Thursday, August 30, 2007
I got an email from Kieran Mulvaney last night, which he wrote from the site of the first Greenpeace protest which took place in 1971 in Amchitka, one of the Aleutian Islands in Northern Alaska.
Kieran's description on his blog of his landing on the island and his visit of the crater formed by the largest US underground nuclear explosion which the early greenpeacers wanted to stop sounds like an almost religious experience.
Talking of religion and the conservation of the Arctic environment, the Religion, Science and Environment organization led by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Bartolomew is holding next week on a boat off the coast of Greenland their 7th Symposium: "Arctic: Mirror of Life". The Arctic venue (following past symposia in the Aegean, Black, Adriatic and Baltic Seas as well as in the Amazon and the Danube) is timely: I hope they'll seize this opportunity to call for a freeze on the Arctic grab which is dangerously accelerating this summer.
[The fact that the Arctic symposium coincides with unprecedented tensions over ownership of Arctic resources and territories is of course purely accidental as it took months to organize the Arctic symposium. So if I was the organizers, I'd say this coincidence is a sign of God who's sent them there to take action.]
As the Los Angeles Times wrote a few days ago in an editorial: "to ravage the melting ice cap for fossil fuels that will further warm and pollute the North Pole would be a tragedy for humankind." (The Cold Rush, LA Times, 24 August,2007)
I always wondered why so few mainstream religious leaders pay attention to the destruction of what they call God's creation. Although I don't hang around much in churches and temples, I've got the impression that the greening of religious leaders (and followers) is still in infancy, despite the good efforts of people like Mary Evelyn Tucker whom I met a few years ago.
[I read that the Vatican is planning to use solar photovoltaic panels; that's not bad but why don't they solarize all churches, cathedrals, monasteries, Christian schools, etc?]
Back to Greenpeace: there is a Hands Off the Arctic petition on their international website.