Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Climate change and the Apocalypse: Who shall be saved?

As a global climate crisis bears down upon us, religious thinkers return to the questions thatdominated the Apocalyptic age: Is the present age doomed, and if it is, who shall be saved?

Salvation did not always mean eternal life in heaven after death. The redefinition of "salvation" as "healing" is even newer.

For a long time, salvation meant who will be spared from God's wrath when God writes the final chapter of human story, in fire and ice and blood.




Some scientists believe that the human
population was reduced to
a few thousand people
100,000 to 70,000 years ago.
There will be human beings who survive even the most disastrous collapse of human civilization. Human beings are creative, and adaptable, and ingenious. Even in the warm and watery future, some humans will survive, and their children will survive.




Who shall be saved? 






Armed Guard outside Davos Congess
Center, the site of the ultra-elite
conference, high in the Swiss Alps.
As it now stands, it is the global elite that will survive. They will migrate to the most habitable places; they will monopolize the resources needed for life; they will deploy the arms to protect themselves from the increasingly desperate masses. Everything we know about the modern arrangements of power tell us that this is true.
 The gated communities in our suburbs are emblems of the global future.





Consider the moral implications of believing that only a few will survive. Does it matter really then, if they die now, or later? If we imagine that even God is indifferent to their suffering, why should we care?

Unitarian Universalists are heirs to a religious tradition that disagrees. We believe in Universal Salvation: all of humanity is a single unit. Our faith is that we share a common fate. For us, the climate crisis is a struggle for global justice and solidarity.

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