A word about this blog

Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

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Waking up to climate change

Americans have been one of the last groups of people to deny climate change on a mass scale and refuse to deal with its consequences. I was one of them. I remember in 2009 coming to Europe and getting a job with a non-profit organization whose mission was to raise awareness of the human impact of climate change. “This will never sell in the US,” I told the CEO. “Climate change is a non-issue for Americans.” This meant me, too. To my mind there were about a thousand things more important for an organization or a nation to worry about.

I was wrong, and a lot of Americans are realizing they were wrong, too. Climate change is a huge issue for millions of Americans now, and billions of people around the world, even if many voters and government officials still deny its importance. As Doug Struck shows in this week’s cover story in The Christian Science Monitor weekly, many US state and local officials are realizing that the evidence is too obvious and the consequences of ignoring the problem potentially too catastrophic to ignore it any longer. As Struck quotes Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, “We may not have all the answers, but we’re going to show that Miami Beach is not going to sit back and go underwater.”

It’s tempting to be astonished at the continued resistance of some government leaders, political candidates and campaign donors to the obvious. If there were broad political agreement, progress would proceed much faster. But the issue isn’t really recalcitrant individuals. It’s the general resistance to progress. It has happened, I’m sure, since the first person decided to cook with fire.

Look at Nehemiah in the Bible. He wanted to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, but people who saw their interests threatened tried to undermine him at every turn. The same resistance faces humanity as we try to build a wall against climate change.

For readers of this blog, our role in this process is a necessary one: to help create the mental climate that will enable humanity to coalesce around a clear strategy for dealing with the issue. The best tool we have is prayer, because it brings to the process the power of the divine Mind, the all-encompassing Love, without which the human mind is far less capable of intelligent, creative work.

What to pray about will come to each of us individually. For me, at the moment, it’s the claim that there are opposing interests that are capable of undermining unity and putting humanity’s welfare at risk. Nehemiah handled his opposition by knowing he had the authority and means to erect the wall and by keeping alert – and keeping his laborers alert – to the lies, distortions and threats that would get them to let down their guard. His big weapon was prayer, and it’s ours, too.

The God of climate is the God of humanity, and His law of harmony must govern, from the slightest breeze to the knottiest global negotiation.

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