The bells will toll at St David’s and around Australia – today signifying a climate emergency for Earth Overshoot Day, serving as a rallying call for residents to make some everyday adjustments to their behaviours to help slow catastrophic environmental degradation.
Holy God, earth and air and water are your creation,
and every living thing belongs to you:
have mercy on us as ecological crisis confronts us.
Give us the will and the courage to simplify the way we live,
to reduce the resources we consume
and the waste that accumulates in land and skies.
Send us your Spirit
with wisdom in present controversies
and vision for the future to which you call us
with all creatures in our common home. Amen.
(Australian Liturgical Commission)
WE HAVE ALREADY USED UP THE EARTH’S RESOURCES FOR 2019!
What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanityʼs demands for ecological resources (including fish, forests, fresh water, etc) exceed what the Earth can renew in a year. This year it will fall on Monday 29 July.
Collectively, we are over-consuming and over-exploiting our resources. Our unreasonable demands on the Earth are driven by our attitudes and disconnect towards the Earth, our common home.
Why do we need to change our attitudes and behaviour?
Last October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we have just 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate. In May, another United Nations report suggested we are heading towards the extinction of one million species.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are tragic warning signs of our broken relationship with Godʼs Creation –we are losing sight of our interrelationship with all living things. And, Australians are some of the biggest contributors to this problem. If everyone behaved like us, humanity would consume the equivalent of 5.2 Earths a year!
Why is it important to mark Earth Overshoot Day?
As Christians, we want to mark this event to raise it in the public consciousness and create a call for transformation in both our attitudes and behaviour. Ultimately, we want to renew the Earth and save our common home, as both Pope Francis and Rowan Williams have said, we need an “ecological conversion”.
What can I do to help on Earth Overshoot Day?
•Toll your Church bells or light a candle from 11.48am, for the 12 minutes until midday, marking the 12 years that the IPCC has foreshadowed as a critical tipping point.
•Pray for people to see the ecological crises in our midst and for “ecological conversion”.
•Tell others in your church and online communities about this day, and why you are marking it.
•Act as people of faith by making a commitment to Live the Change: livingthechange.net
•Organise your own Earth Overshoot Day event and share your event on Facebook with the help of these liturgical and social media resources: bit.ly/OvershootAus