Written by Sr. Ricca Dimalibot

Nature seems to be reclaiming itself in recent months. We see the Himalayas exposed through smogless skies, hear birds chirping unmuffled by the usual hum of automobiles, and become pleasantly rattled by wild animals roaming on empty roads! Even with this year’s estimated 17% decrease in daily emissions worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic is also managing to expose something else: inadequate government infrastructure to curtail the effects of climate change. If there was a moment when political leaders could have maximum influence and show courage in promoting the care of creation, that moment is now. With so many changes happening in industry and the economy at large, we have an opportunity to seriously entertain cutting fossil-fuel subsidies, introduce a tax on carbon, and promote climate friendly infrastructure for economic growth that would ease unemployment and keep the emissions down after the pandemic ends. We might never have a more attentive audience as this present time in history.

Not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste, I agreed to participate in an advocacy meeting led by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), a forward-thinking environmental group advocating for more sustainable policies with far-reaching impact. On June 17th, we met (via Zoom, of course) with Preston Howey, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from The Woodlands, in his Washington DC office. Our group included engineers, a lawyer, and three summer interns. We each gave testimonials, meant to be shared with the Congressman, to appeal for an environment-friendly world. I shared my concern about the health impacts of the climate crisis from my experience as a Family Medicine physician. Mr. Howey, the aide, shared that Rep. Brady, a devout Catholic who attends Sts. Simon and Jude in The Woodlands, recognizes the need to cut emissions significantly and that climate change legislation is of paramount importance to him. This was encouraging, though he made no policy commitments.

Let us storm heaven praying that this world crisis touches the hearts of politicians to enact environmental policies that assure a future where humanity flourishes as God intended

“Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these…” isaiah 40:26
The remarkable video below from BuzzFeed will fill you with awe of our universe and its Maker. It is entitled “209 Seconds that will Make You Question Your Entire Existence.” It may not do that, but it will definitely change your perspective and prompt you to praise.

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