Climate change is already hurting vulnerable communities and making hard lives harder in many parts of the world. Climate change is hurting people directly through extreme weather events, disrupted rainfall patterns, changed pathways for pests and diseases, the melting of glaciers and sea level rise. Climate change also adds to stresses of poverty, inequality and conflict.
For the people of low-lying island nations such as Tuvalu sea level rise, as well as increasingly intense storm surges and cyclones that come with climate change, threatens people's livelihoods and lives, and even the existence of entire communities and countries.
Australia, too, is vulnerable to climate change. It is already affecting many magnificent parts of creation, such as the Great Barrier Reef, and Tasmania's wilderness. Communities and towns and cities, including Indigenous Australians, farming communities, and the many people who live along our coasts, are all vulnerable to climate change. Greater frequency and intensity of heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, extreme weather, as well as sea level rise pose social and economic risks for us all.
Responding to climate change is simply part of what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st Century. It’s part of what it means to love and stand with our vulnerable neighbours in the global village. It’s part of what it means to love and honour God as we care for God’s creation.