By Carol From India,
last few months have been really rough and difficult for everyone and honestly, we all don’t know, what is going to happen next? How long will this virus last? When will this virus end? What will the future be like? Will our life’s go back to normal again? Can we travel again?
So many questions we all have but no answers. So many rumours we hear every day and honestly, I personally would prefer not to hear anything, in order to maintain the peace inside my heart. Yes, I do follow rules and updates but I really don’t stress myself anymore with these rumours.
One thing for sure we all can agree on is that, no matter what the situation is right now, we all can see some of the good impacts of corona virus on climate.
To discuss about this situation, the topic for our third ecumenical hangout organised by the Department of Ecumenism in the Church of Dortmund and the Amt für Mission, Ökumene und kirchliche Weltverantwortung (MÖWe), was the link between corona and climate change.
On 23th April 2020 (2pm), many people from all over the world participated in the ecumenical hangout which took place for the third time online on zoom conference call. So, technically this was our third ecumenical hangout. Christina welcomed everybody and started this hangout with a prayer, one of the members from the organising team called as Vera sang a song (in Christ alone).
Ecumenical hangout is very cool hangout, anyone literally anyone can become a part of the organising team, if you are interested in becoming a part of the team then you can contact Christina. After the song Carolin gave us a small introduction on why are we here today? She replied, by saying that, “Everywhere in the world people are dealing with the challenges of Corona / COVID-19 virus. Today we want to concentrate on the link between the pandemic and climate changes. I would like to share with you some news:
- China: The city of Wuhan was in lockdown for the duration of 10 weeks. The city experienced its cleanest air quality in February and march 2020. The corona virus has wiped out at least a quarter of china’s emission of damaging greenhouse gases, scientists have found. China is the world largest greenhouse gas producer.
- USA: Coyotes, normally timid of traffic, have been spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Deer are grazing near Washington homes, a few miles from the White House.
- Italy: the wildlife in Venice returns. “The water is blue and clear,” said Gloria Beggiato, who owns the celebrated Metropole hotel a few steps from St Mark’s square and has a view over the Venice lagoon. “It is calm like a pond, because there are no waves caused by motorised boats transporting day tripper tourists. And of course, the giant cruise ships have disappeared.”
- India: India’s capital city Delhi, is one of the world’s most polluted cities, but its skies have turned blue and many people can see the Himalaya Mountains for the first time.
- Worldwide: Airlines carbon emission could drop by more than one third this year. Why that? Because we fly less. Travel demands sinks up to 85 % worldwide. Will the Covid-19 pandemic permanently change our flying habits? If we can work well together online now, like we do now in zoom, perhaps it will permanently reduce the need for travelling?
As humans stay indoors, wild animals take back what was once theirs. But please make sure not to spread fake news! We should be careful with these stories, not all of them might be true. While some stories of animal invasion that have gone viral have been fake, some others are true. It cannot be denied, that the natural world is recovering here and there. The choices we make now will shape our society for years and it is crucial that efforts to rebuild economies put people’s health before profit. We must not return to relaunching fossil fuel and unhealthy consumption patterns. The plans for a recovery from COVID-19 must take into account the necessary measures to tackle climate change with a managed, planned and fair approach. We are here about the COVID and Climate.”
All this is an unexpected upside of the coronavirus crisis that has proved that the global quality of air can be dramatically improved and fast. Coronavirus has cut emissions faster than years of climate negotiations. After a wonderful introduction by Carolin we all were give some question, on which we had to discuss and talk to our partners in the breakout room. This time we were three people in one group. We were given 20 min in total and 1 min extra time. The questions on which we had to discuss on were the following: –
- Who are you? Where are you? And do you have a personal relation to the topic of climate change? (3 min each)
- What relation do you see between the global struggles to save the climate and the struggle against Covid-19? (3 min each)
I was sent in the break out room with two people from different country. First person was Dirk Loose from Germany, whom I already know as he is my colleague at work place another person was Emily Jane from Australia. I had a very great time discussing with both of them as I wasn’t aware about the situation in Australia. Now Emily and I are friends on Facebook as well, I am glad that now I have a friend from Australia.
After our wonderful session in the break out room, we all were called back to the main session room. After returning back Carolin asked us few questions, she asked us, “Did you have a good time? What have you learned from the conversation? What was new to you in that interaction?” Three people from different countries answered these questions. After that Christina invited three people from different countries to pray. After the prayer we all closed our session with OUR FATHER.
So, this is how our third ecumenical hangout took place, to know more about the ecumenical hangout you can follow us on Facebook.
- Facebook name: Global Ecumenical Hangout
- Email: Biere@moewe-westfalen.de