We invite minister commentary on climate change, especially the ethical and moral aspects, encouraging people to participate in ameliorating global warming.
Rev. William G. Sinkford, outgoing President of the UUA and member of the UU-UNO Council of Advisors pictured at right, has written the first Minister's Column, posted below.
Fr John Brinkman, M.M. (Commission on Ecology and Religion, Maryknoll) has written the article "CANCUN CROSSROADS", posted HERE.
Rev. Sinkford's Climate Column
There is broad and growing agreement within the religious community that global warming is real and a danger we must demand that our political leaders address. That broad consensus is heartening and that call for political action is necessary. But as religious people, Christians, Jews and Muslims alike do not speak from a place of moral purity. We have some confession to do.
We need to admit that some of our foundational religious language has at best sanctioned and at worst encouraged the habits that have landed us in this crisis. From Genesis Chapter 1 (the first chapter in the Bible), verses 27 and 28:
“ So God created humankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and god said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”(New Revised Standard Version, emphasis added)
The developed world has followed those instructions, in practice, using our natural resources as if we were free to use them up, regardless of the impact on the environment. Having only our model to follow, the developing world is pursuing largely the same course.
Those religious instructions are far from the only cause of our behavior, or course. The Protestant ethic, simple human greed, a short-sightedness shaped by the human life span and a willingness to not see our impact have all been in the mix. Nor is the language quoted above the only language about the natural world and our relationship to it in the Bible. The reality is that there are proof texts in the Bible to support just about any position. Whether you want to justify war or call for peace, defend nature from our transgressions or authorize them you can find support in scripture.
All of us, including the religious community have needed a change of heart for many years. And it is emerging. “Stewardship” of the earth and its resources is now common religious language. That still places humankind somehow above and in control of nature, but it at least recognizes our special responsibility and begins to get us into the right conversation.
There is no longer significant scientific controversy about global warming. It is real and its impact could be disastrous, especially for the global poor and the marginalized, those least able to exercise control over their lives and buffer its consequences. A moral response to the crisis must pay special attention to their needs.
Enlightened self-interest is a powerful motivator, encouraging actions and policies that can mitigate the impact of this potential global catastrophe. But I don’t believe enlightened self-interest takes us far enough.
The 2006 UUA General Assembly Statement of Conscience points to a spiritual platform on which we can stand, grounded by our seventh principle:
“As Unitarian Universalists, we are called … to affirm and promote ‘respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.’ We envision a world in which all people are assured a secure and meaningful life that is ecologically responsible and sustainable, in which every form of life has intrinsic value… As people of faith, we commit to renewed reverence for life.”
Humankind is not above and apart from, but a part of, the natural world. Our motivation is not self-interest alone, nor our responsibility as stewards, as important as those may be. Instead our religious response to this crisis begins with reverence and that is a far healthier and religious place to start.
AAAS Statement Deplores Attacks on Climate Scientists 2011
The Contrarians? Full article with referencesLast Updated on 2017-01-16 08:14:16
AKA climate science deniers or climate "faux" skeptics spread disinformation about climate and try to prevent responsible climate risk management. Information for this rather comprehensive article is drawn from the many sources and links in the text.
Who are the contrarians?
What is the contrarian Agenda?
What do contrarians Say about global warming? [The "Four Fallacy Trenches"]
What about Real Scientific Skepticism and contrarians?
What are some Contrarian Tactics and Fallacies?
What about "fringe" contrarian ideas?
Aren't there some contrarians with credentials who disproved mainstream climate science?
ANSWER = NO
The Tobacco Analogy
What do contrarians misunderstand about climate Risk Management?
or WHY CONTRARIANS ARE CLIMATE RISK... More »
Climate Ethics Last Updated on 2014-06-07 16:38:33Here is the Climate Ethics RSS feed. This is from the Rock Ethics Institute of Penn State specializing in Ethical Analysis of Climate Science and Policy. The head of the Institute is Prof. Donald Brown. From their website
"Climate Ethics is a commentary site on climate change science and policymaking by those working on climate change ethics. The site is intended for policymakers, interested public, and journalists... "
HERE is a great video of Dr. Brown speaking on climate ethics at a Bahá’í side event of the UN's CSD 15 conference.
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Health Threat of Climate ChangeLast Updated on 2014-05-21 22:32:54
This major Lancet article says:
"Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.
Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk."
Ref: "Managing the health effects of climate change" , Anthony Costello et. al; Vol373 May16,2009
Here are three other Lancet articles on health and climate change:
Harben Lecture: Climate change and human health: impacts, vulnerability, and mitigation
A Haines, R S Kovats, D Campbell-Lendrum, C Corvalan; Vol367 June 24,2006
...Climate change may affect health through a range of pathways— eg, as a result of increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduction in cold-related deaths, increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of... More »
National UU Action Needed to Defend the EPALast Updated on 2014-04-27 05:24:31The attached statement, "National UU Action Needed to Defend the EPA", developed by the UU-UNO Climate Change Task Force and Climate Advisory Group, is below. It is critical that we support the Environmental Protection Agency in their actions to counter global warming / climate change risks. To send a message supporting the EPA to your Representatives and Senators, CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION.
EPA UU Alert Final click above link if streaming error occurs
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Climate Action Team BlogLast Updated on 2013-12-14 09:19:28
UU CLIMATE ACTION TEAMS BLOG
PLEASE SHARE YOUR ACTIVITIES WITH OTHERS
For information on Climate Action Teams (CATs) click HERE.
To register your CAT click HERE.
To post something, you need to first join the Climate Portal.
From Doug Stewart, UU-UNO Climate Advisory Group, here is a great outline on advice for CATs to be successful:
Climate Action Team skills Doug Stewart .pdf
From Larry Danos and the San Francisco UU Climate Action Team:
CAT and Community Actions at SFUU
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