotiations in Paris (COP21).

A blue leaflet invitation to join the minute's silence
A leaflet inviting people to join the minute's silence. Image: Exeter Meeting

Almost two years ago, I embarked upon an online climate change course. As I studied, my alarm grew. Environmental disasters caused by climate change were already happening, and tipping points – from which the environment would be unlikely to recover over thousands of years – were drawing perilously closer, rendering life on earth extremely vulnerable to extinction.

A period of depression followed. Strangely, if it had just been human suffering that was likely, it would have been easier to accept, as this would be a direct result of our own actions. But to threaten all life on earth – this was intolerable.

Active hope

A dear Friend, and fellow member of our Experiment with Light group, knew of my anguish. She gave me the book 'Active Hope', which enabled me to see the process I was going through and gave the certainty that a positive outcome was attainable.

One Sunday, I was asked to co-lead a dialogue on the course. Pondering that afternoon upon my response to a question from a weighty Friend, the idea of a blue marble minute struck me. We couldn't match the powerful fossil fuel lobby, but we could reach the leaders on another, more powerful level – that of prayer and thought. That was how we could help the planet and all its creatures.

It has been an extraordinary journey, deepening my practice and giving me hope

- Christine Meredith

A Meeting for Clearness to explore this idea was extremely positive and helpful. Yes it was in line with Quaker values and witness, and courage to change emerged as a necessary quality to evoke in our leaders.

Support for the idea

Devon Area Meeting was generous in providing a budget for graphic design, leaflets and distribution. A talented member of Exeter Meeting produced beautiful artwork representing the web of life.

The idea has now been shared with all Quaker meetings in Britain. An electronic version of the leaflet has been distributed internationally through the Our Voices website. It has been sent to QUNO where it was appreciated by the staff, and to some of the negotiators who have spent gruelling months working with all nations towards the talks happening now in Paris.

It has been an extraordinary journey, deepening my practice and giving me hope. Due to ill health for several months, I've not been able to follow up the initial impetus which is a regret, but I hope that what has been done has been of some benefit.

Even after COP21 finishes, it will be a beginning not an end. What next? I remain open to other opportunities to act for our beautiful 'blue marble' planet and life upon it.

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