Worry into focus

If you stop to think about it, the fact that various simple substances can be transformed into fuel to power our modern lives is quite remarkable. The conversion of oil deposits into gasoline or plastic containers or spandex features in the problems we’re currently facing, of course, but that process is still fascinating.

More to be celebrated is the way that wind, rushing across the landscape and turning turbine blades 140 feet long, can be converted into electricity. Ocean waves, sunshine, raindrops and biomass can all be converted into usable energy.



These processes are impressive, but the most urgent conversion we need to effect is the transforming of the confusion, distrust, fear, concern and anger surrounding climate change into solutions to address the many threats that we face. That task may be as big a challenge as any of the others.

The United Nations Climate Action Summit began on Monday, and many people said many grand things. Others, who should have said that they were going to make stronger commitments and dedicate more resources, said either not enough or nothing at all.

There’s a lot to learn, a lot to think about, even more to do. The most arresting voice I’m hearing is that of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden. I first heard her 2018 TED talk (11 minutes), and have since heard her speak to EU leaders (four minutes), and at this week’s UN Climate Action Summit (five minutes). She has a way of bringing things into focus.




I hope you’ll watch one or all of these. We do, indeed, need to pull our attention away from other matters and place it squarely on the issues surrounding climate change for as long as it takes to make course corrections. Failing to do so will sink us.

Being worried about climate change is not enough, but it feels like a necessary early step. If we can transform our worry into focus and can cause political and business leaders to focus, then we have a hope of transforming our concerns into actions, and making the concrete transformations our future depends on.

[Image: peoplesdispatch.org, futurity.org]

3 thoughts on “Worry into focus

  1. A friend of mine from high school who is a pastor just shared this quote: “We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom.” I feel like this applies here + I hope we can develop wisdom + start applying our knowledge + acting!

  2. And here is what my pastor friend wrote about the quote: There have been times when I’ve felt intellectually obese… too much information and not enough movement. Too many podcasts and not enough flexing muscles. Too many books and not enough time to try anything. The stereotypical Seminary-trained pastor with all the information and no experience actually pastoring. And the same for important, necessary discussions—sometimes far too much talking and not enough humble experimentation; “working it out” in real time. Not sure if it’s fear of failure, insecurity or some other thing that gets in the way. I pray that my life is marked by meaningful movement, and that above all we pursue wisdom in this information-overwhelmed world we live in. May we judge trees not by their beauty but by their fruit.

    Am Fr., 27. Sept. 2019 um 15:03 Uhr schrieb Lori Notes :

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