No Plan B, once earth is overheated!

boy-with-globeThe majority of the people in the world, as surveyed by the World Economic Forum, believe climate change is the most serious issue affecting the world today. This is particularly true of the millennial generation. https://www.businessinsider.com

As a seminarian student, I want to add my voice ( and my vote) to this concern because it is not just a political issue for me, it is a faith issue. In the Hebrew Bible, God as Creator, from the beginning of time, made us to have dominion over all that lives on this planet. Genesis 1:26 Dominion refers to supreme rule. The term does not speak of exploiting the natural world, but rather of sharing in the divine rule, given to humanity because they are created in God’s image and are thus capable of distinguishing between exploitation and stewardship. Stewardship includes the principles of service and accountability, and acknowledges God as owner of all goods. 

 The earth follows the finger of rhyme and reason, in time and season, yet we as consuming citizens have lived a selfish approach in our careless consumption of resources, and literal destruction of nature in the name of progress and capitalism. 

 One main cause is the burning of fossil fuels, which adds chemicals to the air we breathe. These same chemicals are masking heat from escaping into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. The slow creeping effects of global warming are showing up in signs in nature, by slow animal extinction, pulmonary diseases in humans, poorer soil and crop production, and evolving unusual temperatures across the globe.

I believe that our Creator is more than willing to work with humans to reverse what appears to be inevitable. I join with people of faith to proclaim this issue of environmental justice.  It is all about choices!

In this crucial and immense social issue, I want to focus mainly on two matters for your further consideration.

1.) The Paris Climate Agreement;  and

2.) Your Carbon Footprint.

First, it has been 17 months since our president withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The U.S.A continues to formally attend the major negotiating sessions, because the withdrawal cannot go into effect until 4 years from the date of signing. Interestingly, that date will be in Nov. 2020, one day after our next presidential election. So there you have it millennial voters, consider voting for a candidate that will keep the USA in agreement so we can live a life we can live with. Vote for a net zero emissions platform.

Secondly, your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases—primarily carbon dioxide—released into the atmosphere by your particular human activities.

So going for the chase, how can you reduce your footprint? So simple, become a creature of new habits!

1.) Reduce your transportation fuel consumption, use  mass transit.

2.) Turn off those light switches if not absolutely needed, and put in LED bulbs.

3.) Reduce your waste, buy second hand items, bring your own reusable bags to stores, use filtered tap water.

4.) Plant trees, plant trees, and support tree planting.

5.) Use less water and use it more efficiently. Turn the hot water heater down a tad right now!

Check out creationjustice.org and Environmental Ministries for starters.

TRUTH BE TOLD IT IS ALL UP TO EACH ONE OF US!Polar bear floating down the Thames

6 thoughts on “No Plan B, once earth is overheated!

  1. Hello Barbara,

    In December 2011 I had an opportunity to attend COP 17, which took place in Durban, South Africa. It was at that particular time that my ABC on climate change issues started and I became an activist.

    The following were my suggestions for immediate action plan:
    – Acting personally: review critically your life style, close tap while brushing mouth, switch off lamps you are not using and so forth;

    – Acting communally: finding ways and alternatives for rain harvest and water harvest;

    – Acting ecclesially and ecumenically (we are all going to suffer): set up green congregations, green schools, planting trees, engage in an Eco-liturgical prayers, retreats, seminars, sports competitions. Creation spiritualities, organize faith based think tanks (Church organizations/institutions serving as a role models, and rethinking beyond COP17 by stressing values (compassion, trust, forgiveness) rather than on mathematical and profit paradigm only;

    – Acting Nationally for common welfare/wellbeing and national Happiness: build on good practices / best practices and move from talk shops to workshops;

    – Acting continentally and globally: why not bring in the agenda new terms and concepts such as Gross Happiness Indicator (GHI) instead of continuing just valuing the so called GDP/GNP?
    The full article can be found in the below link.

    http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=26009

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  2. I am so encouraged to hear your voices! Even though our focus should be on doing what we can, we must also educate and spread the word!
    All of us by doing little can do so much and we should do it ASAP before it is too late…

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  3. Great post on a timely topic! I’ll add another suggestion about political advocacy. In addition to the extremely important presidential election of 2020, there are initiatives right now at the state and local level that urgently need people’s support. Local Governments for Sustainability has lots of info on these: http://icleiusa.org/.

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  4. I appreciated your assertion that environmental care is an issue that calls upon your faith for concern and advocacy . Too often, matters involving the planet become polarized in the political aren. The result is our poor earth must wait even longer for the implementing of sound strategies and that of course means more environmental damage. Like you, I consider the charge to care for God’s creation to be firmly planted in my understanding of the Hebrew text. Because ir is such an important matter, I would think more churches would begin greater attempt to bring the topic to their programming and liturgical practice. Perhaps if people began to recognize environmental justice as a moral concern, resistance would lessen and the actual work toward reversing our past negligent behaviors could begin.

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  5. I would add that caring for the planet is required by the two principles which Jesus called the foundation of the law and the prophets: Love the Lord your God with all your strength and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself — including your neighbors of the next generation. Doing those things means leaving the planet in better condition than we found it.

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  6. Thanks for your concrete advice of how to address climate change by simple choices we make like turning off the lights and using reuse-able bags. I struggle because the part of the world I live in doesn’t do a whole lot to make recycling easy or green options available. Do you have any advice for how to advocate for change that will make these choices more available to communities like mine?

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