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Reform Magazine | July 14, 2020

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Here & now: Rachel Mander

Here & now: Rachel Mander

Rachel Mander imagines how the world could respond to coronavirus

What do your dreams say about what you value? I’ve been reflecting on this question in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the space of half a year, life has changed hugely, in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. The pandemic has been devastating for communities around the world. It is right that we grieve the loss it has caused.

The pandemic has massively changed many of our expectations. In this way, it has opened up space for us to reimagine what is possible. When we dream, we can begin to love in ways which are not limited by what we see in reality.

I find dreaming hard to sustain. It’s almost like the act of imagining puts into focus what is broken, and makes pain feel even sharper. It gets harder to dream, or see a future, when we are hurting, especially when we face a future very different to life as we know it.

If you are younger than 30, you have never experienced a single month in which the earth’s surface temperature was below the 20th-century average. Yet, the global average temperature will reach 1.5C of warming between 2030 and 2052. Beyond this, temperatures will rise again to 2C. This means that, within the next 30 years, several hundred million more people will be severely impacted by climate-related risk and will be pushed into poverty, as shown in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming, 2018. Disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on farming and fishing are at a disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences. By 2100, we are likely to see warming of between 2.6C and 4.8C. …

Rachel Mander is part of the Young Christian Climate Network, which is starting to think, act and pray about climate change. Email her to find out more

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the July/August 2020 edition of  Reform

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