We Oregonians know the destructive power of wildfire. We’re holding our collective breath hoping not to be choked with the smoke and sorrow that settled over us last summer.

But right now, blazes are destroying life in Siberia, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Lebanon, Brazil and Canada. Come autumn, fires will again burn in Africa, Mozambique and Australia. By spring, flames will spread in Southeast Asia.

Last week the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released. Basing their conclusions on more than 14,000 studies from every continent, 234 climate scientist-authors warned that humanity must act immediately if we are to leave to our children anything approaching a green, fertile earth. If we don’t, some long-inhabited parts of the planet, including lands of the Bible, will not even support human life.

Climate change is the most dangerous earthly enemy we have ever faced. It tirelessly will destroy our fields, drown our cities, impoverish our children and drive tens of millions of refugees to flee their homes.

There will be no safe place.

It’s cowardly to complain that China and India are worse than we are, so there’s no point in acting.

Our heritage is that of Christ and the saints, and we should turn to them instead of cynical excuses, complacency and denial.

We are the heirs of the heroes who fought fascism in World War II to save democracy. Are we really going to tell our children that we didn’t think it was worth it to fight the evil that is climate change?

In the same way that mobilizing for World War II invigorated our culture, economy and spiritual lives away from blather, poverty and self-indulgence, we too could mobilize to fight the climate crisis.

This is a just war, perhaps the most just there has ever been. It’s time for everyone to enlist.