Inaugural Member, The Faithful Climate Action Fellowship
In a decade in which climate change is mostly seen yet often ignored, a positive environmental future may seem unlikely. Yet with any change comes a fresh wave of hope, that we might truly live what we value. So is the case for the 2021 shift in power – and environmental priority.
I cannot speak for anyone as to what shape a future of renewal may take. Yet in my own mind, this future explores and supports the development of renewable energy sources, whether as new as algal energy or as well-known as wind turbines. In the same hand, this is a future that actively seeks to replace ecologically destructive cultural habits with restorative, healthy actions and views.
A future of environmental renewal protects what natural places we have the privilege to see, and expands those protections to the urban ecosystem, including parks and green spaces, even in the midst of cities. This future is alive with refusal to compromise the beauty, integrity, and goodness of Creation for the utilitarian whims of man. It is also filled with a recognized integrality of the natural world to the human incarnational experience.
In this interconnected link, the future of environmental renewal and protection focuses on the vulnerable Creation, yet it does not end there. While seeking healing for the environment, this future power would focus on the poorest of the poor who suffer most in this ongoing crisis. Whether it would look like funding for rebuilding or assistance in relocating, this future, by necessity, is kind to the poor, to the vulnerable earth, and to those who are seeking changes for the good of another.
All this may not seem possible with a simple administrative change. Yet with a new year and new leadership, may we find the energy to project and protect Creation. May we have the strength to start our future.
Colleen Schena is an inaugural member of The Faithful Climate Action Fellowship, a collaborative project through the U.S. Climate Action Network. She is also a freelance journalist and a student of theology and biology. Schena recently concluded her thesis about the connection between human image and likeness to God (imago Dei), Creation, and stewardship as an embodiment of the imago Dei. She seeks to further immerse herself in topics of the environment and work for its betterment, whether that would be through public action writing or hands-on conservation work.