Week 1 – The Season of Creation

Graphic - Woman looking at a flourishing field. Text: KAIROS Climate Action Month. Season of Creation. #DecolonizeClimateAction

As Climate Action Month begins, we take time to join people around the world for the start of “the Season of Creation.” The Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox churches began this initiative last decade and was joined by the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. Today is the World Day of Prayer for Creation.  

With that in mind, KAIROS’ Climate Action Month 2022 begins today at 1pm Eastern time with an online celebration with prayers, music and a short reflection. Join us! Please register

The theme of the Season of Creation in 2022 is “Listen to the Voice of Creation.” Globally, many voices – including those of the other creatures that are part of the planet – have been muted or ignored. 

Please visit the Season of Creation website  for more information. The Season of Creation runs from September 1 to October 4 (the celebration day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology).  

But when we think about “creation” we should not think only about pretty “nature,” wildlife and wilderness. In the words of environmental justice activists, the environment is “everywhere we live and work and play and pray.” Thinking of creation primarily as “nature” sets up an artificial distinction between humanity (and humanity with privileged access) and the rest of creation. Some conservation organizations have tried to keep local people out of protected areas, even if they have lived there for decades or centuries. Climate action can also foreground already privileged voices.  

“The environmental movement has always centred white voices,” writes Radia Mbengue, KAIROS’ Global Partnerships Coordinator for Africa and Climate Justice. “When you think of a climate activist, who do you envision? Would it surprise you that millions of people engaged in greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation live in African nations? And that many of them are women?” 

Radia wrote about the need to decolonize climate action in an article for The Hill Times in February 2022. You can read it here: Decolonization is at the heart of effective climate action

Ask yourself: 

  • How do you imagine an “environmentalist” or climate activist?
  • Do you speak on behalf of impacted communities?  
  • How do you make space for diversity and a decolonial lens through your work? 
  • How have unequal power structures highlighted your voice to the detriment of non-white climate activists? 
  • How much do you profit from resource extraction/climate change? 

Filed in: Ecological Justice

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