Jane Kelly, Common Grace's Creation and Climate Justice Coordinator, reflects on her time at COP27.
Churches around Australia will be simultaneously tolling their bells just before midday on Friday 21 August to mark Earth Overshoot Day – the day people have used all the natural resources that the Earth can renew during the year.
This year Earth Overshoot Day will fall on Saturday 22 August, with churches around the country marking the occasion the day before. The tolling bells, or lit candles, will bring our attention to the damage to plants, animals, water and the way of life we love, and call us onto a better path for our families and future generations.
We all get that spending more than our budget allows is risky and that keeping to a budget is wise – it’s the same with the Earth’s natural resources. Australians are some of the biggest spenders of the earth’s resources, consuming the equivalent of over four Earths each year.
Through our collective response to COVID-19, we have pushed back Earth Overshoot Day by three and a half weeks this year. Let’s keep working together to maintain our momentum so we can push back 2021’s Earth Overshoot Day further and bring the Earth’s ‘budget’ back into balance.
So, join Christians around the nation and toll your church bells or light a candle just before midday on Friday 21 August.
What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanity’s demand for the Earth’s natural resources, such as water, fish, and other living creatures and forests, exceeds what the Earth can renew in a year. Collectively, we are using too much and de-stabilising the Earth.
This has upset its delicate balance and recovery processes. The way we treat the Earth is a contributing factor to bushfires, drought and changing weather patterns, as well as to the safety of koalas, bees other animals.
Why is it important for Christians to mark Earth Overshoot Day?
As people of faith, we are marking Earth Overshoot Day to encourage people to work together so we can create safe and healthy communities through a transformation in how we see and treat the Earth. This is why we are coming together in symbolic action and prayer.
What can I do to help on Earth Overshoot Day?
Commit to marking Earth Overshoot Day by joining together with other Christians to toll bells and hold prayer services:
- Register your intention to mark Earth Overshoot Day and download helpful resources, including a short liturgy and images, and further inspiration.
- Toll your church bells, light a candle or do some other symbolic action shortly before midday on Friday 21 August as an alert to Earth Overshoot Day.
- Pray for people’s ‘ecological conversion’, encourage your community to make personal lifestyle changes, and check out the resources from Living The Change.