19 August 2022
Christians have been urged to have hope as they address climate change.
Agronomist Tony Rinaudo said he drew great courage from God’s active involvement with the restoration of his creation.
He spoke about his experience in Africa, where small changes to individual farmers’ practices had spread across millions of hectares.
He quoted a saying “Hope has two beautiful daughters anger and courage”, urging people to draw the message from it that things could get better.
Mr Rinaudo was speaking as part of a panel of experts at an Archbishop’s Conversation about climate change, run at Melbourne Grammar School.
He said Christian compassion commanded action on the climate crisis, which panellists described as a humanitarian crisis.
Mr Rinaudo said nobody would refuse to help someone who was hungry so, he asked, what was the difference between doing that and preventing the hunger in the first place.
He said God was actively involved in the restoration of creation, recalling a moment where he’d been in a seemingly barren piece of land, and seen greenery pop out of the soil.
A passage from Psalms had come to him, that God sent his spirit over the surface of the earth, and it renewed the surface of the earth.
“God is on our side,” Mr Rinaudo said.
Also contributing to the conversation were Archbishop Philip Freier, Australian Youth Climate Coalition activist Olivia Livingstone, and Melbourne Grammar School student Jack Lowman.
Ms Livingstone said a lot of young people sat on a spectrum between not having the opportunity to become informed about the climate crisis, or being so informed it could be paralysing.
But she said it could be really empowering to realise you were not alone.