TWH – For many Pagans, an ecological disaster occurs both materially and spiritually. Many Pagans understand the planet Earth as Creator and Creation and generally reject the idea that humans have dominion over nature. Brazil, in the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere, has different seasons from countries in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Its nature spirits probably differ as well- and they are under threat with the clearing of the land, perhaps retreating, perhaps departing. The current fires demand attention to understand the social and political effects that are driving, what many feel, is a spiritual affront at a time of climate crisis.
The 24th annual Conference of the Parties, commonly called COP 24, began last week as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) Change conference in Katowice, Poland. The conference began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, then called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, whereat the UNFCC was adopted as an international treat to “”stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCC is also the eponymous secretariat of the United Nations that organizes the conference. To place the activities of the UNFCC in perspective, terms such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord and the Bali Action Plan are all agreements and activities that have emerged from prior conferences and now have entered common lexical use when discussing climate change. The COP 24 conference is expected to finalize the implementation rules around the Paris Agreement that was adopted by consensus in December 2015. Broadly, the Paris Agreement is an international and inter-agency plan to mitigate the effects of global warming by addressing greenhouse gas emissions, the economics of development and societal adaptations to climate change and the financial structure of assets and liabilities that are impacted by the global warming and its potential outcomes.