Here’s a favorite picture of mine from the Staten Island Ferry. You say it’s a picture of the New York skyline?
I say it’s a picture of water that gave birth to the city. True, isn’t it? The water was here first. The city came to be because water brought the world here, making the city a capitol of world trade and drawing millions of human beings to this place.
These waters once abounded with fish, the surrounding areas abounded in game. Plenty for all, so the native peoples allowed the original Dutch settlers a little piece of land for themselves.
Now look at it. The man who built the new World Trade Center claims it’s the tallest building in the country, challenging the heavens–like Babel.
.Be careful, though, about challenging the heavens and forgetting about the earth. Be careful about the waters that brought you where you are. No fish or oysters here to eat now. Little space for the waters to go when they rise. And they will.
Don’t forget– the water was here first. It’s a “vision thing.” That’s what Pope Francis says in “Laudato si”.
This week’s readings from Genesis are good readings for improving our vision.
Take a look at the UN vision, from Passionist International, at the United Nations:
UN Water Conference: March 22-24, New York
Water is an essential element to be addressed in all its facets as changes in water cycle contribute to climate change, inducing both fast-moving wet shocks (increasing storms, flooding) and slow-moving dry shocks (desertification, draught); is essential for health and sanitation, food production and nourishment; and our ocean life is increasingly being threatened by pollutants, fishing practices, and now attempts at deep sea mining extraction. Glaciers, which hold 3⁄4 of the world’s fresh water are rapidly melting. Water must be protected in all its forms. Water is life. It is at the heart of adaptation to climate change, and
Access to water and sanitation is a human right.
Water and sanitation flow through every aspect of sustainable development. A well-managed water cycle is critical to human society and the integrity of the natural environment…The vision for this Conference is that we all fundamentally understand, value and manage water better and take concerted action to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
See how water intersects with multiple goals for sustainable development:
More about the conference:
Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Water and Sanitation
*Registration for in-person attendance to the conference is open until February 10th. Please let me know asap prior to that date if you are interested in attending in New York. Note: Live webcast of official meetings can be viewed at webtv.un.org