Christmas and Climate Change

I like Christmas as much as the next person, or at least parts of it – the eating good food, getting together with friends and family, and taking time off of work parts. But, as the “Advent Conspiracy” campaign points out, there are big problems with the way we in North America celebrate it. And the way we celebrate the season contributes in a very real way to climate change. If you have 2o minutes and want to know more about the connection between overconsumption and the destruction of the planet, check out Annie Leonard’s video “The Story of Stuff“, or watch the 3-minute teaser on my blog’s video list.

Here’s some slam poetry from on this topic:

And if you still want more, rent the hilarious documentary¬† “What Would Jesus Buy”. Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir are filmed on a tour across the U.S. to save Christmas and Americans from the Shopocalypse. He asks “Will we walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Debt, or will we find a new way to give a gift this Christmas?”

There are some serious laughs in the tongue-in-cheek political theatre Reverend Billy and his group engage in. Thanks to Donna from Junk ‘n Java, our local second-hand and fair trade store,¬† for loaning it to me!

For more inspiration and ideas about how to change the way Christmas is celebrated, check out the Buy Nothing Christmas website.

An Advent Conspiracy – Mending the World

There is a Hebrew phrase, Tikkun Olam, which means mending or perfecting the world. For many of the Jewish faith, Tikkun Olam has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice.

Today is the final Advent Sunday, a time of expectation and hope. Advent anticipates Christmas, a world-changing event for Christians. Advent Conspiracy is a campaign that asks “What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?”.

We and this blue planet we inhabit are in need of a conspiracy of people of all faiths to pursue Tikkun Olam. Check out this video that challenges the way Christmas is now celebrated, and offers a different way, a way of mending the world. Click here to learn more.

Thanks to my brother Tom, who sent this video my way a few weeks ago!

Non-binding Climate Deal – The Planet Will Have to Wait

The news out of Copenhagen is not good, despite President Obama’s positive announcement of a deal before he left yesterday. And Stephen Harper called it a “comprehensive and realistic” agreement. That tells me that Canadians and the planet are the losers. Read more analysis of it on CBC,¬† The Guardian and The Toronto Star.

Meanwhile, I’m stepping into my fossil-burning vehicle for a 5 1/2 hour drive home for Christmas. While I drive, I will be thinking about the festive season and love for family and friends that is expressed in Christian parts of the globe at this time. Yet, we in “christian” North America and Europe are the ones that have created the bleak future for our children and grandchildren, and many generations after that. If we can’t collectively wean ourselves from the “heroin” of fossil fuels that we are addicted to, the gift we are giving them is bleak indeed. If Canadians and other citizens of democracies truly understood what was at stake, there would be no way in hell that our leaders would have gotten away without a real, binding treaty in Copenhagen. I’m convinced that we love our children more than our fossil-fuel burning cars and carbon-dependent ways. And the crazy thing is, we shouldn’t be in the position to have to chose between them. There is a better, greener way – our leaders just aren’t showing it to us.

This video reminds us what is at stake: