Bill McKibben: At Copenhagen, I went to church and cried. Then I got back to work


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Although we usually publish full original articles here, I found this moving and particularly timely. -AC

I’ve spent the last few years working more than full time to organize the first big global grassroots climate change campaign. That’s meant shutting off my emotions most of the time—this crisis is so terrifying that when you let yourself feel too deeply it can be paralyzing. Hence, much gallows humor, irony, and sheer work.

This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little. I got to Copenhagen’s main Lutheran Cathedral just before the start of a special service designed to mark the conference underway for the next week. It was jammed, but I squeezed into a chair near the corner. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the sermon; Desmond Tutu read the Psalm. Both were wonderful.

But my tears started before anyone said a word. As the service started, dozens choristers from around the world carried three things down the aisle and to the altar: pieces of dead coral bleached by hot ocean temperatures; stones uncovered by retreating glaciers; and small, shriveled ears of corn from drought-stricken parts of Africa.

Read the rest at Climate Progress.

Bill McKibben heads 350.org and is a writer, active Methodist, and Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College

Photo info: Over 100,000 people gathered in the streets of Copenhagen for a candlelight march in largest climate protest to date.

This was one of over 3,000 events around the planet calling on world leaders to produce a fair, ambitious, and binding climate change agreement in Copenhagen this week.

Photo Credit: Carl Ganter/350.org


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2037