After the joy of the Olympics, this week has given the world some stark news. July was earth’s hottest month ever. Ahead of the conference looking at what governments can do to cut emissions and get the world back on a course of renewal, turning the policies of generations around to reduce the climate emergency, we are warned that we do not have long to make amends. If the scientists are right, we are entering a period of great weather instability which will result in many lives and homes lost through a rise on water levels, storms, and mass migration away from danger areas. The big existential question is: will humans survive?
Already, we can see some of the stresses and mental health issues coming out of the pandemic. On Thursday, in the UK, we have seen the worst mass shooting occur in over a decade. It was an event that was truly shocking and heart-breaking. As a response ,the community in Plymouth has held a vigil in respect of those who lost their lives; people coming together to remember the dead and to try to make sense of what was senseless.
The great biblical story of Noah’s Flood starts with God seeing what a mess people were making of the earth; God regrets having created us humans and seeks to destroy the world in an act of uncreation, saving only Noah and Noah’s family, and two of each animal. The flood, when it comes,sets the ark in which the family and creatures exist, up on the waves. The tale tells of the wholesale destruction of the earth. But there is a twist to the story as Noah survives the destruction and is saved to people future generations. The fable ends with a promise from God: never again will the earth be destroyed by the Flood. Even in biblical times, there was recognition that humans can be very destructive. Will God save us… or is God now asking each one of us to save ourselves and each other?