Hong Kong people have had a taste of extreme weather in the last year or two. An extremely cold February last year (with the temperature being below 12 degree Celsius for more than twenty consecutive days) followed by the hottest February on record this year. Again, this year, the hottest August and September on record are followed by the coldest November on record. The average temperature between January and September this year is also the highest on record.
But the worst is yet to come, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. They predict that the extreme weather resulting from global warming and greenhouse gases will intensify. Before the century is over, there would be four droughts in which rainfall is expected to be only half the average level, and there will be hugely destructively typhoons coming to Hong Kong.
There is a website called Hopenhagen which has been set up in response to the climate change conference to take place in Copenhagen in 8 days' time. For many people, the question is how much hope we have in the positive solutions being reached in the conference, or how much hope humans have before the tipping point is reached at all.
According to today's Gospel (Luke 21:25-28), the answer is an emphatic 'yes'. Close as we are to the situation where "on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves", Jesus made this great promise:
"And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."