The virtues as a response to climate change

Thanks to Derek for passing along this terrific piece on “Changing the Climate: Spiritual steps for Sustainable Living” by a Benedictine monk, Abbot Christopher Jamison.

Abbot Jamison thinks that the classical virtues provide an important part of the response to global warming and other aspects of our changing environmental situation.

This reminds me of a point that Michael Northcott makes in his book A Moral Climate: he says that, for Christians, the practices associated with living more gently on the earth are things that Christians should be doing anyway, such as living more modestly; consuming less; and finding the value of our lives in our relationships with God and others, not in our stuff. Abbot Jamison makes some of the same points.

The Abbot is clear, that a policy response to climate change is necessary, but we also need responses at the personal and local/communal levels. This goes beyond the kind of “technical” solutions to problems that we’re used to demanding from our leaders.

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