Theme Announced for Operation Noah’s 14 October Supporters’ Event: ‘Somewhere Good: The Climate Crisis and the Prophetic Imagination’

Posted in: Blog, Events, News
Date posted: 24 August 2023

2023 Operation Noah Supporters’ Event 
Somewhere Good: The Climate Crisis and the Prophetic Imagination 
Saturday 14 October 2023, Romero House, London, 11am – 1.30pm 
Speakers and registration details to be announced in September

It is frightening to see the consequences of human-caused global heating in real-time. From Hawaii to Greece, wildfires are destroying lives and communities. This past June was the hottest June ever recorded in the UK; July was the hottest month ever recorded globally. And in August, the International Energy Agency confirmed that global oil demand had hit an all-time high. Remarkably, the UK Government has now said it will greenlight over 100 new oil and gas licences, potentially paving the way for new North Sea drilling, which would be in direct violation of scientific warnings from the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Both groups have been clear that we can’t even burn all the oil and gas from existing developments, let alone from new ones, and still limit global heating to safe levels. 

Yet things are changing. Wind and solar power are breaking records, electric vehicles are starting to replace those powered by internal combustion engines, and renewables – which are now cheaper than fossil fuels in most parts of the world – are expected to overtake coal by 2025 as the world’s largest source of electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, more than $1.7 trillion worldwide is expected to be invested in technologies such as wind, solar power, electric vehicles and batteries globally this year, compared with just over $1 trillion worth of investment in fossil fuels. This would be the most ever spent on clean energy in a single year. 

It is into this tension – reality and hope, pragmatism and possibility, the world as-it-is and the world as-it-should-be – the prophet speaks. But in a dangerously warming world, is it disingenuous to speak of a better future? Or is that the very reason the prophet speaks – to pull us towards the fullness of life which God intends for the world? Fr Richard Rohr, OFM, writes

‘The reason prophets can speak so clearly and strongly in the now is because they judge the now from, of all places, the future. Prophets have seen the future. In other words, they have seen where God is leading humanity. They have seen and drawn close to the heart of God and they know God is leading us somewhere good. Since they know the conclusion and where it is that we’re heading, they become impatient and angry at the present state of things. If we know where history is going and what God is leading us toward, if we know what our lives could and should be, why are we wasting time with all this violence and all this stupidity?…The prophets judge the present by the perspective of the future. Perhaps that’s how we began to think that prophets foretold the future—because they forthtold the future. They were the original futurists.’ 

Keeping in mind that Operation Noah is not only deeply realistic about the profound environmental challenges we face, but also ‘hope-inspired’, we will explore the role of the prophet and of the prophetic imagination in the context of the current climate and nature crises. How can Christian climate campaigners inspire the Church, our neighbours and our politicians to lead the way towards a safer climate and brighter future?

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