Saturday, October 3, 2009

A spiritual obligation to act on climate change

We leaders of Colorado faith communities urge Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to work for the passage of strong clean energy legislation that addresses climate change. This is one of the dominant moral issues of our time.

Our religious faith deepens an awareness that should be clear to all people: The earth, our home, is a gift. We did not create it or earn it, and we do not own it. So we have a sacred responsibility to be good stewards of that gift.

Further, the earth's resources are finite, and with our technological prowess we have the ability to upset the ecological balance which supports our life on this earth. We must be attentive to the impacts of our activity on the environment, and not foolishly pretend that we are immune from those impacts.

We believe that our planet is in great peril from the threat of climate change. We believe it is real, and that it is to a significant extent human-induced. We accept the vast body of scientific evidence which forecasts severe consequences for the Earth and all its inhabitants if we fail to act.

Our thirst to consume the earth's natural resources, and our reliance on old energy sources which emit greenhouse gases, has led us to a crisis both spiritual and environmental. In view of this, for us as spiritual leaders to remain silent would be an abdication of our responsibilities.

Another consideration for us, and of primary concern, is that all of our religious traditions call us to serve and protect the poor and vulnerable, who contribute the least to this problem yet will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change.

We cannot expect to safeguard our own prosperity and security if we ignore or neglect the plight of the poor and vulnerable around the world, whose numbers will only increase as climate change disrupts lives and livelihoods.

A recent Pentagon report likewise concluded that increasing numbers of conflicts are sure to arise if people are displaced by climate change or forced to fight for dwindling resources such as water and arable land.

(I couldn't agree more, and I'm happy to see churches beginning to take a stand on this issue, which touches on morality, conservation and stewardship). The rest of the article in the Denver Post is here.

No comments:

Post a Comment