Formation - 4 January 2017

en - `Out of the dark’

`You want it darker’ sang Leonard Cohen shortly before he died.

Whatever you may have been hoping concerning Donald Trump’s attitude to climate change, his appointments tell a dismal story, Goldman Sachs executives, Exxon chief and white supremacists and climate deniers . See for yourself. Already there is a prioritizing of corporate interests and a militarization of response to anyone who stands in the way. An example of this is the way the people, `water protectors’ many of whom were first nation people, were treated when protesting non violently against the Dakota Access Pipeline, before Obama stepped in. Trump, however is planning to privatize Native American territories, scupper NASA research, open up federal lands to fossil fuel extraction and gut US environmental reguations, not to mention reneging on the Paris Agreement of 2015.

`We firmly and fervently believe that in this struggle to save our planet everyone without exception, irrespective of confessional or religious convictions- must be included and involved’ said Patriarch Bartholomew in a recent visit to St Mary’s Twickenham UK.` Trump’s rejection of the Paris Agreement (COP21) has generated an unprecedented sense of solidarity among all countries as country after country has said they intend to move forward and strengthen their Paris commitments’ (Alden Meyer for the Union of Concerned Scientists). And again the role of `subnational governments’, cities, states and firms, mayors, governors and CEOs is emerging; they are building coalitions, trying to collectively meet the US climate target. China declared its intent to move forward on the Paris Agreement, aware of the potential of clean energy and its importance of stemming pollution especially in its own great cities. COP22 in Marrakesh did not fail, it increased determination.

At the same time the price of renewable energy is falling and take up is increasing throughout the world. Fossil fuel divestment pledges have reached to $5 trillion mark. Solar is becoming the world’s cheapest form of energy and is undercutting fossil fuels. There is a sustainable energy revolution and investment in energy storage worth billions (Breakthrough Energy Ventures) There is growing support for energy democracy, local initiatives, great networks of resistance and activism, as well as small grassroots initiatives. It is a time for non-violent resistance and people power, the protection of resource rights protectors, so often indigenous people, women and coloured people. We need to participate, join with others and take courage. Don’t be afraid of the dark.

There will be subnational organisations, people of goodwill will all over the planet working together towards cooling the planet. Don’t be afraid. Last but not least a recent Advent newsletter from Holy Hill Hermitages, Ireland wrote -

` It seems evident that the coming of the kingdom of God will not be through governments or politics, but from the steadfast faith and prayer of those who want to live the values of the Gospel, and not the values of the market place. Much of the world seems to be gripped by fear, but the message of the angels is always `Be not afraid’. Take courage for 2017 !

Jessica r.a.