We'll Always Have Paris
Christian Aid's main campaign at the moment is called The Big Shift. It's a climate justice campaign. Our current goal is to make sure our banks use our money wisely and move their investments and loans out of fossil fuels and into a low carbon future.
I work in Christian Aid's campaigns team and part of my job is going out and speaking about things like the Big Shift. It’s been so great to meet people everywhere who care about our beautiful world and are acting to protect our neighbours. When people get together, feel the power of a movement and inspire each other, the excitement is palpable. Hearing people connect and enthuse each other is like a vitamin D boost on a dark day. I wish I could bottle up that feeling and pass it around, or keep a shot to hand for the days when there seems to be more bad news than good. There’s been a few of those days recently too.
In every conversation I’ve had this year about climate change there’s been one recurring concern:
Isn’t all this a waste of time if Donald Trump gets his way?
We can’t win this as long as Trump's in power.
What about Trump?
The President pulling the US out of the Paris agreement, his plan to invest in new coal mining and his claim that global warming is a hoax to bring down America are all big worries. Knowing that the most powerful man in America, possibly the world, is a climate denier is not exactly the backdrop I would choose for the next two to six years - years that are absolutely crucial in the fight for our precious planet.
But the answers to these questions are always clear - acting for a better world is never a waste of time.
We can win even if Trump tries to do everything he's promised, because we have no other option. Trump may be powerful, but he is not all powerful. If you ask me ‘What about Trump?’ my reply is this: ‘What about you?’ A wise woman once reminded me, ‘you cannot decide how other people will act. You can only decide how you will react.’
Trump has pulled America out of the Paris agreement - the best global agreement we have on climate. It simply must give us the motivation to see it through. To react with a fierce determination to do better.
We don’t know what else Trump will do in the coming months. The only thing we can be sure of is that if we give up the fight and go home, we’ll all lose. In a future of unchecked climate change there are no winners – no matter which side of the wall you live on.
Because if we’re conscious in the struggle for a better world, we’ll not only tackle climate change, we’ll build each other up, we’ll demonstrate that we can only thrive together, we’ll show that a world where people work together is infinitely better than one where we focus on greed, division and isolation. Millions of our brothers and sisters around the world don’t have the privilege of choosing whether to keep up the fight for a better climate – it has already arrived at their doorstep.
As Francis of Assisi - possibly the first environmental saint - reminds us; ‘Preach the good news at all times. If necessary, use words.’
So never mind Trump. What about you?